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Air Suspension Interaction with the Ds

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by chriSharek, May 19, 2015.

  1. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    I know there are a million old posts comparing the SAS with coils. I'm trying not to rehash this. What I want to know is how the SAS interacts/compliments the AWD of the D models. This clearly is a completely different driving dynamic.

    I'm ordering an 85D on Saturday. Despite all of my polls on TMC, I'm still up in the air - pun intended - on the SAS.

    Looking for your thoughts on how the SAS interacts with the D models. Thanks.
     
  2. spottyq

    spottyq Member

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    I can't imagine that the air suspension could actively do anything for the driving dynamics, as it is way too slow (~10s from low to high) compared to the time scale at which accelerations and turns happens (at bare minimum, tenth of seconds adjustments would be necessary.)

    So, I'd say it wouldn't change anything for -D versus non -D. But I could certainly be wrong, as I am nor a trained driver nor a mechanic !
     
  3. Chasedrgc1223

    Chasedrgc1223 Nearly Insane

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    I think he just means how they interact/affect the driving dynamics of the car. The air obviously rides softer than the coils so I'd like to know the impact, if any, this may have on driving. I have an 85D with SAS and love it, but I have never driven an 85D with coils. Personally, I say get air!
     
  4. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Chase, thanks. That is exactly what I mean. I'm getting the 85D, but hearing horror stories about the king term repair costs. Coils are pretty much bullet proof and can be replaced relatively easily and cheaply - compared to the air.

    The ride feel isn't that obvious to me, but the lowering and raising has some utility. Thanks for your input.
     
  5. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    when you say horror stories about long term costs are you referring to stories specifically with the S? unless something recently changed, it seems that S owners are not having issues for the most part. I was worried about this initially as well, but it does not appear to be bearing out so far. I suspect that the way tesla decompresses the SAS way down whenever it is parked is extending their life.
     
  6. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    I should have clarified. I did not mean owners of the Model S were having issues. I was talking more generally about air suspension systems. Apparently you are in support of air correct?
     
  7. dkonigs

    dkonigs Member

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    I was going back and forth on this for quite a while too. The strong confirmation bias everyone here has towards their own choice certainly doesn't help. I ultimately decided to order with coils. Then during the "cool off" week I changed to air, then back to coils, then back to air. Eventually I just decided to stick with air, and that's what I'm getting.

    For me, it basically came down to a few factors:
    - The car was originally designed for air, and they make all the fancy software tweaks for the air suspension
    - Most of the horror stories of air issues are from other brands (though this car isn't technically old enough to start experiencing issues)
    - If I can actually afford one of these cars in the first place, I can afford any extra costs
    And most importantly:
    - I'm getting the car because of all the cool tech in it, so I might as well get one more cool tech option while I'm at it
     
  8. EugeneM

    EugeneM Member

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    Despite what people say on the forums, you have to remember that everyone is biased. It's a $2500? option and those that go for it, subconsciously, feel the need to justify the expense. Those that forego the upgrade are, in my opinion, more likely to try and justify skipping an arguably cool feature of being able to raise and lower the car.

    Try to filter out biased opinions and look at what TM and experts are saying:

    1) TM only uses the steep driveway as a sample use for the SAS. I don't see them using any other examples such as increased efficiency or anything else for that matter. I may be wrong. Same goes for TM advisors. All of the ones I spoke with said that unless I have a steep driveway, it's not necessary.
    2) Everyone seems to be in agreement in that the coils offer a more connected to the road feeling while SAS is the opposite. Whether you want to feel connected to the road on your sports sedan is a matter of personal preference. Coming from years of driving BMWs I can't imagine having it any other way. I will also be making the steering wheel as stiff as possible on my MS :). Cannot stand the overly assisted steering some cars have. That being said, to each his own.
    3) I would say that the SAS would be the obvious choice if it offers the options some dynamic air suspensions offer. According to the experts it does not. It just allows you to lower and raise the car not adjust the stiffness of the ride. Now that would be a killer feature on a fast car like the MS.

    Looking at my post I realize that I included a lot of arguments that are based on my personal feelings rather than expert opinions so take it all with a grain of salt :). I hope I have not made your decision harder.
     
  9. patrick40363

    patrick40363 Member

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    I show country property and needed to be able to raise the car. My prior car, Volt, used to scrap on the roads so I knew I wanted a car I could raise.
     
  10. electricBear

    electricBear Member

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    Two W211 E500 Mercedes with airmatic. My 2003 sedan has 155k miles and while two aircoils replaced under warranty, fine since though I should replace the rear shocks. My wife's 2004 wagon has 90k on it and I've done two rear shocks at $1k/each, no problem with the aircoils (years of lugging a couple hundred pounds of dogs and luggage to and from New England). Pump can be a $1k job.

    I have no idea what Tesla charges for similar repairs but I don't expect it to be worse and did not consider this outlandish over the life of the car. So can if be expensive when something goes wrong? Heck yes. I consider the above just routine wear+tear given the use.

    I have the smartair on the S as I've found the rebound on the air suspension better than coils in some spots I hit every day around here. Bonus is raising the suspension when water is over the road (couple times a year) or some luminary plows his driveway into a berm across the roadway and keep from turning the front end into a snowplow. And I probably jinxed myself by writing this B-)
     
  11. Magus

    Magus Member

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    There are solid benefits and a couple of drawbacks to going for SAS. The lower and raising isn't actually that significant. The highest setting is 0.75" at the highest setting vs the coils. Three quarters of an inch can help on a steep driveway or related situations. For the most part however, it is not a significant difference. It would be foolish to take an SAS model S through a flooded zone vs a coil Model S and think it will make a difference.
     
  12. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Dkonigs, I'm leaning this way too. I would hate for, in the first couple weeks of ownership, to say, "I wish I would have gotten the _______." The audio, I can upgrade later, so I'm passing on that. But, the SAS, I think I'm going with at this point. 3 days until my order!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Patrick, I'm also coming from a Volt. That front skid plate scraps on my driveway each morning, if I don't take it at an angle.

    Basically, I'm at the end of my decisions and have one last $2,500 item to buy. Right now, in order of priority, it is:
    1. Smart Air Suspension
    2. Premium Audio Upgrade
    3. Cyclone 19" Wheels

    I've scheduled a final test drive for Saturday on coils and on SAS. I've already done this once, but couldn't really tell the difference. Going to take some different roads and a different Tesla Rep.
     
  13. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    If home is not too far away, ask them if you can take each car and try it on your driveway.
     
  14. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    I think the air suspension would be a perfect combo for the D models, together make a package that is way more suitable for doing some serious off-roading.
     
  15. Magus

    Magus Member

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    SAS would add nothing to off road abilities vs coil. Three quarters of an inch under 22 mph at the highest isn't significant. CUVs can't do any serious off roading either.
     
  16. Wayneb

    Wayneb Member

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    I got the S85D with air for a couple of reasons. I test drove both air and coils and liked the air ride better, but the main reason was because with over the air updates the suspension would always be eligible for improvement or new features. Sort of future proofing the suspension.
     
  17. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Wayneb, great thought - future proofing the car. I like that. I've scheduled a final test drive tomorrow between a coil 70D and an air P85D. The only think is that the P85D has 21"s on it and 19"s on the 70D. Oh well - I figured it was worth one final test drive before ordering.... in 2 days!
     

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