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Is standard suspension spongier than the air? Can the suspension be tweaked?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by kjl, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. kjl

    kjl Member

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    I'm driving around a P85 loaner with air suspension while my 60 with standard is getting some creaks and rattles looked at. There's no + on the badge, so I assume it's not a performance plus and doesn't have the stiffer suspension, stabilizer bars, etc. unless the badge is inaccurate). Previously I had noticed that my 60, in contrast to all the reviews about the car feeling like it was "on rails" as described in many reviews of the car, was actually a little soft and spongy in corners at speed and was not confidence-inspiring on, say, fast onramps or offramps.

    I've noticed this P85 loaner a lot stiffer and better in corners at speed; it feels really good. Anybody know if the difference is due to the air suspension, or some hidden upgrade in the P85 compared to the 60, or something else? Or is something wrong with my 60? Is this something I can have the factory stiffen up or tweak?

    I love the loaners, but it's making me wish I'd upgraded! :biggrin: It's... so fast.
     
  2. jammerdjc

    jammerdjc S Owner/Member

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    Do you have the air suspension? Does the loaner? I'm going to suspect that's the reason.
     
  3. DaveVa

    DaveVa Sig Perf #236 VIN #484

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    I think the P85 had the air suspension as standard.
     
  4. Cheerose

    Cheerose Member

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    It was standard, but there have been some P85s reported (like during test drives) that had Standard suspension.
     
  5. kjl

    kjl Member

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    The loaner has air suspension, my car has standard. I had assumed that air suspension was just the raising/lowering thing, not stiffness/performance. That bums me out - I absolutely would have paid an extra grand or two, or whatever the price of the upgrade was back then, to have the stiffer ride. Is the stiffness of standard suspension tweakable? I don't know much about cars, so I don't know if wanting stiffer suspension means "no, you need to rebuild your whole car" or "replace a bunch of components" or "go under the car and turn a knob".
     
  6. goaliemanshark

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    Performance models have stiffer suspension.

    My 85 with air does not handle as well as a P85 with air
     
  7. William13

    William13 Member

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    My P85 was very similar to the loaner P85 without air. Tiny difference.
     
  8. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    The biggest advantage to the air suspension is the ability to raise the car for steep driveways and ramps. My P85 feels best when the air suspension drops to its lowest level, after the car has been going 55mph or faster for several minutes. This setting cannot be initiated manually. As I recall from my Ferrari days, a ride height difference of only 10mm can make a huge difference in handling.
     
  9. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    In addition, I learned when I had a loaner with standard suspension (we have a Sig P85), that the ride height of the standard suspension is about equal to the air suspension on "High", not "Standard". Our service manager explained that the standard suspension's dampers require more vertical travel than those in the air suspension, so the ride height must increase. So the standard suspension pays a permanent drag and downforce penalty as well.
     
  10. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    I drove 2 different P85. One with air, one without. I felt the one without air seemed to stay flatter through out the corners vs the air suspension. Granted its not as comfy. I have a p85+ and I would rank it P85+ then P85 no air, and then the P85. Might be also the difference in tires size or tires on the p85 than your 60 (21 vs 19's)?
     
  11. William13

    William13 Member

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    I think Vger is right. The loaner P85 without air looks a lot like mine when raised. BTW there was no 80 mph limiter.
     
  12. joer00

    joer00 Member

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    I cannot confirm that. Just turned back in my 60 loaner and are (fortunately) back in my P85. I did not feel a difference in the suspension (both 21 inch with air), but the power is a different story !
     
  13. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I found the loaner P85 with coil suspension to be an extremely uncomfortable, harsh, bouncy, unstable ride -- going around corners is a banging and jolting experience where the car shakes back and forth and bounces up and down. I'd call that god-awful handling... Of course, the roads around here are more pothole than not. :wink: You really don't want a stiff suspsension when there are five-inch-deep ruts. Handling on manicured smooth roads may be a very different matter.
     
  14. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    I too MUCH preferred the ride of my S85/Air/21 to the P85/Spring/19 loaner I had for four days. Glad to get my Sig back!
     

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