Model S vs Model S Performance (price difference)

Model S vs Model S Performance (price difference)

I was playing around on the design studio and was comparing pricing. I found that the performance is just under $10,000 more for essentially the same car.

The only real differences I found are:
The performance has a spoiler. (I don't if I have a spoiler either way)
The tire color is difference, but still both are still performance. (Black on performance, gray on "standard")
The seat has red pin stripping on the performance. (another feature I don't really need)

Am I missing something or are these the only real differences for $10,000 more. If that is the case I would take the "standard" over the performance.



BYT | June 25, 2012

I'm just the messenger, please don't shoot! :)

Timo | June 25, 2012

..for small number of items. For mass-production you need machines to do the work. I believe machines can do better job than humans, if you just put some effort in designing such a device and Tesla has some very high quality brains in its team so if someone can design such a device they can.

JackB | June 25, 2012

My view changed after last weekend's test drive event. Up to that point, I didn't think the Sport package was worth $10k. But after experiencing full throttle starts in both version (one as a driver and one as a ride-along), I'm convinced that the sport-tuned traction control and suspension are worth the money because the car is more stable and responsive, and seemed to corner better too. And while the difference in acceleration is not that great, rumor has it that the Model S Sport is faster than even the Roadster between 50-90 mph!

Jack Bowers

Brian H | June 25, 2012

The illustrations I've seen of the two show hand-wound get far more copper into the stator, up to 100%. Much more powerful.

A few thousand over the course of a year is not mass-production in any serious sense. If there's enough pay-off, there's no problem in making as many as you want by any technique you want.

E.g. for wind turbines:

Presto Wind(TM) units are more efficient because they contain about 2 times more copper than other brands. We spare no expense when designing and building our high quality generators.

Brian H | June 25, 2012

Oops. Wrong image URL. Re-post (left is hand, right is machine):

Brian H | June 25, 2012


On the left: Our hand wound stator --- On the right: A machine wound brand with 50% less copper

BYT | June 25, 2012

But are these Tesla wound motors? Apples to apples!!

EdG | June 25, 2012

@Brian H: are you suggesting no reasonable machine could wind a motor and get specs as good as the hand-wound motor?

steven.maes | June 26, 2012

@JackB. Thx for that info. Really helpful.

Brian H | June 26, 2012

Yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting. There is an ability to "optimize on the fly" that a skilled human has that robots do not yet possess.

EdG | June 26, 2012

@Brian H: That's surprising. I never had the "opportunity" that my professors did of winding my own motor. (Something they had to do for a PhD in EE.) But I find very interesting the possibility that such a repetitive mundane sounding task - exactly what computers are made for - could have such intricate decision possibilities that it's difficult to program a simple algorithm to take advantage of the various situations.

Timo | June 26, 2012

Brian H. your "example" is not quite optimized or better done by humans. I interpret those pictures that human used twice the space getting in twice the copper. That's +- zero result compared to machine-winded motor. Maybe you would like to try again?

BYT | June 26, 2012

Frankly, no matter how the motor was run, when I test drove the Model S, STANDARD, not the performance, I finally understood what the famed Tesla Grin was all about. Hand or Machine wound didn't matter when you punched the pedal and felt your body depressed against the back of your seat!

Brian H | June 26, 2012

Tell it to Presto-Wind; I'm sure they'll be fascinated to hear that hand winding is useless!

BTW, I repeat: it's "hand-wound". "Winded" means out of breath.

Timo | June 26, 2012

It just tells that they use motors that are very far from optimized if they can fit that hand-wound stator into same motor chassis. I don't think Tesla motors have that much extra unused space in them.

You need to face it, robots can do better job than humans in this. There is no point arguing when that's just a simple fact. There is absolutely no reason why machine-wound motor couldn't be just as good or better than human-wound. After all that's quite simple job for machine to do, and machines do it faster.

Brian H | June 26, 2012

Machines do exactly the same thing, over and over. Humans can adjust on the fly. Skill is the ability to make good adjustments.

Ask a Tesla rep or two. Might even require JDS to adjudicate! What fun! ;D

Timo | June 26, 2012

Tesla rep says that all motors are machine-wound.

Humans can adjust on fly, but humans also can't reach same accuracy, and there is not much to adjust in that kind of job. It is all matter of designing the perfect pattern for motor, then building the machine to do the job.

David70 | June 26, 2012

Agreed Timo. My opinion is that if they needed to adjust on the fly, it would be only because they hadn't already done the best possible job.

Brian H | June 27, 2012

WRT the larger hand-wound Presto-Wind design, the wires are 'free-standing' above the collar, instead of firmly wound around it. I think this is the feature a machine would have trouble with. I'm sure P-W would be surprised to hear a machine can do it as well; let us know what they say when you enlighten them.

EdG | June 27, 2012

If all you're talking about is allowing for "slack" in the wires as you make a loop, I don't understand why you don't think a machine could do that, if desired. The sloppy wire pattern in your hand wound motor's photo cannot be optimal for wiring, and, if it were, I'm certain a machine could be built to do it without too much fuss, and make it neater to boot.

Brian H | June 27, 2012

As I said, tell it to Presto-Wind. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to find there's a cheaper way to do it. (Those are wind turbine gear, by the way.)

Timo | June 27, 2012

Presto-Wind probably don't have knowhow to build the machine. When there is no machine and volume is tiny then human is good and probably cheaper alternative.

Brian H | June 28, 2012

Yes, I'm sure you know their business better than they do, and would be welcomed with your superior winding knowledge. Please let us know how they respond to your offer to enlighten them!

Timo | June 28, 2012

That company doesn't strike me as high-tech company based on their webpage, and it also looks like their volumes are tiny, so you just managed to reinforce my earlier belief that they probably don't know how to make such a machine or don't need to make such a machine. That is why they do things by hand.

Volker.Berlin | June 28, 2012

Brian H, you lost why can't you admit it? Your arrogance and derogatory language won't help. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! :-)

Brian H | June 28, 2012

Machine control is adequate for some tasks, best for others, but not yet advanced to "universal superiority". That company is very heavily focussed on rotors and stators -- they make small and consumer-level windmills (the only kind that have a legitimate function, of course).

There's a reason hand-stitching and hand-winding are more expensive and have substantial markets. It is not because the manufacturers are too uninformed to know that machines can do it cheaper and just as well.

Once more, take the ad homs and FOADKMRRAPIYHADI

Brian H | June 28, 2012

P.S. there are many other firms and applications; that one just happened to have some images handy. Hand-wound is top of the market in price and quality. Too bad TM abandoned it for its Performance motors! >:P

Brian H | June 28, 2012

I thought this one was interesting, too:

Northern Lights Marine Series

These models range in size from 4.5kW to 520kW, and there is a complete line of 50Hz and 60Hz marine generators that are powered by Lugger diesels and used primarily in commercial fishing boats, high performance yachts and passenger vessels. Each model features a high copper content within the brushless generator end that enables the motor starting. Plus, each one features a hand-wound stator that makes electricity with a symmetrical sine wave for today’s sensitive electronic equipment, and a corrosion-resistant epoxy coating to ensure protection against offshore elements.

Another ignorant manufacturer awaiting your enlightenment!

Timo | June 28, 2012

Another low-tech low-volume company. You are not proving anything with those. If you want to convince me why hand-wound is better you have to give me a reason why it would be that and why machine could not do the same. The fact that people still make things by hand doesn't mean that it cannot be done better by machine. In most cases people just don't have money and resources to design a machine that builds things better, so they keep doing things by hand.

AC motors are ancient tech by modern standards. Anybody can build one. Making an machine that does adequate job doing same doesn't require much skill, but doing a one that does better job than humans does, which is why low volume products don't use those. It is expensive machine to design and build for manufacturing just a few items. With high volume it pays itself back.

Note that for electric car it is not enough that you create a more powerful motor, it also needs to be efficient. Just plain stuffing in more copper doesn't do that. Tesla probably has a lot more resources dedicated in developing an efficient, yet small and powerful motor than any other company in the world and they have resources to make an machine to manufacture motor using that exact specification their development produces. Also, they need the machine because they have large production volume.

I think both standard model S and performance model have as efficient motor they can develop, performance version is just bigger and more powerful, not the same motor using different winding method.

steven.maes | June 28, 2012

BrianH, I can only assume that FOADKMRRAPIYHADI is not something nice to say ? I was wondering what it ment.
At least I now noticed that the saying "Google knows everything" is not through :-)

Volker.Berlin | June 28, 2012

Brian H, I love it. You're so predictable. >:P

EdG | June 28, 2012

"Your search - FOADKMRRAPIYHADI - did not match any documents."

@Brian H: I assume you like to ensure correctness to make communication more clear. If so, why put in references to things so few people know (as above) or the plethora of squiggly typed faces that have so little meaning (at least to me)?

Are you just entertaining yourself, or trying to communicate? I'm having a hard enough time trying to discern all the acronyms everyone else seems to think are universally understood. (E.g., is RC equal to Remote Controlled or Release Candidate or is it something else as in "the RC industry" I seem to recall seeing...)

Volker.Berlin | June 28, 2012

steven.maes, EdG:

FOAD: An acronym meaning Fuck Off And Die. FOAD can be used in many different scenarios. However, no matter what scenario the word is used in "Fuck Off And Die" is a way vent emotional instabilty in a given situation. When someone is pissed the fuck off, FOAD is the word he or she uses to release his or her emotions. Then again, if extreme hatred is showed toward one person then the word legit means, "FUCK OFF AND DIE."

I think we can leave it at that and don't have to go into the details of KMRRAPIYHADI...

Ohms.Law | June 28, 2012

Gentlemen, please. I am trying to decide if the added investment in the Performance version is worth it, to me. A discussion, ad nauseum, on the merits of doing something by hand does not help with the intent of this thread.

steven.maes | June 28, 2012

Thx Volker.Berlin

+1 Ohms.Law

pilotSteve | June 28, 2012

+1 V.B and Ohms.Law! Lets get this discussion back where it belongs (as indicated in the thread title!)

Also following the thread about traction control/possible handling problems with standard vs. performance.

Per that thread is appears that reported problem may be limited to a single car and thus not relevant to the 'is Performance with the money' question.

So if its really the increased acceleration, top speed and maybe some handling improvements when pushing the car to its limits, then I feel its not worth $10k difference for me. For others.... get it and I'd love a ride on the track with you!

Ohms.Law | June 28, 2012

@pilotSteve I had a similar reaction last evening on the drive home. AS MUCH as I would like the Performance beast, I got to thinking, while negotiating traffic from DC to Maryland, how many times do I drive when I could actually let it fly. Sure enough, there were times last night when I could have zipped from 10 mph to 40 mph, in traffic, and with a Performance version that would have (let me see, take that, subtract that, divide by that, hmmm...) cut off 0.6 seconds on my thrill meter with the Performance model.

Never say never, but for $10K+ it gives me real pause.

Jason S | June 28, 2012

There have been times when I've committed to getting out into traffic then found I've underestimated the speed of my vehicle and the speed of the other traffic.

A performance version gives me the ability to just press the accelerator harder to correct my mistake.

That's the main day-to-day difference. I think of it as a safety feature.

Brian H | June 29, 2012

Doug G. on TMC has the sig: "It's not passing, it's teleportation!" When your torque is so much more than the other car's, it almost doesn't matter what it's doing.

John56 | June 29, 2012

I agree. Let's get this thread back on track and stop the motor winding chatter. For me the extra performance is definitely worth it. I think everyone buying this car at the early adopter stage is paying more for "transportation" than is justified based purely upon comparative metrics to other, basic transportation. Also, I keep seeing $10K put forth as the upgrade cost, but it is really less than that if you were already planning to opt for some of the options included in the performance version cost. I am P#1117 and I just wish I could get a little better feel for when I might see delivery of my new Performance version. I haven't even been contacted yet to order.