Is the 2018 Tesla Model S a Shocking Bargain?

Is the 2018 Tesla Model S a Shocking Bargain?

The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Tesla shows it leaping through an explosion, in glorious Fast and Furious style. Let’s see if this AWD electric luxury hatchback is worth blowing some cash on.

Like the Ford Thunderbird it once sought to steal sales from, Chevrolet’s Monte Carlo is a long-dead nameplate. Also, like the T-Bird, the Monte Carlo attempted in the 1980s a bit of aero trickery to improve its odds on the NASCAR circuit. Yesterday’s 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe was the homologation-mandated production model that made the track car possible. Its lack of street performance (this was the ’80s, after all) meant that few of you were feeling nostalgic for it or the era, and a $15,500 couldn’t sway that emotion. In the end, the Chevy couldn’t pull off the full Monte, falling in a sizable 86 percent No Dice loss.

In the case of Tesla, the Model S was the company’s first volume product, debuting in prototype form in 2009 and as a production model in 2013. It’s been popular enough to have remained in production with just minor massaging of its overall looks for the full decade since.

Underneath its “birthing hips” bodywork, though, the Model S has seen substantial changes over the years. Paramount among those is the move to dual motors across the board, larger battery packs offering greater range, and the addition of car-surrounding cameras to allow for the option of Tesla’s terrifying Full Self Driving (FSD) beta program.

This 2018 Tesla Model S P75D is new enough to have most of the initial model’s bugs wrung out. The 75 in the model name denotes the capacity of the car’s under-floor 18650 battery pack, which totals 75 Kilowatt Hours or about 70kWH usable. That should provide about 240 miles of range if it’s not too cold nor too hot and quickly recharged via the car’s onboard 48 amp charging circuit via Tesla’s industry-standard Supercharger network.

Employing all those electrons are a pair of motors that combined make 518 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque, with the output available whenever and wherever needed. Not needed is any sort of transmission, so don’t be asking if it has “three-pedals” or be poo-poo-ing it for being an automatic. It’s none of those things.

According to the seller, though, this Model S is a hoot and a half to drive, claiming that “it’s so quick, it’ll give you an actual face-lift,” and boasting that “with autopilot smoother than butter on a hot pancake, you’ll feel like Tony Stark on a casual Sunday drive.”

The car has been, in the parlance of young folks from about a decade back, “murdered out.” The black-on-black-on-black theme extends to the wheels, window tint (which looks like it wouldn’t pass Highway Patrol inspection), and tail lamps. The only exterior elements offering any contrast to this monochromatic mayhem are the front lamps and the carbon fiber spoiler on the hatch. Notably, there appear to be no obvious flaws in the paint or curbing evident on the factory alloys.

This being a pre-’21 model, it has the earlier interior design, which means it still has stalks for things like turn signals and gear selection. It also has the crazy-big vertical flat panel screen in the center of the dash rather than the horizontal one of the current cars. Everything looks to have been well cared for and, with the exception of the piano black on the dash, fully contemporary.

The car comes with 57,935 miles showing on the clock, a clean title, and, apparently, a 110V home charger in the boot. That should be upgradable to 240V with just the switch of the pigtail, but with Tesla’s Superchargers popping up seemingly everywhere, who cares?

When new, the Model S P75D started at around $80,000. This one, which should still have some time on its battery and drivetrain warranty, asks $39,000 or about 50 percent off that as-new price if my math is correct. With Tesla flooding the planet with Model Y and Model 3 new cars in this price range, is it time to start thinking of the upscale Model S as a bargain used buy?

What do you think about this blacked-out Model S and that $39,000 asking price? Is that no joke despite the seller’s humorous commentary in the ad? Or does that price on an older Tesla just not light your fires?

You decide!

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