If you are an Aston Martin owner, you know that having a luxury vehicle comes at a steep price. This is why it is a bit perplexing that many former Aston Martin owners are comparing the Tesla Model S, an all-electric luxury sedan, to the upper-class, aristocratic Aston Martin. Why are these Aston Martin owners flocking to Tesla?
From technology to a sleek look to what Tesla is doing to help the environment, former Aston Martin owners are flocking to the Tesla Model S and paying full price for the opportunity. Tesla will not haggle price or offer impressive trade-in values, but that has not stopped luxury vehicle owners.
There are many former Aston Martin owners who have noticed how similar the exterior of the Tesla Model S is to the Aston Martin. This is not a coincidence, as a few Aston Martin engineers have lent a hand in the Tesla design and engineering to offer up an impressive, aerodynamic exterior, top speed, and remarkable entertainment system.
On the surface, an Aston Martin and a Tesla could not be more different. An Aston Martin is a unique luxury, with its low production volume, handmade interior, and noble, upper-class feel that only a select few can tout on the road. It has an aristocratic, old-school feel compared to Tesla, which is the electric vehicle wave of the future.
Why are Aston Martin customers fleeing to Tesla? It may be a mixture of performance, style, luxury, and the fact that Tesla and its founder, Elon Musk, are developing fast, high-quality vehicles with the environment in mind. Tesla’s cars balance luxury and style in an environmentally-friendly option, and Aston Martin owners have noticed.
The Model S, in particular, comes in a Long Range or Plaid version that takes electric vehicles to the next level. Their range on an electric charge is dissimilar to other electric vehicles, flaunting impressive ranges of 405 miles and 390 miles, respectively. Just looking at the Tesla Model S P100D’s specs show how it is truly above the rest:
- Superchargers that allow you to recharge hundreds of miles of range in one hour
- Ludicrous Plus Mode, a nod to the 1980s film “Spaceballs” (the name of the latest version, Plaid, is also a reference to the film) and gives the ability to go from 060 in 2.24 to 2.4 seconds
- The Tesla Autopilot driver-assistance technology
- Over-the-air updates and an array of cameras for self-driving capabilities
- Web browsing and streaming services
- Auto-raising suspension that can be set low for high speed on a highway and then higher when exiting at a slower rate
- Advanced parking sensors that will show you, in inches, how far away an object is from your vehicle
The Model S has continued to improve, and Tesla is touting the latest specs of its Long Range option and, the fastest yet, the Plaid. So, you end up combining an exterior that nearly mirrors the luxurious and unique Aston Martin with peak powers of 670 horsepower for the Long Range and 1,020 for the Plaid for a competitive luxury vehicle.
When Elon Musk unveiled what he claimed was the “fastest vehicle,” the Model S Plaid, he tried to display the vehicle’s engineering skills against other battery-powered vehicles like the impressive Porsche Taycan and the Mustang Mach-E. At the unveiling, Musk hyped up the Plaid’s remarkable features, which are now advertised today.
The vehicle was touted to give all of these impressive features for a no-haggle price of $129,990 in the United States, a price that is comparable to the Aston Martin’s range of $130,000 to more than $200,000. But, how does it compare in the racing category in that Musk is touting it as the fastest vehicle of today?
The Model S had since made an impressive name for itself on the dragstrip and has gone up against some of the fastest vehicles of today, including the Aston Martin. Just looking at the specs of this vehicle illustrates why Musk has deemed the Model S Plaid as his company’s halo product and the fastest car in the industry:
- 390-mile range
- 0-60 miles per hour in 1.99 seconds
- A top speed of an impressive 200 miles per hour when equipped with the proper wheels and tires
- A peak power of 1,020 horsepower
- Tri-Motor Powertrain
- 250 kilowatt supercharging max
The exterior of the Model S rivals Aston Martin’s aerodynamics. The front seats are moved forward so that passengers in the back have more room so that they can enjoy a second touch screen located in the backseat. Musk has even compared the 22-speaker sound system to a home theater and the entertainment system to a Sony Playstation 5.
Elon Musk was making promises early that the Model S would beat the Aston Martin in a race while raving about the first purchasers of his vehicle. One of these purchasers was an investor of SpaceX, Yammer, Zaarly, Bill Lee. Lee actually got the sixth Model S off the line, a sleek, black Model S Founders Signature Performance Edition.
Lee was an early investor in the Tesla company, so he may have been a bit biased when he agreed with Musk’s claims that the Model S could absolutely beat Aston Martin in a race. However, he did not get any incentives or discounts to make these claims. Lee paid full retail price for his signature Model S vehicle off the line.
Lee is not alone to be fine with paying full price for a Tesla vehicle. Tesla will not haggle prices of their vehicles, including the Model S, and the no discounts, no problem has not deterred luxury vehicle owners from checking out the different types of Model S cars. This is probably why the all-electric sedan is at the top of Tesla’s current lineup.
Edmunds has given the vehicle an 8.1 out of 10, with ratings varying for drive, comfort, interior, technology, and value. Most regular drivers would be fine with the Long Range version, which has less peak power but more range than the Plaid. The Model S comes with all the bells and whistles that Tesla is known for in a five-passenger luxury sedan.
This previous Aston Martin owner explained why he purchased a Tesla Model S, and it may not make sense at first glance. Peter Thompson was an Aston Martin owner for quite a while but was drawn in by something that may turn other shoppers away – Tesla will not haggle with its customers or provide discounts. The Model S does offer:
- An impressive electric range for a luxury sedan
- Quick acceleration across the board that rivals its competitors
- A liftback design for more cargo space
- Access to the important Supercharger Network that Tesla offers across the world
If you are looking for any wiggle room to Tesla’s hefty cost (the Model S starts at around $70,000 on the low end), you will not find it with the company. At first, Thompson was also looking to haggle the price of the Tesla Model S 90D or even get a discount by trading in his, sigh, coveted Aston Martin that he bought new for more than $132,000.
Thompson was the owner of a stunning Aston Martin Vantage Sportshift II and was surprised that Tesla would not give him anything for it. Even though he could obviously afford the best of the best, he still prided himself on his negotiation skills. His Tesla purchase would end up being the first time he had actually paid the list price for a vehicle.
The Aston Martin was the best of the best, with everything from a black aluminum grille and interior upgrades to a black leather interior and a Volcano Red exterior, yet he still chose to purchase a Tesla Model S90D at the full list price. Tesla claims they do not haggle because they do not inflate their prices for trade-ins. You pay what you pay.
Peter Thompson said he was fine with not getting any discounts from Tesla as long as this was the standard practice across the board. As a member of a Tesla UK online forum, it seems this is standard, and Tesla’s price is what it is when it comes to their vehicles, including the Model S. Tesla values its mission over discounts for more sales.
Tesla’s mission of providing sustainable vehicles and energy is more important to the company than profiting from vehicle discounts and trade-ins. If they do take a trade-in, do not expect to get much for your vehicle. Thompson figured he could get as high as $106,324 for trading in his Aston Martin. Tesla ended up offering him $99,761.
Tesla could have easily offered him more to entice him to purchase the new Model S, but that is not in line with their mission of sustainability. Thompson was fine with how the purchase went down, and it seems more Aston Martin vehicle owners are feeling the same way with the similar Model S and everything this fast car offers to drivers.
It is a surprise that Tesla is not inflating trade-in allowances and vehicle discounts to bring in more customers that the company is in more than $1.7 billion in debt. The purpose of a trade-in program, in Tesla’s mind, is to give a fair price for the customer without haggling over the price of the Tesla. This is not advantageous to the company.
Maybe one of the reasons Tesla’s Model S is so attractive to former Aston Martin owners is because Elon Musk actually hired a former Aston Martin vehicle engineer named Chris Porritt. Porritt was not just any engineer but the Chief Engineer of Vehicle Engineering for Aston Martin. His resume with Aston Martin was more than impressive.
Porritt joined the Aston Martin team in 1997 and was integral in leading Aston Martin’s engineering team with developing the advanced structural design of the Aston Martin One-77 supercar. Its cutting-edge aerodynamics and active suspension made it one of the fastest cars in the world, something Tesla’s Model S was built to challenge.
Porritt was not the first Aston Martin executive to join the Tesla team, which is actually why the body of the Model S may be so similar to the Aston Martin. When Tesla was first developing concepts for what would end up being the 2012 Tesla Model S, they contracted with renowned vehicle designer Henrik Fisker to help with the concept.
Why is Fisker’s partnership so notable? He was the individual who designed the Aston Martin Vantage V8 before creating his own company. This is why so many Tesla Model S owners have seen so many similarities in their Model S vehicles and the luxurious Aston Martin cars. In fact, some have said they have mistaken the two on the street.
Henrik Fisker, a Danish designer who made his name with Aston Martin, had worked with Tesla for several months in 2006 and 2007 on what was then a large, luxury sedan project. This project was leading the way to designing Tesla’s Model S, and Fisker’s blueprints can easily be seen in the Model S today with similarities to Aston Martin.
Fisker worked with Tesla before starting a luxury green-car maker, Fisker Automotive. In April 2008, however, Fisker was sued by Tesla for allegedly stealing Tesla’s confidential design and trade secrets. The legal battle would end up being settled by an arbitrator who ruled mostly in favor of Fisker, but his company would go bust in 2013.
Fisker’s vision of building high-end electric cars would end in failure, but he would get back into the electric vehicle race with new backers and a new business model for his latest version. Fisker does bring with him an impressive resume, selling electric, plug-in cars on the high-end (more than $100,000 each) to some very impressive names:
- Vice President Al Gore
- Pop superstar Justin Beiber
- Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio
Fisker intends to challenge Tesla with his “Ocean” model, an SUV that is battery-powered and set for release in 2022. His luxury vehicle will be made of recycled materials, including using the core parts like motors and batteries that are already developed by other companies and contracting out the building of the vehicles.
The Model S has not only lured former Aston Martin customers because of its similar exterior and aerodynamics, an interior that is an entertainment mecca, and the no-haggle price that shows you get what you pay for. When the Tesla Model S Performance went up against the Aston Martin DBS, automotive enthusiasts noticed.
AutoTrader put out a video of the Model S performance beating the Aston Martin DBS. Even before this feat, the Model S had beat numerous supercars on the drag with its impressive straight-line performance, and this was before the car was tweaked even more. This included a “cheetah launch mode” capable of 835 horsepower to the wheels.
At the time, the Aston Martin DBS only had 735 horsepower to the rear wheels, not all four like the Model S. If the Model S performance can leave an Aston Martin DBS in the dust with 835 horsepower, the Model S Plaid’s 1,020 horsepower will be no comparison to Aston Martin and other luxury vehicles that claim to be quick on the dragstrip.
In a standing-start, quarter-mile race, the Tesla defeated the Aston Martin with ease. The Aston Martin’s internal-combustion power was a bit closer in a roll-race, but Elon Musk’s Model S still came out on top. Still another defeat in a 0-100-0 miles per hour test illustrated why Aston Martin customers are flocking to the Tesla Model S.
Tesla has since phased out the Performance trim of the Model S that Billy Lee was offered for the new Plaid trim level. This new replacement comes with more power and a longer range and will more than likely continue to beat its competitors in races. The other trim available, the Long Range, is probably just fine for the average driver:
Long Range versus Plaid:
- Range – 405 miles versus 390 miles
- Peak Power – 607 horsepower versus 1,020 horsepower
- Wheels – 19- or 21-inch are the same on both trims
- Cargo – 28 cubic feet are the same on both trims
- Acceleration – 0-60 in 3.1 seconds versus 1.99 seconds
- Top speed – 155 miles per hour versus 200 miles per hour
- Drag coefficient – 0.208 Cd are the same on both trims
- Weight – 4,561 pounds versus 4,755 pounds
- Powertrain – Dual Motor versus Tri-Motor
- Supercharging max – 250 kilowatts are the same on both trims
If you are looking for range versus speed, the Long Range version of the Model S should be just fine. However, it will more than likely be the Model S Plaid that continues to leave the Aston Martin and other luxury vehicles in the dust when it comes to racing on the straight road.
It is no surprise that Aston Martin customers have been attracted to Tesla in that the company is offering high-class, all-electric vehicles at a fair, no-haggle price. The exterior similarities are not a coincidence, and it will be interesting to see what Tesla comes up with next with an innovative, former Aston Martin engineer at the helm.