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Active Ride Height

Discussion in 'Model S' started by NigelM, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    So I spoke with JB Straubel at the Model S event and asked him a few questions about ground clearance which led on to the use of air suspension and active ride height. I call it active ride height as I am more used to hearing that term in Formula 1 racing where it was used for many years (before it was banned in 2010 to slow down the cars).

    JB basically described a system (air suspension) where the car adjusts automatically to car speed and road conditions and decreases/increases ground clearance as a way of improving efficiency and adjusting downforce, which will in turn improve handling even more. The system is smart enough to ignore intermittent roll (e.g. from cornering) and to only adjust appropriately. If the driver doesn't want to engage this (someone had mentioned a worry on another thread about ground clearance in northern winters) he/she can control the ride height manually from the touchscreen. This manual control also allows the driver to "lower" the car for unloading the trunk. Although Tesla is still deciding some of this stuff, it is my distinct impression that the Sig series will have this as standard and it will be an option for all others.

    I know there's a lot of interest and some of the rest of you will also have picked up info, so I created a new thread.

    BTW, JB also told me that in testing the Beta's had been easily exceeding 300 miles (guessing that's where the 320 number comes in). Final BTW, He's a very bright guy for someone who looks young enough to be my son!
     
  2. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Will there be a "slammed" setting?

    New-Jaguar-XF_2012-lowered-DUB-Style-620x384.jpg
     
  3. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Thanks Nigel, it seems my fears that I couldn't use the car on Norwegian roads without constant worry can be put to rest. Then you can probably manually make a "winter" mode that is a few cm higher.

    Cobos
     
  4. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Now if only you could get your trailer hitch. ;)

    - mnx
     
  5. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Cobos, I spoke to JB specifically about your question as you asked and he confirmed that there would be a manual control and that there was no need to worry about ride height in those northern (snowy) climates.
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Also, one of the battery engineers assured me that they have been testing with all sorts of road surfaces and "deformities" (such as speed bumps/humps of varying heights/lengths) to make sure that the battery pack is kept safe from damage in all scenarios (unless one rides up a kerb!)
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Do we know if this is a standard features, or an option?
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I asked but no clear answer, hence my earlier posting:

     
  9. tnawara

    tnawara Member

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    The Model S Features page states that the Air Suspension is optional:

    "The optional air suspension automatically responds to speed and road conditions. As Model S accelerates, it lowers the vehicle for optimized aerodynamics and handling. Lower or raise Model S using the touchscreen to unload cargo when parked."
     
  10. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight _____ P85 #549 _____ Sig Red / Sig White

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    From Tesla's Website:

    Option - not standard.

    Model S Features | Tesla Motors
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    They assured me that riding up on a curb will not damage the batteries. I assume it would scratch up the outside of the pack.
     
  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I think I'd be embarrassed to even ask the question :biggrin:
     
  13. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Thanks again Nigel, very good to know. I suppose many Canadians have it worse than we do when it comes to snow and winter so it's not like it's a special Norwegian feature. I'm really curious though on how the Model S will be received here in Norway next summer when you should be able to testdrive.

    Cobos
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I thought I had a pic of the battery tray, but apparently not and I'm sure someone has one. In any case, it's a huge lump of metal and looked more than sturdy to survive a curb or two. Don't forget if it's tough enough to add structure to the chassis it must be tough enough to stand up to a few rocks.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I have these pictures.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=2913&d=1317689627.jpg

    attachment.php?attachmentid=2912&d=1317689622.jpg
     

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  16. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    I got the same response. I asked about speed bumps, road debris, curbs etc. and was told that they're testing it like crazy and subjecting the battery pack to all kinds of adverse conditions. They also said that if, somehow, the thick metal layer(s) was pierced and exposed some batteries, it wasn't terribly dangerous, and wouldn't hurt performance, but in any case there would be an alert on the dash telling you that there was a breach (like Star Trek!) and it needed to be fixed.

    Sorry for the non-technical description, but that's what I understood from talking to the guy standing by the base piece.
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    99-problems-but-a-breach-aint-one.jpg
     
  18. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Hit me!
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Here's the bottom of the pack:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=2929&d=1317745716.jpg

    It is VERY robust. The sheet metal on the bottom is pretty thick, it has reinforcing bars all along its length, and the outer frame is quite thick.
     

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  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    We were told that the ride changed 22mm. (3/4 inch) Pretty sure that was the driving amount of change, not the manual adjustment. When it was pointed out how that was not very much he said, It makes a lot of difference"
     

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