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Difference between "P" & "S" suspensions

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by TommyT, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. TommyT

    TommyT Member

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    #1 TommyT, Sep 7, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
    Difference between Air & No Air Suspension

    Hi, everyone. I'm curious about something, I'm sorry if this has been discussed before.

    I own an MS40 (with Active air suspension) and had a P85 loaner (no Active air suspension) and fell in love with the feel of it's suspension... this were my observations from another thread:

    "The P85's suspension felt much more refined than my MS40's Air Suspension. For example, it handles speed bumps with much better isolation and felt a bit more solid in the ground. I really have to slow down to under 5mph in my MS40 when I go through a speed bump or I'll feel a clunk and the tires will jump a little bit. Not so with the P85, felt more solid like a BMW suspension." *Both cars have similar mileage and 21" wheels.

    My questions are:
    Is the difference I feel while driving this two cars mostly because of one being an "S" and the other being a "P"? or does the Air Suspension change the feel of the ride too? (I thought the Air Suspension only raised or lowered the car but the feel would be similar.)

    Thanks,
    Tommy




     
  2. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    The air suspension changes ride comfort and handling also. It's not just for raising/lowering the car.
     
  3. TommyT

    TommyT Member

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    Ok, then in this case I like the ride of the "non air suspension". Then again, what I might be liking the Ride of the Performance 85 suspension, and that is the basis of my main question.
     
  4. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    As far as I know there is only one standard suspension.
     
  5. TommyT

    TommyT Member

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    Ok, that's really helpful. If "S" and "P" have the same suspension the that would narrow it down to just Air versus Standard.
     
  6. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    I believe all the cars have the same air suspension setup except the P85+. I driven all 3, p85+ > P85 no air > P85 air from a handling perspective. Ride quality is exactly the exact opposite P85 air > P85 no air > P85+
     
  7. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'm not going to call the previous posts "incorrect" but I definitely found them confusing.

    Here's my recollection...

    In 2012, Model S suspension options were:
    • standard suspension
    • air suspension
    This was the same across 40, 60, 85, and P85 (85 with Performance package) vehicles. Later the 40 kWh offering became a "software variant" of the 60 kWh vehicle, so that simplifies the hardware discussion somewhat.

    In 2013, Model S suspension options expanded to include another choice:
    • plus package
    So far at least, this option is only offered for P85 vehicles, changing them to "P85+".

    Thus you have the following combinations:
    1. standard suspension available on 40, 60, 85, P85
    2. air suspension available on 40, 60, 85, P85
    3. standard suspension on P85+
    4. air suspension on P85+

    Technically there is another couple variants but we haven't heard much about them lately:
    5. standard suspension on P85, with plus retrofit
    6. air suspension on P85, with plus retrofit

    The price I heard at one point was $13,500 for the retrofit but I haven't met anyone in person that has had the retrofit, nor ridden in or even seen a vehicle with said retrofit. My fuzzy recollection is that "80% of the plus package" is included in the retrofit, and there are threads with lots of visits by people like lolachamp with more details.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    The tires used make a pretty big difference. Our car is a P85 (Conti tires), and we recently drove a P85+ (Mich PSS2 tires) for a few days. The differences were basically as noted in other threads re: P85 vs P85+ -- the P85+ has improved road feel and seems more solid on the road.

    Air vs normal suspension; air improves matters. The Tesla normal suspension is pretty nice tho.

    Optimal 'normal' ride might be 19" Mich Super Sport tires (aftermarket) on air suspension. The 21" with P85+ for extreme performance desires and the looks.
     
  9. gocken2

    gocken2 Model S: P6931

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    TommyT I also have the MS40 with air suspension. I think there may be something wrong with yours. I can go over speed bumps faster in the MS than I can with my Jeep.
     
  10. TommyT

    TommyT Member

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    Faster than in a Jeep! Well, now I definitely feel there might be something wrong with my suspension! LOL If I pass a speed bump faster than 4 or 5 mph if hear and feel a big "clunk".
     
  11. Smop

    Smop Banned

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    I do not think it is possible to do the standard suspension P85+ retrofit since the air springs are different on the P85+ and part of the factory package. I guess it is possible to change the suspension bits + rims/tires (minus the air springs) but I think that may lead to unpredictable handling.
     
  12. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Does a P+ suspension add weight to the car and thus affect acceleration and energy consumption? I've heard that a difference as small as 150 lbs can cause performance to take a hit. I wonder about W/mi between a P and a P+, both with 21 inch wheels.
     
  13. Smop

    Smop Banned

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    Not any more weight than what is on a normal P Air Suspension vehicle. The W/mi is actually better on the P+, I believe this is due to the lower rolling resistance of the PS2 tires.
     

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