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Handling performance characteristics beyond acceleration. Whatagility

DIL

Member
Sep 13, 2013
811
321
Danville, CA
Please post your comments on the handling characteristics of your model S. My experience is that the straight-line acceleration is amazing, but you can really feel the weight of the car in corners.

I currently have a car that is very crisp and nimble and even though the center of gravity on the Tesla is low, it still feels kind of bloated. I know this isn't meant to be a sports car but I do want "peppy handling" in my "saloon".

What do you think?
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,567
NJ
I think its a 5000lb car than handles like a 4000lb sports sedan. It handles amazingly well for its weight, but there is no getting around physics.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,386
3,358
Phoenix, AZ
The P85+ suspension makes the car feel like it weighs half as much. The difference is like night and day. My P85 can feel like a boat sometimes, but a P85+ felt like a much lighter, crisper, much more responsive sports sedan. My understanding is that Tesla stopped shipping the PDs with Plus suspension after April, so today all models get the softer suspension.
 

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,265
3,959
NE
Doesn't handle like my M3, for sure. But the Tesla doesn't have fancy electromagnetic dampers either.
 
Mar 11, 2010
4,538
1,407
Humboldt/Los Altos
Doesn't handle like my M3, for sure. But the Tesla doesn't have fancy electromagnetic dampers either.

stock vs stock it will beat an M3 in almost all autocross situations with the same tire set up.
Handles pretty close to the M3 but it is a tad quicker
I have never driven a P+ but have a staggered set up so if the P+ handles much better than a P with the same tires then it would murder the M3

& RE71R's rock

I think the S may be the best F street car. pricey compared to the competition
 

AWDtsla

Active Member
Mar 3, 2013
4,265
3,959
NE
stock vs stock it will beat an M3 in almost all autocross situations with the same tire set up.
Handles pretty close to the M3 but it is a tad quicker
I have never driven a P+ but have a staggered set up so if the P+ handles much better than a P with the same tires then it would murder the M3

& RE71R's rock

I think the S may be the best F street car. pricey compared to the competition

Model S understeers, tire setup isn't going to help that. It's also both floaty and at the same time harsher riding than the M3, thanks again to the damper control programs on the M3.

I'm not bench racing, pushing cars to the limits of adhesion back to back... I should comment my M3 has the competition package. Regardless M3 slalom speed is 75+mph, P85D doesn't even break 70.

The dampers will be the thing I miss the most...
 
Mar 11, 2010
4,538
1,407
Humboldt/Los Altos
Model S understeers, tire setup isn't going to help that. It's also both floaty and at the same time harsher riding than the M3, thanks again to the damper control programs on the M3.

I think it is really neutral feeling and even a touch of oversteer when you push it really hard but it mostly wants to slide gently sideways at the limit. sure you will get some understeer if you enter a corner way too fast and are still on the brakes while getting into the corner and haven't set the rears yet. pushing it really hard in sweeping curves does give oversteer though and you need to be gentle
the M3 understeers worse than a P85 not sure about the AWDs though, I'd expect they are worse due to the front drive + weight
 

ERP

Ludicrous Member
Apr 17, 2015
112
36
Colorado Springs
The P85D understeers significantly when pushed. The power cut when the wheels are tuned is frustrating. But it hides its weight very well, it feels lighter than my 3800 lb AWD Saab Turbo X when thrown into a turn or going over rough roads. Great performance for a daily driver, but I would not recommend it for any track days.

It would be completely unfair to compare the P85D to my Elise, which weighs 1900 lbs and can sustain 1.5 lateral g's on street tires. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
 

yo mama

Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2015
463
164
san jose, CA
It's better handling than our Dodge Caravan and not as good as our NSX.
+1

Beats the stuffing out of my Honda Pilot.

I'll say this, though - I really enjoy how the car handles at speed on wide, sweeping turns. Sure, it's not nimble changing directions at speed. But let's get real - the MS is a freakin' 4-door family sedan with room for a dog in the back and groceries in the frunk. Try stuffing all that in a Maclaren or an Elise and then let's see what's what.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,042
5,867
Merced, CA
Please post your comments on the handling characteristics of your model S. My experience is that the straight-line acceleration is amazing, but you can really feel the weight of the car in corners.

I currently have a car that is very crisp and nimble and even though the center of gravity on the Tesla is low, it still feels kind of bloated. I know this isn't meant to be a sports car but I do want "peppy handling" in my "saloon".

What do you think?

Straight line awesome up to 50 MPH but after that it's fairly lacking given the original specs but is great for a car that makes sub 500 hp that weighs 5000 lbs.

Handling is a mixed bag for me. I've driven a P85+ and the suspension is much more suitable for the street. My P85D's suspension is far too stiff to absorb road irregularities. I've driven a December produced P85D and it was very similar to the P85+ loaner I had from a suspension standpoint. Mine is different and has way thicker sway bars than the P85D's produced in January so who knows what else is different.

On smooth roads, my P85D handles better in corners than any 5000 lb sedan has a right too. Does it handle as well as my Corvette with Z51? No, but there's more than a 1500 lb difference in weight too. I have 19" wheels and they are the weak link in cornering. You can really feel the sidewalls twisting on the front wheels in tight cornering where the P85+ with 21" wheels didn't.

- - - Updated - - -

Model S understeers, tire setup isn't going to help that. It's also both floaty and at the same time harsher riding than the M3, thanks again to the damper control programs on the M3.

I'm not bench racing, pushing cars to the limits of adhesion back to back... I should comment my M3 has the competition package. Regardless M3 slalom speed is 75+mph, P85D doesn't even break 70.

The dampers will be the thing I miss the most...

The D cars do not understeer at all.
 

3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,118
263
Boston
[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]I wish there were more of these threads, and less about the 691.[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]I agree, the biggest handling issue comes at extreme speeds where you lose pedal power in the middle of a turn. Where steering wheel and speed don't seem to care whether you have grip, or not. That's 6.2. I don't know if anything we weren't told about makes V7 better.[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]To say "not a real sports car" doesn't make a whole lot of sense, to me. Front engined, heavy 3,500-4,000lb German cars are a wrestling match of understeer, every time I've gone back and tried one. Yes, they aren't 4,800lbs, but they aren't 2,100lb Miatas, either. Tesla is re-writing what good handling is, by where they put the weight. Is 50/50 ahead and behind axles, better than between them? I don't think so. They have the same double-wishbones, and what would be upgraded shocks for many VWG cars, in their choice to go OE Bilstein. I've had Porsches come stock, with inferior Sachs dampers. So, I don't get "no real sports car". If you want incredibly immediate throttle response, so long as you aren't at the limits of adhesion, Tesla delivers a lot better than BMW. The AWD cars offer a lot of undramatic quickness. I'm not dissapointed, in this respect. As said elsewhere, I just wish Tesla would recognize that a minority of their customers prefer driving. [/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]Realize too, that most comments are likely about air suspension. On coils, P85D is more stiff than P85 and picks up the more surgical response, or feedback, of a coil car. You give up "air ride", which most including me regard as a better way to go, most of the time. If it is for those limited moments you wish to see what the car can do, I'd still prefer coils. The choice they seem to have made was to go soft enough in damp/spring, to accommodate the 21 inch firmness. I'm reluctant to go to 19's, for that reason, not that I think 19's are less grippy, or handle poorly. That's the "big" diameter, on the GT3. [/FONT]
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