2013 Tesla Model S: New Options, Packages, And Prices

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2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

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It's still fairly early days for the Tesla Model S, and while the car is finding fans across the globe, it's still seeing various updates and option packages that early buyers didn't have access to.

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has recently announced a new line of option packages and pricing for various items.

The good news is that Model S buyers can now enjoy even more kit. The bad news, at least for those still deciding whether they want a Model S, is that some of the new packages add significant cost to the price of the car.

Where previously the panoramic roof option cost $1,500, it's now $1,000 more expensive. XM Satellite radio used to cost $950; now it's available only as part of the Ultra High Fidelity Sound package for $2,500.

A tech package, with seven years of maps and navigation, LED daytime running and cornering lights, keyless entry, memory seats and more costs $3,500. Smart Air Suspension is $2,250, but only if you've forked out for the tech package, while leather trim is $2,500 and an Alcantara headliner $1,500. Upgraded 19" tires are $1,000 with the 60 kWh model, standard with 85 kWh cars.

Other extras include a $750 Subzero Weather package with 3-zone rear seat heaters, wiper blade defrosters and washer nozzle heaters, $1,000 for ambient lighting and $2,500 for the rear-facing third row seats. Parking sensors and fog lamps are $500 each.

For some owners on the Tesla Motors forum page, it's all a bit too much, leading to cancelled orders, delayed orders, and frustration at the cost increases.

Meanwhile, some other features are heading to the Model S soon, announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the recent Teslive event (via Autoblog Green).

These include a valet parking mode (to ensure the folks taking your keys don't get too carried away with its performance!), an upgraded navigation system with extra features and downloadable maps, and the option to use your phone's data connection in the car, rather than the built-in system in the S.

Are you looking to buy a Model S in the near future? Leave your thoughts on the option price increases below.


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Comments (42)
  1. It would appear that the new option price structure amounts to a substantial price hike where the general trend in the market is for EV prices to drop. That doesn't rhyme very well with creating a viral growth engine Elon Musk talked about in the Teslive event. Makes me wonder how sales are doing. Either they are very good and Tesla is just taking advantage of that or volumes are less than expected and Tesla is looking for higher per unit revenue to generate the cashflow it needs. That in turn wouldn't help sales of course. Maybe tomorrow's second quarter earnings report will shed some light on this change in pricing strategy.

  2. In my opinion, Tesla is doing what it has to do. Now, how that translates to their customers, time will tell. As for me, my Model S is on order and I wish they will offer me and current owners to add these new options at the same price they are offering to new customers. After all, we are the ones that took the risk and believed in Tesla.

  3. Jasper,
    I too have my car on order and just a couple of weeks ago added the upgrade to the stereo system. They have not commented on the upgrade as yet, I, like you will request the better prices on the options. Date for delivery on my vehicle is sometime around mid September after a two month deliver time frame.

  4. test drove car last thursday. needed to go online with autonation to value my "tradein" / saturday went back to tesla to order the car / in 36 hours the car price jumped by $10,000! they would not honor my 36 hour old quotation. this is not a $110,000 car ....

  5. They should've at least given you a heads up that there was a price increase in the works.

  6. Of course it is not. As some writers say, it is a Beta product. Very nice, but still beta. Imagine if you had a 150 mile Ford Fusion all-electric at $55K or a Chevy Impala 140 mile all-electric at $52K. You'd probably buy that over a $80-100K Tesla. Same results - all electric drive.

    They are after the "fun seeking rich guys" with this vehicle. The move to build Gen-III will be based on how much profit could be eeeked out of the Model-S. I expect Model-X to be priced higher than a Model-S. That happens at Mercedes and BMW where their CUV/SUVs cost more than their sedans and Tesla knows the buyers expect this.

  7. @John: I suspect you mean "eked" ??

  8. I think that Tesla should watch that it does not alienate its (potential) customer base, since this is what will make or break the company in the long run. It should at least maintain a consistency in what it does, and give a lead time for any new options - especially to customers who are in the process of placing orders. Otherwise, their actions will go down as a mistake that will create doubt in the minds of people ... saying, what's next? If many things like this happen, then Tesla will eventually lose its untarnished image, if they are not careful ... it is not a good sign.

    I am an early Model S Signature owner myself, so I treasure my car and wish only the best for the company. I think that Elon needs to review his pricing policy.

  9. Musk has stated several times recently that Tesla doesn't have a "demand problem" but a supply problem. This juggling of bundled options is more likely a re-pricing to reflect the actual costs. As horrific as it is for buyers to see the price go up for most items, Tesla is a public for-profit company (not a charity), so a price increase probably just reflects economic realities.

    Also, the company has taken on the enormous financial investment of building a national network of superchargers while offering free charging for life for the Model S. As such, they can't afford to lose money when they sell a car.

    @Antony Ingram--BTW, it looks like the leather option upgrade is $1500, not $2500.

  10. @Antony--sorry--the $2500 leather trim your cited is right. I was looking at leather seating $1500 for standard seats (though it is also $2500 for the upgraded seats).

  11. No problem, Marjorie :) Some of the option prices do differ depending on the specification of Model S.

  12. I too was a bit disappointed at how quickly the options add up during my "window shopping" sessions on the Tesla web site. I figure if you really have enough $$ to pay $80k you might have enough to pay $95k too.
    I look at it like this, Tesla must make enough money to stay profitable as they invest big bucks into their 3rd generation vehicle for the masses. And so far, the market will bear the price.

  13. Enough tinkering with the Model S! Get on with the Model X and Blue Star projects... One might think that these projects are not moving along because of all these package tweaks to the Model S!

  14. I believe these are moves to at least score some profitability (ie. life-blood) into the company before any new models are tooled out on the shop floor. Each model will cost them $200-400M to design through production debut. That is R&D costs and might require dillution of shares to do it.

  15. They have an extra billion sitting in the account from unprecedented stock sales - not a good move, Tesla... getting greedy for no reason.

  16. The company has to show a profit, it needs profit to survive in the long run. It isn't really greed.

  17. The price increases mainly affect the top-of-the-line P85 Model S loaded up with options. Those who don't tick off most option boxes saw smaller price changes. Some buyers would see a price decrease, especially those who buy a P85 with few options.

    In my case, I could order a Model S today for $900 more than I paid 2 months ago that would be more to my liking, with parking sensors and better tires -- well worth another $900.

  18. Can you give an example that would've been cheaper?

  19. I believe the base price for P85 is $5K less than it was. Several features that were previously included in the P85 were spun off as a la carte options.

  20. I still plan to get a Tesla. It'll just have to be the fully loaded Gen III sedan since I won't be able to afford the Model S anytime soon. The nearly fully loaded 60kW, 85kW, and P85 Model S's that I configured to my liking cost the following:
    60kW: $90,570
    85kW: $97,570
    P85kW: $111,070 + 6,500 for Performance Plus upgrade

    Tesla is raising their prices while other manufacturers are lowering theirs. I hope that there is a price decrease sometime in the future rather than continual additions to price as more and more options become available. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming AWD option and I really hope it's not too expensive.

  21. Tesla is likely looking at getting higher margins going into Q4 since the "easy" work has been done to raise margins over the past year. Anyone looking at a $70,000 dollar Model S won't have to worry about a price increase since the options have been raised not the cars. Some combinations are a bit less than before, but otherwise if you are looking for a bargain price on a $70,000 - $95,000 dollar car, you may be barking up the wrong tree. That's not what happens in the auto industry any way. And they will have to do something that makes progress on smoothing out the dent that the financing plans are making in Tesla's booked revenue. I agree they could have given a bit of breathing room to people that need a some time to make a decision.

  22. Lincoln charges $2,995 for their massive retractable panoramic sunroof on the Lincoln MKZ. By comparison, Tesla's was a bargain.

  23. I don't think the average Tesla buyers really care about that $10k in price difference.

    But this is NOT giving us confidence that the blue star sedan or the Model X will be priced at the "projected" price range...

  24. I felt I got a deal when I spent $116,000 for a signature, performance model S. The car is so superior to pretty much any other car on the road it was well worth it. I've ordered the Model X for my wife due next summer. I would have spent $150,000 for this car so I clearly feel the up charges are warranted. I would not trade it for any kind of BMW, Maserati, Bentley ext... I do think the interiors could be a bit more plush but thats it. Besides, not spending $3500 a year on gas is a huge bonus that will add up over time. If you want to save on a Tesla just wait for the $40,000 version out in 2014/15. The Model S is really something special and Elon Musk and everyone at Tesla deserves all the success and accolades they can get.

  25. That $40k version (Not $35k anymore? Is that pre $10k incentive or post) is scheduled for 2015/2016 year. It is also "delayed" from the original 2014/2015 date...

  26. It is important to note that, while some options have increased in price, there are more options available than previously, so, you can't just point blank say it's $10,000 more for the car, as some of those options were not available previously at any price.

    We can't expect Tesla to keep adding to the Model S and cost the same or less than before. Keep in mind Tesla produces a significantly smaller number of vehicles than the big carmakers. They are doing quite well in that respect.

    A business can plan to come out with something in a certain price range at a certain time, but, there are many variables to making that happen, especially for a new company. Things almost never go exactly as we expect...same for businesses, such as Tesla.

  27. The point is that $10k really doesn't matter for a loaded S costing over $110k. People who want that car at that price is NOT a "price sensitive" buyer.

    If Tesla feels that they still have more buyers than what they can produce, then it is a simple supply and demand.

  28. I have never had a bad thing to say about Tesla… Before. But the way they are doing options just cloned the old Auto companies. This is wrong, and I can't believe Musk allowed this to happen. I bet they will revise this.

  29. Tesla's Second Quarter 2013 Financial Results Conference Call is tomorrow afternoon. This is bound to come up. Stay tuned...

  30. My Model S, VIN 9649 would be about $7000 more today than when my order finalized at the end of January. That $7000 would have seriously hurt my eagerness to TRIPLE what I have ever previously paid for a new car.

  31. I think you would still be gladly to pay for it. Even though you do wish that $7k is NOT there.

  32. I think George is the best judge of what George would and would not be glad to pay.

  33. I don't think this is a big deal as long as the orders continue to pour in.

    If Tesla is adding capacity cost b/c of the large demand, then there is nothing wrong with charging people more for it.

    And in the last year or so, Tesla also has added more feature/services to the program. More superchargers, battery swap option, more service center...etc. Those things cost money.

  34. You know just because you "think" it is so does not make it so. There is a definite thread here where people are stating that they are displeased with Tesla's tactic. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with your opinion does not change the fact that as a marketing exercise this is poorly handled and raises more questions then it answers for a nascent company that had built up much good will in a traditionally difficult market. This move essentially effects how people perceive Tesla (regardless of whether it is a fiscal necessity or a money grab) and any time you mess with brand perception you are in dangerous waters.

  35. Well, at the end of the day, TSLA is a publically traded company. Goodwill is nice, but it still has to make money.

    If Musk take it private, then it doesn't have to cave to the stock price pressure.

  36. What Tesla should have done and still can do is make everything an option and leave the prices the same. In this way, everyone gets what they want. Tesla gets more revenue and it's customers gets what they want at a price they are willing to pay. For example, some might not want the Tech Package, but does want the Navigation. Have them pay for that option.

  37. I agree. As I alluded to above, why Musk would do anything to put Tesla's fledgling reputation at risk is a head scratcher. This is a new company with new technology in a new market that has done extraordinarily well in carving out extremely positive brand perception in a very short period. I believe that this move is equally ill-conceived and poorly timed. They pay back their loan early, hit their sales figures, announce a strategy for charging station openings then raise prices by a substantial amount (appx. 10%, pretty much doubling some options costs). Of course people are disappointed. Hopefully they will re-think this.

  38. For people who think Tesla Model S is not worth the price, let me ask you is a Ferrari worth $200,000+, or Bugatti worth $1,000,000+ or Rolls Royce worth $300,000+? Some of these don't even have half the options that the Model S has right now. These cars are worth that much for several reasons. First, people are willing to pay for it. Second, uniqueness of the car. Lastly, performance. This goes for Model S. It's not for everyone. However, it does have all of the characteristics as these exotics cars. As for the options, that's part of getting a car. My current car has a ton of options, but the newer ones has even more. All part of the game. If you want, you will have to pay for it.

  39. Exactly! It is a car in a class by itself.

    In the expensive luxury segament, sometimes raising price will actually help the sales due to "exclusive" ownership...

  40. Starting to sound like a typical car company, e.g., Porsche or Cadillac. Does this mean they can lower the base price?

  41. So how can it cost $2,500 to slap leather on top of the dash, but only $1,500 to put leather EVERYWHERE else? I gotta be missing something.

    Also, what the heck is an "Alcantara headliner?"

  42. Look up Alcantara. It's some really good stuff and worth the money for that option. The extended Nappa Leather option is definitely NOT worth $2,500 though I'm pretty sure it looks really sweet making it "worth it" to some.

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