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.



DanD | 18 juin 2012

You must have missed the press release. Performance has much quicker acceleration. The tires and all that help it get there.

From the web site

"Model S Performance takes electric performance to the next level. Equipped with the 85 kilowatt-hour battery and a high performance drive inverter, Model S Performance accelerates to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. If driven the same way as Model S, both cars achieve the same efficiency thanks to the unique powertrain design. Model S Performance features unique exterior accents and an interior replete with Alcantara and carbon fiber accents."

This is closer to Roadster speeds than standard Model S (5.6 sec / 0-60)

Epley | 18 juin 2012

What you pay for in the performance model is, well, performance. 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds versus 5.6.

Jason S | 18 juin 2012

The 4.4 versus 5.6 is in the screenshots too...

BYT | 18 juin 2012

You can get a Model S or pay a little more and get a Model S-exy! ;) This is my preemptive strike on my midlife crisis... I like to be prepared! You also can't upgrade to Performance later so if you will ever want or miss it, then it's your chance now to get it. I for one, since I plan to keep my car a long LONG time, will not pass on Performance.

Beaker | 18 juin 2012

The leather on the seats of the performance are not perforated. My wife's visions of the kids spilling water on seats were the biggest reason behind her to approval of the performance edition, when we configured this weekend.

A very happy Father's day to me :)

EcLectric | 18 juin 2012


Thanks for that tidbit. I'll have to try that on my wife. How's this:

"If we don't get the performance version, the seats will have a bunch of HOLES in them!"

Beaker | 18 juin 2012

@EcLectric: You just made me have to clean soda off my monitor.

EcLectric | 18 juin 2012

Er... sorry?

Volker.Berlin | 18 juin 2012

If you need some opinions on whether or not 4.4 vs. 5.6 is worth $10k, here you are:

Beaker | 18 juin 2012

@EcLectric: I burst out laughing at your "... the seats will have a bunch of HOLES in them!" comment U i was sipping a soda at the time.

Nick Kordich | 18 juin 2012

I think this covers all the Performance package differences - let me know if I've missed anything:

Faster acceleration: 4.4s 0-60 instead of 5.6
Higher top speed: 130mph instead of 125mph
Improved handling due to sport tuned traction control/suspension.

85kWh battery required: the battery itself doesn't appear to be any different, and includes the Supercharger hardware, as with the non-Performance version.
High performance drive inverter: aside from higher speed, there's no claimed effect of efficiency, range or reliability.
Suspension differences: it's unclear as to whether this is entirely electronic tuning or if there is a difference beyond the software. In the design studio, the air suspension cannot be unchecked (it may be required as part of the package, or it may be non-removable like certain other gratis options, such as most included in the Signature package).

Modified interior: leather seats with piping (red on black, or more subtle shades on other base colors) and Alcantara accents on the seat bolsters. Color choice for leather is not affected by the Performance option (grey leather is available but delays production) but Performance Signature leather seats are not perforated. There does not appear to be the option to choose non-leather/textile seats.

The lower dash is also Nappa, as it is on the Signature cars. (I had e-mailed a customer rep about the dash material and was told: "The upper and lower dash of Model S will be a synthetic leather for both the textile and leather. Signature and Model S Performance will change the lower dash to Nappa Leather.")

Carbon fiber trim is standard and available only with a Performance package, but it can be replaced with one of the other trims at no cost. It may not be immediately obvious, but the trim material is applied to the area around the cupholders and under the armrest pads.

A cosmetic carbon fiber spoiler is the default, but it can be removed at no cost and has no impact on performance either way.

There are carbon fiber accents on the lower part of the front fascia (to the best of my knowledge, you cannot ask for this to be standard, if you want to get rid of it like the carbon fiber spoiler).

'Carbon grey' 21" alloy wheels are standard, but 21" silver or the standard 19" wheels are no-cost options. The darker performance wheels have no effect on performance over the 21" wheels (both result in a slightly lower range due to higher rolling resistance when compared to the 19" wheels). As with the carbon fiber, the grey wheels are only available with the Performance option.

Paint options are not affected by a Performance package: Signature colors are limited and Sunset Red will not be available until 2013.

Performance badging - I assume the P85 badge is going to be the standard for Performance Model S.

Pics taken by An Outsider and Russ Engle.

David70 | 18 juin 2012

My impression has been that the air suspension is necessary to get the performance advertised.

Brian H | 18 juin 2012

The motor is hand-wound instead of machine-wound, for better "throughput".

Volker.Berlin | 19 juin 2012

The motor is hand-wound instead of machine-wound, for better "throughput". (Brian H)

Are you sure you're not mixing this up with the Roadster? I know for a fact that the Roadster Sport stars hand-wound coils in its motor, but I have not seen or heard anything that would make me think that that's also true for the Model S Performance.

I don't know otherwise, either, but I think it's unlikely: There will be more Model S Performance built in a year than there were Roadsters (all kinds) built in total. And at a much lower price (if you consider all the size, material, whistles and bells that the Model S has and the Roadster lacks).

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

As TomA commented in February the ratio of hp boost between Roadster and Sportster is about the same as between regular and Performance Model S. I vaguely recall oral statements about the Perf winding, but don't have the reference handy.

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

P.S. What difference does the increased volume make? As long as TM is getting adequate "marginal margin" for the upgrade, it's paying for itself. By definition. And as Elon observed, the industry mass production ratio is about halving of costs per 10X increase in throughput. Which matches pretty closely.

As for the X, it was stated explicitly that mass and power were changed very little in the dual-motor 4WD version; it was/will be mostly the geometry and torque/traction control differences that will give the X Performance Dual its boost.

Volker.Berlin | 19 juin 2012

What difference does the increased volume make? (Brian H)

At low volumes you can afford to eat into margins if it is good for PR. The Roadster is all about PR (not necessarily specifically for Tesla, but at least as much for EVs in general, which jibes well with Elon's stated goals), not about making money.

IMO the Model S has a different mission (i.e., to fund Tesla's future) and therefore I think it's unlikely that Tesla chooses a production method that does not scale well. There are no economies of scale in manual work.

steven.maes | 19 juin 2012

I am not sure if this is mentioned in another post. I was just wondering ...
If the performance can go faster, and has more torque, but has the same range as the standard, wouldn't it have a "larger" battery ?

EdG | 19 juin 2012

It doesn't have the same range unless you drive it the same way. If you continually race the car and slow down, as opposed to using a non-Performance car driving at a constant speed, you won't get the same range. However, if you drive both Performance and non-Performance the same way, they'll get the same range.

With Performance you have the option of higher acceleration. Same size battery.

AndrewB | 19 juin 2012

The big difference is the performance 4.4 vs 5.6, hence the Performance Model. While I suspect the cost for this upgrade to Tesla is minimal, thus margin enhancing, the cost to the consumer is a relative bargain, just look at the base cost of a BMW 5 series and then the cost of the M5, much more than $10k.

steven.maes | 19 juin 2012

Hi EdG, indeed, makes sence ...

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

No economies of scale in manual work? Henry Ford would beg to differ. And so would time-and-motion "experts" everywhere. And so would supplies buyers. And so would overhead allocation accountants.

Of course, it's possible TM is training up some extra-dextrous robots to wind the Performance motors. ;)

Brian H | 19 juin 2012

Speaking of robots, didja see next April's news report about the successful union drive by the CAW?

jerry3 | 19 juin 2012

I thought that the difference was (mainly) in the wiring to the motors. heavier duty to allow more energy from the battery to get through without overheating.

Nick Kordich | 19 juin 2012

I'm thinking this (the motor and performance electronics) would make an excellent subject for a continuing Inside Telsa series. It may not have the same thematic build up (pardon the pun) as putting the body together, but I could easily see another three videos on the motor, battery, and electronics (without giving away too many trade secrets).

Timo | 20 juin 2012

It's also possible that they have made some changes in cooling of the motor and battery pack. Those are liquid-cooled unlike Roadster. If the coolant flow is increased you can "heat" it more without it getting overheated. That could also mean bigger radiators.

It is a different car, even that battery is the same, not just some cosmetic changes.

For hand-winding vs robot-winding motors, I believe robots can do better job at it than humans and they definitely can do it much quicker. I believe only reason Roadster motor is hand-winded for sport version is that they simply didn't have robot to do the job and could afford manual labor for that few cars.

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

Only the Sportster motor is hand-wound. Go back and check some of the earliest info on it.
"Power Motor Hand wound stator with increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque"

Timo | 20 juin 2012

You should read my messages a bit more careful Brian. I said "for sport version".

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

mea minima culpa. The grammar is a bit off, and it confuzzzed me. In English, you don't omit the article. And "winded" means something else entirely.

is hand-winded for ↑ sport version → is hand-wound for the Sport version


Brian H | 20 juin 2012

Hand-winding is a standard premium motor technique; the hand and eye can apparently fit the wires together closer, probably by offsetting the layers slightly, and so on. Since electric flow is a surface effect, compactness increases current density, I b'lieve. The stators thus produce a more powerful mag field for a given amperage.

So my bet is still on hand-winding for the S & X Performance motors. They will differ slightly from each other, I guess, but be better than precisely standardized ones. Kinda like hand-stitching? More expensive, but if the customer wants to pay the cost plus mark-up, it's another profit source -- the more the merrier!

Volker.Berlin | 20 juin 2012

So my bet is still on hand-winding for the S & X Performance motors. (Brian H)

You can bet whatever you want but I take issue when you present your presumptions as fact (and without citing sources). That was my only critique with your original post, garnished with my own personal opinion (clearly marked as such).

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

Talk to the hand. The hand-wound motors have been discussed and written about and published for previous high-performance models, so "hand-wound" is the default "null" hypothesis. Up to you or whoever to disprove it, not up to me to prove it. Vous amusez vous.

BYT | 20 juin 2012

I'll be sure to ask about how the electric motors are wound for both Perf. and Stand. on Sunday to put all the heavy minds and hearts at ease... :)

digitaltim | 20 juin 2012

@BYT please do...

I've read a fair amount about this in the RC world...typically the better motors are hand-wound because the quality of the machine-wound ones is poor due to low volume and lack of investment in the automation.

I am putting my bet on the Model S being machine-wound because of the volume they need and the willingness to get the machinery right.

But mostly, I just want to see who gets the +1 between @Volker.Berlin and @Brian H...


BYT | 20 juin 2012

LOL, on a side note, I just received the "It's Time to Build Your Model S" e-mail message. I asked how much time I had to configure it as I haven't decided on colors yet for exterior which also effects my color choices for the interior and since I test drive Sunday, wanted to see how much time I would get.

From Ross, the reply was, "You have 30 days to submit your order from the date you are invited without affecting your production order. We look forward to seeing you this weekend."

So exciting! :)

digitaltim | 20 juin 2012

@BYT Awesome!

I am waiting for the DC event or NYC. I live in MD, but work in NJ/NYC vicinity so both work for me.

...although I have already placed my order!!!

BYT | 20 juin 2012

@digitaltim, isn't it exciting? I think I know what an adult with EDD feels like now.

BYT | 20 juin 2012

LOL, or even ADD! SHeesh, too excited!

sfriedrich | 20 juin 2012

@BYT, What's your S#? (I'm out at S1162)

BYT | 20 juin 2012

S 1,186

Brian H | 20 juin 2012

Mostly, an adult with ADD acts ODD.

BYT | 20 juin 2012

I've never been accused of acting "normal"

jerry3 | 21 juin 2012


You're thinking about it the wrong way. It's pretty obvious that you or I are normal and depending upon how far away from that normality standard other's behaviour is determines how odd they are.

Brian H | 21 juin 2012

Sounds like a very off-center normal, to the Rest Of Us!

Timo | 22 juin 2012

Accusation of acting normal would indicate that your normal is strange, so getting accusation of acting normal is confirmation that you are not. I would be rather relieved of never being accused of acting normal.

Brian H | 22 juin 2012

That logic is severely aberrated and deviant. Is that (your) normal? >;-p

Timo | 22 juin 2012

...maybe... ;-)

BYT | 22 juin 2012

LOL, I am not convinced we are all crazy! ;)

BYT | 25 juin 2012

I had to ask a few people but it was confirmed that absolutely ALL motors are now mechanically wound and NOT by hand! They are after all trying to mass produce the Model S as apposed to the hand build Roadsters.

Brian H | 25 juin 2012

Better let Infiniti/Nissan know:

Lots of others. Standard high-quality technique.