Drag Racing Model S Software Updates

Model S Performance is now a 2.3s car with more thermal endurance

Feel the wrath of the Cheetah Stance baby!


World’s fastest production car gets even faster, Tesla curbed another 0.1s from the Model S Performance 0-60 mph time — now the car can do it in just 2.3 seconds, imagine the g-force with that kind of acceleration.

Tesla’s online configurator started showing the Model S Performance 0-60 time as 2.3s a few days ago, now the general owners outside the Tesla Early Access Program (EAP) have started getting the update.

Fig 1.1: Tesla Model S online configurator showing 2.3s / 0-60 mph for the Tesla Model S Performance (Raven).

Not just the 0-60 mph time has improved with this over-the-air (OTA) software update, but the car’s battery pack is now more resistant to the heat — this thermal endurance now gives the Model S Performance the ability to deliver back to back launches with the Ludicrous+ mode.

Model S Performance owners now are getting the notification with the details of the new update, Marques Brownlee posted his update notification screenshot on Twitter.

The text of the notification says:

You asked for it. With our latest over-the-air software update to Model S Performance, we improved 0-60 acceleration to 2.3 seconds and quarter-mile time to 10.4 seconds. Go for more back-to-back runs withe improved thermal endurance, and activate Launch Mode with a press of the pedals. Launch Mode’s new Cheetah Stance lowers the front axle and adjusts damping before entry for better traction and faster acceleration off the line.

You’ll automatically receive this update based on your location and vehicle configuration—you can’t request the update. Connect to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot to download and install quicker.

The ‘Cheetah Stance’

Now when the Tesla Model S Performance is put into the Ludicrous+ mode, besides preparing the batteries, the front suspension of the car starts to lower down to mimic the stance of a Cheetah getting ready to pursue its prey — here the prey is hypercars like the Bugatti Chiron which goes from 0-60 in 2.5s for the price of $3 million+, that’s equal to the price of 30+ Tesla Model S Performance cars with 2.3s 0-60 time.

Fig 1.2: Tesla Model S Performance lowered front air-suspension that mimics the Cheetah Stance (requires the latest Raven Air Suspension). Photo Credits: DragTimes / YouTube (video below).

Tesla Model S and Model X cars started getting the Raven drivetrain and adaptive air suspension in April last year, besides increasing the range of both vehicles, this update also increased the performance of the cars marginally, the constant refinement by Tesla is still getting the results out of this physical engineering update.

How to Launch a Tesla Model S Performance with Cheetah Stance ( requires 2020.12.10 update)

The 2020.12.10 Tesla firmware update is currently on fleet-wide release as Tesla owners are reporting on TeslaScope and TeslaFi. The screenshot above/left explains the pedal press sequence to put the Model S Performance into the new Launch Mode+Cheetah Stance.

The release notes of this update explain this feature as:

Performance and Launch Mode Improvements

Launch Mode has been improved with powertrain enhancements that increase acceleration performance and repeatability. To improve traction, Adaptive Suspension performs a “cheetah stance” (lowers the front axle) and adjusts damping.

To initiate Launch mode, first, enable Insane+ acceleration by tapping Controls > Driving > Acceleration > Insane+ and follow the instructions displayed by tapping the “How to use Launch Mode” link.

To initiate Launch mode, first, enable Ludicrous+ acceleration by tapping Controls > Driving > Acceleration > Ludicrous+ and follow the instructions displayed by tapping the “How to use Launch Mode” link.

Now time to see it in action, DragTimes posted the following video a couple of weeks ago, probably on a Model S Raven on the early access program, but since the update was in beta testing at the time, the final update that the owners are now receiving might be even better.

Not just the 0-60 mph, the Tesla Model S quarter-mile drag time has also improved with the 2020.12.10 update, the previous testing of the same Raven Model S on the dragstrip showed consistent 1/4-mile times of 10.7x seconds in each attempt but in the latest video by the Tesla Racing Channel, the time has shrunk to around 10.5 seconds, pretty close to the Tela’s claimed 10.4 seconds in these emails.

As the latest update proliferates, we definitely will see more Tesla Model S Performance owners rushing to the dragstrip to test the new acceleration and suspension update.

Which other automaker offers cars that get faster, safer, and more powerful during the ownership lifespan? None other than Tesla at the moment.

Featured Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash



By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii