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Cross winds for your Model S vs previous cars?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by greginfinity, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. greginfinity

    greginfinity Member

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    This spring, we had exceptional wind in New England, and on the highway I felt like my car would dance all over the place (currently a venerable Camry). Previously I had an A8L, not a light car, and it still had similar issues but not as bad as the Camry. I am wondering how well the Model S fares in cross winds with its low center of gravity, heavy weight, and more aerodynamic design? Any anecdotal evidence that it is significantly better than other vehicles?
     
  2. sundoc

    sundoc Member

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    I've actually gone through this thought process in the past as well... personally I find mine to feel 'light' in heavy crosswinds, not as light as my STi, but much lighter than I would've previously imagined
     
  3. Julesp313

    Julesp313 Member

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    From my vast experience driving the car (I've had it two weeks...), I'd say it's the most stable and least susceptible to external influences of any car I've had before, including wind and semi trucks getting as close as humanly possible to the lane markers...
     
  4. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Hey Greg. Good question!
    My previous cars all suffered from this to an extent. The first one, a small Toyota Echo hatchback (this was in Canada, and a market specific model,) had it pretty bad. The next two were Subaru WRX, still hatchbacks. It would happen, but much less, as those cars are heavier and bigger.
    I have not felt this in the Model S. So I think your assumptions are correct.
     
  5. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    Same for me.
     
  6. Lex

    Lex Member

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    I've learned that if I hear weird sounds, of something is ever-so-slightly off about the car's behaviour, that I should check the wind speed and direction. I've been surprised by very high cross winds, that in the past would have knocked around my cars (which have mostly been sedans but mostly "highly" aerodynamic ones).
     
  7. chillaban

    chillaban Member

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    It should do quite well. Note that one other factor to add in here in favor of Tesla is electric steering.... I'm guessing your A8L was before Audi switched to electric (MY 2014+). One thing that modern cars with electric steering and ESP does is compensate for crosswinds via electric steering. They can resist and correct for the crosswinds much faster than a human can react.

    I switched from an Audi without electric steering to one with, and one of the biggest differences is how well it handles crosswinds and grooves in the pavement.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  8. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    My subjective impression is that it is somewhat more susceptible to cross winds than most cars, but it's hard to say without a real comparison.
     
  9. Nitram

    Nitram Member

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    I personally find it quite sensitive to cross winds, to my surprise when I experienced it for the first time.
     
  10. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Sounds like we have two camps here. Time for a back-to-back comparison test!
     
  11. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    It *feels* slightly better under crosswind than my '97 Lincoln Towncar, but I agree with @e-FTW We should probably do a back-to-back :D
     
  12. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    My Model S feels way better in crosswinds than my '05 Prius, but that might not be saying very much. :)

    Bruce.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Cars that have problems in crosswinds often have alignment problems. If the alignment is correct, the Tesla should have no problem. My 2004 Prius did at first, but not after the alignment was corrected.
     
  14. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Even though the cars is both large and heavy it does have a very low Cd (coefficient of drag). This makes is effective (low energy consumption) but it will feel "lighter", less stable, more like"it floats around" because, well, it does float around more (less drag=less stability).
     
  15. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    In two years, I have never felt any wind issues at all. Unlike all my other cars. That girl is firmly planted on the road.
     
  16. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    This. If my Model S starts getting blown around in crosswinds, its time for an alignment. Just wish it would stay aligned for more than a few thousand miles at a time.
     
  17. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Interesting seeing the varied responses about the S performance in windy conditions. I drive in a LOT of crosswinds. (Come out to the Palmdale Annual Wind Festival - Jan - Dec ;) ). I sometimes wish for a trim tab on the steering wheel on the drive up Hwy 14.

    Out of all the cars I have owned so far, my Volt is the least affected by the cross winds. I had assumed that was due to its low center of gravity, heavy relative weight vs its aspect ratio, and its low drag coefficient. I would think other EVs would be similar, so its good to hear some positive comments about the Model S in crosswinds. I will be interested to compare Tesla's performance in this regard.

    Worst vehicle I own for this is my Tacoma for obvious reasons. That thing can be downright scary to drive in above 35 knot gusting wind conditions. Ugh.
     
  18. ilovemycoffee

    ilovemycoffee Member

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    My wife's MS is very stable compared to my '97 Honda Civic
     
  19. Cebe

    Cebe Member

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    This. The car is heavy, and with a low center of gravity, I don't feel like I'll get blown off the road. But, the aerodynamics being what it is, the more aerodynamic you are, the more susceptible you are to cross winds. At least if you're a car :)

    And apparently, Model S being a fastback shape may be adding something to it. If you have time for the 170 page Ph.D. thesis on the topic :) https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/1096026/1096026.pdf
     
  20. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    Cross winds have a big impact on range. Sometimes I have noticed a high watts/mile reading and I realize there is a lot of wind. So it drives fine, but the energy consumption is impacted.
     

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