Over on Reddit there's a bit of a debate: since money is a consideration for most of us, do you go for a Model S P90D with stock, or drop to a 90D and check all the options boxes? It's an interesting question, so we're curious where you stand.
Honestly, as much as we love Insane Mode (and the option for Ludicrous Mode), the real world application of such ridiculous acceleration and speed is so small we're not sure it's worth the cost if you're choosing that over the various option boxes. Let's break it down:
Model S P90D: Built for speed
We're not ticking a single option box here, so you've got a 90kWh battery, 270 miles range, and a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds with a 155mph top speed. Bloody fast, and you'll feel it in the seat of your pants for sure, but you'll be feeling it through the standard textile fabric "multi-pattern" seats, and you're living with a solid black or solid white exterior.
Sticker price: $109,500
And if we're going for maximum speed, add on $10,000 for the Ludicrous Speed Upgrade.
Model S 90D: Built for comfort
The starting price of the Model S 90D is $89,500, but in this set-up we're going to tick a bunch of options boxes. But to start, we've got a 90kWh battery again with 294 miles range, a 4.2-second 0-60 time, and a 155mph top speed. That's right, the only benefit you get with the P90D is acceleration, and while it is a 27% improvement, that's coming at the expense of 24 miles overall range.
But let's check off some options!
- Autopilot Convenience Features: $2500
- Premium Upgrades Package: $3000
- Smart Air Suspension: $2500
- Subzero Weather Package: $1000
- Ultra High Fidelity Sound: $2500
- High Amperage Charger Upgrade: $1500
- White Pearl Multi-Coat or Red Multi-Coat: $1500
- All Glass Panoramic Roof: $1500
- Next Generation Leather Seats: $1500
- Upgrade Wood Décor: $750
We're foregoing the $3000 option for the rear-facing jumper seats and sticking with the standard 19-inch Silver Slipstream wheels with all-season tires for maximum range (294 miles!).
Sticker price: $108,750
So which one?
Which car you go for is totally up to you. If you go for the stripped-down P90D you get a car that will rival almost anything else on the road in acceleration. But...
How often are you going to use that? Is sacrificing creature comforts like the glass panoramic roof or leather seating worth that straightline speed and decreased range? Personally, not for us. A Model S is a car we'll drive every day, and comfort trumps performance when commuting to work, running errands, and being stuck in stop-and-go traffic enter the equation.
Granted, most of us are not about to drop over 100 grand on a new car. It's simply not an option. That's why cars like the Tesla Model 3 are coming, but the same debate will be held when that car arrives in late 2017 — speed or comfort. We doubt that options like Ludicrous Mode will be a choice on the Model 3, but it's worth considering the trade-offs that average buyers will be asking if they should make: range or speed or comfort? You can have two, but you probably shouldn't spend the money on all three.
Of course, if money is not an object, the correct answer is "all of the above, plus Ludicrous Mode"... though the every-option-imaginable Model S P90D-L will run an eye-watering $147,500.
Hey, it's your money.