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Didn't understand 'floaty' until today

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by wormhole, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. wormhole

    wormhole Banned

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    So my S85 is in the White Plains service center getting some stuff done to it and I was a given a VIN 11xxx P85 (not P85+). The loaner has coil springs, not the air suspension. Might be sacrilege for saying this but:

    1. The coils make the car feel much 'tighter' than the air suspension
    2. I think I like the coils better than the air suspension which makes the car feel more like a luxury car than a sports car.
     
  2. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Maybe it's a P thing, but my P+ has amazing suspension and handling. I came from a 911, so I'm pretty particular.
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I feel quite the opposite. I had my P85 (with 19s and air suspension) in queens over the weekend and the loaner vehicle I had was a P85 w\ 21s and standard suspension. I drove over 600 miles on the loaner so I have had enough time to really get a feel for the differences. not only is it "harsher" (in the sense that tire noise is much louder and you feel every bump as if your tires were made out of solid rubber), but my opinion is that the 21s w\ standard suspension made the car "incredibly floaty", ALL over the friggin place. it's near impossible to go in a straight line, it would jump left and right, as if I was hydroplaning on dry pavement. My P85 w\ 19s and air definitely has this too but not even close to the 21s and the standard suspension. The standard suspension also makes the car feel like a Jack that's just popped out of his box, bouncing up and down and up and down and up and down. So bad it'll give you car sickness! I'm very happy w\ my air suspension and 19s after driving that loaner.
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Get your alignment checked (assuming they'll do it for free so ask first). I had my annual service and they asked 'it isn't snapping to the right?' but after things are aligned, it feels so might tighter and similar to the P85+ with std suspension I had for the day (not the same but much closer than it was before).
     
  5. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    I'm no expert, but I do spend 5 or 6 weekends a year on a race track, and I have to agree. I drove a car with air and was extremely disappointed. As you would logically expect with an air suspension, it does give off the impression of floating over the road a bit. Fortunately I was able to schedule an air/coil back-to-back test and found the coils vastly more communicative. To me, cars riding on the air suspension feel disconnected from the road in comparison. Even the P85+ had a bit of it, though I was very impressed with how much they tightened it down compared to the standard air suspension. I'd not purchase the air suspension on the lesser models unless comfort was a primary concern, given the coils are noticeably more harsh (but not overly so).

    Based on my limited experience, I'd have to agree with lolachampcar's suspicion that the best combination may be the coil suspension lowered a bit with some of the P85+ control arms. Maybe I'll tinker a bit when mine comes.

    Note that I haven't had either on the track, so I can't compare actual performance, just how they felt to me.
     

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