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2021 p3D handling concerns. I'm disappointed [because suspension too soft]

conv90

Member
Mar 19, 2019
102
37
Milano
Just bough a Model 2021 3 Performance with 20" Ubertutbine with Pirelli P0 (stock 235/35-20 , after have had for 2 years a 2019 LR AWD with stock 18" and MIchelin Pilot sport 4S
I was ready to an "harsh" ride with 20" and /35 tires, and lowered suspensions. I was ready for a more "difficult to ride" car ..a car where you need more skill , not less skill ... but Im surprised that i feel it more "soft" and more simple to drive than my old 18" with /45 tires.
I was avoiding all little potholes on road with LR with 18". Now with the P sincerely I feel less stiff suspensions.
Many peoples complains that the P is harsh ...too rigid too stiff and that you feel all the grain of sand on the road.
...this is absolutely NOT true (on my car) and in a way I feel a bit disappointed because I was ready for a more sporty ride, giving back some comfort.
Not always I "feel" the steering in a good sincere way like the LR with 18" and this is strange.
I have to say that It has no body roll, but I was expecting more stiffer suspensions, and the fact that I feel "softer" than the LR with 18 make me feel strange.
Yes , I can do a same turn in a faster way than before , but I can'T feel the limit, I can't feel that the limit is near or just some km/h over.
When you usually are approaching to the limit of grip, you "feel" the nature (sporty or just touring) of the car. And I feel the P less sporty of the LR and that "feeling" (approaching to the grip limit) is felt usually at stering wheel .
This car makes the turns at 80 km/h like you usually do normal turns at 40. It's too sipmple... too much simple , and this remove fun.
I hope You get the picture/idea.
 

greasypeanut

Member
Jan 19, 2021
14
14
So Cal
It all depends on what car you are coming from. We got my wife a 3 performance yesterday and it feels like a plush S class compared to my M2 and Cooper S with full suspension.

Track mode shouldn't do anything as it doesn't have an adjustable suspension. Time for you to visit MPP or Unplugged if you want something more sporty feeling
 
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conv90

Member
Mar 19, 2019
102
37
Milano
Maybe put it in track mode and tweak the driving dynamics?
Yes I could try, but I was expecting to feel the car more "sporty" even in Stock configuration. A difference between a car with a lowerd suspension (supposed to be stiffer) a tire /35 compared to a 18" with a /45 ratio was expected.
Im asking I'f I'm the only one that had this sensation with a 2021 Performance .
I remember I tried several 2019 Performance models and I remember that they were more stiffer (at the limit to be "uncomfortable") . But probably I'm wrong and I have a false memory.
Or probably they changed something in the 2021 model Year
 

conv90

Member
Mar 19, 2019
102
37
Milano
It all depends on what car you are coming from. We got my wife a 3 performance yesterday and it feels like a plush S class compared to my M2 and Cooper S with full suspension.

Track mode shouldn't do anything as it doesn't have an adjustable suspension. Time for you to visit MPP or Unplugged if you want something more sporty feeling
My comparision is not with others cars, It's with my old 2019 LR AWD , Sure, I know that i can add/replace coil over or sway bars or lowered suspensions and/or trailing arms and on and on,.. (and I will consider but NOT now).
It's not a an option noW that I'll consider because I want to retain stock for the use I planned of the car.

My real suprise is that I felt better the 2019 stock LR AWD with Boost with 235/45-18 than the P with lowered supension with 235/35-Zr20.
Is the P with stiffer suspension compared to LR ? I think yes but I dont feel it.
Is the P lowered about 1/2" compared to LR ? I think yes but I dont feel it.
so question is:: Were older Model 3 equipped with stiffer suspensions compared to 2021 models?

Even " Dual Rate Linear Spring " BY Unplugged Perf are engineered for the majority of people that thinks Stock suspensions are too hard , allowing soft rate at the beginning and "normal like stock" during aggressive corners.

Me too I was suprised about how Hard it was the feeling in the stock suspension in my 2019 (if we consider that is a car mainly for touring)

so the question is againif older Model 3 were equipped with stiffer suspensions compared to 2021 models
 
Last edited:

chdavis

Member
Nov 7, 2017
238
138
Monaco, Philadelphia, Bogotá
My 2020 M3P is in for service, and I have a 2019 LR for a loaner. I agree with you that the road feel, feedback and steering feel is better with this 19 LR with 18” wheels than my Performance. I can bring this car right to the limit of adhesion and be comfortable. I think the Performance has too much weighted compression in the springs, the rebound is quite unnatural.
 
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conv90

Member
Mar 19, 2019
102
37
Milano
My 2020 M3P is in for service, and I have a 2019 LR for a loaner. I agree with you that the road feel, feedback and steering feel is better with this 19 LR with 18” wheels than my Performance. I can bring this car right to the limit of adhesion and be comfortable. I think the Performance has too much weighted compression in the springs, the rebound is quite unnatural.
Finally someone that thinks the same.
What you mean for "has too much weighted compression in the springs" ? Too much preload? What I thought is also the excessive wheight of the Rims/tires.
Probably with smaller diameter rims and lighter wheels the sensation can be better.
 

SFLM3P19

Member
Feb 16, 2021
16
13
South Florida
ill let you know when my 19lb 18s come in. forged EC-7r Apex racing wheels and putting on 265s

the 20s arent bad, but i want more rubber. There is no doubt that the suspension is not track sprung, but ill tell ya...its going to blow away every other small stock sedan on a road course.

im expecting the 18s to ride smoother and more comfortable, grip better, but have less "on the edge" control/feel.
more sidewall is more flex, but with more rubber, you should have more control/ ability.

i think swaybars would do alot on their own, but a coilover kit is the answer for the sportscar on rails feeling.
 
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chdavis

Member
Nov 7, 2017
238
138
Monaco, Philadelphia, Bogotá
Finally someone that thinks the same.
What you mean for "has too much weighted compression in the springs" ? Too much preload? What I thought is also the excessive wheight of the Rims/tires.
Probably with smaller diameter rims and lighter wheels the sensation can be better.
I don’t know if it’s a preload issue. I think it’s something to do with the dampening or something. I really can’t put my finger on it. It almost feels like a car with adaptive dampeners that are broken. It the rebound is weird.
 
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lbowroom

Member
Sep 12, 2018
465
396
Orange County
There is very little difference between the "lowered" springs and the standard. The difference you feel can be attributed to different wheel and tire characteristics.
 

Sukhshanti

Member
Apr 18, 2020
67
94
Sacramento, CA
I thought the car rode too soft and floaty for me, even making high speed lane changes, this was on a M3P-. After adding front/rear sways, full coilovers, and 265 tires on 19x9 wheels, the ride has drastically improved. It feels like a different car, like a real performance car, not just a really quick economy sedan. It feels planted all the time with no body roll whatsoever. The car is a blast to drive now, it does have a tendency to oversteer now, which takes some getting used to but makes for some real fun in the corners!
 

yerEVan

Member
Dec 29, 2018
878
796
Near Philly
I thought the car rode too soft and floaty for me, even making high speed lane changes, this was on a M3P-. After adding front/rear sways, full coilovers, and 265 tires on 19x9 wheels, the ride has drastically improved. It feels like a different car, like a real performance car, not just a really quick economy sedan. It feels planted all the time with no body roll whatsoever. The car is a blast to drive now, it does have a tendency to oversteer now, which takes some getting used to but makes for some real fun in the corners!
How does that affect track mode? Pos/neg?
 

clyde

Member
Jan 16, 2021
39
18
Cincinnati
I would be weary listening to others when it comes to the subjective connection between driver and car-any car.
Your beast weighs 4,250 lbs. No oversized tires, heavier sways, lighter wheels, stiffer shocks, etc. will overcome the dead weight of over 2 tons in a turn.

The M3P is a "performance sedan" whatever that means. It's an over-powered, straightline muscle car that will never beat the handling of even a first generation Cayman S (2900lbs), or an old 911 S (2300lbs). Dead weight wants to travel straight (check out some Nürburgring videos of M3Ps trying to chase even a baldy driven 911 GT3 through the turns of the Nordschleife). It's just physics. Even after Porsche applied all its skills to make the Taican (5100lbs) "handle" like a sports car, it is just too heavy to be truly nimble and agile.

I own the same car as you, and its drive-by-wire throttle and indirect steering feel, its heavy wheels, its shitty seats with no side bolsters to hold me in place when I accelerate out of a turn - all that disconnects me from the visceral experience and elation I get driving my Porsche that truly is glued to the road and keeps my body planted in place, and supremely in charge.

But teasing all that from an M3P is just asking too much, I think. Tesla pioneered a wonderful driving machine that still leads the way to the automotive future, despite all imitators to date. Let's wait for the battery weight to come down, then we can maybe expect truly sports car handling AND range.
 

MasterC17

Active Member
Dec 3, 2015
1,106
1,779
USA
I would be weary listening to others when it comes to the subjective connection between driver and car-any car.
Your beast weighs 4,250 lbs. No oversized tires, heavier sways, lighter wheels, stiffer shocks, etc. will overcome the dead weight of over 2 tons in a turn.

The M3P is a "performance sedan" whatever that means. It's an over-powered, straightline muscle car that will never beat the handling of even a first generation Cayman S (2900lbs), or an old 911 S (2300lbs). Dead weight wants to travel straight (check out some Nürburgring videos of M3Ps trying to chase even a baldy driven 911 GT3 through the turns of the Nordschleife). It's just physics. Even after Porsche applied all its skills to make the Taican (5100lbs) "handle" like a sports car, it is just too heavy to be truly nimble and agile.

I own the same car as you, and its drive-by-wire throttle and indirect steering feel, its heavy wheels, its shitty seats with no side bolsters to hold me in place when I accelerate out of a turn - all that disconnects me from the visceral experience and elation I get driving my Porsche that truly is glued to the road and keeps my body planted in place, and supremely in charge.

But teasing all that from an M3P is just asking too much, I think. Tesla pioneered a wonderful driving machine that still leads the way to the automotive future, despite all imitators to date. Let's wait for the battery weight to come down, then we can maybe expect truly sports car handling AND range.
Hate to tell you - you're wrong. To begin with, the Model 3 is 4,050lbs stock - several of us have weighed our cars and they all land right about there. Sure it's "heavy" but basically everything is these days. New G8X M3/M4 is 3,800lbs+. Even a new 992 Carrera S is 3,400lbs which is a small coupe. And again - basically everything is drive by wire these days. It's not fair to compare the Model 3 to a 15-30 year old car.

With that out of the way - you are spot on about the seats. Except that you're wrong about physics. The Model 3 has a very low center of gravity, and a low polar moment of inertia - it handles much better than it should for being a heavy car because of physics. You may certainly prefer the feel of an older Porsche, and I certainly understand that - but the reality is that it's not actually handling better.

Also, I have to tell you the Model 3 is not an over-powered, straightline muscle car. The Model S - for sure. But the 3 - no. The Model 3 is quick from 0-60. It's acceptable in the quarter mile, but it's borderline slow over 110mph. This is the unfortunate reality of a single-speed EV that is geared to provide maximum power between 40 and 60mph. Back EMF is the killer of fun at high RPM's in the Model 3.

I have evidence to support my claims. This weekend at VIR I crushed my previous best lap time. I'll have the video up soon but what I can tell you now is that I (3,880lbs, 7.76lbs/hp) lapped faster than a Spec E46 (2,850lbs, 11lbs/hp), faster than a Cayman GT4 (2,955lbs, 7.6lbs/hp), and nearly as fast as a BMW M4 GTS (3,329lbs, 6.75lbs/hp). *Note: these are professionally driven lap times, not just some random person.* If the Model 3's power curve didn't fall off a cliff at higher speeds I would make up a lot more time on the long front and back straights.

TLDR; The Model 3 handles impeccably well given the appropriate suspension, wheel, and tire modifications - despite its heft.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,453
976
Syracuse, NY
Just bough a Model 2021 3 Performance with 20" Ubertutbine with Pirelli P0 (stock 235/35-20 , after have had for 2 years a 2019 LR AWD with stock 18" and MIchelin Pilot sport 4S
I was ready to an "harsh" ride with 20" and /35 tires, and lowered suspensions. I was ready for a more "difficult to ride" car ..a car where you need more skill , not less skill ... but Im surprised that i feel it more "soft" and more simple to drive than my old 18" with /45 tires.
I was avoiding all little potholes on road with LR with 18". Now with the P sincerely I feel less stiff suspensions.
Many peoples complains that the P is harsh ...too rigid too stiff and that you feel all the grain of sand on the road.
...this is absolutely NOT true (on my car) and in a way I feel a bit disappointed because I was ready for a more sporty ride, giving back some comfort.
Not always I "feel" the steering in a good sincere way like the LR with 18" and this is strange.
I have to say that It has no body roll, but I was expecting more stiffer suspensions, and the fact that I feel "softer" than the LR with 18 make me feel strange.
Yes , I can do a same turn in a faster way than before , but I can'T feel the limit, I can't feel that the limit is near or just some km/h over.
When you usually are approaching to the limit of grip, you "feel" the nature (sporty or just touring) of the car. And I feel the P less sporty of the LR and that "feeling" (approaching to the grip limit) is felt usually at stering wheel .
This car makes the turns at 80 km/h like you usually do normal turns at 40. It's too sipmple... too much simple , and this remove fun.
I hope You get the picture/idea.
Most likely the tires.
 

Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,129
1,360
ol' Virginny
I would be weary listening to others when it comes to the subjective connection between driver and car-any car.
Your beast weighs 4,250 lbs. No oversized tires, heavier sways, lighter wheels, stiffer shocks, etc. will overcome the dead weight of over 2 tons in a turn.

The M3P is a "performance sedan" whatever that means. It's an over-powered, straightline muscle car that will never beat the handling of even a first generation Cayman S (2900lbs), or an old 911 S (2300lbs). Dead weight wants to travel straight (check out some Nürburgring videos of M3Ps trying to chase even a baldy driven 911 GT3 through the turns of the Nordschleife). It's just physics. Even after Porsche applied all its skills to make the Taican (5100lbs) "handle" like a sports car, it is just too heavy to be truly nimble and agile.

I own the same car as you, and its drive-by-wire throttle and indirect steering feel, its heavy wheels, its shitty seats with no side bolsters to hold me in place when I accelerate out of a turn - all that disconnects me from the visceral experience and elation I get driving my Porsche that truly is glued to the road and keeps my body planted in place, and supremely in charge.

But teasing all that from an M3P is just asking too much, I think. Tesla pioneered a wonderful driving machine that still leads the way to the automotive future, despite all imitators to date. Let's wait for the battery weight to come down, then we can maybe expect truly sports car handling AND range.

Hate to tell you - you're wrong. To begin with, the Model 3 is 4,050lbs stock - several of us have weighed our cars and they all land right about there. Sure it's "heavy" but basically everything is these days. New G8X M3/M4 is 3,800lbs+. Even a new 992 Carrera S is 3,400lbs which is a small coupe. And again - basically everything is drive by wire these days. It's not fair to compare the Model 3 to a 15-30 year old car.

With that out of the way - you are spot on about the seats. Except that you're wrong about physics. The Model 3 has a very low center of gravity, and a low polar moment of inertia - it handles much better than it should for being a heavy car because of physics. You may certainly prefer the feel of an older Porsche, and I certainly understand that - but the reality is that it's not actually handling better.

Also, I have to tell you the Model 3 is not an over-powered, straightline muscle car. The Model S - for sure. But the 3 - no. The Model 3 is quick from 0-60. It's acceptable in the quarter mile, but it's borderline slow over 110mph. This is the unfortunate reality of a single-speed EV that is geared to provide maximum power between 40 and 60mph. Back EMF is the killer of fun at high RPM's in the Model 3.

I have evidence to support my claims. This weekend at VIR I crushed my previous best lap time. I'll have the video up soon but what I can tell you now is that I (3,880lbs, 7.76lbs/hp) lapped faster than a Spec E46 (2,850lbs, 11lbs/hp), faster than a Cayman GT4 (2,955lbs, 7.6lbs/hp), and nearly as fast as a BMW M4 GTS (3,329lbs, 6.75lbs/hp). *Note: these are professionally driven lap times, not just some random person.* If the Model 3's power curve didn't fall off a cliff at higher speeds I would make up a lot more time on the long front and back straights.

TLDR; The Model 3 handles impeccably well given the appropriate suspension, wheel, and tire modifications - despite its heft.

Right. There really is no "engineering reason" why a heavy car can't be fast. You just have to beef everything up, proportionally, and have a properly set-up suspension. My times from this past weekend were on par with a GT4 driven by a very experienced guy. Heft can definitely be overcome.

Now when it comes to "feel" and "fun" and cost - that's a different story. And I do wish these things were ~700 lbs lighter. But a heavy sedan can definitely be competitive against lighter machines in terms of pure performance-oriented "handling."
 
Last edited:

clyde

Member
Jan 16, 2021
39
18
Cincinnati
I am not too proud to revise my impression, and that the M3P may not be too heavy to handle well, despite the fact that it feels anything but nimble.

In this context the issue of wheel weight and suspension work comes up a lot on this forum.
So, please correct me if I am wrong, but if I shave off, say, 50% of the wheel weight by replacing the Uberturbines (uber-heavy, for sure) without re-tuning the suspension for the lesser unsprung weight it now works against, the ride will become harder, unpleasant for daily driving on shitty U.S. roads, and possibly bone rattling. No?
 

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