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Just verifying opinions of the combinations of P85/P85+ and 19/21 tires.

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by rainman50, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. rainman50

    rainman50 Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    I'm been trying to make a final decision on the suspension/wheel size for the last 2 months. I definitely want a variant of the P85.
    I have driven a combination of these for a little while but not at the same time and road. Yesterday I had the opportunity to drive the S60 coil with 19's, S85 air with 19's and a P85+. I don't know if it was a true comparison since the cars were not all the P85 type.

    The coil felt similar to my BMW 540iA sport. I'd like to have a little smoother ride over bumps and this seem to exemplify those a little. Not bad at all. Just for this car I'd like something a little smoother.

    The S85 would ride smooth and then you would feel the bumps but not as much peak hit as the coils. The P85+ seemed very similar over the bumps as the P85 but with one difference which is the main reason of this post, I could feel the intricate road surface most of the time with the P85+. I assume this was due to both to the 21's and the tighter suspension joints.

    But a little while back I remember driving what I thought was a a P85+ with 21's (but later found out it was a P85 with 21's that he had received it in April 2013). It also had the same feel as the P85+ I drove yesterday.

    Also I drove a P85+ with 21 inch snow tires with about the same feel, i.e. could feel the intricate road surface while driving if the road surface was a little grainy.

    So if this is the case then the 21's are the main culprit for feeling the constant roughness of the road. So I either get a P85 with 19's or a P85+ and see how it goes and then replace them eventually with another size wheel/tire combination. That would end up costing quite a bit more but I'd probably sell the 21's and use the balance for the other set.

    So I'd like others feedback on my take on the drives and also if you thought that getting a P85+ and going to other wheel tire sizes would be close to the ride of a P85 with similar wheel tire sizes? This way the handling would be decent though not as great as with the wide 21's.

    Or maybe I should stick to a P85 with 19's and go from there. But I do like the handling of the P85+ at times though.

    How much of the feel is from the 21's? I guess the real test would be to drive a P85+ with 19's or some other smaller size wheels. I read here that others have changed those on the P85+ and seem to satisfy them. I'd like to know if most of the reason for changing the tire size was for the ride quality or the cost of replacement /wear frequency of the 21's?

    Also what would be the results of having a wider 19 or 20 inplace of the 21's? I'm sure the rubber height from the rim to the road and the type of rubber plays an important part in road feel.
  2. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    Buckeye, AZ
    I have a P85 with 19" wheels and I'm so glad. I've driven P85/+ w/ 21" wheels and in all cases it was a much noisier ride. I find no handling difference between my P85 and a P85+. Both felt exactly the same in my everyday driving.
  3. captain_zap

    captain_zap Electron tamer

    Mar 27, 2012
    Redmond, WA
    I have a P85 with two sets of rims, 21" Continentals and 19" Michelin Primacies. We use the 19s in the wet Northwest winters. The 21s have more road noise, sharper handling, more grip overall, and wear faster. The 19s are quieter, better in the rain, wear more slowly, and I think the performance is fine for street use. Personally I would only run the 21s for car shows, autocross, or track days.
  4. caddieo

    caddieo Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    Palm Coast, FL
    I was supercharging side-by-side with another P85 which was identical in all respects except for the interior, the spoiler, and his 21" wheels. A few probing questions and his analysis of the car's quirks helped me ascertain that he was not a TMC member or forum reader. The biggest disappointment that he had with the P85 was that it was not as quiet as his previous Lexus.
  5. bradhs

    bradhs Member

    Oct 14, 2013
    San Diego, CA
    I made a deposit for a Model S before they went into production but when I test drove a P85 w/21" rims I didn't like the handling. So I held back on my purchase. Then I saw and heard about the P85+ ... Without a test drive I bought one.

    It depends on what you are looking for and used to. I've driven mostly BMW's and the P85+ drives more like a BMW.

    Here's the way I see it;

    Model S P85 = Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota
    Model S P85+ = BMW, Audi, Infiniti, Nissan

    My last cars were; 540i, X5 Sport, 550 Sport, M6C and now a Model S P85+.

    I still think the BMW's have better handling dynamics but the P85+ makes up for it because of the low center of gravity.

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