Let's get one thing straight: racing on the street is stupid and can in no way be condoned, even if it's conducted on traffic-clear roads. Not only is it a good bad way to lose your driver's license and face other statutory penalties, things have a way of going unpredictably wrong at the worst possible moments, and Murphy's Law can be far less forgiving than any judicial system. A proper course is designed to help minimize the danger when the inevitable eventually happens, and so that should be the only place we race. Also, helmets.

With all that said, we're still a little conflicted when a compelling bit of one-on-one street racing footage comes to our attention. Case in point, the video above. It's our first look at the real-world performance difference between the "insane" mode of the Tesla Model S P85D and the "ludicrous" mode of the new P90D. (For non-Teslafarians, the Model S prefix breaks down like this: the "P" is for performance, the digits represent the battery size in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and the "D" stands for dual motors, indicating all-wheel drive.)

Officially, the difference in acceleration from a stand still to 60 miles per hour is .4 seconds – that's 3.2 seconds for "insane, and a mere 2.8 seconds for "ludicrous." Older Model S EVs offered 0-60 times of 4.04 seconds in Sport mode and 5.2 seconds in the non-Performance version of the dual-motor Model S, the 85D. Not everyone completely agrees with Tesla's ever-quicker official figures, but they're sure getting crazy impressive. How does all of this translate to actual cars in motion? Press play to find out.

Share This Photo X