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How quiet is the Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by PeterW, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    I was wondering how quiet the Model S is compared to other high end cars. It is the quietest car I have ever driven though I do not have much to compare it with. Are there other cars out there as quiet in the cabin? I would think that the Model S might win out when accelerating. Comments please.
     
  2. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    #2 Raffy.Roma, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
    Of course Model S is a very quite car. It's electric. You cannot certainly compare it to an ICE car. You could compare Model S to other pure electric cars, but also in that case I suppose Model S would be more quite.
     
  3. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    If you compare brushless motors(used by most automakers) with induction motor, used by Tesla and few very small automakers, brushless one is much more quiet. Because there is no parts that touch others at high speed.

    Both have advantages and drawbacks: Induction Versus DC Brushless Motors

    Also at high speed, over 100 km/h wind resistance is a major contributor to the noise inside the car.
     
  4. Fuzzylogic

    Fuzzylogic EU Sport 359 & S94

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    Tesla's motor is brushless:

    Electric motors come in many varieties, each with a different approach to creating mechanical force (torque) from the simple interaction of two magnetic fields. The Tesla Roadster uses a three-phase Alternating Current (AC) Induction motor. The AC Induction motor was first patented by Nikola Tesla in 1888. AC Induction motors are widely used in industry for their reliability, simplicity, and efficiency.

    The Roadster motor has two primary components: a rotor and a stator. The rotor is a shaft of steel with copper bars running through it. It rotates and, in doing so, turns the wheels. The stationary stator surrounds, but does not touch, the rotor. The stator has two functions: it creates a rotating magnetic field and it induces a current in the rotor. The current creates a second magnetic field in the rotor that chases the rotating stator field. The end result is torque. Some motors use permanent magnets, but not the Roadster motor -- the magnetic field is created completely from electricity.

    Roadster Technoloy - Motor | Tesla Motors
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've driven a Standard and Performance model (don't yet have my own yet) and they were both extremely quiet. Wind and tire noise are really the only sources of noise, and the car seems well insulated from them.

    I do worry, however, about the frameless windows on the car. I've had cars with frameless windows in the past, and after a few years start to get wind whistling sounds when the rubber seals start to wear. I think on this car, it'll be an especially good idea to keep the door seals well treated with a proper silicone conditioner.
     
  6. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    I think it would be interesting to actually measure the internal decibels at various speeds/roads and compare with other cars. I know that when Mercedes came out with their S class in 90s, they touted cabin silence as a big thing. They employed two layered glass among other things to help reduce sound.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    It's significantly quieter than the Roadster, inside at least.

    Outside you mainly hear the tires so there's probably little difference.
     
  8. aznt1217

    aznt1217 Active Member

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    More quiet than an LS460.
     
  9. EV_QC

    EV_QC Member

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    2012 Tesla Model S
    Db @ Idle: 35.4
    Db @ Full Throttle: 64.2
    Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 61.2

    2013 Porsche Panamera GTS
    Db @ Idle: 50.5
    Db @ Full Throttle: 77.0
    Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 64.5
     
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  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    While driving the S at highway speeds, almost all the noise I hear is tire noise - there is almost no wind noise.
    Because it is all from the tires, it is all coming from underneath you - it just makes it feel different from other cars.
    With no motor noise to mask it, you can hear the sound of different road surfaces.

    Turn on the stereo and the road noise disappears.
     
  11. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    I start with this qualifier: I am a professional acoustical engineer, and my specialty is noise control engineering. My job as a consultant is helping manufacturing companies with noise control evaluation and designing engineering controls to reduce worker exposures to safe and acceptable levels. So I know a lot about how sound is generated, propagates, and is attenuated. With that qualifier, I think the Model S is as quiet a car as I ever driven/ridden. I took time a few weeks ago after test driving a Performance Model S to carefully examine the structure of the vehicle from an acoustical engineering point of view. Here are my conclusions, the doors, windows, and pano-roof are all very well sealed, which minimizes the affect of wind noise inside the cabin. Keep in mind that even a pinhole air gap between the rubber seals and the structure (frame or glass) can significantly degrade the noise reduction capability (a.k.a., attenuation) of the system. Next, the floor board and firewall appear to have high sound transmission loss properties (another term for attenuation), that helps minimize airborne noise generated between the tire and road interaction (e.g., tire noise) from reaching inside the cabin. Finally, and this is important, I have only ridden in 2 Model S cars, but both had the air suspension system. The purpose of the air suspension is a high-end vibration isolation system, that in and of itself helps mitigate structure-borne vibration, which can lead to airborne noise inside the cabin. However, I presume a car without the air suspension will still be fairly effective at minimizing this potential noise source inside the car, but I really don't have experience with this configuration to really say with any certainty.

    Bottom line - from my personal and professional experience with acoustics, I can say the Model S with the air suspension is one quiet car. Plus, with a relatively quiet ambient level, this enhances the listening quality of the sound system, as you don't need to overdrive it in an attempt to hear it clearly.
     
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  12. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    That post kicked ass! Thanks for sharing your expert impressions! :)
     
  13. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Yeah I was trying to put something better down here but all I can really think is:

    Really ____ing quiet!
     
  14. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    Thanks Mike, I am the poster formally know as [email protected], so I know you know that I know what I am talking about :wink:
     
  15. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    I was about to post pretty much the same thing. I can't believe how little wind noise there is.
     
  16. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    I have no professional perspective on this, but as an S owner I would only add something re the whole brushless thing: Whatever the tech, I do not hear anything mechanical or motor at all (except the whine under hard acceleration). The biggest sound I hear at lower speeds by far is the climate control system. Turning it off is dramatic because you might imagine that sound is the idle of a normal car--until you turn it off and everything goes completely silent. It's not that it's loud, it's just that it's really the only thing making sound. The road noise at high speeds is quite soft--it's easy to carry on a conversation at very modest volume even while going >70mph.
     
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  17. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, where did these number come from - on the Model S? How can it have 35.4 Db at idle? Shouldn't it be like 5 to 20? Or if none of the cooling fans or pumps are on... be 0?
     
  18. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    Decibel isn't a linear scale. 35db is really quiet, just the background noise levels of the world around you.

    Decibel (Loudness) Comparison Chart
     
  19. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Porsche Panamera GTS vs. Tesla Model S Track Test
     
  20. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Yeah but if the car is idle and there are no outside noises, shouldn't it be nearer zero? When the car is stationary, outside noises shouldn't be counted, only engine/systems. But if driving, then road noises and wind should be added... it seems to me.
     

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