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Selected my options for order to maximize value and minimize cost for me

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by bwa, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. bwa

    bwa Member

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    #1 bwa, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    I'm trying to stretch some money I got as far as possible on options for a Tesla, so here's what I came up with. See attached image included for my preliminary options.

    Here's my reasoning:

    + I need an exciting color. Blue is it, at $1,000. Second choice was Pearl White at $1,500. I miss the green & brown options, however only having one non-red exciting color made choosing very easy (I don't like red much). I'm pretty sure I would have gotten Green if it were available.

    - I don't like Pano roofs that don't increase driving viewing area: save $1,500. Too bad since it increases resale value. (I love the X windshield, but that's doubly irrelevant because it's standard and I'm not ordering an X.)

    - I like the more expensive wheels, but for a fast-wear consumable item that I can get any time, it's really easy not to order that $2,500-$4,500 factory option that I could get anywhere aftermarket with more, better, and cheaper options. Save $2,500-$4,500.

    - I don't like NextGen seats, and the regular cloth are less bad for me (wide-boned body shape hips and torso), plus I think after 3 years with leather I also actually prefer cloth: save $2,500. Still may prefer aftermarket seats someday since I'm also tall torso and the regular cloth seats still hurts my hip bone, but less than NextGen.

    - 70kWh, because +15kWh, 85kWh, 21.4% more energy, 1s faster to 60mph, & only 12.5% more range (!) for $10,000 is another good target for cost cutting, so going for a 70. I will miss the faster acceleration time (5.2s vs 4.2s), but it's not a big downgrade from my MBz E500 (~300hp). The top speed of 155mph is difficult to do safely anywhere I drive, so I think a top speed of 140mph will be more than enough, especially since I know anything near the top end isn't even sustainable in these Lithium battery cars as of yet, and California isn't building a high number of 155mph freeways this year.

    + $5,000 for dual motor means safer driving, plus in rain I hope it is less squirly than my RWD 2005 MBz with SBC. Also, helps resale value.

    - $2,500 for software option (autopilot) I can turn on later for only $500 penalty is a good way to arbitrage costs right now. If I earn enough extra by delivery, I'll eat the $500. A major reason to order new is to get AP, and that and Dual Motor is why I did it, but it's a quick way to shave off initial purchase price.

    - no range upgrade to 90 available for 70 ($3,000!)

    - An automatic hatch for $3,000 and some good lighting seems like a good target for cutting cost to me. I would love, Love both options, but simply don't need them; they probably won't as likely save my life, health and/or costs as much as Dual Motor and Autopilot assistance will.

    + Air suspension to help me not get a bad back and bruised brain are a big deal to me, since both body parts are sensitive to bumps and would probably be much healthier with this option. This is a whopping $2,500 hit. I hope it can do predictive smoothing soon (nothing in development?).

    + Another hit with UltraHighFidelity Sound; I've heard even if I go aftermarket, the stuff that gets put in place with UHFS at $2,500 is well worth it and almost necessary, plus I discern from reading between the lines on forum posts that I will notice a huge difference playing my classical music. This is a major thing for me, and no option to defray this cost. If I liked Rock music instead, this would have been totally unnecessary. But I bite the bullet on this one.

    + Subzero Weather Package for $1,000 increases east coast resale value, which isn't super important, but I also get in my car parked outside at 4:30-5:30 AM most mornings, and hate being frigid (body shock for a few minutes in my MBz with heated seats). I'm probably stupid to make this selection because the store clerk explained to me I can preheat the car before getting to it, so I may cut this option by order time.

    - I don't want rear facing seats for myself, so even though it eliminates selling to families with many children, I can't justify the initial cost at $3,000.

    The total pretax cost is $83,200, and if I'm not mistaken, in California I get $10,000 total tax reduction ($7,500 fed + $2,500 state) so it becomes $73,200, before sales tax. I'm worried that sales tax puts the price beyond my reach. What is "Destination & Doc Fee"? Can I pick up at factory and do my own paperwork and save $1,200?


    My alternative is an S85, no autopilot, CPO for $55,000 plus tax, no tax discount. Essentially that extra $22K (I don't know state taxes, but I add in $3K for AP) buys me three things: extended warrantee eligible (can I get this after delivery?), AutoPilot 1.0 hardware, and Dual Motor all wheel drive.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bmanke

    bmanke Member

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    I for the life of me cannot understand why you purchase a brand new Tesla without autopilot enabled. It is by far one of the greatest features of the car and keeps getting better with time. Why would you want to spend an extra $500 after delivery? If you do any sort of interstate driving autopilot is worth its weight in gold. Also, the huge hatch more than justifies having it powered. The black headliner will also look much better with the black seats. If you are trying to save money - purchase an inventory car - at least that way you won't end up with an odd duck.

    We also ordered the sound package. Worth every penny. Would have never guessed.
     
  3. bwa

    bwa Member

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    My current car is getting closer to being too old to keep, and I will have to give it up well within the next few years, possibly soon. One option is roll the dice on my current ICE lasting and playing the money in the stock market and ordering the same options on a regular model X, which would give me a little bit more monetary leeway: if I lose the money in stocks, I can go pick up a used MBz S500 or even S550 in a year, possibly a Chevy Bolt if I get over my complete dislike of Chevys, but if I luck out I can get the X for similar price, + air filter ($10K?!) + tow hitch (only $750!), and have a really nice car. I'd get captains seating mid row, and take a no console between the front seats option if available. I'd have to strongly consider premium air conditioning and heating options for rear passengers. No performance, high range or other frilly things.

    If I do stupendously well in gambling Wall Street, I can alter the order after the fact late 2016ish (Tesla Time) before production and do a max-out of all options, like lots of silly wheels, for sure 72A charging, etc. Probably ditch the seats and get aftermarket pronto, but maybe storage the factory market favorites? For sure full body wrap.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Whoops! I meant to get the black headliner. Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, absolutely.

    I plan on getting autopilot, but in my business where money is irregular, having the option to pay $3,000 later might be really useful. If I wasn't getting AP, I'd get used.

    I like your odd duck and hatch comments, and will drill down into some inventory cars to see what they offer.
     
  4. Tamar

    Tamar Member

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    Here's a couple of thoughts from the peanut gallery:

    1. Color is a totally sunk cost. You get nothing back in resale on color, so if you are cutting costs, the blue should go, and be replaced by something of value (autopilot or subzero)
    2. If you don't need the raised suspension to keep from bottoming out, that's an option I think is expendable. We thought we wanted it, but it didn't come on the inventory car we ended up purchasing, and it is not missed.
    3. I would not figure the tax credits into your calculations if you're purchasing at the beginning of the year. They don't decrease the sales tax you are responsible for, and it'll be at least 13-14 months before you get that money back.
    4. I don't think there's any way around the destination and doc fees.

    Good luck!
     
  5. aus

    aus Member

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    Like Tamar said, sales tax is calculated on the value of the car.
    It takes at least 90 days to get your California $2,500 rebate and who knows how long for the federal tax credit.

    And why do you even care about top speed??
    If you're not going to road trips, and doing all local driving, then consider just getting the 70... unless it snows where you're at.
    Your current MB getting squirly is most likely due to bald tires or driver error. Modern traction control will not let you get squirly if you're tires are ok... or unless the driver does something they should not have.

    .
     
  6. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    It looks good but since you're asking for suggestions...if budge is a priority, get a free color. Definitely lose the subzero weather package in Aptos, dude. You could lose the air suspension and be fine, too--it would be more consistent with a bare bones build. I'd keep the premium sound, it's worth it.
     
  7. thimel

    thimel Member

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    The air suspension will definitely never have predictive smoothing. It is a slow (seconds) system that raises and lowers the car. The damping is not adjustable. It is useful if you need to raise the height to go up a steep driveway or to make it a bit easier to get out of the car. Some say it cushions the bumps more. If so, I think it is subtle. This is a place you might want to save money.
     
  8. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    (What he said) +1

    - - - Updated - - -

    As above:
    1) I agree, but ordered the blue myself. It's a shame they don't have any free "colors". (black and white don't cut it for me)
    2) You could definitely cut the SAS if you were trying to save money. I actually conducted some polls on this if you search for them to see what folks thought. I got the SAS, but definitely something that could have been cut if you're trying to keep the cost down.
    3) Very true and my wife reminds me of this every time we talk about the car. You're still going to finance/lease the total cost of the car - NOT including the tax credit.
    4) Nothing you can do about this.
    5) I'll add here that I think it's smart to get a new Tesla instead of a CPO - especially in California because of the Federal and State Tax Credits. You will not get either from getting a CPO. That's like $10k worth of options you get "free". Having said this, see item #3 above!

    Best of luck in your decision. As long as it says "TESLA" across the back of the car, you won't go wrong.
     
  9. Carl Leermakers

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    bwa: I think you could "strip" the car further without much loss of driving pleasure or value:

    1. Why a "D"? I don't know how Tesla does it, but my RWD Model S sticks to the road in all circumstances and is incomparably better at dealing with snow and ice than my previous MB or BMW RWDs. Also, a RWD S70 without pano roof is the least heavy MS available, so, together with the sensation of RWD, it may well be, of all MS's, the most fun to drive :);

    2. Air suspension: you could go for coils (most people think the difference in comfort, if any, is very minimal). Also, coils may actually enhance resale value, given that the buyer won't have to worry about the replacement cost of the SAS;

    3. Wheels: go for 19", more comfortable and less troublesome. Cyclone wheels of course look good but the standard ones do too;

    4. Subzero: preheat the car every morning in winter and you won't be needing the subzero upgrade even in the mountains. Even with the upgrade, you'll want to preheat anyway in "subzero" temperatures, so as to not have to manually de-ice windows etc. Subzero is for the (numerous) Norwegian buyers;

    5. Color: if it can be any consolation, the former "green" wasn't really British racing green; I have become used to replying "yes" when someone asks me if my car is the "black Jaguar"; anyway, boring colors will always have a better resale value, but if I were buying a new MS myself, I would also go for the "new" blue;

    6. Autopilot: my MS is from the pre-AP era, and AP is now THE argument that tempts me to do a trade-in. I couldn't imagine buying a new MS without activating AP.

    7. Premium sound: if sound is important to you, definitely A/B-test a UHF vs. standard, as you may actually end up thinking the UHF is so-so and an aftermarket audio upgrade would be the way to go. Could also largely depend on whether you will be listening to FLAC-files via USB, or FM radio, or streaming.
     
  10. bwa

    bwa Member

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    #10 bwa, Jan 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
    Thank you all for replying. Based upon your answers, I'm playing with a new "reference ideal":

    $1,000 Blue, 70kWh, no Dual save $5,000, $2,500 AutoPilot, $2,500 UHF Sound:

    Subtotals to $77,200 before sales tax and tax incentives, then tax ~$8K and tax incentives ~$10K.
    About $85,335 out the door.

    I can take Blue out and go White if I absolutely have to. I might. $84,300.

    Cheapest options for Roof & Wheels, and Interior. Unfortunately, I can't select black headliner without the $3,000 PIL (Premium Interior and Lighting).

    70kWh, as discussed before: only 35 miles range added for 85kWh (+15%).

    You say All-Wheel Drive isn't needed for stable driving, so took that out. Maybe I have to invest more in tire replacement to compensate.

    $2,500 for Autopilot, to save the $500 later. Otherwise, take out Blue and AP and pay $82,000 out the door.

    No PIL or SAS. You say Smart Air Suspension doesn't really make a big difference.

    $2,500 for UHFS. I play the best quality I can possibly get in my classical. They say even if I go with a good aftermarket solution, the aftermarket solutions benefit from the extra wiring and speakers in UHFS. If I close my ears, then maybe $79,500 out the door.

    No SWP or RFS.

    $80K (tax included) is a lot for a cheap model. Yes, I see the tax incentives bring that down to $70K, so that's the value proposition.
    $85K (tax included) to get AutoPilot, UHF Sound, and color seems like the right target for me, with a $75K end of year cost.

    Compared to EV-CPO.Com (within driving distance to me), I see the cheapest with AutoPilot is $92,000 before tax and tax incentives for an S85 Inventory. That's $14,800 more than my UHFSound Blue AutoPilot S70, BUT it also includes +35 miles range, Pano, Turbine Wheels, Dual Chargers, Premium Interior, Smart Air Suspension and Subzero Weather. The 21" wheels are a negative to me since they cost more to upkeep and are stiffer ride.

    The cheapest without AutoPilot on EV-CPO is $50,500, has the Air Suspension and UHFSound, no extended warranty option, no tax incentives, just tax, so around $60K, about $10K cheaper than my cheapest new one with AP later option and extended warranty option, and $15K cheaper than my slightly more expensive new one with AP, and about $32K cheaper than the Inventory model with AP.

    Edit: A few posts later, someone explained that pano gives headroom, and the 85 gives wiggle room for range. This makes the inventory with AP 85 pano look like a better option than it previously did.

    Update: the thing I was going to do to add cash in my pocket Tuesday I cancelled. It's a risky move, but I might be able to get 2x or 3x as much, and changes what I might spend it on. If I have left over for a Tesla, I'll have to revisit this all over again with new numbers. Here's hoping the numbers are "fully loaded model X, with pretty loaded inventory model S to trade in later while waiting" territory :)
     
  11. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    not sure how tall you are, but the pano roof was key to giving me the headroom I need. also, I would seriously reconsider the 70. range is something you have one shot at. if you are going to keep the car long term, then more range gives you more wiggle room as the car experiences age related range loss. the other thing folks don't seem to get about the range is that wind, rain, snow, elevation gain and cold can take a significant bite out of range. to calculate usable range, I suggest being conservative, assume for sanity, you will generally not run the battery all the way down, I find that I like to have at least a 15% buffer, if elevation and weather, then a 30% buffer is good, consider also that you probably won't be charging the car up all the way (not so good for the battery and on long trips when using super chargers, it takes considerably longer to fill up the last 15%). generally the most readily usable portion of the battery that I use the most the inner 55-70%. starting with a smaller battery gives you less to work with than you might think. I personally wouldn't consider anything less than 85kW if you are planning to keep the car long term and even if you aren't it helps with resale.
     
  12. Model S M.D.

    Model S M.D. Ludicrous Radiologist

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    A few days ago there was a decked out 85D w/AP in the low 80K range and there is still a P85+ w/AP (ie "unicorn"/rare car) in the low 80K range. If you keep an eye out on that site, you can find a nice 85 kwh Tesla w/AP in the low 80s. AP is definitely the option that I appreciate and love the most so far. Its far from perfect, but definitely reduces my stress level and cognitive load during stop and go traffic and on the highways as well.

    Good luck!
     
  13. davidc18

    davidc18 Member

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    I think autopilot is the defining feature of the car. We went about as basic as you can. There was no 70 when we ordered. I would take the autopilot before paying for dual motors. Had to have the pano. Even if you never open it, the head room alone is worth it. Best of luck to you.
     
  14. Model S M.D.

    Model S M.D. Ludicrous Radiologist

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  15. Sparktz

    Sparktz Member

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    I can certainly understand being on a budget, but if you are going to spend $80k+ on a car, make sure it has everything that you want.
     
  16. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    ^ EXACTLY how I feel - which is why I went new instead of CPO . . . (also for the Tax Credit) :)
     
  17. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    One thing to note is that I personally found a rental 70 with no air suspension to be rough and uncomfortable over a week of driving compared to the 60 I had rented prior with air. I speculate that the lighter weight of the 70 vs an 85D (350 lbs I think) makes a 70 ride with more bounce than an 85D would with the same regular suspension.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If you're not driving in the snow in an area where they make you put chains on (i.e. ski towns) when coming into town during storms, I personally would skip the $5,000 on the dual motor. The RWD is still extremely safe even in rain - the traction and stability control responds within milliseconds - much faster than a gas car due to the electric motors. And the CG is extremely low. Even in rain and snow, rwd Model S's do very well according to reports (do your research, YMMV). And if you are buying to keep for the long term (ie more than 8 years) that is one less motor to potentially fail and have an expensive repair.

    I only ordered the D because I hate having to get out of my car to put chains on when going skiing.
     
  18. cab

    cab Member

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    As others have stated, I think THE most compelling reason to go new is AUTOPILOT and I'm not even that enamored with the idea of it. We just had a new Volvo XC90 loaner for a week and I got to play with adaptive cruise on a car for the first time (and lane assist). It was super cool (amazing really), but I kind of found it to be a novelty and by the 5th day I didn't bother with it. Having said that, to the "outside world" there are only two kinds of Teslas: Those that "drive themselves" (i.e. w AP) and those that can't (i.e. Pre-AP). From a resale perspective, this is huge (and maybe for bragging rights if you care about that). There is simply NO WAY I would order new w/o AP.

    A buddy of mine just ordered a new car and we talked at length about the features to order. In the end, he decided on an 85D with leather and AP...no other options. Range and AP are KING! I would have added the blue for a couple of reasons: 1.) It is a huge part of the car's overall look and I like the "interesting" colors immensely more and 2.) As odd as it sounds, they do well in ENTHUSIAST cars in resale. I believe the Model S will become (already is actually) very popular among car enthusiasts in the secondary market. I see it all the time. A few examples: An "estoril blue" BMW M3 will get snatched up way before any other colors; I flew from Dallas to Denver to get a Lemans Blue M5 and my buddy flew from Dallas to Memphis to get his Blue M5 (in both cases we paid a premium to get these colors since the # of them out there were comparatively low); I bought my yellow '05 Pontiac GTO from a guy in New Mexico and sold it to a guy who flew in from Nashville. There were plenty of white, silver, black ones to choose from locally in all cases.
     
  19. GotOne

    GotOne Member

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    Beware! I learned the hard way: if you want XM Satellite capability with the UH Fidelity Sound, you must also select the Pano Roof!! I missed that when ordering and the salesman on the phone with me failed to mention it too... I kind of wanted XM, but it won't work without the Pano Roof because the XM antenna needs to "see" through the glass... TM didn't want to mount a "bump" antenna on the outside of the vehicle.
     
  20. tliving

    tliving Member

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    Air Suspension and High Fi sound both seem like a real waste of money. Other things would either add more resale value or be of more use (like AP). I got neither Air or HiFi and have no regrets.
     

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