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Sport model. Can you really tell the difference?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by JoelG, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. JoelG

    JoelG Member

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    Well... as you know, the Sport is $19,500 (plus tax) more than the base model, and the additional $ buys 0-60 at 3.7 instead of 3.9, adjustable suspension, and a tire upgrade. Obviously if money were not an object or of the price were identical for the 2 models, everyone would get the Sport. However, I am wondering ... for those who consider $19,500 a lot of additional money to spend when the car is already very expensive, is the performance difference really something that makes it worthwhile to go out on a limb and pay the additional $.

    I read a review that hinted that the difference in performance (non-track conditions) was perhaps negligible, and 0.2 seconds is not all that much of a difference in time. Has anyone done a careful comparison? If so, could you really appreciate a speed/handling or other difference? Thanks.
     
  2. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    To actually get down to 3.7 seconds you'd need to charge in performance mode which is not great for the battery... is there anyone who regularly charges in performance mode? I doubt it..... I ended up getting the base model mainly because it really strained my budget even to spend as much as I did, but I'm really happy with the car and believe me, it still accelerates fast enough to give most people a scare! However, I did do a number of test drives in the sport model, and here are the two things you'll notice:

    1) The sport model feels more stable because it has a stiffer, more solid feeling suspension. This is quite noticable actually. You might want to consider just getting the sport suspension on the base model. To me, the suspension is the biggest difference between the two models.

    2) The sport model accelerates just a bit faster -- you do notice it, but it's subtle. I don't think it's enough to justify the $19,500 premium unless you absolutely need to have the quickest car on the block.

    Either way you go, you are going to be very happy driving the Roadster if pure driving is your main objective. Do think about upgrading the suspension if you go with the base model.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    +1 on the suspension. I got that on my non-sport.

    Part of the equation for faster acceleration is gumball tires, which are almost certainly necessary to get 3.7 seconds. But the non-sport tires wear out fast enough; the gumballs wear even faster. Some sport owners switch to the longer-wearing tires and compromise on the acceleration.

    I found that I had to get very used to the car before I could tell the difference between performance and standard without a stopwatch. I suspect the difference between sport and non-sport would be similarly hard to "feel".

    The car is a lot of fun to drive, with or without the sport option. I really don't miss it.
     
  4. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    I turned off traction control last night at a stoplight and spun the wheels like crazy! It was a bit scary.... don't worry, the base model has plenty of power off the line!
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I also went for the base Roadster with the upgraded suspension. I test drove a sport model 2 times but that was months before I got my Roadster. I think you can tell a very small difference when the sport is in performance mode but like everyone said, the stock Roadster is plenty fast enough. I decided to take the almost $14,000 difference (I added back the forged wheels and suspension that are part of the sport package so only missing the upgraded motor) and put it towards carbon fiber accents and wheels.
     
  6. kgb

    kgb Member

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    I considered that too before getting a Sport. Then I reasoned, if I had the non-Sport, and didn't charge in performance mode, I'd be getting 0-60 in more than 4 seconds.

    I'd also like to add the "me too" on the suspension. I like the adjustable suspension. There is a thread somewhere here about it. I like that I can set my car to "super-soft" for tooling around town. Then if I want to go to the track, I get on my hands and knees, and in 60 seconds, the car is stiff.

    I would have thought that I couldn't tell the difference too, but... I normally charge in standard mode, but drive in performance mode. When you charge in standard, you have to remember to change the drive mode to performance. In my morning commute, as I merge into traffic, I will find myself thinking, "hmmm, that was slower than usual." And I'll look down and realize that I forgot to put the car in performance mode. So it is definitely a noticeable difference between driving in performance mode and standard mode... I imagine that translates into a noticeable difference between Sport and non-Sport.

    Unless you are paying cash, I suggest a lease. Then you are not paying $19,500, instead you pay for the depreciation on the $19,500. On a lease it is only a marginal increase in the monthly payment, so I was able to justify it to myself.
     
  7. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    #7 Eberhard, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
    the difference of sport or no-sport is the PEM. he delivers 800A resp. 700A max. In performance-mode, you can get the max. power a few seconds longer than standard mode, depending on temperature of the PEM and ac-motor. in performance mode the active cooling is always on, batterie can reach higher temperature before ac kicks in.

    Even in Standard mode I can get as much as 230kW for a 1-2 seconds
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, now that I have been driving the car for a while and am used to it, I can tell the difference between standard and performance. But I drive in Standard mode 98% of the time; it's plenty fast. I flip on Performance when I want to have incrementally more fun.
     
  9. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    The difference between driving in sport mode and standard mode is huge. You only notice it of course when you floor the accelerator, but I'm sure the 0-100 time is at least 2 seconds slower in standard mode. Like kgb, sometimes I forget to put car in performance mode and am thinking to my self something is wrong with the car when I try to accelerate! When driving around town, since I know I'll be able to charge after driving maybe 20km or so for the day, I just leave it in performance mode pretty much all the time and I still get very good efficiency overall. Only when I take it out for longer drives do I put it back in standard mode. Speaking of that, and I don't mean to get off topic too much here, but I really wish there was also an "economy mode" for long distance driving....
     
  10. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Range mode cuts back your acceleration I believe.

    If you charge in standard mode on a non-sport model then switch to performance mode, do you see the 3.9 second times then? Also, isn't the Sport model the same as the regular Roadster when it's not in performance mode (0-60 times)?
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    That's completely different from my experience. For me it's nowhere near 2 seconds; more like 0.2 seconds.

    Maybe the difference is greater with the Sport than non-Sport. It might be they both drive the same in Standard mode, but the Sport gets more boost in Performance. ?
     
  12. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    There is.. Range mode.
     
  13. scott451

    scott451 KWH-PWR#1349Sprt,S Sig#96

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    You both could be right. If the car is warmed up and the PEM is > 45C (which is still in the blue). There will very little difference between standard and performance.

    See this post: Roadster Sport RED vs WHITE Performance modes
     
  14. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    No, if you charge in standard mode the cells are not charged as densly and power is reduced slightly even when driving in performance mode. The standard tires and cast wheels also would slightly hurt the 0-100 time, as would driving with traction control on. So good question: with the base Roadster, charged in standard mode with standard tires (and maybe case wheels) with TC on, what kind of 0-100 is possible? I tried to do a fast 0-100 the other day and took TC off, and I spun the tires quite a bit... it was a bit scary! But you have to do that in order to get the best 0-100, and I think it takes practice as well as wearing through some tires!

    I really wish that the car had a 0-100 timer so we could find out exactly what is possible!
     
  15. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Interesting, I'd really love to get to the bottom of this. I drove the Sport version many times, and I noticed the same thing: acceleration was way more tame driving in standard mode. I remember being very disappointed tearning away from a light with a Tesla salesperson sitting next to me, and I said "wow, why did that accelerate so slowly???". And she said to me "Oh, sorry, I put it back in standard mode when we parked back there a minute ago". Of course I quickly put it back in performance mode so I could scare her again at the next stoplight.

    Doug, maybe your car is locked in performance mode? Do you charge in performance mode as well? I never do really, just one time.
     
  16. zack

    zack Member

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    For those who haven't delved deeply into the 2.5 Sport manual, you can switch instantly to performance mode (and back) by twisting the ignition key clockwise.
     
  17. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    This is interesting. On my 2.0 non-sport, my wheels don't spin at all in straight ahead acceleration with TC off. Now, going around turns it makes a huge difference as I'm sure it would on wet/slippery pavement. I wonder whether this is a difference in the cars, the tires, the pavement or something else.

    What are others' experience?
     
  18. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    On the base model too. Problem is, sometimes you just forget to do it! It is much easier to use the key than to get to the right screen and do multiple clicks on it though. JoelG, has this discussion helped inspire you to buy a Roadster yet? :smile:
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I can tell the difference between Standard and Performance, so it's definitely not locked. Besides I don't see a way for firmware to get "stuck".

    Yes I realize there is a difference in charging, too. They fill it up all the way, and if I recall correctly I think they preheat the pack slightly. That is probably only for eking out the last little bit of performance.
     
  20. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    I was just kidding there, I know it's not stuck. However, I have driven 4 different Sports in both the US and Japan in addition to my own base Roadster (and I do push them all hard), and I don't ever remember getting anything close to maximum acceleration when I was in normal mode. These cars do vary from car to car though, that is for sure. Your car probably just has a bit more pep in normal mode than the others which is not a bad thing. Something has to explain it anyway.
     

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