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What is a Luxury Car?

I'm relatively new to this forum and have not had a chance to look through many of the topics already discussed. If what I bring up here has already been fully discussed, I apologize for taking up your time.

A prominent feature of the Model S is that it is considered by most to be a luxury automobile. What makes a car a luxury car? Is it price, unique features, performance, etc?

The entry "Luxury Vehicle" in Wikipedia presents a good starting point and brings up interesting categories (biased, of course, by the author's view point.) Copied here are three characteristics stated in that article:

(1) "Luxury cars tend to offer a higher degree of comfort than their mainstream counterparts, common amenities include genuine leather upholstery and polished "woodgrain-look" dashboards. Compared to mainstream vehicles, luxury cars have traditionally emphasized comfort and safety. Luxury vehicles are also a status symbol for conspicuous consumption."
(2) "Contemporary luxury cars also offer higher performance and better handling, which is often known as sport luxury. However in Europe, where large-displacement engines are often heavily taxed and many luxury buyers shy away from conspicuous consumption, brands offer buyers the option of removing exterior engine-identifying badges."
(3) "Forbes noted that the reputation of luxury marques enables them to continually introduce many new safety technologies and comfort amenities, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and DVD entertainment systems, before they trickle down to mass market cars. Numerous "smart car" features are largely only found on luxury cars as of 2009."

To me the most compelling feature of luxury cars is the third one because, as I have always believed, the best way to introduce important new technology into automobiles is through high end vehicles where the new technology is, relative to cost, not as expensive, and the buyer is better able, and willing, to absorb this cost.

From the above article it would appear that the pricing of the Model S is towards the low end of the category. If you consider, as I believe, that the battery comprises fully one half of the cost of the Model S, and this is not really a luxury comfort feature, what makes the Model S a luxury car?

I could be wrong BYT, but I'm guessing the +2 seats will be around $2k. That said, you're going to want to budget for the warranty extension and that'll be between $1k-$2k.

Also, while you may get $7,500 rebate on your taxes, there are two issues:

1. You have to be paying at least $7,500 in taxes to get the rebate. So if you have lots of deductions and you don't pay much in final taxes, it may not help.

2. You have to pay the full amount of the car up front because the $7,500 won't come into play until you do your taxes.

You should thumbnail around $65,000 for the final base 160 mile car. That would include destination & prep charges, warranty extension, & two rear facing seats. Get friendly with your credit union.

Thanks Mycroft, I hope they offer the same great rate next year at this time for a Model S... :)

For me the first check of a luxury car is the feel of the doors. If the handle feels a bit flimsy and there is not a solid Thunk as the door closes, thats it for me - this is no longer a luxury car, irrespective of what bling it is fitted with.
None of us as far as i know, got a chance to check this aspect at the ride event. I did not. They opened the door and closed it behind you while entering and exiting.

Dborn, I agree though I would not use the Betas from the event as representative. They were not production or even production intent.

If the door is as heavy as a tank just for the sake of a solid thump on closure doesn't make sense to me on a car that the weight is a premium on the MPW (Miles Per Watt). I understand it should be solid and not feel like your shed door closing, but I don't necessarily expect a Hummer Door on the thing or am I missing something?

If you are wondering if this is a luxury car or not, dont worry. IT IS! forget about the quality of the leather or the cabin design, and huge front to back see through roof, the 17" touch screen with full web browsing and resolution and brightness better than an iPad is all you need to experience to know this is the car for you!

>ChrisFACE all you need to experience to know this is the car for you!

Thanks for visiting the forums, Elon.

Couldn't be Elon. No "yeah"s or "um"s.


Luxury car is any car with a chauffeur.

In that case any car is a luxury car for me, because I would be my own chauffeur in any car I would ever buy. I hate not being in controls.

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