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One Man's P85+ versus P85 experience... am I being unfair to the P85?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Pollux, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Had my P85+ in for some punch list items on Nov 5. Watertown, MA SC loaned me a P85. A nice, sweet, seemingly well-maintained P85.

    I really can't remember my original test drive back in July -- was it in a P85 or a P85+? It was just so awesome, details are drowned out. Well... when I purchased the +, it was all about the midlife crisis. I'm an ordinary driver. I've had and enjoyed an Audi A4 Quattro 3.2. Great car, lotta fun. But an @lolachampcar, I'm not. I just figured that I was just gonna go for max fun, no limits on the purchase options, just get everything. I figured I'd get a friend to take me out onto a track at some point and show me the car's true abilities. My + was delivered on August 7, and I have loved this car to death ever since. Wow, wow, wow!

    So Tuesday was my first opportunity for an extended drive in the P85. Based on everything I've read, I thought the P85 should be just as much fun as the P85+. Maybe a little slower off the mark, what with the winter tires installed on this one instead of the fancy 21s. Maybe a little software-limited loaner velocity (ick). What could *I* possibly do that would ever show off the handling differences between a P85 and a P85+? Me, a little non-professional, ordinary driver?

    Oh.

    My.

    GAWD!!!!!!!!

    The P85 is no shabby beast, and I'd happily have that car in my garage compared to anything else I'd been looking at in the last year. Especially with the electric motor, the instant torque, the zero emissions, all the other many wonderful things about the Model S.

    But HOLY JEEPERS CREEPERS do I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the handling of the +!!! (Those are NOT cut-n-paste LOVEs. Those are honest-to-gosh hand-typed each-and-every-one LOVEs.)

    Now I understand what people are talking about when they say that the + goes where you point it. Or that the + holds corners so nicely. Or accelerates without any fuss.

    The P85 is a great car, but you're gonna hafta take more care with it when you motor through the curves. The first thing I noticed was that even in straight-line acceleration, with traction control, the P85's rear end is loose. I managed to create a nice shimmy without even flooring it. I came back and asked the Service Manager about all this, and asked him whether I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing, and he just smiled and said, "yup".

    I am still fantasizing about giving this car to the wife and getting another Model S -- just on safety grounds alone, I'd rather she be in a Model S. I was thinking that I could get myself a P85 and be happy. (I haven't figured out exactly how I'm paying for the next one, so this may just bubble along as a fantasy for another year.) But now there is NO WAY IN HECK I am going to be happy getting a P85 instead of a P85+.

    So... was my experience in the P85 versus P85+ representative? Or am I being unfair to the P85?

    Thanks,
    Alan

    P.S. I can only imagine how speeds above 80 (for the sake of argument, not saying that I ever got the loaner anywhere near that software limit) and/or pushing the car on a test track would magnify the apparent handling differences between the two models.

    P.P.S. Forgive me, I created this text in another thread and copied and modified it a bit and posted it here to get some feedback. I don't mean to annoy anyone with double-posting / cross-posting.
     
  2. sgblank

    sgblank Member

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    Yep. Exactly my experience but from the other direction - I have a P85 and got to drive a P85+ for four days as a loaner.
    Bought the P85 in 2012 when it was the high-end (and when it was marketed like the +)
    Completely different handling experience.
    If you come from a Porsche or other high-end sports car you'll notice the difference - disappointing.

    Given they came out with the P85+ so rapidly in the product life cycle, it's clear Tesla understood this as well.

    It's a shame they failed to offer customers who ordered P85's before the + was available some type of trade-in program.
    I for one would have jumped on it in a heartbeat.
     
  3. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    #3 thefortunes, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
    I just had the opportunity to drive a loaner P85+ for 5 days while my Roadster was in for annual service (and some nitpicky issues).

    I bought the Roadster this summer after taking a test drive in a P85 and being SOMEWHAT disappointed (I think my expectations were too high) in its performance, especially handling. It just felt big and "sloppy" so I started looking for a Roadster.

    Had I taken a P85+ for that test drive I may have purchased one instead of the Roadster. The P85+ is MUCH closer in fun & performance to the Roadster (although still not quite there), especially for a car of it's size.
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I've got an S85, and recently drove a P85+ for a day. I could clearly tell that the P85+ was better, especially under full acceleration. The full acceleration sway is the only thing that annoys me about my Model S. I like both handling and acceleration, but given a choice I'd go for better handling, so I really wanted to experience the +.

    But that was largely it. Like Pollux, I was just driving around town, not pushing the envelope on a track (where I first noticed the awful understeer on my Roadster in a driving class - I don't push the car hard enough to notice it on the road. Day to day, I love the Roadster handling). So I could well be missing some very big things. But given all the gushing online about the +, I was a little disappointed - the difference was smaller than I expected.

    Of course, wheels and tires matter a lot too, so different people could have different experiences because of that. It could also be that since I only get the sway on my S under full acceleration, that it happens more often on the faster P - so I might have noticed a larger difference if I was a P owner. Or maybe I just got a + with something loose, who knows.
     
  5. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    Cheaper alternative would be buying any Model S with the coil suspension. It is 80-90% as good as the plus. After putting even wider and grippier tires on my car it feels like like a P85++
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    There are times when I wish the + was available when NA signatures were born, but on the track that's not the first thing that comes to mind. The acceleration limiter is the #1 issue for me.
     
  7. Zextraterrestrial

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    Bingo!
    245s are not big enough for the car
     
  8. bsbomber

    bsbomber Member

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    If you are interested in buying a used P85+, there is one on e-bay (ends Sunday) that even includes an extra set of tires.
     
  9. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    My understanding from the Watertown SC folks is that you can buy a retrofit for the P85 to make it into a +.

    I think it's pricier than the original upgrade ($13K, maybe versus $6500?) but probably a lot cheaper than selling a P85, taking a loss, and then buying into a new P85+.

     
  10. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I have yet to drive a + but I don't think it's a fair comparison having a p85 on winter tires and comparing it to your + with Michelin PS2's. :)
     
  11. wormhole

    wormhole Banned

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    I don't really care about the P, I want the option to get the "+" on the S85
     
  12. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

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    An S85+ might be a popular niche.
     
  13. bsbomber

    bsbomber Member

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    What!!! Get the handling but not the power to go with it???
     
  14. wormhole

    wormhole Banned

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    absolutely. S is more than enough power, its over 300hp, and technically, the + part is only an extra couple grand b/c it includes the 21" wheel price. And the S85 could use the better handling...no brainer.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    $15K partial, $25K full
     
  16. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    I got the same quote ($25k + tax) for the full retrofit.
     
  17. gimp_dad

    gimp_dad Member

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    Easy to do. Buy the S85 without air suspension, upgrade wheels and rims. You are golden.

    I have a very early P85 (Aug 2012) and am still heart broken after driving a P85 without air and a P85+ with air. Both destroy my car's feeble attempt at suspension. Since I have a very early example (Founder) there is no way I am trading it in, but spending $25k seems excessive to fix the bushing problem.

    I have the Conti's and 21" rims and although that is a factor, it is certainly not the main difference as the P85 without air I drove had the 21" conti's and was much closer to the P85+ in handling than it was to my P85 with air and 21" Conti's.
     
  18. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    #18 100thMonkey, Nov 8, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
    After switching to 19" primacy's, I have to say the P+ simply has a better back end tuning than the P, both tires slip more evenly if you push it to the max even with all season 19" tires. the downside over the P is increased road noise and harsher feel (only an issue for long road trips... with kids and wife :~) low rolling resistance all seasons help mitigate the road noise and feel... a perfect match for this climate!
     
  19. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    What does partial consist of?

    Thanks,
    Alan

     
  20. wormhole

    wormhole Banned

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    Pretty certain its not quite that simple...and I had the s85 with the 21's...its no +
     

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