Tesla has revamped its Model S electric car line-up, dropping the price of of the Performance model but frustrating would-be owners by considerably increasing some option pricing. The changes, previewed by Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk at the Teslive event last month, could leave some buyers still finalizing their cars paying 8- to 9-percent more, angry forum posts suggest; features that were previously free of charge to select have in some cases become paid-options, while the XM Radio system, before a $950 option, can now only be had as part of a $2,500 system upgrade.
That "Ultra High Fidelity Sound" package - which also includes 12 speakers including an 8-inch subwoofer - is now the only way to add XM satellite radio to the car. Trim features like the wood dash now must be paid for, with only the piano black dashboard offered as standard.
Whether the price changes will have an affect on your order - if you're lucky enough to be considering a Model S purchase - depends on the exact specification you put together. For instance, the Tech Package (including maps and navigation, daytime LED running lights, keyless entry, a power liftgate, memory seats, and other convenience features) is now $250 less, at $3,500, though the LED ambient lighting has been separated out as a $1,000 standalone option.
The Model S 85 is now upgraded to 19-inch Michelin Primacy tires as standard, worth $1,000. Meanwhile, Xenon headlamps and an HD rear parking camera are each standard.
If you're opting for the fastest, Model S Performance 85 variant, announced back in May, you could actually save some money. The basic price of the fastest car has dropped by $5,000, though at the cost of some standard features. You'll now pay extra for the performance leather seats, air suspension, carbon fiber trim accents, Nappa leather interior with Alcantar accents, and the spoiler, it's noted; add them all back in, and the car in fact rises $6,050 over its previous price.
According to those with orders in process, Tesla notified them that changes to the price structure for the Model S were incoming - though not details on the exact differences - and that they would need to finalize their order before August 1 if they wanted to pay the "old" prices. Anyone wanting some of the new features will have to resubmit their order, with the effect of recalculating the entire cost of the car under the new scheme.