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?"

BruceR | March 31, 2012

I have the same tough choice Liz. 60kwh pack is sufficient for my needs and fits my budget. Can I justify another 19K to move up to the performance? (moving up in battery and subtracting the tech package..) A sub 6 second car is already faster than most cars on the road so I am finding it hard to justify the upgrade.
My 2 cents.

DrJ | March 31, 2012

Liz, you put up a very good point. Tech package seems a little pricey for what you really get/want. Personally, I really want the keyless entry, nav (kind of, I don't use mine that often, and when I do my iphone is usually more accurate), and Homelink. Hi-def camera - dont care, rest is kind of "eh?" So, if you aren't necessarily looking for an iPad with quick wheels, and rather looking for a Maserati with colorful center console, then go for the performance!

Liz G | April 1, 2012


The allowance was actually my idea. He likes his toys and I like my clothes and purses. This way we never fight over money or who spent money on what stupid thing, since its out of our own stash.

Crow | April 1, 2012

That's a budget, not an allowance.

BYT | April 1, 2012

This is why my wife and I have separate bank accounts and I have funds transfer every month to her account to cover our bills. She's in charge of paying them. If it was me they would never get paid on time unless I can setup an auto-pay for those accounts. Even then I most likely wouldn't audit the bills so, yeah, vicious cycle. It's all about what works best for you and your situation/personalities.

This is why you can't please everyone when it comes to what we all want in a car and compound that with the fact that some of us will spend much more then we EVER have for something on 4 wheels and you get some strong opinions.

Talking with Kyle Brazil at the Menlo Park TM store, we touched on the options available on the Roadster because they had the purchasing options that Lotus did as part of that licensing agreement. It took months for some owners to design their Roadsters from the long list of options available. Tesla learned from this and have provided less options this time with the Model S, that and also because this car is built from the ground up by TM, they don't have the buying power of a Ford, GM or Toyota to get the attention and pricing for those options. What they can do however is work with smaller vendors and make the car feel more custom with things like the perforated leather in the Signature for example.

Sudre_ | April 1, 2012

It might just be me but after the first 2 or 3 years I don't even use the sunroof in my current car. The cover just stays slid closed so I don't even notice it's there. That's why I am skipping the pano roof even tho it looks cool. I'll think it's great for a few years and then never even notice it for the next 7.

The other down side for my budget with the performance is buying a second set of tires for the winter. Sure I can just get the 19" wheels but I am already paying for the performance wheels with the performance package. I just can't throw away $3500.

While I think the battery costs for upgrades are a good deal I think they are high for my budget which is why I am at the 60kW battery.

All that said I have a feeling if I test drive a performance and like it (and my wife likes it enough), I will be getting one.

I'm with Liz on the tech package. I can take it or leave it.

DarrellH | April 1, 2012

DrJ, it all started awhile ago when my wife needed to replace her car. I showed her the Tesla Roadster website and she said we should get it. In addition, she picked the color and put racing stripes on it. Though she needed a car, I got a new daily driver.

For the S, I recently told her we should get the performance option. She said she didn't want it. So, I told her this time I was picking out the color of the car and I wanted racing stripes. She said "NO WAY!" I said "racing stripes or performance." We are getting performance.

See. It was easy! 8-)

Brian H | April 1, 2012

So, you set up a choice of a car that has speedster skin but no actual special sauce, or one that looks ordinary but has hidden talents. I like it!

MandL | April 2, 2012

Is the acceleration really still there at highway speeds? How close to top speed does it begin to fall off? If I'm going 75 and want to punch it up over 100 for a few seconds to pass a line of cars, does it still have it? Will the perf model be significantly different at highway speeds?

DarrellH | April 2, 2012

Brian H, we do love hidden talents!

MandL, the acceleration is really still there at highway speeds. Haven't hit 100 yet but did get up to 95 VERY quickly. I need to stop listening to my wife when she says to punch it!

DavidG | April 2, 2012

Another way to decide this question, is to ask what the performance option also costs its users. In my case, I like to use a Hollywood strap-on bicycle rack on the back of my car. However, these racks rarely work well with a rear spoiler, evident in the Design Studio. If the 4.4 sec version requires the spoiler, then it is 5.6 sec for me.

EdG | April 2, 2012

George Blankenship stated just a few days ago that the rear spoiler will be optional on performance versions.

Chris DC | April 2, 2012

Performance yes, but big NO to a spoiler. It is just plain ugly. Has no justification on a Model S IMO. I am very happy that Tesla will make it optional

Jason S | April 2, 2012

I'm probably going to skip the spoiler as well. But it is another of the items I'd like to see in person.

Teoatawki | April 2, 2012

I'd like to understand what difference the spoiler makes on range and performance before I decide.

GregF | April 2, 2012

Hey folks,
Not sure if this matters to anyone else, but I find it interesting to ponder this question.
At 4.4s, and BMW 7 series type space...
Given the speed, space and eMPG, someone could spend whatever money they wanted under $500,000, and they could only beat this car in one category. The Model S wins the other two. That's a game changer. Can anyone else think of a car that breaks this claim?

I'm still caught on the performance decision myself though. While it seems rare in vehicles in its class to drop 1.2s per 0-60 without spending $20-30k, it does happen. The M3, for instance, is one of those few. As it has been plaguing me for months, I decided go test drive a bunch in an effort to better understand the difference for myself again, and how I feel about it against the money.

This is a fantastic discussion. I'll try to post again after I'm done with the test drives.

Brian H | April 3, 2012

GregF | April 2, 2012 new
Given the speed, space and eMPG, someone could spend whatever money they wanted under $500,000, and they could only beat this car in one category. The Model S wins the other two. That's a game changer. Can anyone else think of a car that breaks this claim?

What a great summary!
Budget $0.5 million. Speed, space, mileage: pick one. Model S at $0.1 million beats you on the other two.

But I'm not so sure mileage should be in there, unless you're talking mini-EVs ...

Liz G | April 4, 2012

OK, so I'm waffling on the pano roof now. Wondering if it would be better to get the tech package and fogo the pamo roof. Any opinions? I'd like to point out that I'm in St. Louis where hits 100 easy in the summer time for days sometimes weeks on end.

Always enjoy the groups insights.

Jason S | April 4, 2012

With my current sunroof it is nice to leave it open a crack to vent air.

However for St Louis in summer you run the risk of T-storms so maybe cracking windows/roof isn't that good of an idea.

On the other hand, could just remotely close the roof if/when a T-storm happens and you notice it.

Overall I'd say roof > tech pkg. Depends on any "killer app" that might be included with tech pkg.

Crow | April 4, 2012

Maybe not an issue for you, Liz, but the pano roof has more headroom (with the sunshade open). Even if you are fine with less headroom, passengers may be hitting their heads.

Ohms.Law | April 4, 2012

I know this continues to be off topic, but has anyone actually seen in person or photograph what the sunshades actually look like?

William13 | April 4, 2012

Sunshades are not in final form yet.

dborn | April 4, 2012

Liz, we get heat here in Sydney, Australia. A sunroof is great after sitting in the sun, you open it wide, let the aircon run, and the much of the heat escapes within about 5 mins. Makes cooling the vehicle a lot more efficient. I would NOT leave it open, even a crack, with vehicle unattended. Possibility of rain or even break-ins! If we can actually open the roof remotely with the iPhone app, then all this could be done as you approach your vehicle after say shopping or work.

petero | April 4, 2012

Liz G. Yesterday my wife and I visited the Newport Beach, CA TM dealer. We decided to forego the metallic paint (save $750) and go for the pano sun roof. We may also get the tech. package but will make that decision when we test drive and can really sit down with our sales associate and find out all the particulars.

BYT | April 4, 2012

I hope we can control all the windows as well as the sunroof from our mobile phones.

Robert.Boston | April 7, 2012

I'm one of the big nay-sayers on pano rooves on these boards. I've had three on cars (Audi and BMW); two have developed problems, one serious. Glass is noisier than padded headliners, and one of the reasons I'm getting the Model S is for the quiet. Unless the rear-seat headroom is significantly improved with the pano, I'll invest that money elsewhere.

The tech package is a must-have for me. I like nearly ever feature on it, and I think it will be far more important on resale (should that occur) than the Performance

Volker.Berlin | April 11, 2012

So what specifically do you think is available with the tech package which would have you choose that over 1.2 sec? (Liz G)

Generally speaking, I think that I will see benefit from having the Tech Pkg every time I drive the car, while having an additional 1.2 sec will only show about twice a year (more often when the car is new), and possibly in some car guy discussions (when it doesn't really make a difference whether or not I actually have the performance option, as long as it's available).

Specifically, I definitely want: Xenon headlamps, Electrochromatic side mirrors, Convenience lighting, Automatic keyless entry

I'm glad to get "for free" (since it's a package, otherwise I would still consider these depending on their additional cost): LED foglights, Power rear liftgate, Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates

I don't care at all about: High definition back-up camera (since a low-res version comes standard), Homelink (not entirely sure what it actually means; if you need this to be able to remote control the car, it's in the "definitely want" category).


Volker.Berlin | April 11, 2012

I should add that there is one issue with the performance package which repels me, besides upfront cost: IMO the performance package only makes sense with the performance tires. If you don't get the performance tires, you won't be able show off those 1.2 secs and the ultimate handling of your car. But I decidedly do not want those performance tires for their substantially higher maintenance cost and for their lower safety in bad wheather conditions. Thus, the performance package doesn't make sense to me, even if I would otherwise consider it. Perfomance like that is great on a secondary car which you only take for a ride on beautiful sundays, but the Model S will be "the only car you ever need" (Elon Musk) for me.

Of course, that's just me, and my assumptions regarding the handling of the car w/ performance option and all-season tires, as well as the assumptions regarding performance tires vs. all-season tires in bad weather, are just that -- assumptions. Only actual tests will tell, but at least these assumptions align with experiences with different kinds of tires on existing cars.

ManuVince | April 11, 2012

HomeLink is a kind industrie standard for automatic door remote control. I thought I didn't care (I also want the tech package for the same reasons you mentioned Volker).
I checked what it was out of curiosity, and discover it was compatible with the rolling door of my parking garage. So that moved Homelink from the "I don't care" category to the "I'm glad I get it for "free"" category. No more remote on my key ring.

clea | April 11, 2012

One thing I was wondering about is related to the improvements to the cabling needed for the increase in the output to the drive inverters. Would this have any other benefits related to efficiency under normal usage and/or future proofing?

Robert.Boston | April 11, 2012

The more robust systems in the Performance should have slightly lower losses. Looking way down the road, the extra beefiness of the Performance may give some extra optionality on batteries.

Volker.Berlin | April 17, 2012

HomeLink is a kind industrie standard for automatic door remote control. (ManuVince)

Great, thank you for the education. I just checked and it turns out that my designated garage for the Model S also supports HomeLink, so that's another "definitely want". :-)

Careful though: HomeLink works on different frequencies, and the vehicle has to support the same frequency as the garage. My garage works on 868.3 MHz, so I hope, Tesla will support that. In any case, I sent email to my Tesla rep to let them know early on. Maybe you should do the same.

Volker.Berlin | April 18, 2012

BTW, you need the Performance version to keep up with the i8. Just sayin'. ;-)

Brian H | April 18, 2012

Awww ... they dropped the glass doors!
The 4.9 they promise would be using the Fisker solution: cranking both electric and ICE systems at once. Elegant! Or not ...

Brian H | April 18, 2012

And that's a two-seater, surely? There can't possibly be seats in the back of that! So it's a BMW Roadster, not an S.

Volker.Berlin | April 19, 2012

It's officially a four-seater. I saw the concept in Geneva (from far away, it was carefully protected from too close inspection by the average passer-by) and it looks TIGHT. The back seats may even be worse than those of the Fisker Karma. But that's not the point.

Obviously the i8 is no competition for the Model S in any category -- except acceleration. So I assume, you want to beat it in that, too. To do so, you need the Model S Performance, but with that you are even faster than this ingenious BMW.

dochunter | April 21, 2012

Been debating this myself for a while now. Having read through this thread a couple times in the last few weeks I think I have cinvinced myself I'll be sorry if I dont go for it.

I've already put in for the Sig because I just can't wait any longer (plus the red exterior and white leather are hot!). I want the tech pkg for all the gee whiz toys, and the pano-roof for the looks.

Why am I denying myself the "Tesla Grin"? 4.4s is going to rock.

Brian H | April 22, 2012

Any S will produce the "grin". 4.4 causes giggles!

JoeFee | April 23, 2012

See how well the Performance S stands up to these super cars for the money:

IMO, I think the Performance S offers the most car for the money than any other config.

Timo | April 23, 2012

Model S is a "family car" so really comparable are only those mercs. I believe Model S would beat them to 75mph, but start to lose after that (gears in ICE, and RPM of diminishing returns in Model S).

JoeFee | April 24, 2012

Yes, it is a great family car … but

think how much fun you can have without the kids in the jump seats @ 4.4 to 60MPH and beat many of the cars in the links I posted above !

Brian H | April 24, 2012

Even more fun WITH them in the jump seats! They'll love it ...

steven.maes | April 25, 2012

My kids would probably start waving their hands to the car behind us and ask me to put the pedal to the metal. Fun for both the kids and me :-)

Volker.Berlin | April 25, 2012

"Safety helmets (kids size) are included with the optional jump seats in the Model S Performance." ;-)

BYT | April 25, 2012

That explains why the rear jump seats have a harness that looks like a NASCAR setup. When you hit the accelerator they POP forward suddenly and it would keep them from pounding their heads into the rear / trunk window.

DanD | April 25, 2012

Anything approaching 4.6 is going to turn you into an aggressive (dangerous) driver.

And how many times will you really need it to either pass someone that ought to be passed or impress someone that out to be impressed.

I like the idea of spending the $10K on a fur or expensive clothes for your wife or maybe some great outfits for yourself.

Because you'll need to step out of the car every day and won't it be nice to look as impressive as your car.

In our case, our country club seems to be getting pretty car conscious and there's a lot of keeping up with the Jones. My buddy just bought a Maserati and another one's getting an Audi 8.

The Model S and new clothes for the people stepping out of the car at the valet stand will be much more fun than accelerating out of the parking lot (over the speed bumps).

jerry3 | April 25, 2012

No problem, you can purchase your outfits here:

DanD | April 25, 2012

Nice plug. Used to live in Dallas, would've been a good idea.
The country club here in NJ bans blue denim. Not really a "country" club is it.

jerry3 | April 25, 2012

I don't have any actual connection with them other than the purchases I make.

Brian H | April 26, 2012

I'd ban denim, too. Haven't worn it for about 50 yrs. Worst fabric this side of burlap. Heavy, doesn't stretch or flex, holds water, wears poorly, traps heat when it's hot but not when it's cold.