I have not yet had an opportunity to fully process the recently-released pricing and option details for the Model S. I am disappointed with the revised specifications that show decreased performance for any battery pack smaller than 85KWh. To that point, I find it amusing that the materials still refer to a "5.6 second 0-60," but that is now quite arbitrarily referring to the 85KWh non-performance model specifically. Taken as a blank slate where we stand today, if you're going to quote the performance of the best model as a blanket specification for the line-up, you might as well say the 0-60 time is 4.4 seconds.
For those of you already planning on a 300-mile vehicle who are left scratching your heads over the modest outpouring of frustration among 160-milers, consider how you would feel had the tables been turned. Say, for the sake of argument, Tesla had said, "Well, you get 5.6 seconds with the 160 mile version, but all of the additional batteries we used in the 300-mile version add weight and that one does 6.5 seconds." You'd be saying, "Hey wait a second, you guys said 5.6!" I know the engineers here were anticipating the real outcome, but any defense the 300-milers provide is at least partially tainted by their knowledge that their particular vehicle choice was not affected by the announcement.
I'm also disappointed by the $3,750 nobody-will-ever-delete-this package. Oh, you want your mid-segment luxury sedan to have halogen headlights, no navigation, and no keyless entry? Well, I guess you can delete the technology package. That's the sort of package that, if this were a Toyota, would be absent in no more than zero vehicles in actual dealer inventories.
The other options are sensible and come as no surprise. Nicer wheels, nicer interior materials, deluxe paint, sunroof options, etc.
I had vowed to never buy another car with an internal combustion engine because ICE is outdated and boring technology. So I have two reservations and had been planning to purchase two 160-mile vehicles, one each for my wife and myself. We live in Los Angeles and 99.5% of our driving would easily fit very conservatively into that range. Our daily usage would average below 25 miles for each vehicle.
So I am pondering my options.
- I accept the reality and roll with it. Upside: I enjoy two nice vehicles. Downside: I feel a little burned and disappointed. This may taint my overall enjoyment of the experience of having two Teslas.
- I refund one reservation and go with only one 160-mile vehicle to "test the water" and see what happens in another couple years. Upside: This is a safe option and potentially has a nice future upside of enjoying whatever innovations a mid-cycle refresh has in store. Maybe they will eventually use batteries of the same efficiency as the 85KWh in the 40KWh model, which presumably would decrease its weight and perhaps improve performance. Downside: I need to retain an ICE vehicle. Argh!
- I refund one reservation and use my remaining reservation for a model with a 300-mile range, perhaps even the performance model. Upside: Performance, woohoo! Downside: What a waste having so much unnecessary battery capacity. And of money, frankly. But luxuries are what they are.
With either of the later two options, I am left wondering if it's possible to transfer reservations. I read the brief 1-pager Tesla had us sign and it doesn't say anything about transfers. If it were possible, I would consider the option of selling my ~1700 position in the general production queue.
If not transferable, I am also beginning to wonder what sort of initial resale market the Model S would enjoy. Are any other 160-milers considering this? Consider the possibility that those of us with relatively low reservation numbers are well-situated to satiate the demand of someone who has not yet reserved but cannot resist the latest trendy toys. Living in Los Angeles as I do, I am surrounded by this kind of person. Who knows, but it's something to think about if you have a reservation and are debating exiting the queue.