From 2021 The Tesla Model S Performance will no longer be the most powerful version of Tesla’s sedan flagship. But don’t let that put you off — this EV still lives up to that boldly chosen name and, until the tri-motor Plaid version arrives, the Performance is top dog.
Tesla claims the Model S Performance is the fastest-accelerating sedan in the world. A bold claim that has been backed up by multiple independent tests, the Model S Performance can complete the 0-100km/h sprint in just 2.5 seconds.
This 0-100 time was achieved thanks to Tesla’s constant commitment to improving their cars via over-the-air updates. Tesla’s latest update to the Model S Performance’s Ludicrous+ mode enabled more power to be harnessed, as well as conditioning the battery and introducing a “Cheetah Stance” launch mode.
While performance is at the heart of this Model S, range is not completely neglected. Although it does suffer compared to the Long Range Plus variant, the Performance’s 704kms claimed range (515km real-world range) is still nothing to scoff at. It bests the Porsche Taycan Turbo S’ 400km real-world range while being less than half the price.
Technology is a key aspect of the Model S. The centrepiece of the cockpit is a 17-inch screen that controls all aspects of the car. All Model S variants have access to Tesla’s autonomous driving hardware as standard, although full-self driving capabilities can only be unlocked as a $10,000-dollar software-based option. Other cost options include any colour other than white, which start from $2200.
Although eight years old, the Tesla Model S continues to impress with its spacious interior and ample luggage area. Designed as an EV from the outset, the Tesla Model S manages to pack a combined load space of 804 litres. This includes the Model S’s “frunk” front boot which adds a useful amount of cargo space in front.
At $161,300 drive away in Australia, the Performance is $20,000 dearer than the Long Range Plus. Aside from a greater combined output (580kW vs 398kW) and Ludicrous+ mode, the two stay relatively similar specification-wise.
Although as a percentage, the shaving-off of 1.3 seconds from the Long Range Plus’s 3.8-second 0-100km/h time is significant, the vast majority of buyers are unlikely to need the extra speed on a day-to-day basis.