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Tesla Model S gets a $2,500 price hike

Tesla Motors recently announced that it would raise the price of its Model S luxury EV, and now we know exactly how much extra cash this sedan will extracting from buyers’ wallets. Model S prices will go up by $2,500 across the board, and Tesla has also made some changes to the car’s options list.

The $2,500 price increase affects all three battery pack sizes (40 kWh, 60 kWh, 85 kWh) and the Performance package (which lowers the 0 to 60 mph time from 5.6 seconds to 4.4 seconds).

Consequently, the Model S’ new base price is $59,900, although most buyers will pay $52,400, since the car still qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit. As before, prices go up in $10,000 increments with the size of the battery pack. The top 85 kWh Performance model will start at $94,900.

Tesla also previously stated that some standard features would become optional, but the changes to the Model S’ options list are few. Performance models will now come with 19” wheels as standard, with 21” as a $3,500 option. Tesla is also offering Red multi-coat paint on 2013 models for $1,500.

On the plus side, Tesla is including 12-way adjustable heated front seats as standard equipment on all cars.

The price increase goes into affect January 1, 2013. Customers who make a reservation by December 31, 2012 will pay the current price, Tesla says, as long as they finalize their orders promptly. The company says it will determine a specific timeframe for order processing; customers who make a reservation before the end of the year but don’t actually place an order before Tesla’s deadline will keep their spot in line, but will have to pay the extra $2,500.

Tesla has over 12,000 reservations for the Model S, the vast majority of which will be delivered in 2013.

Tesla says it is entitled to raise its prices, since the Model S was announced over three years ago and prices have not gone up since then.

“During this same period of time most automotive companies have had at least three price increases and general inflation (CPI) has gone up 8.75 percent. A straight 8.75 percent CPI increase would now yield a base price for Model S of $62,400, an increase of $5,000,” Tesla vice president, worldwide sales and ownership experience George Blankenship said in a company blog post.

Tesla also sells cars in Canada, where the price will increase by $2,600 Canadian. The company is also taking reservations in Europe, although pricing for European models has not been announced. Tesla did say that it would deduct 1,700 euros from the cost of cars ordered before December 31.

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