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Model S handling when winter re-appears in spring ;)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Mario Kadastik, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Mario Kadastik

    Mario Kadastik Active Member

    Sep 5, 2013
    Rae, Harjumaa, Estonia
    Well I have to say that I'm impressed with the Model S. About a week ago we'd had already weeks of snow free time and weather was turning warm (multiple + degrees throughout the day and night), birds singing, flowers blooming etc. So full on spring. I decided that I didn't want to drive around on the studded Hakka 8's anymore and went and swapped to the original 21" Conti's that came with the car (and that I had used for a whopping 20km going from picking up the car to tire shop and hunting for new lug nuts). It was fun to finally drive in a silent car, the handling and acceleration was nicer and all around life was a bliss...

    Then 3 days later winter decided to make a reappearance. Suddenly we had heavy snowfall and temperature dropped to -5C. I shrugged it off as a minor inconvenience and assumed (correctly) that main roads and city roads would be snow free as the asphalt is warm). So I just went out with the summer tires and went slow in the regions where it was snow (i.e. first km from my house) and then calmly on the highway. The next day the weather didn't get any better and in fact remained negative for 24h in row meaning that now all the wet snow and water had iced over. As I still had to do a few minor trips I risked it and went out with the car. Now it's been 5 days in row, the winter keeps getting stronger, but I'm not even planning to swap back to winter tires :)

    The reason is that even on snow and ice and even though the 21" tires are real summer performance tires the car is extremely stable! Yes, breaking distance is longer, yes speed has to be low to make turns properly, but there's no tail wiggling, no snaking on the road, nothing. The car goes slower, but it goes rock stable. I'm extremely impressed by the Model S traction control systems as this is unbelievable control that the car is showing. This weather will not last for more than a week so there's little point in doing multiple swaps again and luckily enough when there's sun all the roads will melt out so most of the driving is relatively safe. Got to just keep an eye out when driving on snow and ice, but I felt far less stable in my Evo X when I accidentally got stuck in winter weather with 18" summer tires. So props for the Model S!

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