At the beginning of October Elon Musk announced Tesla’s latest invention, the Dual Motor Drive all-wheel drive system which improves traction, range, and performance all at once. While most Tesla fans were ecstatic at the news, some recent Model S buyers felt shafted and left out of the chance to get new features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning systems.
Tesla’s answer to those owners? Upgrade of course! But as Model S owner Rob M. points out over at Teslarati, the cost to upgrade is substantial; in his case it would cost Rob just shy of $50,000 to trade in his Model S85 for a new, similarly-equipped all-wheel drive Model S with the autopilot. That’s, quite literally, enough money to buy two new cars, and while Elon Musk has pledged to keep used Tesla values afloat with a buy back guarantee, there’s also the little fact that luxury cars take a gigantic depreciation hit as soon as you drive off the dealership lot. You could go down the street, turn around, and come back to the dealership to trade it in and you’d still be out 20% of the value of the car.
Keeping all that in mind, a new Model S equipped just like Rob’s vehicle, but with the $4,000 Dual Motor Drive Upgrade and Autopilot features would come in at about $98,000. The trade-in value for his 2013 Model S? Just $49,000. If he were to sell it on the private market he would almost certainly get more; car review website Edmunds sold their fully-loaded Model S P85+ for about $83,000 after two years and about 30,000 miles, after purchasing it for about $105,000.
The used market for the Model S is particularly strong at the moment, and while Rob’s Model S doesn’t have the performance package, he could still probably bring in north of $70,000 on the private market. But even then, the upgrade to an all-new, all-wheel drive Model S will still cost him north of $28,000. For Rob M. at least, the cost of upgrading is too much for features he’d like to have, but doesn’t NEED to have. Ya dig?