Model S vs Performance

Model S vs Performance

is it worth the extra $12K, for nicer seat( little red accent), 1.2 sec faster (0-60mph), and rear spoiler??

Bubba2000 | April 19, 2013

What would be worth a lot of money would be if they could have add on battery pack to put in the recess in the Frunk... add an extra 40 KW-hr and increase range by 40-50%. Charge extra $15k.

TeslaEnthused | April 19, 2013

If you use the Mercedes S class as a comparison (as Elon has done), consider the price difference between the S550 and the S63. The S550 starts at around $95k while the S63 starts around $140,000.

Considering the Model S and Performance are only $12k apart, seems like a deal to me!

RanjitC | April 19, 2013

+1 @teslaenthused

Brian H | April 19, 2013

Someone commented that he used the "cheapness" of the TM Performance upgrade to sell his wife on saving all that money.

NKYTA | April 19, 2013

I suppose it comes down to "1.2 sec faster (0-60mph)".

I kinda like my P85...but I think I like it more for 50-70mph.

When you wait and save for three and a half years, no-one was talking me out of the P.

jat | April 19, 2013

If I could have gotten the performance upgrade without having to pay for stuff I didn't want (21" tires, leather) I would have done so. But, I am quite happy with my non-perf S85.

ir | April 19, 2013

This has been debated many times before, use to search.

The rule of thumb is: Get "P" if you can afford it, don't if it means compromising other must have features.

Lots of happy non-performance owners out there, most would have went with the "P" if money was no object.

carlk | April 19, 2013

1.2s at that level is huge. It's the difference between Mustang GT fast and Corvette fast or between Z370 fast and 911 fast.

Or you can compare BMW 540i and M5 or Mercedes S550 and AMG S63. There is a pretty significant price difference between them but car enthusiasts know the upgrade models are totally different animals.

To do a fair comparison you also need to have the performance plus option which would make the price difference between S and SP 20K instead of 12K. It still seems to be a bargan compare to the BMW and Mercede models. A lot of people, or at least a lot of males, are willing to pay that kind of money to have the fastest car around. On the other hand M's or AMG's represent a very small portion of those German brands' sales. It's not for everyone. With all these said I would spend the 20K if I have already put 90K into the car because I want to have the "best" car around but that's just me.

sethvandermeer | April 19, 2013

Take a look at the Motor Trend meassurments non-P vs. P:

0-30 2.3; 1.7 sec
0-40 3.1; 2.4
0-50 4.0; 3.1
0-60 5.0; 4.0
0-70 6.1; 5.0
0-80 7.4; 6.3
0-90 8.9; 7.7
0-100 10.8; 9.5
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.9; 1.7

For me, personally, the passing speed is the most valuable, and that difference is unnoticeable. Coming from a 2008 Lexus IS with 0-60 in about 7 secs, I guess the non-P will be fine. It all depends on your reference and driving habits.

Spyder34 | April 19, 2013

If you're considering it, then I take it you can afford it. And if you can afford it-- you gotta go with the P. Between our meet-up group and reading the forums, noone has said "I wish I had gotten the S85 instead of my darn P85." But plenty of S85 owners have said their one regret is not getting the P.

I debated it, tried to rationalize it, but in the end, I just did it--and couldn't be happier with my P85 with 21's. It's absolutely incredible. Best investment (other than TM stock!) I've made. To use an old cliche, 0-60 in 4 flat..$12k, biggest grin I've had in years-- day-in and day-out...priceless!!

Good luck!

Cattledog | April 20, 2013

Got S-85, love it. If $12K-$20K were no object, would have gotten P85. For us, $12K-$20K is one year's tuition, a couple of nice family vacations, painting our house, 20% the cost of the Model X we have reserved for my wife, etc.

This part of what makes life fun, choices to make and the God-given intellect to make them (though not always well!)

Good luck, you are faced with two right answers.

Robert22 | April 20, 2013

Don't forget the fact that the savings by going with the non-performance will cover the cost of the full monty service plan and extended service plan, floormats, HPWC, and any other moderately-priced new toys or upgrades Tesla is likely to offer in the near to mid-term. I've also yet to hear any passenger say anything but "wow" when I nail it on the straightaways. If it matters to you, go performance. It's not going to make a difference to anyone else. Besides, when I get my tires rotated I'll have a performance loaner to play with for a day or two. Get your fix this way and save the cash. Others will of course disagree, but for those that care more about prudent financial planning, the choice isn't difficult.

stephen.kamichik | April 20, 2013

I am delighted with my standard 85 kWh model S. It certainly is fast enough at all speeds.

sethvandermeer | April 20, 2013

I am pretty sure that a good chauffeur in a standard S will outperform a P model, even in straight lines :-) of course we all think we are good chauffeurs ...

yodasminion | April 20, 2013

@sethvandermeer - Do you have a link to where you got this Motor Trend data? I'm assuming this was an non-P 85, I'd be curious about the 60 numbers. Those differences seem fairly small though. I've driven a P, but not a standard, and I know if you drove one right after the other you could probably feel it, but I'm not sure I've ever heard any standard owners on here ever express that they feel like they're "missing out" on anything.

I think Cattledog is right, you have two right answers here.

sethvandermeer | April 20, 2013
Brian H | April 20, 2013

It's priorities, indeed. You coulda got a pretty penny for your two namesakes! ;0


vgrinshpun | April 20, 2013

Anybody who browsed this Forum have read numerous accounts of Model S owners spending 2 - 3 times as much money as they would usually spend on a new car.

Aside from the willingness to pay premium for the cutting edge technology and combination of amazing performance, safety and utility, many people are in awe that all of the above can be had with no penalty in the cost of "fueling" the car.

Calculation of premium for owning the high performance vs. regular version of a comparable ICE car additionally needs to include premium associated with fueling the performance version.

Considering BMW 550i (20mpg) vs. BMW M5 (16mpg), the latter will cost $750 per year more to operate if both are driven 15,000 miles per year and gasoline costs $4 per gallon.

For the step up from the 85kWh version of Model S to P85, however, there is ZERO premium to be paid per the driven mile, of course if both are driven in the same manner.

This could be one of the reasons that percentage of buyers choosing performance version is much higher for Model S than for the comparable ICE car.

Brian H | April 20, 2013

If the P+ actually gets a bit more range, as claimed, it will cost LESS "fuel" than the S85.

vgrinshpun | April 20, 2013

Yes, but comparing apples to apples, i.e. with the same Michelin Pilot PS2 tires and wheels, the power consumption is the same.

TikiMan | April 20, 2013

As odd as it sounds, 1.2 seconds faster from 0-60 MPH has never been cheap, by any means.

Is it worth $12k more... well, let's put it this way, a Porsche, Ferrari, et al that is 1.2 seconds faster from 0-60 MPH can be as much as $200k-$500k (USD) more expensive.

DouglasR | April 20, 2013

I haven't heard any range numbers for the P+. I am guessing that the improved range is only when compared to the P85 with 21" wheels, and not better than the P85 with 19" wheels.

I also haven't heard any 0-60 numbers for the P+. Has any information been released?

Cattledog | April 20, 2013

vgrinshpun - Good point, however, I think you'd only get the same mileage if you never used the performance margin that the Performance Model S gives you. If you don't use it, there's no point. If you do use it, the marginal cost will be way less than the $750/yr with the comparables, so it's a great deal.

vgrinshpun | April 20, 2013

Cattledog - actually the $750/year marginal cost for "comparables" is based on EPA numbers, so implies that both ICE variants are driven the same way.

I doubt that M5 will get anywhere close to EPA tested 16mpg average if driven aggressively.

celtrog | April 20, 2013

I was going for the p but my test driver talked me out of it.
Said with normal driving habits you will not really notices difference.......
If you have to have the baddest machine then by all means do so....
But will you really notice a difference in driving?

riceuguy | April 21, 2013

Drove the P85 for the first time today (my 60 arrives next week, drove the standard 85 last time). The acceleration was ridiculous. I can't imagine where I could use it without getting a ticket. The empty road where the test drive took place was about the only place I can think of! That said, it was amazing, but too much car for me!

Brian H | April 21, 2013

Can you imagine your reaction/condition if you'd tried a Performance Plus?

jkirkebo | April 21, 2013

Tikiman: Well, it depends on where you're starting from. If the base car has a 0-60 time of 13,2 seconds it probably doesn't cost much to get to 12,0 seconds ;)

TikiMan | April 21, 2013


Sorry, I was referring to vehicles in the 4 second club.

carlk | April 21, 2013

@TikiMan Right 4 second 0-60 or 12 second quarter mile is a very expensive club to get in. On the other hand we should not generalize to say what is everyone should or should not do. Different people have different priority and value system. Many people drive high end BMWs at below speed limit all the time and many drive Civics like they are on the track. You make your own decision and you don't need to justify or defend it. It's perfectly OK if that's not your cup of soup and you don't want to spend the extra.

Back to answer op you probably don't "need" it if you have to ask. However I will not blame you for "wasted" the 20K if you decide to get the faster model either. ;-)

TeslaOwnerBlog | May 10, 2013

Our society always seems to forget about the opportunity cost of money -- even if you can afford it.

It is all in the 0-30mph acceleration for $8,500.

I wrote up a long summary on this on my blog.