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Performance vs. Non-Performance & an extra $10K

Todd Burch

12-Year Member
Nov 3, 2009
8,695
41,194
Smithfield, VA
I am currently planning on getting the non-performance, but am thinking about the performance.

The 21" wheels are basically out of the question for me--too short a lifespan, summer performance only, and the higher cost.

So my choice is to either get the non-performance or, for about $10K more ($12K, actually) go with the performance and 19" wheels.

I can afford to pay cash for either car with plenty of emergency fund left over, but I am not wealthy per se--just have been saving up for a few years for this car. While I don't intend to take my S to the track, I would like to show off with it here and there, and impress friends to help sell them the fact that EVs are not golf carts.

I typically would think spending this much on a car is crazy, but I feel like I owe it to myself for having driven a crapmobile for the last 10 years. I also am lucky enough to have a job that pays just a bit into the 6 figures, and I have no debt other than my 3.25% mortgage and some of my wife's remaining student loans.

I know this isn't enough info about me to make a really good suggestion, but need some nudging one way or the other. Should I get the performance or not? And...how much will the 0-60 time be affected by using the 19" all seasons?

Edit: And how do I break this to the wife if I decide to go performance?!? :)

OK...thanks in advance, and...Unleash your opinions!
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Global Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,888
3,414
Ottawa, Canada
Most likely 0-60 will not be affected by 19" wheels, since lowered sidewall height really only affects cornering (and makes the ride bumpier). The stiffer sidewall would help stop the tire from rolling over in a hard corner, but has no impact on acceleration. For that, the grip of the tire matters more.

All season tires will have less grip, so yes, they will have a little bit of impact on 0-60. Traction control will likely have to hold you back a little at launch. However, once you get rolling there will probably be no difference in the acceleration. It will still go "whoosh". :wink:

Personally, I'm planning to get the Performance Model S with 21" rims and "proper" sport tires for summer, and an extra set of 19" rims with real winter tires. (Of course the way things are going the car will start it's life with the winter tires installed. :cursing:)
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,662
28,498
Texas
1. You can get the 21" and do a trade + $$ (from them) with someone who wants the 21".

2. If you put on some sticky Yokohamas, the 0-60 difference can be eliminated and perhaps even improved upon (with a similar loss in tread life of course). The lower profile 21" tires provide more g-force (assuming the tires are equal in other respects) because the contact patch is shorter but wider. In addition the 21" cornering response will be quicker because of the lower aspect ratio.

Contrary to popular belief, wider does not equal better traction (the 21" have slightly wider tread contacting the ground because of the lower [squarer] aspect ratio even though both tires have the same nominal section width and revs per mile). However, the 19" tires that come on the Model S have a less grippy tread compound than the 21" so as delivered the 21" tires do have more off-the-line-traction. (Note that traction also depends upon road surface--some tires mate better with some road surfaces than they do with others).

The real question is: How much does it matter to you? How often will you use the additional quickness? and Do you want the different trim choices? The difference between the standard and performance versions are: higher capacity inverter, some different trim availability (most notably carbon fibre dash and contrasting seat piping), and the 21" wheels. If this is worth the price difference to you, and you can afford either, then go for it. (If I could afford the performance version I would get it just for the carbon fibre dash, which seems to be the most attractive trim available.) However, I don't believe you'll regret your choice whichever way you go.
 

jkirkebo

Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU
Jun 13, 2010
961
13
Fredrikstad, Norway
Personally, I'm planning to get the Performance Model S with 21" rims and "proper" sport tires for summer, and an extra set of 19" rims with real winter tires. (Of course the way things are going the car will start it's life with the winter tires installed. :cursing:)

I agree, this is the way to go. Winter tires are MUCH MUCH better in winter than all-seasons. And with a second set of rims for winter, the 21" summer tires will last much longer. Double win. The only drawback is having to use an hour twice a year to swap tires and having to store the currently unused set. And the price of the 19" rims of course, which is not known at this time.

Also the stock Continentals have a 340 threadwear rating, which is not bad at all (Michelin Pilot Sports have 220). Tire Rack sells them for $247 which is not hideously expensive either, and some have reported spotting them for as low as $206.
 
Personally, I'm planning to get the Performance Model S with 21" rims and "proper" sport tires for summer, and an extra set of 19" rims with real winter tires. (Of course the way things are going the car will start it's life with the winter tires installed. :cursing:)

Doing the same here, definitely needed in NE Ohio where I wouldn't be able to drive Nov-Mar with the sticky performance tires.

As far going Performance vs. not, I'm going Performance, very personal choice. Probably not a huge difference in day-to-day driving, but worth the extra $$$ and speed to me. This is one of those "now or never" things, not upgradable down the line, and I'm certainly looking forward to stunning all the naysayers around here with the performance of my "super golf cart". :biggrin:
 

Arnold Panz

Model Sig 304, VIN 542
Apr 13, 2009
1,340
3
Miami, Florida
I'm generally pretty fiscally conservative, but that's all gone out the window with the Model S.

The bottom line on any big purchase is a bit of wisdom I got from a relative -- is spending the extra money going to change your lifestyle at all? In other words, do you have to "sacrifice" anything in the future to spend the extra $10k, or would you never really miss the money? If it's the latter, you should go for the Performance.

BTW, this advice works for lots of things (new job, buying a house, vacations etc.).
 
Agree with above post plus if you are already planning on getting some of the features that come with performance then it may be worth it to you.
-Nappa leather interior with Alcantara accents and carbon fiber décor
-Active Air Suspension and Sport-Tuned Traction Control

I like the CF look better than the other interior options, but it had a lot to do with the wheels for me. I just really like the look of dark wheels and I had no choice but to get them.
 
I had the same decision to make, Todd. At first, the only Performance-bundled components I wanted were the Air suspension and leather: $3000 to add on a la carte. I didn't care about 21" wheels or carbon fiber, or red piping, etc. So, the difference between my MS+leather&air and MSP would be $9,000, not $12,000. If you consider the value of the wheels in the up charge, which I kinda liked, and could see myself buying those, the cost of the Performance add-on drops to $5,250. You could add some value back for the piping, CF accents, etc... since the parcel shelf is $250, that's what I'll value the CF and seat piping. That means about $5000 is what you pay for the Performance power alone.

Then I asked around about how the Performance model compared to the Roadster, and how the plain 85 kWh battery compared to the Roadster.
The answer was "If you want to get close to a Roadster performance, get the MSP. A standard MS will seem anemic." I have read at least one review on these forums that backs up the "anemic" impression.

I concluded that $5000 worth of "kick-ass", spread over the 10-year life of the car, compared to the already near-$95K price tag, was not a big up charge.

Your decision path may vary completely from mine, and that's a good thing. If I can give you items to include in yours, you're welcome. :)
 

W8MM

R1.5 #325 + Mdl S #01380
Jan 5, 2007
202
1
Cincinnati, USA
The Performance option is something that will pay you back every time you push on the right-most pedal. Demonstrating to your friends, picking a hole in traffic with ease, just feeling that steam-powered, almost catapult feeling as a Honda with a 6" muffler pipe whizzes and pops next to you at a stop -- all keep on giving back to you day after day.

Go for it. You won't regret it.

Plus, wives secretly admire guys who can take charge of a situation ;-0.
 

ckessel

Active Member
Jan 15, 2011
4,455
405
I drove the Perf during the Amped tour and it was nice, but without the base 85kwh model to compare it to I don't have a frame of reference to know if I care about the oomph factor.

I didn't even notice the interior differences (the in store model didn't have perf interior as I recall) so that doesn't factor in much other than I like the CF look.
 
Thanks for the responses so far. Arnold, I like your advice best. The remaining student loans are not much and nearly 0% interest, so they're going to get paid down after the mortgage anyway.

I wouldn't need to change lifestyle at all for the extra $10K, but I'm feeling how ckessel's feeling...I haven't driven a non-perf, so I have no reference for how it feels.

I'm hoping the "local" D.C. store will get a non-perf that I can drive before I have to lock in, but I might have to lock in within the next month or so, and I don't consider it likely I'll have the chance to drive a non-perf before then.
 
Thanks for the responses so far. Arnold, I like your advice best. The remaining student loans are not much and nearly 0% interest, so they're going to get paid down after the mortgage anyway.

I wouldn't need to change lifestyle at all for the extra $10K, but I'm feeling how ckessel's feeling...I haven't driven a non-perf, so I have no reference for how it feels.

I'm hoping the "local" D.C. store will get a non-perf that I can drive before I have to lock in, but I might have to lock in within the next month or so, and I don't consider it likely I'll have the chance to drive a non-perf before then.

Todd, I went through the same deliberations for quite a while. Then i test drove the Performance version and then immediately rode in a standard version with a pretty aggressive driver. That easily made my mind up for me.
I'm going with the Performance version.
Interestingly, the Performance version was a MUCH smoother ride, and at least for me the oomph difference was very noticeable. Don't get me wrong, the standard version is a great car and many won't even notice the difference. But i'm a gearhead and and old Autocrosser, so for me the difference was very real. And besides, it's just super cool to have the baddest A$$ car on the road! ;-)
 
Todd, I went through the same deliberations for quite a while. Then i test drove the Performance version and then immediately rode in a standard version with a pretty aggressive driver. That easily made my mind up for me.
I'm going with the Performance version.
Interestingly, the Performance version was a MUCH smoother ride, and at least for me the oomph difference was very noticeable. Don't get me wrong, the standard version is a great car and many won't even notice the difference. But i'm a gearhead and and old Autocrosser, so for me the difference was very real. And besides, it's just super cool to have the baddest A$$ car on the road! ;-)

I did the same thing. But although I could tell a difference b/t the Perf and the non-Perf, it just wasn't that noticeable to me. In other words the non-Perf is still plenty fast. But with the other differences (I like the CF and red piping) and the small increase in price, just get the Perf and you won't regret it later. In fact every time you step on the gas, you'll thank yourself you did.

Wait...not "gas"...I mean the accelerator! :)
 
Thanks for the responses so far. Arnold, I like your advice best. The remaining student loans are not much and nearly 0% interest, so they're going to get paid down after the mortgage anyway.

I wouldn't need to change lifestyle at all for the extra $10K, but I'm feeling how ckessel's feeling...I haven't driven a non-perf, so I have no reference for how it feels.

I'm hoping the "local" D.C. store will get a non-perf that I can drive before I have to lock in, but I might have to lock in within the next month or so, and I don't consider it likely I'll have the chance to drive a non-perf before then.

I drove the performance and rode along in the standard. Both were great, but I much preferred the performance...it was a rocket and was noticeable. I also prefer the interior in the performance. It just felt all around to be a little richer.
 

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