The Tesla Model S Can Now Be Configured Up To $156,490

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Tesla updated its website configurator for the Tesla Model S electric car to include its new Plaid performance trim, which promises a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time in under two seconds flat. If you get all of the goodies, that means the Model S now costs up to a whopping $156,490.


For context, the estimated purchase price of a Model S Long Range Plus, the most affordable currently available on Tesla’s website, comes out to $74,990, or pretty much half of what the top-tier car now costs.

But that top tier is the upcoming “Plaid” performance trim, which the company claimed will offer some truly incredible performance. Its “tri-motor” layout gives it more power than any Model S before it, claiming around 1,100 horsepower, a 0 to 60 mph time under two seconds, and a sub-nine-second quarter-mile time. Allegedly, when you aren’t driving the absolute shit out of it, Tesla even claims it will get up to 520 miles of driving range.

But you will get all that for the starting price of the new Plaid model, which is “just” $139,990. I wanted to see how high I could push it, so I checked all the boxes. Getting one of the pricey paint options (so, not white) raises the price by $1,500 unless you get red, which is then $2,500.

Naturally, we need to upgrade the standard 19-inch wheels to the $4,500 21-inch option, the $1,500 black and white interior package to match it of course, and the long-promised $8,000 future “full self-driving” package that unlocks all the hardware on the car for full use of what are still actually just driver assistance systems.

Doing all of that will indeed raise the price of your Tesla Model S all the way up to a purchase price of $156,490. That’s of course not factoring in the “estimated savings” on gas and other things Tesla claims you’ll save on the price of the car.


This is all to point out that the Tesla Model S, a car introduced nearly a decade ago with no announced plans for an actual traditional model-cycle update, is still pushing its performance and price limitations with no hesitation and seemingly no lacking demand. May we all peak so late in life.


Shane Morris

I test drove a Tesla Model S back in 2019 before I “settled” (if you want to call it that) on an Audi Q7. You know what my problem is with spending north of $100,000 on a car? Not feeling like I’m getting that value returned.

Don’t get me wrong, the Model S puts you in a position to do illegal things faster than volunteering to be the ID checker at an Epstein birthday event. It just does so in a very “nice mid-tier Honda Accord” kind of way. The instant surge of an electric motor is addictive, and if you trust the system, it’s nice to be able to put your brain on pause during a long slog down I-75 on the way to Florida... BUT... more than $150,000?

The Audi cruise control system isn’t the same as Tesla. Not even close. We all know that. BUT... I also barely cracked $70,000, which is less than half of what I would spend on a Tesla Model S — and when it comes to interior materials, tech, etc, it’s actually... nicer. (The same can be said for offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Volvo. I’m partial to Volvo’s whole interior design style, just in general.) If I’m on a long drive, the lane keep and adaptive cruise does well enough on long straights that I can take my hands off the wheel and chill, which is about all I’m looking for on a long stretch of road.

Tesla is just unique because it’s a car with a dated style, and the interior just isn’t... great. It’s good. There’s nothing wrong with it. If you love the huge screen... cool, I guess. It’s just that every other surface and switch feels spartan and cheaper than what I would want in a car that costs $150,000, which is why the base model is half the price.

Other manufacturers do this, but they make sure to offer the premium experience when you spend more. A base model F-150 XL work truck may cost half the money of a King Ranch, but a King Ranch makes your redneck DNA strong enough to fornicate with your entire family reunion.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I’m spending double the price, it better have an interior nice enough to f**k your cousin. That wasn’t going to be my original point, but that’s how things are going.