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PM3 to Model S LR or Plaid?

Hi all,

I'm sure this has topic has been covered before, but hoping to get some specific opinions from individuals in a a very similar situation.

Background: 30+ different car purchases over the past 20 years, general performance/automotive enthusiast. Owned everything from 60's muscle cars to Lexus, Supras, Hellcats, to Jeeps, etc. I guess you could say I'm a die hard performance enthusiast without a bias toward any particular brand. Since I purchased my M3P (see more below), I've been hooked on the power curve and silent performance of electric cars - even added a Wrangler 4XE to the stable recently as well. Even my 8 year old son is in love with Teslas, and in particular the Plaid.

Bottom Line: I've got a 2021 Model 3 Performance which I picked up last June and have been generally very happy with the purchase. What's left me wanting is a few things in particular:

1) A bit more room for passengers as well as storage
2) Better performance from 60+ (not often needed but cool to test every so often)
3) Smoother ride, especially for longer highway drives - also our roads around here aren't particularly smooth
4) I like the exterior and interior looks of the Model S much better
5) The rear screen (or lack of) for the kids would be great for games, etc. Not sure how useful this is in practicality, but would love to hear if this is a selling point.

Decision: Do I move to the Model S LR or Plaid? Budget is within range for either model, but I also don't like to waste money. Would love to hear opinions from those with similar backgrounds and purchase criteria. Quite honestly I wouldn't use the extra power of the plaid 99% of the time, but the "muscle car guy" inside of me knows I may regret not having that on tap whenever I got the itch. I'm sure there are many out there that can relate, as ridiculous as that may sound :)

Thanks for the input!

Andrew
 
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I say if you’ve got the itch, then scratch it. For me, the standard S has more than enough power, so I’ve got one on order and will trade in my Model 3. Like you, I prefer the exterior and interior look. However, I also have a reservation on a Lucid Air Grand Touring - so if I decide to buy that instead of the S, then I’d beat you 0-60 by around 4/10 of a second.😀
 
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2101Guy

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Jan 6, 2020
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I came from an E55 AMG, 540/6 Sport, CLK55 AMG, Range Rover Sport Supercharged, and a few others.
In short, for me, 3.1 0-60 in the LR (and as you know, with the refresh S's and X's, there is no more accel drop off at the higher speeds) is MORE than enough. Thats supercar territory as it is. The accel curve rises fast and remains flat across. For Me, the extra $35k (or whatever it is now) wasnt worth just for extra speed for the plaid. (also remember..the 1.9 Plaid is with a 1 foot rollout..the 3.1 for the LR is without 1 foot rollout). That was 35k I just put into VTI fund for long term growth over the next decade +.

But for others? They want to own the fastest production car in the world. Period. And I fully get it and support those who go plaid!
 
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I say if you’ve got the itch, then scratch it. For me, the standard S has more than enough power, so I’ve got one on order and will trade in my Model 3. Like you, I prefer the exterior and interior look. However, I also have a reservation on a Lucid Air Grand Touring - so if I decide to buy that instead of the S, then I’d beat you 0-60 by around 4/10 of a second.😀

Funny that's the exact quote I made to my buddies on Friday night about scratching an itch that might not ever go away on it's own, ha! Curious to hear your impressions when you get the Lucid, they look super nice.

I came from an E55 AMG, 540/6 Sport, CLK55 AMG, Range Rover Sport Supercharged, and a few others.
In short, for me, 3.1 0-60 in the LR (and as you know, with the refresh S's and X's, there is no more accel drop off at the higher speeds) is MORE than enough. Thats supercar territory as it is. The accel curve rises fast and remains flat across. For Me, the extra $35k (or whatever it is now) wasnt worth just for extra speed for the plaid. (also remember..the 1.9 Plaid is with a 1 foot rollout..the 3.1 for the LR is without 1 foot rollout). That was 35k I just put into VTI fund for long term growth over the next decade +.

But for others? They want to own the fastest production car in the world. Period. And I fully get it and support those who go plaid!

You're right the "base" S performance is still outrageous and would still be a substantial upgrade from my M3. I've also got a reservation in for the C8 Z06 Corvette and that extra 35K could be used as the down payment for that car. Still - as you said there is something very cool about owning the fastest production car!

Do you like having track mode on your 3? The LR S won’t have it, but the plaid will.

Not really a factor - haven't used track mode in my 3.
 
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DayTrippin

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Park Cities, TX
I am usually a too much is not enough kind of person. I have to say that the S LR is probably all I need on the street. I don't care about track mode in such a car. While I would really appreciate the extra punch of the Plaid, I would almost never be able to enjoy it to its full potential. To really appreciate you need to be in the "you are going straight to jail speed range."

The savings between the LR and the Plaid almost paid for my wife's 3 LR. To which we immediately added boost and have about 95% of the M3P but with a better ride and super stealthy (assuming a Tesla can be stealthy). I wish they would do more of the SW upgrades across the lineup like acceleration boost.

At the end of the day, it is your money and do what makes sense. Price wasn't an issue but we didn't want to spend a lot more to get capabilities that we wouldn't use that often. As it is now, I better warn my family if I am going to get hard on the throttle in S regardless of speed. I've gotten enough of those "looks could kill" from my wife to last a few years from just accelerating in the S.

Overall the more I drive our MS LR, the more I feel they really hit the sweet spot with it. Now if they ever offer acceleration boost as an option, I likely won't be able to resist. It was such a fun upgrade for the 3 and nice to actually feel the increase in performance. Like adding nitrous to an ICE car.

One thing I didn't appreciate enough going in was the adjustable suspension and ability for it to remember where to raise itself so it doesn't smack the nose into a dip, parking stop, or clear a big speed bump.
 
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My 2c.
Initially I ordered MS LR. Due to long wait time, I changed my mind and ordered Plaid. Yep, it cost me 40k, no doubts - decent money.
Now, driving Plaid... it has "Normal" mode, where Plaid has exactly same acceleration and peak power as MS LR (check this
). So, i can have perception how MS LR is fast. Pretty fast, indeed.
And you know, I never drove car in "Normal" mode, only in "Plaid". Worth it 40k ? Definitely not!
But what's important there - I never regret that I have Plaid version.
 

DayTrippin

Active Member
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Apr 30, 2021
1,507
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Park Cities, TX
Interesting vid, thanks for sharing. Based on the results I've seen of the S LR, his Sport mode times are a bit slower than what I've seen others post. He was clocking 0-60 in 3.51 and Tesla says 3.1. I've seen the S LR running about 10.8 vs his Sport mode of 11.1 but the trap speeds are fairly close.

I think it could be a good sales tool though for Tesla to sell Plaids. Take someone in a run with a Plaid in Sport mode and then unleash the Plaid mode. Then again a car running low 11's is pretty quick in the grand scheme of things especially how consistently it will do it.

I totally understand his reaction to the Chill mode. I put our 3 LR w/boost in Chill mode today while my wife was driving and she asked me what the heck happened to the car. I then said I didn't think you cared about the acceleration that much...
 
My 2c.
Initially I ordered MS LR. Due to long wait time, I changed my mind and ordered Plaid. Yep, it cost me 40k, no doubts - decent money.
Now, driving Plaid... it has "Normal" mode, where Plaid has exactly same acceleration and peak power as MS LR (check this
). So, i can have perception how MS LR is fast. Pretty fast, indeed.
And you know, I never drove car in "Normal" mode, only in "Plaid". Worth it 40k ? Definitely not!
But what's important there - I never regret that I have Plaid version.
Thanks! Good insight.

I made the switch from a M3P to a refresh LR. Was a previous S owner prior to the M3P.

Very happy to be back in the S, small things collectively make a big difference for me. I never used track mode, and performance of the LR is more than enough for me.

Appreciate it, thinking I'd be more than happy 90% of the time with the LR performance.

I am usually a too much is not enough kind of person. I have to say that the S LR is probably all I need on the street. I don't care about track mode in such a car. While I would really appreciate the extra punch of the Plaid, I would almost never be able to enjoy it to its full potential. To really appreciate you need to be in the "you are going straight to jail speed range."

The savings between the LR and the Plaid almost paid for my wife's 3 LR. To which we immediately added boost and have about 95% of the M3P but with a better ride and super stealthy (assuming a Tesla can be stealthy). I wish they would do more of the SW upgrades across the lineup like acceleration boost.

At the end of the day, it is your money and do what makes sense. Price wasn't an issue but we didn't want to spend a lot more to get capabilities that we wouldn't use that often. As it is now, I better warn my family if I am going to get hard on the throttle in S regardless of speed. I've gotten enough of those "looks could kill" from my wife to last a few years from just accelerating in the S.

Overall the more I drive our MS LR, the more I feel they really hit the sweet spot with it. Now if they ever offer acceleration boost as an option, I likely won't be able to resist. It was such a fun upgrade for the 3 and nice to actually feel the increase in performance. Like adding nitrous to an ICE car.

One thing I didn't appreciate enough going in was the adjustable suspension and ability for it to remember where to raise itself so it doesn't smack the nose into a dip, parking stop, or clear a big speed bump.

This is great input, thank you. I too feel like the LR is probably the sweet spot. Bummer with this recent price increase, makes me want to hang on to my PM3 just a bit longer.
 

DayTrippin

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 30, 2021
1,507
1,745
Park Cities, TX
The S LR price increases are crazy. I feel like it was worth waiting the 9 months to get the LR because I saved over 20k. Almost paid for half our 3. After having driven it for a while, I still think it is worth the extra money than the bargain-basement pricing I got it at. Hard to find a better car in that range for the current price but there are more options.
 
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2018 3 Perf owner here who drives 2 kiddos to school 60 mile round trip each day. We sat in a Plaid S and tbh there wasn't a decernable space diff in the back.

Ordered a Plaid X right before the $12.5k price increase. Still gonna be a crazy perf difference and I can't wait to ride on the air suspension and have ventilated seats for my swamp ass.

I'm not a fan of land barges but we need 6 seats if we're gonna take the grand parents or kid's friends along.
 
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We have 90k on the M3P, love the car. I have driven the P100d as a loaner (before they started locking all loaners in chill). I would take the M3P over the MS P100d everyday. The new MS is a huge upgrade, I have not driven a plaid to compare but I think you would be happy with it. It’s plenty fast. I tried my first launch in the MS LR, it’s not violent like I expected but I don’t launch cars often. The rolling acceleration is significantly better than the M3P and P100d. I had a plaid (Sept 2020 order) then plaid + then back to plaid on order. I ultimately picked the MS LR and saved the $$$. I also wanted the longest range available.
 
The S LR price increases are crazy. I feel like it was worth waiting the 9 months to get the LR because I saved over 20k. Almost paid for half our 3. After having driven it for a while, I still think it is worth the extra money than the bargain-basement pricing I got it at. Hard to find a better car in that range for the current price but there are more options.

Agreed, especially considering the already significant jumps in price over the past year. With the increased in mind, not feeling any immediate urgency to upgrade.

I'd stick with your M3P and forgo the Plaid due to the vibration issues but that's just me.

I'll admit the number of MS vibration issues out there are concerning and I'm not typically one to worry.

We have 90k on the M3P, love the car. I have driven the P100d as a loaner (before they started locking all loaners in chill). I would take the M3P over the MS P100d everyday. The new MS is a huge upgrade, I have not driven a plaid to compare but I think you would be happy with it. It’s plenty fast. I tried my first launch in the MS LR, it’s not violent like I expected but I don’t launch cars often. The rolling acceleration is significantly better than the M3P and P100d. I had a plaid (Sept 2020 order) then plaid + then back to plaid on order. I ultimately picked the MS LR and saved the $$$. I also wanted the longest range available.

Great input, thanks! I'll likely take my time with the upgrade but when I do i'll probably go LR unless I can find a lightly use Plaid for a great price. I'm already seeing some clean '21 Plaids in the low to mid 120s locally.
 
Agreed, especially considering the already significant jumps in price over the past year. With the increased in mind, not feeling any immediate urgency to upgrade.



I'll admit the number of MS vibration issues out there are concerning and I'm not typically one to worry.



Great input, thanks! I'll likely take my time with the upgrade but when I do i'll probably go LR unless I can find a lightly use Plaid for a great price. I'm already seeing some clean '21 Plaids in the low to mid 120s locally.
so what did you end up deciding? :)
 

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