Is 4.4 seconds vs 5.6 seconds alone worth $10k?

Is 4.4 seconds vs 5.6 seconds alone worth $10k?

I posed this same question over on TMC - sorry for the repeat but trying to reach the widest audience. I am considering upgrading to the performance. However, I wouldn't get either the carbon fiber interior or the performance rims - just not my color tastes. I don't really care about the exterior accents. Plus it would force me to go to the black interior from white - I can't have white alcantara with two kids, they will destroy that in a week. SO that leaves the question - is going from a 60 time of 5.6 to 4.4 really worth $10k? Is 5.6 "fast enough?"

Jason S | March 29, 2012

What is your current car and how much would you enjoy having the ability to have extra speed on demand?

I've never had the experience of a car being too fast off the line, getting into traffic, etc. It is always 'can I make this?' with a judgement based on how fast I know the car is.

rdgreene | March 29, 2012

I don't know if anyone can answer this for you!! It really depends on your frame of reference (your current car) -- I would imagine you mostly won't be driving at the edge of performance where you'd notice the 1 second difference.

But as a previous BMW M3, Lotus Esprit, and RX7 twin turbo owner, I can tell you my answer is "of course it's worth it!".

BYT | March 29, 2012

You can compare your current cars or past for that matter 0-60 times here. and according to the site my 2003 Honda Accord Coupe EX V6 that I sold did 0-60 in 6.1

The extra $10k is significant to be sure, but how long do you plan on driving your Model S for? Is it worth the extra cost when you breakdown over the next 5, 7, 10 or 15 years? Might help you make the decision taking that into consideration.

Brian H | March 29, 2012

Chris (?) over at TMC has the sig, "It's not passing, it's teleportation!"

stephen.kamichik | March 29, 2012

My 1999 BMW 328i does 0-60 in 6.8 seconds. I have never needed full acceleration. For me, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds is more than sufficient. In your situation, buy the jump seats for your kids and a fur coat for your wife.

toto_48313 | March 29, 2012

5.6 s is enough, but 4.4 is scary funny... so depending of the level of fun factor you are expecting it's worrth it.

As there are speed limits, the fun factor on the road is during the 0-60 period... otherwise, take a cab.

Liz G | March 29, 2012

I want 4.4sec but there is no way I can afford it. Even if I don't take an options. :O(

Schlermie | March 29, 2012

@DrJ - This is obviously subjective. For me, the difference in 5.6 and 4.4 is all about fun factor, and I'm willing to pay the extra $10K. (By the way, I'm also getting black leather and rejecting the carbon fiber and performance rims for the same reasons you stated.) Going 0-60 in 5.6 seconds is still a respectable acceleration. To get a handle on it, you might want to visit the 0-60 Times Website. Zero to 60 in 5.6s is comparable to a Trans Am, but 0 to 60 in 4.4s is comparable to a Carrera.

For an ICE car, it will easily cost you another $10k to upgrade your engine from 5.6s to 4.4s.

stevenmaifert | March 29, 2012

Under normal driving conditions, you will rarely need the 5.6 let alone the 4.4. Having said that, I test drove a Roadster in Jan. 2011 with the 3.7. I'm not used to that kind of acceleration and I have to say that the push-back into the seat was so dramatic my stomach gave my brain a momentary sense of concern for my safety. It's an exhilarating feeling that's difficult to put into words; you have to experience it! Granted, the Performance S isn't quite that fast, but 4.4 will still get your attention. If that sort of thing gives you a kick, I think you will find the extra 10K to be well worth it.

BTW, after the Roadster test drive I went home and put down my deposit on the S :)

h8young | March 29, 2012

Isn't the difference actually an extra $15K not $10K for the Performance S?

toto_48313 | March 29, 2012

@h8, it's 10K if you talk about signature, 15K if you talk about general prod.

Jason S | March 29, 2012

Actually I remember it being the other way around -- the regular perf is a pretty good deal (you get the tire upgrade 'for free', iirc) vs the sig perf is paying even more of a 'sig tax'.

CurrieG | March 29, 2012

The faster acceleration is great, but let's not forget, apart from the additional interior options, you also get the Active Air Suspension and Sport-Tuned Traction Control for the extra $10K - definately worth it for the enhanced performance... I am going for it!

Canada P#252

David M. | March 29, 2012

Stevenm - All I can say is that 5.6 seconds is like having a V-8, but with the best transmission ever. Personally, 4.4 seconds would be great for about 2 months. Then I'd wonder why I spent the extra money. OTOH - if you have the extra cash, why not go all the way.

I bet your insurance premium will be higher with the performance option.

Crow | March 29, 2012

DrJ, have you driven the Roadster? Get behind the wheel and hit it. Accelerate practically as fast as anything and do it in almost complete silence. The Roadster is as close as you can get to flying with 4 wheels on the ground. It is like being catapulted off an aircraft carrier. Is that feeling worth the extra money?

phb | March 29, 2012


DrJ | March 29, 2012

You had me at flying...
You guys are all awesome. Thanks for all the input. It has now pretty much pushed me into getting the Performance. I am getting a Sig, so the delta is $10k. And I do like the look of the black with red piping and carbon fiber. Now my concern is heat - I live in Austin, TX and am getting the pano roof. That being said I used to have a porsche with black interior and it wouldn't get hot, but it also didn't have an all glass roof. Makes you wonder how well that AC will work, if preconditioning the the car via the phone app PTA will be enough to cool down the seats?

dborn | March 29, 2012

I too put my deposit down after driving the roadster and flooring it. Best driving experience I ever had. However, just how often do think you will do that after the first couple of months, and after showing off to all your friends? For me, a real waste of money. Full torque from zero revs is plenty good enough. Go for the the sig with all options, and i doubt you will be unhappy!!

EdG | March 29, 2012

@DrJ: The front and rear and pano glass are all said to absorb most infrared, so no matter what color interior you get, it won't be like the cars we're all used to. Black seats just won't get as hot as you might imagine. [Note: they don't say anything about the infrared spec on the door windows.]

petero | March 29, 2012


I promise you, if the money is not a big thing, you will be sorry you didn’t get it. Fulfilling your expectations is the key to satisfaction- even if you rarely exercise the 4.4 seconds.

In my case, 5.6 suits me just fine.

brianman | March 29, 2012

I find trouble taking this site seriously when they quote the Model S as 5.5s.

To my knowledge, no flavor of Model S has ever been reported as having 5.5s 0-60.

TikiMan | March 29, 2012

Is it worth an extra $10k... not for everyone, but then again, it's all subjective based on what 'floats you boat'. I know people who spend more than that on fancy clothing that goes out of style in less than six months, or fancy wines, etc.

For me it's small price to pay for that extra feeling of... 'I work hard for what I can afford, because I am worth it'.

Timo | March 30, 2012

I wouldn't care about 0-60 time, that's just fun, but it has very little practical use. What I do care is passing acceleration and with that extra $10k you will have one insane car at highway speeds.

I have never driven a really really fast car in passing situation, but I have seen how it impacts the passing.

Situation: I'm third in a line of cars with first car driving about 55mph (a long truck). Behind me is at least five cars, and then there is a smallish opening to pass. Car in front of me doesn't take it, so I don't either, but two cars behind me a ordinary looking Saab starts to pass the line. I thought "insane driver, there is not enough room to get back in line". Then "WOW, that car really goes" and before I could say that aloud it was gone past me and few seconds later the entire line of cars. It had be going at least 90mph before it was at my car.

Turns out that was Saab 99 Turbo, one of those that have better passing acceleration than Ferrari Testarossa. Car didn't look spectacular, but that passing was one insane one.

With Model S performance you have a car that could beat that. I'd say it is well worth extra $10k.

Mark K | March 30, 2012

If spending the extra 10k makes you give up something else that matters, that 1.2 sec boost is not worth it.

If it really won't change what else you buy, don't deny yourself the pleasure.

High performance simply intensifies the joy of driving.

Brian H | March 30, 2012

I wonder how many S sales Roadster test drives closed/clinched/caused.

Timo -- "It's not passing, it's teleportation!"

Accel and fun; I wonder how the difference between G-forces you control and those you don't "plays" out ...

Brian H | March 30, 2012

An evolutionary comment on the "Tesla grin": in chimps and most animals, pulled-back lips and bared teeth is a sign of fear, or even submission to superior force. Humans have sublimated and socialized it into a pleasure/friendliness signature.

EdG | March 30, 2012

@Timo: thanks! I've been trying to sell myself on the passing speed idea for a while now. Another vote helps make it real.

My situation is a little different on the roads I normally travel:

There are three lanes going in my direction and for a bit too long cars and trucks are all lined up next to each other going about the same speed. An opening occurs. Sometimes it's big enough, more often not. But when the number of cars on the road that can out-accelerate you are severly limited, then hitting the pedal when there's any opening becomes predictably safe.

Oh, yes.. Enjoy it while you can. In ten years there'll be way too many electric cars on the road to make that assumption.

Brian H | March 30, 2012

As long as you can reach the lane speed within your on-ramp's length, it doesn't matter if another can can match you -- unless the other driver intentionally closes the "hole".

EdG | March 30, 2012

There are far too many drivers who maintain speed and then speed up to prevent anyone from blocking their view for a few seconds. Knowing they can't do that makes things so much simpler. Or so I imagine. Perhaps I'll find out soon.

BYT | March 30, 2012

I'm an aggressive driver and as a youngster in his early 20's was always 1 speeding ticket away from loosing my license. Now being much older and a little wiser have become much more responsible, but speed and power is addictive and although I have never felt the power of a car that can do 0-60 any faster then 6 seconds, I would love, LOVE to feel that 4.4 second time in my Model S. $10k would really be felt, and since I'm not in a sig should say the $15k would really be felt, but as long as I have the car (which I plan that to be a long time) then I will be happy that I forked it out ahead of time. You can't upgrade the electric motor later, maybe the battery, but not the motor.

adstein | March 30, 2012

About 15 years ago, I think, Porsche introduced a significant bump in power and acceleration. The police started to notice an increase in rear end collisions at speed. What the learned was that the cars accelerated so fast that people did not have time to pull out to go around someone before the rear ended them. I am a little concerned that so much power/speed in the model s is an accident waiting to happen. I am a good driver but am I good enough to always intelligently manage that power? Undecided but it gives me pause especially if other ever drive the car.

Jason S | March 30, 2012

Just for fun, google "increase in rear end collisions at speed" (without the quotes) and you'll see an interesting correlation.

I can't find the links to increased performance from Porsche increasing those kinds of accidents.

Tiebreaker | March 30, 2012

Oh yeah baby! It is worth it, especially if you already have the dough for a Sig!

Sudre_ | March 30, 2012

My wife asked about the difference in the 4.4 verses what we drive now.
I said, "You know how you hate it when I hit the brakes hard because your head surges forward?"
Wife, "Yup"
Me, "If we get the performance version I will be able to throw your head back into the seat just as hard!"
Wife, "I don't want the concussion."

Liz G | March 30, 2012

My husbands mid life crisis car is a 2011 Ford Mustang GT that does 0 to 60 in 4.6 secs. There is nothing more fun than taking that out for a spin. I love the feel of the acceleration as I get on the highway. I would love to get that feeling, along with the constant press of G force, in my S.

I really need to stop reading this thread before I find myself dipping into my sons college fund to pay for the performance S. :0)

Jason S | March 30, 2012

My wife says the perf S is my mid life crisis car. But I figure I might as well go big or go home, ya know?

BYT | March 30, 2012

Amen Jason, Go BIG or go home!

Robert.Boston | March 30, 2012

The perf option is only an extra $12k (for non-Sig) if you were already getting the leather seats and air suspension....

BYT | March 30, 2012

So $9k extra if you are also getting the 21's, performance car needs the performance low pro's

DarrellH | March 30, 2012

I've never regretted getting things I did get but I've often regretted not getting things I could have. Sig power with a pano roof and kids seats please!

DrJ | March 30, 2012

"Oh Baxter, you're so wise. Your like a little Buddha, with hair."

DarrellH, I was referring to your statement above. Now, to sell the Performance to the wife.....

BTW I am assuming black Alcantara is easier to clean than white, and that the pano roof is truly state of the art in blocking sunlight.

Liz G | March 31, 2012

OK, I need some opinions here. I've almost got my husband to agree to let me get the Performance S. I'm going to have go with the basic white or black, no paint upgrade, and I'm going to pay for the pano rough out of my allowance. So the only other thing is I have to give up the tech package. Most of those things I don't have now, so it's not like I'd be missing them, but wanted to check to see if there was anything in the tech package that would really be worth having. That I would regret not having.

Any thoughts?

Jason S | March 31, 2012

People say the headlights are really nice.

Most of the other stuff seems like quality of life things. Nice if ya have them, but if the pano roof is already a stretch then can prolly pass on the tech pkg.

Volker.Berlin | March 31, 2012

To me, the Tech Pkg is absolutely worth it no doubt, brings the Model S up to where it belongs option-wise, while the performance option is something I'd only consider if I didn't have kids (three) to feed... But that's just me, you asked for it.

DrJ | March 31, 2012

I agree. And I like really fast cars. Guess it is a matter of whether you like the technology aspect of the car or the speed. Personally, I would go tech and forego the 1.2 seconds. Again personal taste. Depends if you are a Steve Jobs or a Ricky Bobby.

Liz G | March 31, 2012

@volker and Drj

So what specifically do you think is available with the tech package which would have you choose that over 1.2 sec? At this point I should probably mention that I was only going to get the 230 originally which puts me at an icrease of 1.5 secs. But with that said I'm interested in what about the tech package you feel is superior.

Mark K | March 31, 2012

Wow Liz, I'm impressed! Passing on finery to go for raw muscle ... that's usually guy-stuff. Is there a latent Cougar inside you?

I'm thinking I'll skip the tech package. 21 inch wheels and air suspension add more zest to the ride.

It's totally unnecessary, but that 4.4 sec does create a cool juxtaposition. The gas-free EV that smoothly and silently blows away virtually every air-breather.

Teoatawki | March 31, 2012

Air-breather-- makes it sound kind of noble. I prefer dinosaur burner.

Crow | March 31, 2012

Am I the only one who thinks Liz shouldn't have an allowance? Stand up for your rights, girl!

JoeFee | March 31, 2012

Liz … you rock:

go for the speed!