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Drifting the Model S - Traction Control on/off, Stability control, etc... (vids inc)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by IndigoAE, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. IndigoAE

    IndigoAE Member

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    There's another thread that talks about the Model S traction control and how great it is and how helpful it is. What I'd like to discuss here is the ability of the Model S to drift. If you're not familiar with this "dancing with a car" idea (and not sure why you'd ever want to turn traction control off), here are a couple awesome videos (granted they're made with a $500,000 custom car, and a super skilled professional driver):

    Ken Block's Gymkhana 3 (my favorite)
    Ken Block's latest Gymkhana 5

    This is a far cry from burnouts. Speaking of burnouts in the Model S:

    Road and Track Model S burnout -- In order to make this video R&T pulled a single fuse that disabled traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, anti-lock steering, power steering, brake assist, and the speedometer. This seems sub-optimal as you might want some of those latter systems.

    Now I know that the Model S has the ability to disable traction control in the UI, but did R&T have to do this because stability control was interfering with their burnout?

    Then we have this:
    Tesla Model S Signature Burnout -- According to the comments the driver turned off traction control to make this video. You can clearly see the wheels spinning out, but the car doesn't appear to get too sideways. Perhaps this is because of the stability control?

    So the question is, will the Model S drift. On dry pavement. Without pulling fuses.

    As a stock drifting platform the S seems optimal because of the massive instantaneous torque the vehicle can apply to the rear wheels breaking them loose and allowing for a "Power Over" drift initiation. Right now I have a Jaguar XF Supercharged (470hp @ 6000rpm/ 424lb torque @ 2500rpm) that I'm replacing with the S. With traction control off I can easily kick the Jag's rear out to slide into a turn. I'm wondering if the Model S can do the same thing without pulling fuses and disabling all those other systems... What are your thoughts/experiences with this? If it can't drift because of stability control, will Tesla update the UI to allow disabling stability control? Are there aftermarket options?
     
  2. DriverOne

    DriverOne Member

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    I had a more tame question. This is my first rear wheel drive car. Anything I need to know? Looks like the stability programs help prevent oversteer, right?
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I guess you feel the need to blow $3500 on a new set of tires after burning through your 21"s in a minutes of doing this.

    But to give you my opinion on this, if I were to think about this more logically, I would have to say I think the Model S would have a much harder time drifting than pretty much any other RWD vehicle on the market. The reason is simple. All those other cars have big heavy engines in the front acting like a pivot point. With the Model S and it's battery being so big and heavy and evenly distributed, combined with whatever the weight of the invertor is by the back wheels, the weight distribution itself just does not favor drifting. I can't see how drifting would work at all here. Besides, the Model S uses an open differential anyway, not Limited Slip Differential which is essential for drifting.

    To answer DriverOne's question - RWD cars suck in the snow and rain. Stay home in the heavy snow. Or at least make sure you have a shovel and snow chains in your trunk (or frunk). In rainy weather take turns slowly and do not be heavy on the gas pedal, you'll fishtail out and possibly crash. Go find yourself a big large empty parking lot in a rainy day and teach yourself how to recover properly. Always make sure your tire tread's are good and have high rated rain tires...don't mean to scare ya but yes it is definitely different driving and you need to be aware of the difference in physics and what can happen. Better to be prepared than wrapped around a telephone pole.
     
  4. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #4 SwedishAdvocate, Jan 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Exhibit A:



    Originally posted in: Model S First Drive Reviews - Page 92

    Events resulting in (successfully corrected) sideways begins at 2:32...
     
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    rotflol
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I mentioned in another thread that I've *tried* to make the model S slide sideways, but stability control refused to let me do it. There is a point as you come up my lane road where you make a 90 degree right turn to enter my driveway between my shop (left) and garage (right). In the winter, if it is slick out, it is customary for me to simply do a controlled powerslide to turn the car around 180 degrees, so it faces the garage.

    ...except the Model S won't let me do it...

    Stability control kicks in and reorients the car so it maintains a straight line. Wish I had the option to turn it off for a spot of fun, but I'm glad it's there if I'm stuck in bad weather.

    That video shows exactly what happens when the car auto-corrects (although I don't know what alert the model S gave in that video, mine certainly just corrected the slide without warning).
     
  7. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    That's what I recall, too, (no warning) from a test drive. (I went around a sharp turn a little too fast, after being egged on by the Tesla copilot!) The warning seems like it would be superfluous.
     
  8. Zextraterrestrial

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    I got my S to slide a bit but I was hauling ass and it was almost too controlled (good thing) It only worked when I was going around 55-60 +? on a windy residential (sunday on an empty doctor's office rd. that winds back and forth like a Slalom) and I was hitting into the corners really hard and pushing full brake so the TC would just kick on then floor it and turn the other direction. I think it was enough that I got the tires into a side slide in addition to the accel/decel slide. I never lost the power as it happens if you start from a standstill and try and do a do-nut when the TC stops the torque.

    definitely not drifting but it was pretty damn impressive/ almost scary ( my passenger held his had out 10 minuted later and it was still shaking like crazy!! )

    my front tires are looking well worn now that they have been rotated... the DW markings are almost gone!
     
  9. IndigoAE

    IndigoAE Member

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    Did you have the TC on or off?

    I just got my Model S performance yesterday so gonna set it up for normal things first (bluetooth/homelink etc) but in a day or two I'm going to turn the TC off and try to powerslide it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I assume you had TC turned off?
     
  10. Zextraterrestrial

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    #10 Zextraterrestrial, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    still on. I tried to turn it off in the rain once and you can do crazy burnout but sideways is limited by the stability on the fronts I think.

    If you whip around a corner too hard and gun it while trying to break traction I think the stability keeps a front tire tighter to keep you from over rotating

    I was pretty impressed with trying to push it at a higher speed but the tires were still hot until my buddy stopped shaking. ( I think I did close too the official slalom mph or better)



    ..I am now going to be charging for 'real' test rides. Looking at my front tires vs my rears(after rotation and they are about 1/2 as thick as the rears above the wear bars ..my tires have been punished :tongue:
    sooo much fun!
     
  11. IndigoAE

    IndigoAE Member

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    Since my performance just arrived I can expand on the above.. According to the manual the fuse box Road & Track are talking about (#2) disables all of the following: Condenser fan (left), Condenser fan (right), Vacuum pump, 12V drive rail (cabin), Power steering, ABS, Stability control, Headlights - high/low beam, Lighting- exterior/interior.

    I assume the fans are for the A/C.. Is the 12V drive rail is for the connector in the console? And what is the vacuum pump?

    Also, it should be noted that is an entire fuse BOX. Presumably each fuse for each of the aforementioned systems is independent. Not sure why they'd pull the whole box. Any ideas?
     
  12. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Yes. Had the warning right in front of my face. :)
     
  13. dailydriver

    dailydriver Member

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    The answer is no. I posted that YouTube video and was able to get the car slide just slightly at the end. You’re absolutely correct about the stability control kicking in. I had also tried doing some donuts and had to fight the car the whole time. It ends up being just a large burnout circle rather than a proper sliding, tight circle. If Tesla eventually provides a way to disable stability control (without pulling fuses), you could certainly spin the car around and do some drifting. I have had a Jaguar XJR and an XKR along with some other cars that are quite fun so I know what you mean.
     
  14. William3

    William3 Member

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    It looks like only 1 tire is spinning. Lame. Any car can spin 1 tire, especially if it is overinflated like the Model S specs call for.
     
  15. jerry33

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

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    The Tesla specs are not overinflated. The definition of over-inflation is "Setting the cold air pressure higher than the maximum psi shown on the sidewall". Adjusting the tire pressure for load, speed, and weather does not constitute overinflation. (Sorry about the rant, this is a hot-button for me.)
     
  16. dailydriver

    dailydriver Member

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  17. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Wow. I thought that I drove the car on the edge (with the regular appearance of the little yellow light providing me some evidence), but I've [thankfully] never gotten any yaw at all. On a test drive, I accelerated on an on-ramp until the tires were squealing (maybe 70 mph on a 35 mph rated ramp?). The car was very composed and both me and the Tesla guy were grinning as we were holding on.
    So I'm not really sure how the car got sideways in this video. Is a wet road all that's necessary? If so, that's a bit frightening. I mean great that it can correct, but I'd really prefer to never have the car get so far off.
     
  18. William3

    William3 Member

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    Sorry Jerry. You're right. I didn't mean to imply that Tesla fills them beyond the sidewall rating. I meant to imply that Tesla fills them beyond the point that would be optimum for ride & handling. Tesla seems more concerned with rolling resistance & range. My Model S with the 19" rims rides and handles noticeably better with 40 PSI rather than the factory recommended 45 PSI. The low tire pressure warnings get annoying though, so I'm back at the 45 PSI setting for now. I wish they offered the "comfort mode" that the Roadster had.
     
  19. William13

    William13 Member

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    William3, get the car's sensor set to 21 inch wheels tire pressure of 42PSI. This is very close to 40. I could tell a big change in stiffness when I inflated my tires to 45 from 42. My car is still calibrated to 42. I will leave it there.
     
  20. William3

    William3 Member

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    I tried to get TPMS warning threshold lowered at the Tesla Service Center, as I've heard that this can be done. The guy in charge there said it couldn't be done and that the threshold is hardwired into the wheel sensor and isn't adjustable. This contradicts information that I've heard on this forum. Perhaps he is mistaken. Regardless, my request was denied.
     

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