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Have changes been made to driving dynamics?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Vger, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    #1 Vger, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
    I have had two test drives of Model S. The first was of the Sunset Red non-Performance car at the Fremont GET AMPED event on June 22. The second experience was driving a green Signature Performance car out of the Bellevue, WA store this past Wednesday, Oct. 31.

    I seemed to notice several changes in the driving dynamics experience between the two drives. It could all be subjective, but that is why I am asking the forum:


    • The second Performance drive gave me a feeling of tighter suspension tuning-- a firmer, more planted ride. There was more feel of road defects, in both a good and less good way.
    • In the first drive in June, the regen felt distinctly softer than the Roadster, even on the "Standard" setting (we tried both). Others seems to have posted that impression as well. Whereas on the second Performance drive, the regen deceleration indeed seemed similar to the Roadster, as I had been told it would be by Jerome Guillen, the Program Director. This time I noticed the actual power, and saw it hit at least 60 kW. That seems more in keeping with the energy recovery from a much heavier car.

    I TOTALLY loved the second drive, and am SO glad I upgraded from Sig to Sig Perf.

    One more thing: I was driving on wet pavement in drizzle in the second (Performance) drive, and was surprised to find that the traction control is less aggressive compared with the Roadster. I was able to break the rear wheels free a couple of times while accelerating through tight turns. It was easy to catch the slide, but I was (pleasantly) surprised that the Model S P85 is not so conservative in torque management.

    Comments?
     
  2. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    That's probably the result of the "Sport-Tuned Traction Control" that comes with the Performance model: Model S Options and Pricing | Tesla Motors

    It wouldn't surprise me to find they let the tail out a little more on the Perf, which is great to hear as I found the traction control too invasive in my Get Amped test drive.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Regarding significant changes (as opposed to minor updates), there was this mention (though I presumed it was months away from ready):
    2012 Tesla Model S Full Test
     
  4. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Can't speak to TC, but the regen braking in my Sig S standard is distinctly less aggressive than the Roadster's, even when the meter shows 60kW of regen. It's enough less braking that I still haven't quite got the seat of my pants re-tuned for the S and wind up using the friction brakes a little more than I ever did in the Roadster.
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I'm sure it's safe to say they've been making tweaks to suspension tuning and driving dynamics constantly up to and even after shipping customer cars. They're learning from our feedback and tweaking things accordingly.
     
  6. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    It actually does tail out a bit. Surprised me the first couple times but now I kinda enjoy it.

    ... And I've driven maybe 20 miles so far. I'm a wicked wicked man.
     
  7. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Sounds good. When I drove performance at get amped event and my wife did we both commented that the regen didn't feel any stronger than our mini engine slowing the car down, especially given given hiw much they hyped it up in the little pep talk. Hope it's stronger now!
     
  8. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #8 ChadS, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
    Two places where I definitely agree with Vger's notes:

    I think I feel a lot more road defects in my VIN 112 than I did on my ride in Fremont (both cars non-Performance). It's still a really nice ride; it just seemed like I felt nothing at all in the Fremont ride. Of course a lot of time passed between the two; and I'd just driven the Roadster almost 1,000 miles to get to the Fremont ride, so maybe I was just awed by the difference at the time. On the other hand I do feel the steering feel is less isolated in my car than it was in the test car, although that doesn't strike me as a huge difference.

    The traction control is definitely different than the Roadster's. Even in a non-Perf, you can get the tires to spin. But once TC comes on in the Model S, it seems quicker to recover. In the Roadster, if I hit, say, a slippery damp white stop line while accelerating, the TC comes on and stays on for about a half a second before I start accelerating again. The Model S TC seems to recover faster.

    I'll also throw out that the accelerator response seems different on the Model S. With the Roadster, if you pump the accelerator quickly, your head gets jerked very nearly in rhythm with your foot. But in the Model S, there seems to be a slightly larger delay between stomping on the pedal and the car responding.
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #9 dsm363, Nov 4, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
    I've noticed the same thing. Could that simply have something to do with the tires not being as sticky as the AD07s? I've noticed the back will hesitate slightly when gunning it around a corner in the performance but the car is still in control.
     
  10. jerry33

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

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    That sounds like a very good possibility. The AD07s are pretty much glued to the road.
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It's a heavier car. Probably even if the tires are just as sticky as AD07 they would be more likely to slip if you gun it in a corner.

    "Gunning it around a corner" isn't good driving technique, of course. If you've not taken a high performance driving school then I highly recommend it. It'll make you both faster and safer.

    Also relevant to the thread - after the Get Amped event I was told that the Performance suspension was being tweaked and would be a bit stiffer than what I drove at Fremont.
     
  12. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Gunning it out of the corner
    cornering2.gif
     
  13. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. I'd love to do a performance driving school. Any particular one you'd recommend?

    I guess I should have said that the time I experienced this was getting on an on-ramp when I would take a right turn at maybe 10mph then start to accelerate halfway through my turn. The Roadster would do this without a problem but the first time I did this in the Model S, I noticed the slight hesitation but not loss of control. I take it easier now and wait until I'm more lined up before pressing the accelerator to be safer.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Right, that's the classic racing line. You roll onto the throttle as you exit the apex so you don't exceed the available grip, but try to get to full throttle as soon as you can.

    Two suggestions...

    In the USA the SCCA is the umbrella group The Sports Car Club of America - Home . They can point you to various clubs in your area.

    In particular I can recommend your local BMW club Welcome | bmwcca.org BMW Car Club of America as a good starting point. They are just fine with non-BMW-owner members, and in my experience their schools are quite well run.
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    In Colorado, I highly recommend Michael Pettiford, Instructor Bio, as a private tutor.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    While it isn't as good as a driving school. Reading a racing dynamics books (they make quasi-non-technical ones) and some serious GranTourismo/Forza (actually fairly decent driving simulators if used that way) testing will go a very long way. And well I personally think mountain biking (at race speed) on twisty sandy trails has done more for my understanding of driving dynamics than anything else.

    Granted my 'performance driving' school was only a single day, and was only about 2 hours of driving. It was something that Audi put on in Atlanta a few years ago, so it was AWD also.

    I have also done a bunch of parking lot on a Sunday at 5am self-training schools. That help you figure out what you read and what happened in the video game apply in real life. I recommend $100 (for all 4 installed) Pep Boys tires, on a Dodge Neon for optimal results!
     
  17. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #17 smorgasbord, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Like this (start at 1 min, 45 seconds)?:

     
  18. jerry33

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

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    I took a bicycle course as well (though for road bikes). Highly recommended.
     
  19. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I just got the 4.2 firmware upgrade, and these areas both seem improved.

    After TC saves your bacon on a slippery spot, it seems to be willing to turn full acceleration back on almost immediately. This is great for us lazy, irresponsible drivers that want to hoon in the wet and let the car watch out for us.

    The accelerator response is improved and more like the Roadster - you press the pedal and you are going faster almost instantly (although there is still a tiny delay on both cars, probably just to keep the ride smooth as your foot wiggles when you go over bumps and such).

    Regen seems a little different too (it ramps up slower to be smoother and less dangerous in slippery areas with people unfamiliar with the car; but ends up as strong or stronger. Not quite as good for high-performance driving, but perhaps better suited to most driving the Model S will likely see).
     
  20. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    At lower speeds, I feel like the car is LESS responsive. I feel like the same pressure I put on the pedal before the update now results in the orange usage bar going up, but no real action until I press harder... I've found it harder to keep a lower average usage.
     

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