Skip to main content

Tesla releases a ‘Launch Mode’ feature to help Performance Model S owners drag race

Model S drag raceTesla released today a new update to some Performance Model S owners. The update includes some incremental improvements and an all new feature called ‘Launch Mode’. The new feature assists the driver to accelerate from a standing start, much like a launch control for a race car.

Even though the Model S is a large family sedan, with 0 to 60 mph times of 3.1 seconds for the P85D and 2.8 seconds for the P90D, the performance versions with ‘Ludicrous Mode’ can hold their own in a drag race.

It’s actually pretty satisfying to watch a 4-door electric sedan burst off in front of a small gas-guzzling sport car. We even curated a list of our own favorite Model S drag race videos, which we regularly update: Super Post – The best Tesla drag races.

Arguably, a ‘Launch Mode’ wasn’t really needed considering the best way to get a good start with the Model S is to punch the accelerator as fast as you can, but it is still a nice touch.

In the release notes of the new update, Tesla describes how to engage the ‘Launch Mode’:

  • Enable Max Battery Power mode via the link in Controls > Driving > ACCELERATION
  • Fully press the brake pedal with your left foot and hold firmly.
  • Fully press the accelerator pedal with your right foot, then release while continuing to hold the brake. The instrument panel will display the message “Launch Mode Enabled”.
  • After the message appears, fully press the accelerator pedal again. Then release the brake to launch within 4 seconds.

Stay tuned for the flood of new drag race videos featuring Tesla’s Launch Mode!

With the same update (v7.0:2.9.40), Tesla also improved the navigation system  and “auto windshield-wiping logic”. We recently reported on Tesla pushing the next major update of its software – version 7.1 – to some beta testers. The upcoming update includes UI improvements, a new self-parking feature, ‘Driver Mode’ and Autopilot restrictions.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.


  1. Bjørn Gundersen - 7 years ago

    How do they do this? Is there already a condenser/capasitor in the car that can be used for this? I have been fabulating about implementing a 100Wh condenser that can produce 100kW for 3,6sec. That would be approx 135hp

  2. Tslamaniac McSnarky - 7 years ago

    I’d like to see Launch Mode integrated into the autopilot system for hands-free feet-free totally relaxed auto drag racing. Gauranteed hole-shot every time! Bwahahahaha!

  3. Illuminati - 7 years ago

    The car camera is already able to detect speed limit signs. If the camera was able to detect the green light on a drag track, the Tesla S could launch automatically in less than a microseconds! Please Elon, give us the “Green Light Auto-Launch Mode”!


Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.