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I'm not so sure....

Okay, we have a deposit on the performance model S. After a few weeks - I'm not so sure.

With all the options - we are looking at $95K. My daily driver is a 10 BMW M5 - so I thought finally an American car worth looking at. But at $95K, they are missing the mark. Sure the biggest difference is gas or no gas. However, I can buy a brand new fully loaded M5 for the same amount of cash. I'm sure some of you will point out that the Telsa performance S model beat my M5 in a 1/4 mile. But, most americans think in straight lines. I am more design/performance oriented type of driver, thats why I have been driving a "driver's car" since 1984 - BMWs. Also my wife and I own several Porsches - so we thought that the Tesla might be a cool alternative. But..........for the same amount of money it buys the following additional items in a new M5
1) Heads up display
2) Infrared sensors (night vision)
3) Voice control
4) Heated rear seats
5) Vented front and rear seats
6) More leather choices for the interior
7) Black alcantara head liner
8) Full leather (and I mean full leather)
9) Full climate controls for the rear
10) Electric folding mirrors
11) Lighted vanity sunvisors (really, not in the Tesla?)
12) Radar controlled Cruise control
13) Front and rear parking sensors
14) Auto dimming mirrors
15) Directional front headlights (when you turn the lights move)
16) Side bolsters that inflate when in M mode to keep you in the seats when in hard turns (or manually selected)
17) Full high end audio (no comparison to the Tesla)
18) Wide tires (this is a major issue for me - especially in a sport sedan)
19) Electric sun shades for the rear window
20) Another BMW to drive when the car needs anykind of maintainance
and there are a few more

So - I'm not so sure anymore

Thoughts?

@Volker,

You are right. And I suppose my "40. Alternator" is not strictly accurate either, as the Model 5's motor serves the same purpose. But my point is that for me and, I suspect, many of the Model S fans on this forum, the allure of this car goes deeper than a list of features. There is a certain elegance to eliminating the ICE, with all of its subsystems (fuel storage and delivery, air delivery, cooling, oil, energy conversion and transmission, etc.), and replacing it with a simple battery and electric motor (I know, I know, it's more complex than that). Of course, the ultimate result needs to be a car that delivers great comfort, handling, and performance. And luxury features do eventually play a role. But if you evaluate a car strictly on comfort, handling, performance, and features, but are not inclined to look inside the "black box" and admire the technology that produces those characteristics, then I think the Model S will not be a compelling choice for you when compared to its competition.

You have to drive the S to understand ... Words do not substitute for the drive experience!!!

For me the instant torque has always been my holy grail. I drive a mountain pass as a commute. Manual transmission is great for passing uphill, but sucks in stop and go uphill (when there's road construction or an accident). Automatics have a downshift lag no matter how powerful the engine that I feel is really annoying. The best I've come up with so far is my current car, an Audi with DSG and paddle shifters. However, even there I hate the lag on the shifter sometimes, especially if the computer has guessed wrong as to my next gear selection.

The ability to press the accelerator (I have to remind myself not to call it a gas pedal) at any stage and get instant acceleration is worth a lot to me. Also having the car always fully charged every morning will be nice as well (it always seems to be the most inconvenient times when I have to stop and get gas).

The car is too big for me, and I'm sure when the Gen 3 comes out I'd probably prefer to have something like that fully loaded with features not available now on the S, but I can't wait so I'm getting the S.

I honestly think you're comparing apples and oranges. I'm sig vin 593 (red performance). In the last 10 years I've owned the BMW 745 Li, the Jaguar XJ8L, a Porsche Boxster, a Porsche 911 Cabriolet, two Porsche 911 Turbo Cabs, a Toyota Prius and a Honda Civic GX (the last two getting me into the carpool lane). While no car can touch the turbo cabs for shear fun driving through mountain passes, the unfortunate reality is that most of my driving is on the freeway going straight (or sitting in traffic). The S is comfortable, accelerates like no other car I've ever driven, handles very well (ok, it's not a Porsche, or even a BMW), has a VERY good sound system (not sure what you're listening to, but its the best sound I've had in a car), has internet connectivity, is constantly being upgraded over the air, and has a "wow factor" that no BMW can touch. Then add on top that you will never stop for gasoline again and you are not pumping exhaust into the environment. I'm an eary adopter of technology, so I would have bought it anyway (and I have my reservation in for the X model), but now that I have it, I can definitively tell you that you have never driven anything like it. And I can tell you that I am really enjoying it. Good luck with your decision.

Cmadsen. In another forum posting one of the writers made a wonderful statement about test driving an ‘S’. It went something like this, “drive it … like you stole it!” M5/GT3 - I suspect part of the thrill is the shrieking, cacophony of the horses straining at the bit a pleasure lacking in the "S." Personally, I may sell my Alfa Spider and buy an Ariel Atom.

This may be out of line, but if you are considering getting another M5 or a Panamera you might consider leasing. If you trade in your cars in approximately 3 years you could be ahead of the game by leasing.

Petero
From what I understand the Ariel Atom is the car to use for the track. Would same me huge dollars when I use the GT3 - the brakes are the issue for me. My RS has ceramics and its uber money to replace the rotors and pads. So the Ariel would make sense - plus its a great street car. Not to many around - but you will probably not be left along. Your going to get a lot of tag-alongs with that car.

Yes, the leases is what I have done in the past. Both my wife and I are alittle tired of the lease payments and not getting anything in return other than the tax benefits my company. My M5 is a "company car" and so will the next sedan. A new Panamera Turbo's lease payments are in the high $2K - so that will probably not work out. So its a 2 year old Panamera or the Tesla S - so we will see. My wife loves both cars, but she has also commented on the fact that the "luxury" options that her and I are used to are not available on the Tesla - as of yet.

Good luck with the Atom, I would like to know if you get it and how it performs. I never have had the privilege of driving one. Would really like too.

I don't see where you said you had your test drive. If not that will change your mind, like it did with Motor Trend, Automobile, etc, etc. It makes no noise and handling is better yes better than your M5. Also I work on my own car (98% of all repairs) and 15 years from now when things start to fail on my MS, replacing parts will not be like working on an M5. Does not sound like you are concerned about that, but the point is the MS will be a sound car mechanically. There is just so few moving parts in the MS, in an ICE you have hundreds just in the engine alone.

wbrown,
I stated at least 3 times that I test drove the car in Miami in traffic. I have yet to drive on at speed. As far as handling - I don't know yet because..... Again for the third time - I need to drive one at speed on the interstate. Stating that the MS handles better than my M5 - question - have you ever driven an M5 to compare? The MS bets the M5 in a 1/4 mile (so I am informed). But that has always been the american way that car guys judge - a straight line. I am more interested in cornering and pushing the car.

I have a my own way of testing cars - you accelerate through a corner - never brake. This usually can only be done on all wheel or rear wheel cars. Front wheel drives will pull you through a corner while rear wheels will push you through a corner.

As far it makes no noise - a bit of a bummer for me. The music in my cars has always been the high pitched screams through the car and out the exhaust when you hit about 7K-8K RPMs. So the no noise factor isn't a factor. Also you state that the MS WILL be a sound car mechanically. My point exactly - thats why I am leaning towards the 2nd generation. Let everyone get the bugs out.

Another thing that was annoying to me is that the audio is okay - not great in the MS. Again - for $95K it needs more options. So I am willing to wait - Tesla will get there. I am not in any hurry. So for the first time since 1984, I am actually considering an American car. For the people that know me - that says alot about the car.

I've actually never owned an American car either. I think there should be forum topic about this - Model S as your first American-made vehicle.

Petero: great post. You kinda said what I said in a much more polite and relational way. Thanks.
The bottom line is that a model S is simply different. If you like what it is, and stands for, go for it. If you don't "get it" then don't buy one.

I really want to reiterate that the Tesla movement is more than simply comparing features and costs. Sorry, but in case you haven't noticed, the ICE is destroying the planet (sad but true). So, in my chauvinistic, thin-skinned, opinion, if you have the money to buy a car in this category, surely you have 5 or 10 grand more to do the right thing for the world and your kids-- think of the difference as a charitable contribution to the earth.

Seems like a no-brained-- great performance and environmently friendly. Drive fast, feel good: go Tesla!

cmadsen,
No I never drove the M5, but I did push the MS on a hair pin turn and I never felt so much in control doing 55 on an off ramp and could not see around the corner. Nervous and about halfway though I realized "I got this" and floored it even more, never using the brakes. The car stayed flat the whole time while everyone was being pressed to one side. Too bad you did not get a chance to drive the MS hard.

Yes, the M5 exhaust sounds like a sixties muscle car, not exactly for everybody. There is something very cool about a smooth silent car that can kick ass.

So far as waiting for the kinks to be work out. I am an engineer and agree with that but the design has such a reduction in moving parts it is inherently more sound in that respect to anything on the road. If I were you I would not get out of line, I think you will regret it.

ICE is like throwing a spear.
EV is like shooting an arrow.

Have driven #1307, a very stock std. performance Model S, for 12 days and five hundred miles. What a rush. Silky smooth, quick, responsive to voice, nearly flat in high speed turns and turns heads at most corners. Agree it is missing the creature comforts of cars with older pedigrees, but this much joy driving carbon free (solar panels provide for 12,000 miles a year) is a dream come true. Compare and waiting or buying the ICE only delays the pleasure that is close at hand. Go for it, enjoy it, do a little for the revolution that will help a very stressed planet.

What is your desire car or furniture?

I need reactions/opinions on the rear AC/Heating set-up. When we test drove the MS in Miami, it was probably 85º - my wife was in the back and commented that she could not control and air flow other than move the vent direction around. No temp controls or fan speed. So all functions are from the main console. She wasn't very comfortable and stated that the lack of adequate air flow may be an issue.

Anyone that has drive one it the heat or cold, if you could chime in - I would appreciate it.


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