After several years of dismissing the Silicon Valley carmaker, established German luxury carmakers now seem to be taking Tesla Motors seriously.
Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are each planning long-range electric cars aimed at combating the American upstart.
And if it wasn’t clear that the upcoming Porsche Mission E sedan will target the Tesla Model S, listen to what an anonymous Porsche product manager had to say about it.
“The thing about Ludicrous mode is that it’s a facade,” the product manager said.
Two launches at full power “saps the whole battery,” he said, claiming the Mission E will offer more reliable performance and that the “seats will not suck.”
Ludicrous mode is an optional upgrade for the Model S P90D and Model X P90D that increases performance by allowing a greater amount of power to be drawn from the battery pack.
On paper, a Model S P90D boasts 762 horsepower, and can do zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds.
But, indeed, the Ludicrous mode has some limitations.
When Car and Driver conducted an instrumented test of a Model S P90D, staffers found that they had to wait “at least three minutes” between acceleration runs for the battery pack to cool down.
In addition, Ludicrous mode is only available when the battery’s state of charge is at 95%, and “max battery performance mode” is selected.
When it was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche said the Mission E concept had 600 horsepower, with zero to 100 kilometers per hour (zero to 62 miles per hour) in 3.5 seconds.
Those figures don’t quite match Tesla’s, but it’s likely Porsche will claim its performance estimates for the Mission E will be more achievable in the real world.
Porsche also claims a range of more than 310 miles for the Mission E, and has discussed an 800-volt DC fast-charging system that can recharge the battery pack to 80% capacity in 15 minutes.
The production Mission E won’t appear until the end of the decade, but there’s plenty to learn about the car — and how it compares to the Model S — in the meantime.
[hat tip: Brian Henderson]