By David Z. Morris
November 19, 2017

Tesla stole a bit of its own thunder this week when, during the unveiling of the new Tesla Semi electric big-rig, CEO Elon Musk also announced an updated version of the Tesla Roadster.

Then, early Sunday morning, Musk one-upped himself again.

The initial announcement had the new Roadster, to be available starting in 2020, accelerating from 0-60 in 1.9 seconds. That would make it the fastest-accelerating production vehicle ever, ready to smoke the wheels off internal combustion monsters like the 2017 Bugatti Chiron or the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder.

Apparently that wasn’t good enough.

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There are no details as yet about the “special option package” for the new roadster (though we’ve reached out to Tesla, and will update this story with any further details). But previous headline-grabbing Tesla upgrades might provide some broad insight.

The Model S P85D debuted in late 2014 with an “insane mode” that let it go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. Then in 2015 came the Model S P90D, whose “ludicrous mode” pushed that time down to 2.8 seconds. That has since been shaved even further, and the current Model SP100D does the same trick in 2.3 seconds.

It’s entirely unknowable whether the option package Musk teased this morning will parallel the more than 10% difference between Insane Mode and the first Ludicrous Mode, much less the more than 30% improvement that eventually came to the Model S. Such an upgrade would push the new Roadster’s acceleration time down to nearly 1.4 seconds, which would be somewhere between joyfully terrifying and outright dangerous.

But two things are clear – Tesla knows how to do fast, and (if it can keep everything on track) it’s poised to blow gas-burning sports cars off the map for good.

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