Midel S 60 vs 85

Midel S 60 vs 85

This has probably been answered many times, but I couldn't find the discussion. Apologies if this is an over post.

About to order my Model S. Here is the situation:

- I drive a 2008 BMW 535i, and it drives like a dream. But its getting long in the tooth and its time to move on.
- Test drove Jaguar XJ and its a great car
- Test drive Model S P85 performance and its an awesome car. Would buy it in a heartbeat
- Reality: Budget. Hard to swallow the price tag of the P85 performance. I can afford it, but can't justify to myself
- Will buy the 60 if I decide to get the Model S
- No way to test drive the 60. And that bothers me. I'll be buying a car without a test drive

Anyone have experience with both? Dont want to buy the 60 and then get underwhelmed. My current car is a very good car in terms of driveability. Smooth power on tap. P85 has more than that, dont know about the 60.

Again, apologies if this is an over post. Would love to hear from someone who has driven both.

Bighorn | 10 novembre 2013

Drive a regular 85 and you'll have a pretty good idea.

Low CG | 10 novembre 2013

I had a Jag and have a BMW in addition to the MS P85. I've never driven a 60, so I can't compare it to the P85. But I can tell you that the P85 totally outclasses the Jag and the BMW in technology, performance, reliability, and maintenance. If performance matters, stretch for the P85. Pass on the frills like the sunroof, high-end audio (I have the standard and think it's great), high-end charger in your garage (not needed; a 240V dryer outlet installed for a couple hundred bucks is more than adequate). Warning - if you buy a Tesla, there's a very high probability you'll NEVER want to buy a gas car again. The on-line buying experience is a breeze. Owning/maintaining it is painless. And driving it is incredible.

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

I would love to, but in San Diego they only seem to have the performance model.

Anybody in San Diego willing to let me have a drive in a 60 for 5 mins :-) I will gladly give you the keys to my 535 (but why would you want that....).

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Ok I'm warming up to the 85. I'll probably get dreams of the 85 and order it first thing in the morning... I agree, the P85 outclassed my BMW in all ways. The minute I drove it, I knew ICE is history.

Just gotta sleep on the extra 10K...

Jewsh | 10 novembre 2013

You'll really regret not getting the 85kW battery. If you enjoy the performance of the Model S, you'll deplete the battery faster than you expect. :-)

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Thanks Jewsh. Thats what I thought. But honestly, depleting the battery is not my concern. Work commute is only a few miles (but a few miles that I love to drive), and I have chargers at work (free :-)

My one and only concern is performance.

Doesn't seem like many people have done a 60 vs 85 performance comparison. Maybe I'll shoot Tesla an email to let me drive them both. Hopefully they are receptive to that.

Roamer@AZ USA | 10 novembre 2013

Only real difference between the 60 and the 85 is range and dollars. So the 60 or 85 decision is based on how much range you can be happy with.

Your other decision is how fast you want to get there and at what cost. The P gets you to sixty mph a second faster but doesn't go any further than a 85.

I am more than happy with the performance of my S85. But then in my case my wife took over the S85. To help soften the loss I ordered a P85+. Delivers next week. I feel like a Tesla addict that was looking for even more. The S85 is amazing, the P is

Since they are all great your only decision is;
how far do you need to go between charges
How fast do you want to get up to speed to get there.

You will love driving any model of S so don't lose any sleep over any of the choices you might make. It is impossible to choose wrong.

negarholger | 10 novembre 2013

"My one and only concern is performance" - I think you have no choice.
I have a P85, but could not care less about performance, but it is nice to have.

Xerogas | 10 novembre 2013

I've driven both, and was perfectly happy to come back to my 60. I work near UTC and could give you a test drive

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Thanks Roamer. Distance is not a concern. Performance is.
Lcohen made a good point. I think I'll order the 85 with tech and nothing else.

Thanks all you guys. The forum reslonse is really true reflection of the "Tesla experience".

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Thanks Xerogas. Thats an awesome offer. Can you please write to me at

Roamer@AZ USA | 10 novembre 2013

I know I didn't answer your question.

The 0 to 60 time difference between a 60 and 85 is .5 seconds. Not much difference.

The diff between a P and an 85 is more than a second.

I haven't driven a 60 but I would bet its hard to tell the difference from an 85.

You can really feel the difference when you slap the P on an 85. But Then the regular 85 feels great accelerating.

You would be happy with a 60, from there do what your right foot wants and your wallet is OK with.

Mathew98 | 10 novembre 2013

I regularly outrun BMWs, MBs, & Jags in my S60. I had an S85 loaner for a week and only notice a slightly better acceleration.

P85/+ is another story though. 1.5 seconds advantage over an S60 may be worth 20k for some but I am quite happy that none of the ICE could can up to my S60 yet.

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Wow, more confused than ever.. But its all happy confusion. I'll take up Xerogas's offer for a test drive. I know the outcome in my mind.

Thanks guys. You are the best.

tranhv68 | 10 novembre 2013

watch this youtube video.

in a nutshell, 0-60 in an reg 85kwh is 5.1 s and 5.5 s in a 60kwh. test drive an 85 it will be pretty similar.

Mark K | 10 novembre 2013

Because of your short commute, and chargers available at work, you are in a uniquely favorable position to get a 60 if you want to save the money.

I've driven the 60, 85, and P85. Very little difference between the 60 and 85 on acceleration. Theoretically the bigger battery is 1/2 a second faster, but that doesn't seem discernible in real world tests.

Because it is lighter (by about 250 pounds), the 60 seemed to me a little more agile on the slalom than the standard 85.

The P85+ is the gold standard for handling, being quite a bit more planted than the standard cars.

The P series at 4 seconds is very fast, but unless you are an extreme enthusiast, you will tend to use the extra acceleration only rarely because it does rattle your stomach. If you like roller coasters though, you'll love that.

The 60 will not disappoint you. The one last thing to consider is if the added range will make any meaningful difference on the road trips you may take.

You can't go wrong with any of them, it just comes down to range vs. bucks for your lifestyle.

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Thanks guys. Xerogas emailed me about test driving the 60 (he is awesome). I'llmake up my mind ttomorrow. I dont have any range anxiety etc. Its all about performance.

mahim | 10 novembre 2013

Only Tesla owners would do this btw.

Brian H | 11 novembre 2013

On road trips, the 60 can be a bit iffy sometimes. The 85 is really what the SCs are spaced for. And you will want to do road trips.

JaredBanyard | 11 novembre 2013

I ordered a 60 after considering a few things.

First, I typically drive only 20 miles a day and don't need the extra miles.

Second, the 60 is lighter and essentially the same performance as the 85.

Third, the money I would save on the 60 lets me afford the options I would not have been able to get on the 85.

SamO | 11 novembre 2013

I own a 60 and have had more than a week with the P85 and P85+ (Loaners while my car was being serviced). My father has an 85. There is essentially no difference in performance between the 60 and 85, just range.

The 60 is the best car on the road right now with the exception of the P85+ which is simply frighteningly fast.

Everyone I gave a ride to in the 60 was shocked by the acceleration and handling.

Everyone I gave a ride to in the P85+ was scared for their safety.

Dripps | 11 novembre 2013

The 60 battery warranty is different than the 85, (unlimited miles). That was a factor to me. I have the 85 but used a loaner P85. I could definitely feel the difference but I also used up the battery faster! I'm very very happy with the 85 and expect the 60 would have similar feel. But keep in mind, you will enjoy driving your Tesla more and the range may come in handy. It has for me. BTW I too was a BMW 535xi owner and although the car was wonderful, I never felt a connection to it. Tesla, completely different story. You'll see.

Kaboom | 11 novembre 2013

I was also in the same dilemma, go for a 60 or an 85. Like you i could technically afford the higher one, even the P85 if i stretched, but that was beyond my comfortzone to pay on a depreciating asset.

So i was left with going for a bare 85 vs. a 60 with one or two options.

My commute is similar to yours, not very long.

But what pushed me to go for the 85 was the occasional weekend trips i go on. Usually they are all under 2 hours drive one way. So i just wanted to be sure that my car can handle the trips there and back without having to worry about finding a place to recharge while away.

So i got the 85.....and then added the tech anyways :-o

Fluvio | 11 novembre 2013

I've driven a 60 and P85. Yes, there's significant performance difference, but the 60 is no slouch. Commute range is not an issue for you (now, if I was fortunate enough to be less than 10 miles from work, I wouldn't bother driving at all - I'd cycle or walk). And unless weekend road trips would create range anxiety, then save your coin and get the 60. Or spend the extra on the tech package or other upgrades.

hamer | 11 novembre 2013

The difference between a 60 and 85 in performance is not really that great. If you define performance as 0-60 acceleration, or top speed. (I've got an 85.)

An additional consideration, aside from range, is that use of the Superchargers is an option that costs a couple of thousand if you buy a 60, while it is built into the price of the 85. So if you intend to buy a 60, and intend to use Superchargers (which is a nice capability to have if you ever intend to take it on a road trip), you'll have to pay an extra couple of thousand. That means that in that case, the 85 won't cost you 10k more, it'll only cost you about 8K more.

greatkillssply | 11 novembre 2013

I drove both the 85 & p85 and felt no big difference to warrant the $10k more. My 85 out performs 95% of the cars on the road.

mal42north | 11 novembre 2013

I had a similar dilemma when I purchased my 60. 60 with some options or an 85 with no options. I went for the 60 and have been driving it since Feb. I do not regret my decision. Ive taken the 60 on a road trip from the bay area to San Diego, even going down HWY 1 through Big Sur, and never even came close to zero range. There is definitely some loss in convenience for road trips, but its not a big deal.

mrdaniel | 11 novembre 2013

If you had originally planned on getting the 60 with options, do that. San Diego must be fantastic for the panoramic roof, though you said you were just going to get the tech package with the 85.

The reason is that it is easier to rectify the battery choice than choice of options. "While technically possible to upgrade to a larger battery, we recommend configuring your Model S with the battery that meets both your present and future needs."

thranx | 11 novembre 2013

1) My 60 simply explodes past everything else in my area whenever I need the acceleration.

2) 97% of my driving is within its range. If I do go outside that, I make arrangements to charge somewhere.

3) If I had the money (but not Real Money) to get a P85 or P85+, I'd use the difference on adding options to a 60...or buy a new backup ICE, or take a couple of nice trips.

4) I never took a test drive before buying. All I had to do was read the Forum for six months.

jat | 11 novembre 2013

I agree with others that the performance difference isn't large (and probably not noticeable without them side-by-side or a stopwatch), but the real question is if you plan on taking long trips. If so, get the 85kWh battery. Don't forget, some years from now you will have noticeable battery degradation and making the 150-200mi to the next Supercharger might require driving quite slowly in a 60kWh model.

The 85kWh is only $8k more if you plan on getting Supercharger access, so to me the options are either 60kWh without Supercharger if you don't plan on using it for long trips or 85kWh if you do.

SamO | 11 novembre 2013

Since you live in CA there is no chance you'll worry about making the Supercharging. Ultimately (i.e. within 1 year) Superchargers will be ~100 miles apart or less. I can get anywhere in the state of CA with my 60.

Take a look at the map. I've drive to SF, Tahoe, Vegas, SD. The only place that is not accessible in a 60 is Mammoth, but there are SCs going in at Bishop and Lone Pine.

DTsea | 11 novembre 2013

I have a 60 and have had P85 loaners. Personally I prefer the 60- it is still plenty fast, can supercharge, but uses considerably less power than the P85. I found that the actual range with the P85 is not much better than the 60- even driving non-aggressively it used more power on the same routes. Maybe the bigger inverter and motor are less efficient.... plus the low profile tires etc.

So I am glad I got the 60. I might have gotten an 85 if I lived somewhere where supercharger deployment was far in the future.

Getting Amped Again | 11 novembre 2013

I'm adding to the "S60 with options is a better idea than a bare-bones S85" crowd. I personally think the air suspension is a must for this car if you don't want to scrape the front end in the first few months of driving. Plus the ride is like a magic carpet.

My only other useful input is noise: the 21" tires are noisier and my one experience with a P85 was that the noise during regen was annoyingly audible, whereas I can't hear it on my S60. Maybe I just had a noisy loaner.

Some people like top performance and "connection with the road". Alternatively, if you like really, really good performance with a smooth, quiet ride, an S60 or S85 with 19" wheels/tires and air suspension is the way to go IMO.

SamO | 11 novembre 2013

S60 with all the trimmings is better than a stripped down S85

djm12 | 11 novembre 2013

My wife and I have been very happy with our Midel S 60.

jjr64 | 11 novembre 2013

This has been a great thread. Thank you all for your input.

I was in the same spot as the original poster. My test drive was on a P80 and I've never driven anything even close to that car. I was instantly hooked. The sales manager knew I was hung up on the price and suggested that I go for the 60, saying that in a blind test with "non-extreme" driving, I would never know the difference. I ended up ordering a 60 and I'm hoping for a late December/early January delivery. I'm having a hard time waiting.

mlnewman | 11 novembre 2013

Don't have time for a lengthy post, but I'll second (third? fourth?) many of the posters here and say that my 60 is all the car I need, with the options I want. My commute is <10 miles, so what do I need the additional range for? I can drive to the airport and back, even from Houston -> Austin (though that's close...). If I really wanted to I could enable Supercharging and totally use it as a road-trip car.

I drove a P85+ once while mine was in for service and it was freaky fast, but that's a 25% financial upgrade (!). No, I say, if you're coming from a 5-series Bimmer, the 60 will be everything you want and need!

Good luck.

SamO | 11 novembre 2013


You will not be sorry. The S60 is better than anything else I've ever driven including (Corvette ZR1, Nissan 300Z, Mercedes, BMW M3,5, Lotus).

byoung71 | 11 novembre 2013

Another ditto for the "I love my 60" crowd.

I've never driven the P85 but I think my 60's acceleration feels wicked fast, and it is positively planted around a curve.

RameshV | 11 novembre 2013

+1 for the "love my S60" responses. I was also in the same boat - could afford a P85 but was not comfortable with splurging so much on a car. I debated long & hard on S60 vs S85 and went with the S60 largely because I did not need the extra range. After 3 months into ownership, I couldn't be happier with my 60 and do not regret my decision.

tes-s | 11 novembre 2013

I test drove a 60. Fastest car I ever drove, so knew I did not need a P.

Bought the 85 for range, supercharging, and extended warranty on the battery. If it is faster than the 60, I can not tell.

After 3 months, I mostly drive it like a "normal" car - rarely floor it "just because".

cra | 11 novembre 2013

The experience probably can't be described "on paper" (but I'm not sure how much one would be able to feel the difference, either?), but the numbers are to be found here:

Comparison between 60/85/P85:

Range: 230/300/300 miles
0-60: 5.9/5.4/4.2 seconds
Quarter mile: 14.2/13.7/12.6 seconds
Peak power: 302/362/416 hp
Peak torque: 430/440/600 Nm
Top speed 120/125/130 mph

jonlivesay | 11 novembre 2013

I have an 85, I have had a P85 loaner. The 60 is very similar to the 85, but with supercharging enabled on 60 only about 8k less. The P85 is fast, but much too noisy because of wheels. I like the 85 because I take long trips and wanted range. If in California that isn't much of a problem anymore but still some dead zones for a 60. If you don't think you'll use it for distance driving the 60 will suit you, unless you want that bonus performance of the P. Either way you go, you win, it changes the way you drive in a very unique way.

jaycweber | 11 novembre 2013

I am also in the "I love my 60 and it smokes just about every other car on the road" camp.

One thing to add: the official Tesla 0-60 times definitely undersell the 60. There's a DragTimes video that reports that the S60 does 0-60 in 5.1 seconds rather than Tesla's official 5.9. They didn't test a regular S85 but I suspect the difference is smaller than it appears in the official numbers. The S85 has 4% more torque but also 4% more weight.

petero | 11 novembre 2013

I have driven both the 60 and 85 and I bought a 60. Performance difference is approx. 10% in favor of the 85. The 60 has plenty of get up and go. I was not able to test drive a 60 until mine was delivered and I wasn't disappointed.

Two suggestions, I am very glad I got the supercharger option, however, I did not order the dual chargers which I don't have a need for.

Lou in SoCal | 11 novembre 2013

Have a 60 and came from a CLS AMG. I think the 60 is plenty and do not feel underwhelmed at all. Unless you're going to a drag strip, the 60 "feels" faster than my AMG because of the instant torque.

jandkw | 11 novembre 2013

I test drove the S85 because they didn't have the S60 for test drive at the time. I decided to purchase the S60 with all the features except pano. roof and enjoy the performance every day. To be honest, I cannot tell the difference between my S60 vs the S85. I have my S60 for service this morning and drove home the P85 loaner and yes it has very abrupt acceleration but quite noisy due to the performance tires and motor. all I can say is I'm glad I purchase the S60.

kk7p | 11 novembre 2013

If you plan on keeping the car for several years, you might want to consider the 85. The ranges quoted are for new cars with new batteries. Li-Ion batteries gradually lose capacity with charge/discharge cycles. Be the same as a shrinking fuel tank in an ICE.

I based my decision in part on assuming 70% to 80% capacity at end of life for the battery. At around 80% capacity, an 85 will have about the same range as a fresh 60.

I intend to keep the car for 8 to 10 years, so I ordered an 85, due for delivery in 6 more days.

philip.lintilhac | 11 novembre 2013

I have a 10 K S60. At first I thought I would regret my decision to go with the 60, but 95% of my driving is within range. As far as performance goes - acceleration is only one aspect of the joy of driving this thing. It is the totally effortlessness of handling that makes driving a fresh experience. If your driving is mostly local you will not regret going for the 60 with the tech package and dual chargers. Only if you go for stop-light drags and tracking will you want the 85. My old lady yells at me when I step on it, but give me a solo drive on a twisty road and I'm in heaven.

Brian H | 11 novembre 2013

for general info, you can make a nice table with the <pre> tag:

Comparison between
60 85 P85:
Range: 230 300 300 miles
0-60: 5.9 5.4 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile: 14.2 13.7 12.6 seconds
Peak power: 302 362 416 hp
Peak torque: 430 440 600 Nm
Top speed 120 125 130 mph