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Top 5 most expensive Tesla cars

Tesla has made a big impact on the car industry in a short amount of time.

Few brands have had the kind of immediate impact on the car industry as Tesla.

The American brand has been a catalyst for the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles and become one of the most popular carmakers in the world, in a remarkably short period of time.

The brand has expanded and offers six models in the US market, but only two in Australia - the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV. In this story we’ll reveal all the details about how much each model costs, including how much is the most expensive Tesla and what is the average price of a Tesla.

What is the most expensive Tesla?

Well, depending on your point of view, the most expensive new model is the Semi, the all-electric prime mover the brand is pushing in the US trucking industry.

It starts at US$150,000 (approx. $230,000) for the standard range model and US$180,000 (approx. $275,000) for the extended range.

If you’re ruling out the commercial vehicle then the most expensive Tesla title belongs to the Cybertruck. In the US, the Cybertruck range begins at just over US$82,000 and tops out at more than $100,000.

There have been reports from overseas of Roadsters changing hands for as much as 0,000; although those are private sales and therefore unverified.

Then there’s the growing market for the first generation Tesla Roadster. The Lotus Elise-based sports car put the brand on the map and is fast becoming a collector’s item. However, it's too early to have a clear idea of just how much people are willing to pay for them.

There have been reports from overseas of Roadsters changing hands for as much as $250,000; although those are private sales and therefore unverified. But in the Australian market there seems to be less appetite to pay such big bucks for the car, with one example advertised online for $349,000... since mid-2023.

We’ve also decided not to include the new, second-generation Tesla Roadster, despite it having a US$250,000 asking price. That’s because it’s still not in production more than six years after the concept was revealed. 

Why are Teslas so expensive?

Tesla expertly positioned itself as a premium brand rather than purely an electric carmaker. The company began with the Roadster, then launched the Model S which was a rival to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which allowed it to price the model higher and therefore help cover development costs of the all-new brand. 

Since then the brand has expanded and moved more mainstream, with the launch of the Model 3 and Model Y, which have brought down the cost of entry.

What is the average price of a Tesla?

That’s a very hard question to answer because it’s like trying to hit a moving target. Tesla is well-known for its fluctuating prices, often cutting prices to drive demand during slow sales periods. So it should be noted these Australian prices are correct at the time of publication but subject to change at any moment.

How do Tesla cars compare to other luxury car brands in terms of price range?

While Tesla has managed to position itself as a premium brand in the eyes of many, in Australia, with the focus on the more affordable 3 and Y, it’s questionable whether Tesla is truly a luxury brand here. As you can read in this opinion piece here.

Top 5 Tesla models by price

1. Tesla Semi* - $250,000 (approx.)

The Semi features an aerodynamic body that provides for up to 800km of driving range.

Designed to help the lucrative trucking industry, the Tesla Semi was first announced in November 2017 and went into production in 2022.

Powered by three electric motors - one for constant speed and two for help with hills and acceleration - the Semi features an aerodynamic body that provides for up to 800km of driving range (according to the brand’s official claims).

Reports from the US suggest there are only approximately 100 Semis on the road at the moment, with one of the early adopters being soft drink giant PepsiCo.

2. Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast* - $158,000 (approx.)

Tesla is yet to confirm when, or even if, the Cybertruck will be offered locally.

The flagship model in the punk rock pickup range is appropriately called the Cyberbeast. It’s appropriate because this weird-looking machine packs a 630kW punch and can launch 0-60mph (0-96km/h) in just 2.6 seconds. 

Tesla claims it has a driving range of up to 515km, as well as a towing capacity of 5000kg and payload of more than 1100kg. That’s why this unorthodox ute carries such a hefty price tag.

Despite offering Australians the chance to put down a $150 deposit between 2019 and 2022, Tesla is yet to confirm when, or even if, the Cybertruck will be offered locally.

Importantly, though, it is still displayed on its website, along with the Model 3 and Y, so it remains a possibility it will end up Down Under.

3. Tesla Model X Plaid* - $148,000 (approx.)

The Model X Plaid has a claimed 535km range on a single charge.

The American brand previously offered the Model X full-size SUV in Australia but withdrew it from local sale when the facelifted version appeared in 2021 (although it only stopped taking orders in early 2023).

Not only is the Model X still available overseas, but that facelift included the arrival of the tri-motor ‘Plaid’ powertrain that offers a whopping 760kW of power. Enough grunt for this seven-seat SUV to run 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds. 

The extra price also helps buy you more range than standard, with the Model X Plaid capable of a claimed 535km on a single charge.

4. Tesla Model S Plaid* - $140,000 (approx.)

The Model S Plaid hits 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds.

Not surprisingly, coming in right behind the Model X Plaid on our list is the Model S Plaid. It demonstrates the higher price you tend to pay for SUVs over sedans. It has the same 760kW powertrain but is quicker (0-60mph in 2.3 seconds) and has a slightly longer range (637km).

However, just like the Model X, the Model S remains unavailable to Australian customers after the company axed right-hand drive production.

5.  Tesla Model Y AWD Performance - $91,400

The range-topping Model Y AWD Performance takes just 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0-100km/h.

The last entry on our list is the first one available in Australia. The range-topping Model Y AWD Performance sneaks in under six-figures but does offer plenty of ‘bang for your buck’ even at its $91K ask.

Tesla no longer quotes performance figures for its motors, but does claim this mid-size SUV takes just 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0-100km/h and has a driving range of 514km.

The Model 3 is the only other vehicle Tesla currently produces and it misses out on our list by virtue of the SUV premium and the lack of a Performance variant in the Australian market. Instead, it’s topped by the $71,990 Model 3 Long Range, which is cheaper than the Model Y Long Range at $78,400. 

*Not available in the Australian market.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection as a kid he moved into the world of real cars with an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Despite that questionable history he carved a successful career for himself, firstly covering motorsport for Auto Action magazine before eventually moving into the automotive publishing world with CarsGuide in 2008. Since then he's worked for every major outlet, having work published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age,, Street Machine, V8X and F1 Racing. These days he still loves cars as much as he did as a kid and has an Alfa Romeo Alfasud in the garage (but not the same one as before... that's a long story).
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