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is model S quieter than Lexus

Discussion in 'Model S' started by taoh2, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. taoh2

    taoh2 Member

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    several of us test drive the model S in San Jose in one afternoon.
    that car has 21" wheel, we all agree it is almost silent at low speed, almost no engine noise at any speed and very little wind noise
    but we did feel some road noise, especially from the back seat.
    we feel the car is not well built to isolate the road noise. it feel noiser than my friend's 2012 Lexus e350

    I would like to know if our observation is correct? is it because the car we drove is not a production? or simply because it has 21" tire which is twice noiser than a 19"?

    thanks

    tao
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I've never driven the car you mention, but I also wonder if, because the Model S has no engine noise, you hear the road noise more? I mean, perhaps there's road noise in the Lexus, but the purr of the engine sort of masks that?
     
  3. taoh2

    taoh2 Member

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    we don't think so, the car did feel like a low end car in term of road noise isolation. we understand that that car will have little engine and transmission noise, we also understand that it is low in wind noise due to the fact that it has the most streamline shape. I also believe it should be low in road noise simply because there are a thick battery pack as a isolation. but just feel it is noise, especially when other source of noise is so low, I guess it come from the trunk of rear tire
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You also may have driven a pre-production car. My Model S is one of the quietest cars I've been in, even when traveling 80mph. I think AnOutsider is right though, you probably hear road noise more simply because it isn't being masked by an ICE.
     
  5. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    It's been awhile since I've been in the model S, but during get amped tour, I felt the Model S wasn't as quiet as several Lexuses that my family owns.

    I attributed to the fact that you hardly hear the lexus (LS/ES) engines, only when gassing it hard. Steel bodies in the Lexus damp vibrations more than aluminum. Lexus uses prodigious amounts of sound proofing and vibration absorbing mats/dampening pads around key areas. These things add signification weight, but do reduce the vibrations and sound from coming into the cabin.

    Closed trunks greatly reduce rear wheel-well noises and sound from the muffler. While the model S has no muffler, the hatchback design will introduce more noise than a closed trunk sedan.

    Just to add. A lexus ES or LS is going to have quiet, smooth riding tires. The Model S has performance 21" tires that are usually loader on the same surfaces.
     
  6. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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  7. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I am still waiting for my delivery but I have driven the Model S a few times and sat in it as a passenger several times as well, so that is what my assessment is based on. The Model S is very quiet at low to medium speeds i.e. 0 to 35 mph. However, once you get to the 50+ range, you definitely hear tire and wind noise.

    Couple of days ago, I brought my 2009 Audi A4 Avant in for service and the dealer loaned me a brand new A8 with 3K miles on it. Stepping into the A8 was like getting into a sound booth. It was very quiet. It pains me to say it but I actually think that the Audi A8 was quieter than the Model S.

    The Audi A8 had the ridiculous massaging driver chair too. It was crazy!
     
  8. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Someone here on the forums (I think dr. Computer) compared his Model S to a Lexus 600 that he had owned just prior, and the believed the Lexus was quieter. So I think it can be quieter, but tires and road surface is going to have major impact in the absence of engine noise. Also, I know that in some high-end cars there is active noise cancelling (think Bose QuietComfort headphones) in the cockpit (via the sound system and microphones all around).
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Also BMW adds motor sounds through the speakers as well.
     
  10. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    I have the massaging front seats... and with "back" heat on, it's wonderful!

    I haven't driven that Lexus, but I've compared two versions of the Model S against my Cadillac DTS, which is a very quiet car - when its not accelerating (very throaty then)... and I think the Model S is quieter until its on the highway, then road and wind noise pickup as they do with other cars. It is still quieter though. The Model S cars I've driven, were the black one, VIN 115 from the Get Amped tour, and the more recent car now in service here at Washington Square, VIN 1250 (I think?). Both performance models with 21" wheels.

    Because of the 4" liquid cooled battery floor pan underneath you, the lowest coefficient of drag out there ( very little wind noise) and a near silent motor... this literally is one of the quietest cars on the road.

    Lexus makes awesome solid and quiet cars, so it may not be *as* quiet, but it should be every bit right in there - close.
     
  11. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    Oops, sorry about my overzealous language about the massaging seats, no offense intended.
     
  12. ahimberg

    ahimberg Member

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    Any thoughts on if the noise increase at high speed is more road noise or wind noise? (road noise maybe can be reduced installing some dynamat / equivalent dampening material)
     
  13. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

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    Taoh2 - Assume you mean to compare Model S to Lexus ES 350. The ES line is on the low end of the Lexus offerings. It evolves from the Camry. I have owned 3 Lexus vehicles (IS250, RX350, & SC430). I have also driven the Model S. Clearly, not only is the Model S a quieter car at any speed, it's a much smoother ride with the air suspension, and it is less jerkey than the Lexus V6 350 engine/transmission. Lexus does do a good job with sound dampening. The Lexus interior comfort and convenience is superb. But my 2009 RX still has a tape deck! That is so 1990. Lexus vehicles require premium gas. Needless to say, I'm counting down. Ten more fillups until my Model S arrives!
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    All cars transmit road noise and wind noise, but we are so used to not hearing it over engine noise (and don't forget engines create vibration also!) that it suddenly seems amplified when the engine noise is no longer there. After driving an EV for a while I couldn't get over how loud all ICEs really are.

    (I think only the Jetsons have a car without road and wind noise!)
     
  15. EV_QC

    EV_QC Member

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    From Edmunds, no numbers from the new ES but from the new GS...

    2013 Lexus GS 350 F
    Sound level @ idle (dB) 39.7
    @ Full throttle (dB) 70.0
    @ 70 mph cruise (dB) 63.5

    Model S
    Db @ Idle: 35.4
    Db @ Full Throttle: 64.2
    Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 61.2
     
  16. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Ha! No offense was ever taken Francis. ;)

    Nigel, hits the points spot on.
     
  17. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Thanks ev qc! so the answer is yes it is quieter!
     
  18. taoh2

    taoh2 Member

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    ok, I think we did feel Model S has more noise than lexus 350, only on the freeway at high speed, the noise is mainly of road noise, in fact
    because of absent of engine and little noise, it just make the road noise more evident and make us feel it is more noise than lexus.
    I think the lexus is good to make the car "feel quieter", I once use sound level meter on iphone to test 2012 lexus e350 vs 1999 S500, the result, S500 is quieter on meter but LS feel quieter
    I think with 19" wheel and quietCar paint in the back trunk floor, Model S will be much quieter.
    I use quietCar paint on my 1999 S600 on the wheel well, trunk floor, it cut the noise by at least half
     
  19. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I guess I haven't paid a lot of attention, but I think most of the high-speed noise is road noise. Which makes sense because I have noticed that it varies quite a bit depending on what surface I am driving on.

    Which, as you note, means that it can be reduced by various methods. Different tires (I've got the Pirelli winter tires on now), dynamat, parcel shelf, etc.
     
  20. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Not sure what is meant by feels quieter when it's not, but I know they spent a ton of time at tesla ensuring the interior is quiet and free from the usual squeaks and rattles. I also know i would rather hear the road and tires for driving purposes than the engine and interior rattles.
     

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