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Standard 85 vs. P-85

Standard 85 vs. P-85

I took delivery in February of an S-85. I really wanted the P, but for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with money and time of delivery (mostly money), I finished the build on my "regular" car. I had to have some warranty issues cleared up and waited until there was an available loaner. Surprisingly, I was given a choice of a 60 and 85 and a P-85. I took the P knowing full well that once I got my car back, I'd wish even harder that I had gotten the P.

I have had the car one day and the difference between 0-40 in the cars is noticeable. Of course, the acceleration in the S is fine. If I want to go fast I press a little harder on the S than on the P. For most things, it's fine. Of course, when you're next to the kid in his dad's Carrera you want the P. And truthfully, I'd like the P's performance. But the difference is not so great that you can't enjoy the S.

When I give test rides, after a person feels the pull and says some form of "Oh Sh*t!" I explain that this car isn't the fast one. But it's obviously fast enough. I'm looking forward to getting my car back.

Without sounding like sour grapes here are my honest thoughts.

1. I like the all leather seats. I don't like the suede inserts or the odd color piping. Of course this is a personal matter and some people are crazy about the suede headliner. I like the regular car better.

2. The ride is smoother with my 19" wheels. The 21's look better, but for a variety of reasons (not mostly money) I prefer mine. Now you can get the performance with 19's but couldn't when I ordered.

3. The performance for 0-40 is probably where the 1.4 second 0-60 differential comes in. It is truly amazing.

If money is no object, the P is the car (with the no cost downgrade to the 19's) But if I was given the opportunity to trade the brand new loaner (black with grey) for my car (pearl with tan) even up, it would be hard for me to think I was trading up that much.

I think I'll have the loaner a couple of days and maybe something will convince me that I made a big mistake in not waiting for the P and paying the extra, but right now I'm fine with my choice and I love my car even more than I did when I turned it in for service.

DigitalSavant | July 8, 2013

Excellent evaluation. I had the exact opposite experience today. I'm a P-85 owner and took an S-60 service loaner for a day. I was delighted to see what a great performing car it was. At the same time, I'm happy I bought the P-85 for extra-little-bit-of-fun factor. It's nice to know there isn't a dud in the bunch.

inverts | July 8, 2013

Also have a S85 regular, and agree with info@. The piping on the seats is really distracting from the otherwise clean look of the iCar. If it would not be silly, I'd get a P85 19" with regular seat and remove the badge, so it looks like a non-P-MS. But as I don't need a P-car to begin with, I'd rather go for the 120 kWh battery pack ...
Same thoughts on 19" wheels. I need a car to drive from A to B. Happily married, got my three letters after my name, so don't have to prove anything to anyone.
Interesting, give the same non-P explainer when having people ride along.

Brian H | July 8, 2013

inverts;
RU a natural sand-bagger?
;-p

info | July 9, 2013

Well, as a married man, I'm used to admitting being wrong (even on the rare occasions when I'm not) but I think I have some 'splainin' to do. Although I meant everyword of my original post, I came home late last night and the roads were empty and I experimented.

I'm convinced the acceleration from 40 or so up isn't significantly different, but the feel of a 0-60 is completely different. I have to admit the thrill was hightened because my 0-60 runs were done on surface streets (skilled driver on controlled course, do not try this at home?) but the push back into the seat is not remotely close to what I get from my regular S.

In short the difference between the S and P is that when you hit the go pedal in the S your passengers scream, when you hit it in the P, you scream (like a little baby girl) I'm glad I was alone.

I immediately parked the car and hit the update button so I couldn't drive the car. I could hurt myself but what a way to go.

I still don't want the 21's or the piping, but I want the extra oomph of the motor and I might just put up with that goofy piping, or the extra payment amount, or the 21's or......

Mireille and Conan | July 9, 2013

We have an 85 and are currently driving a P85 loaner. The acceleration is really a blast and definitely amazing :) Also, we like the interior trim and find the seats a bit more comfortable than the ones in our 85. That said, we can't wait to get our car back and wouldn't take an even trade to keep the P85 even though it lists for $20,000 more than we paid and has 12,000 fewer miles.

The main negative we experienced in the loaner is that the road noise is MUCH more noticeable, especially at freeway speeds. It's so much louder that I'm actually driving a bit more slowly in the P85 than I do in my 85. (Not sure if the noise is due to the 21" wheels, standard suspension, or is just a quirk of this particular car.)

But don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have gotten to drive the P85 for a couple of days. In fact, I probably would have delayed taking our car in for service if a loaner wasn't available. I absolutely can't stand driving an ICE now (and am in a perpetual state of discomfort, sometimes panic, when doing so - why does the darn thing go when I'm not pressing on the accelerator and not stop when I lift my food off?)

Mireille and Conan | July 9, 2013

opps - need edit :)

foot not food

edfinn | July 9, 2013

I test drove the P85 and purchased the regular 85 (tech, pano roof) and couldn't be happier. I am pushed back in my seat and past the speed limits silently and quicker than ever expected. I think that extra acceleration would only make me even more likely to get a speeding ticket.

DigitalSavant | July 9, 2013

@edfinn@gmail.com,
Good point, and not entirely untrue. I recently drove my P85 to Vegas from Seattle. While in Vegas, I was pulled over while merging onto the freeway. I wasn't going faster than anyone else on the road, but I accelerated quickly to match the speed zooming traffic. Seconds after merging, I saw the flashing lights in my rear view. The cop ticked me for doing 76 in a 70, even though he said he clocked me at 81.. which is actually a normal speed for the section of freeway I was merging onto (also the fact that I was actually speed-matched with traffic). I honestly think I got the ticket because of how quickly I accelerated to match traffic. My first and only ticket so far in my S. Probably not the last.

rchiang | July 9, 2013

I have a p85 now never tried the 60 or 85 but curious now after reading this post to see for myself next time I'm getting my car serviced. But I wished I had the chance to get the p85+ but was not available to me at the time in March.

DigitalSavant: Sorry to hear about your ticket that would suck if it ever happened to me.

TMS P85 | July 9, 2013

Thanks for all the helpful comments for those of us still deciding which model to ultimately buy.

Can I ask a simple question? All of you that mention you are getting servicing on your cars. What has been the reason for the service? How often are you taking your car in for service and for what reasons? Thanks in advance.

Mireille and Conan | July 9, 2013

Ours is in for tire rotation and scheduled maintenance. (We're getting the 12,500 mile service closer to 14,500 miles.)

Ojee99 | July 9, 2013

What I wonder: is the material (leather?) on the top of the dashboard the same in the P85 as the normal 85?

J.T. | July 9, 2013

Had a service tech at the house last Wednesday for the recall. Three other minor issues were whooshing sound behind passengers' heads in rear, black squares that never repaint on nav and a small imperfection in the grill near the "T" on the nose cone. He fixed the recall but my car was picked up from my house today to address the other issues. I'll get it back Thursday..

Just got a call from service saying they were so far unable to replicate the nav screen problem. That's where the MS is like an ICE: bring it to service and none of the little gremlins want to come out and play.

Mireille and Conan | July 9, 2013

UPDATE - I asked if the noise was normal in the P85 when I returned the loaner. It turns out there is an issue and they haven't had time to replace the noisy part (I wish they had mentioned the noise being abnormal before we took the car :/ and then I wouldn't have bothered to post it earlier.)

Anyway, if you want the P85 - go for it and don't worry about the noise :) but we really do love the active air suspension and recommend getting it.

lnxcar | July 9, 2013

I am quite happy with my S85. Having said that, if I ever had the option of just replacing(upgrading) the inverter, I probably would. But even the S85 has plenty of oomph to have fun. It's funny, I used to hate having to stop at the traffic light, and now I hope to hit a red light ;-)

olanmills | July 9, 2013

Yeah I have regular 85 as well, and I also miss the P (I drove it at the Get Amped tour) for the 0-40 acceleration. That's where the difference ss really noticeable, IMO. With my standard 85, I feel like the acceleration above 50 mph is great. It's that earlier level acceleration that I feel like I'm missing out on.

I too really wish I could just replace the inverter. If they had offered Performance model without the other stuff for half the price (maybe about $7500) I definitely would have gone for it. $15k just felt like too much for me and I couldn't justify it. I didn't care about the other extras. The seat piping and alacantara are nice I guess, but I could take it or leave it, really. I wouldn't choose the carbon fiber trimmings, omit the spoiler, and I would prefer to downgrade the wheels (which were included at the time I ordered), which for me was one of the biggest psychological problems I had with it. It felt like I'd be throwing away $3500.

lnxcar | July 9, 2013

yep exactly.