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Air suspension ride height vs. Standard suspension ride height

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Subhuman, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Subhuman

    Subhuman Member

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    United States
    I did some searching but could not find exactly what I was looking for. Is the ride height of a the standard suspension higher than the "standard" setting of a MS with air suspension? I have heard that the standard suspesion ride height is comparable to the high setting on the air suspension which concerns me cause the car really looks strange when the air suspension is on the high setting. I really don't car about the air suspension and would like to save a few bucks on the car but I don't want it to impact the overall look of the vehicle. If anyone has any side by side comparisions or any really world info it would be greatly appeciated! Thanks
     
  2. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    The coil suspension sits 0.63" higher than the air does in normal. I believe, but someone will have to confirm, that the air on high sits 0.75" inches above normal.

    That said, while I don't have pictures for you, I compared a coil and an air at standard in the parking lot of the Santana Row store, and couldn't tell which was which visually.

    So, yes it is higher. Maybe you'll notice it. I seriously doubt anyone else will.

    What else are you looking for in a suspensions? Comfort? Performance? Road feel? I went back and forth on these recently, along with long test drives in both, so maybe I can help.
     
  3. Subhuman

    Subhuman Member

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    Thanks for the info Gizmotoy. Very helpful. I'm not really to concerned about drive ability and handling. I am leaning towards the coils because of the obvious cost savings and savings on potential future repair or replacement bills. I am coming from an M3 and don't know if it is just because I am getting older but I kind of had it with really stiff suspension. I am more interested in just crusing which I suppose leans me to the the air suspension. Um, I think I just confused myself now. Maybe I am more interested in air than I thought.
     
  4. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    IMO... The air is plusher. The coil feels tighter, crisper ...
     
  5. gene

    gene Active Member

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    I have coils, I have driven many hundreds of miles on air. At normal they look about the same. I have not made measurements.
    Coils will give more "connection" a feeling for the road. I find myself driving more sportly with coils. I like a comfy ride but the air suspension leave me a little "disconnected" from the driving experience. Air feels like suspension made of marshmallows, maybe not that bad but I loose confidence in brisk cornering.
    As a pro-mechanic, I like coils, they are long term reliable and really cheap to fix. . Air is a very complicated way to do a very simple operation. And when air needs service, it can cost thousands.
     

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