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P85+ Owners...any comments with regard to ride quality, tires, etc?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by cab, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. cab

    cab Member

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    So with the expiration of my 2012 Volt's lease, GM's delay of the 2016 Volt introduction (in Texas) and Tesla's introduction of the CPO program I am considering picking up a CPO P85 or P85+ later this year. The primary delta for the P85+ seems to be around the suspension (bushing firmness, different sways and air bladders, etc.) and the staggered wheels. Obviously, I can't just go test drive a new P85+ vs. P85 since they are no longer available so I am looking for real life feedback on the ride quality and any "tire" challenges you have seen. In addition, I find that it is easy to overlook or gloss over something on a test drive which then becomes a pain to deal with every day.

    Although I am coming from a Volt, my previous ride was an '02 M5. I became a BMW fan when I realized just how they nailed the BALANCE between handling and ride quality (particularly in the E36 and E39, but I digress). The M5 "only" had 18" rims (staggered) however. I am also keenly aware when manufacturer's miss the mark. We purchased a Volvo XC60 in 2012 with the R-Design package. This included firmer springs/struts/shocks in addition to a host of other items. Unfortunately, I think Volvo simply got the rear shock tuning wrong...just too harsh for only a modest improvement in handling. 90 days post-purchase I crawled underneath and swapped in the base touring suspension rear spring and shocks. On my '05 GTO, the rebound was just way off and gave a bouncy ride...new Konis took care of that (first time I was ever impressed by an aftermarket suspension swap).

    The biggest variable of all (beyond your personal tolerance for a given ride) is how rough the roads are where you live and drive every day. I'm in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as an aside.


    Anyway, two items:

    1. How would you rate the ride quality in therms of impact harshness (i.e. edge of potholes, expansion cracks, etc.), shudder transmitted through the cabin, and general "getting tossed about" on your daily drives?

    2. How is life with the staggered tires? In my own past experience it has been mixed. The M5 wore very evenly, but I've had other cars where they didn't and you just end up hosed w/o the ability to rotate...those cost to replace is, of course, another stinger.

    Thanks!
     
  2. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    cab,

    Welcome to the forum. I'm originally from DFW as well so I'm happy to help out a fellow P85+ prospective owner and neighbor. I came from sports cars prior to the Tesla (Porsche's / AMG MB / BMW E39 M5 as well) so my tolerance for rougher ride is likely higher from those experiences. I do not find the ride of the 21" P85+ staggered wheels to be rough at all. I would equate it to an S Class ride actually. It is pretty smooth IMO. That being said, you still want to always avoid those potholes as it can be jarring like any vehicle with low profile tires since there's less meat on the tire to absorb contact. Life with staggered tires is interesting, rears last 15k miles if you're lucky, and I'm still on my original fronts with 30k miles and they'll need to be replaced soon. Naturally with staggered width, you cannot really rotate much, although you can get a little more life out of the tire towards the end by rotating. Rear tires are naturally more expensive than fronts. The usual stuff. Let us know if you have any more questions.
     
  3. romp

    romp Member

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    Welcome, Cab!

    I'm also coming from BMW M's (but smaller ones than yours: E46 M Coupe and E37 Roadster), and we still own E70 diesel with custom sport suspension (but not the full M). We test-drove P85 and P85+ and settled on the "+", since the difference was substantial. The Plus has noticeably more predictable and neutral handling, especially post-apex. Overall handling is different from the M's, you feel the bigger weight of the car, the road feel is more muted and the traction limits are not as predictable and not as forgiving as the Bavarians make it. The Plus doesn't go into the corners with the same eager, but it comes out of them with more stability and power. Overall, it's a toss-up, really. However, make sure the alignment is done right: I feel it's more critical here than on the BMWs I used to own.

    Your questions:

    1. expansion cracks do not propagate at all (which is a plus), and you don't really feel them (which is a minus in my book). Potholes -- depends on the size, we don't have many of them here. Going over road construction you clearly get a feel of the roughness. I'd say it's mostly due to significantly increased tire noise than anything else.

    2. at ~11Kmi my fronts are about half-way through and my rears were replaced at about 8K with about 30-40% of the thread remaining (blew the sidewall jumping on the curb, had to replace both). I drive pretty much how I used to drive my M's and tire life is very similar to the M's with Bridgestone's S-03's or Michelin's Pilot Sports.
     
  4. kwhftw

    kwhftw Member

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    my oem tires seem to last 5k miles. great traction but NOISY and dont last at all.
     
  5. cab

    cab Member

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    Is the noise appreciably worse on the "+" or is it really the "21s are noisier than 19s, regardless of model"?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Great feedback and I totally get what you guys are describing, and I am glad you also brought up the tire noise item (which can be both "impact" noise and "rolling" noise).
     
  6. dan-l

    dan-l Member

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    Welcome cab!

    romp nailed the description on handling and I'd agree completely. As far as wear, I've disabled the auto lowering and just keep the car at the normal setting. I had my car in for service and they seemed almost surprised on how even the wear was, particularly on the back. I only have about 8k miles but I expect my staggered rears will easily make it to 15k despite the fact that my lifetime kWh is a little higher at 350 compared to many of the posts I've seen. (In other words, I have a pretty heavy foot)
     
  7. AMPUP

    AMPUP Member

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    tires, its all about alignment and how you drive... I had frequent burnouts but still managed to get 16K on the original Pilots. I now have Hankooks (Even wider rears and lower profile) but Its way more difficult to lose the backend when flooring it now. I had alignment performed when I got the Hankooks and other than Camber at low suspension setting, its all good now.
     
  8. kwhftw

    kwhftw Member

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    Im comparing the 21" wheels on my plus to the 21" wheels on the loaner p85 they give me when mines in for service. the p85 loaner is MUCH quieter. It's the tires. im going to change mine here in another 1k miles.

     
  9. DoubleDownOn9

    DoubleDownOn9 Member

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    I have a P85 and while it was in for service (on Wednesday) they gave me a P85+. The ride was certainly firmer and the rear of the car seemed to plant very well under full acceleration. The larger (and color-matched) wheels made the whole thing look really mean in my opinion. It felt very solid and powerful. I spoke to the service manager about the difference and he told me that usually they need to replace the tires at about 12k miles for the P85+'s. Also that the tires were considerably more expensive.

    After I got my car back and on the way home I needed to punch the accelerator to get into the carpool land and my back-end broke loose so I must have gotten used to the traction I had in the P85+.

    I think I would be just as happy putting 21in wheels on my P85 to be honest.
     
  10. hbombdaddy

    hbombdaddy Member

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    thinking of new rears for my p+. which speciic size tires did you get and where did you order them from. (hankooks)

    any other tesla company issues like tesla making yiu sign a wavier, or refusing servives to your car because of them.

    thanks. howard
     
  11. cab

    cab Member

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    Hmmm, well honestly the biggest drawback I am seeing so far appears to be the tire noise (and cost of course). The ride itself seems tolerable, and might, in fact, be somewhat clise to my old 2002 M5 which was fine. Happy to hear more thoughts!!!
     
  12. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    i have both a p85 and a p85+ i love the suspension in the + and yes you will replace tires annually
     
  13. marty2112

    marty2112 Member

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    I have a P85 and do regret not getting the +. After a couple of loaner experiences with the +, it just feels so connected to the road. I was ready to jump to a P85D, but found out that the + suspension is no longer available. Will wait to see wait the X looks like and hope the S refresh brings back the + features....
     
  14. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    I drove M5's for 9 years (2000 E39 and 2006 E60). I took delivery of a Sig P85 in Oct. 2012. I was NOT happy with the handling - the rear of the car was way too unstable for the power available, and the understeer was terrible. When the + suspension was introduced Tesla agreed to upgrade my Sig to P85+ specs. What a huge difference! The rear was much more planted, the understeer was reduced and I could take my favorite freeway off ramp just as fast as in the E60.

    As for harshness and road noise, it is definitely higher in the P85+ than in other Model S variants. But it is in the same ballpark as the M5 or other sport sedan with low profile summer performance tires. And tires do make a HUGE difference with these cars. My P85D was delivered with the square 21" Conti setup. Handling definitely suffered compared to the PS2 setup on the P85+. I swapped the Conti's for a staggered PS2 setup and now the P85D handles event better than the +.

    On tire wear, I got 9000 miles on the PS2 rears and had 15K miles on the fronts when I replaced the P85+ with the D.

    Bottom line - if you are an aggressive driver and care about handling stay away from the P85 and lower performance 19" or Conti tires. But you will love the P85+ shod with 21" PS2's!
     
  15. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Welcome cab!

    I think I can help out here -- as my only other car I own right now is a 2002 e39 M5 (LMB) I bought in 2006.

    I absolutely **adore** that car. It is, hands down, the most amazing automobile I've ever driven every single day between March 2006 when I got it... until March of 2014 when I got my P85+.

    I can tell you hands down, you will not be disappointed. Both cars really handle about the same. The P85+ definitely feels heavier, but it has quite a bit more "oomph" to make up for it. I'm giddy as a little boy driving *either* car, although I do drive the MS a bit more than the M5. On the days I am driving the M5, I'm like "damn, this car is still just as awesome as I remember it". It's not diminished in the least bit by my experience in the MS.

    In terms of tire wear, for the MS I ditched the rear 9" rims and got 2 8.5" rims and put on 245/35/21s all around (Hankook Ventus V12 evo2s) and I've been very happy with this setup now that I can rotate front to rear as needed.

    If you have any other questions, just let me know. But don't hesitate getting a P85+ if that's your desire. You won't regret it!!!

    (p.s. in case you haven't seen, check out my CPO Consolidator in my sig to help you find the most awesome P85+ for you. :) )
     
  16. cab

    cab Member

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    More great replies and I appreciate the "equivalent" car perspectives (i.e. previous sports sedans including E39 M5s). I do find I have gotten a bit less tolerant of the sporty ride/noise as I approach my 50s, but still find it comes back to the specific car. In our aforementioned Volvo, the suspension just seemed "low rent" in terms of sophistication and Volvo took the easy "stiff = sporty" path. Honestly, I think even some later BMWs suffered when they introduced run flats - it seemed to take several years before BMW had the increased sidewall stiffness fully (OK, mostly) sorted with regard to the rest of the suspension. BMW's own new i3 (which I had for a 3 day test drive) also misses the mark in my opinion. That car has a really short wheelbase (100" or so), and the general "tossing about" is excessive (again, IMO) and handling is darty on the freeway. It is a blast to drive around town, but there are definite compromises...I strongly believe BMW will alter this in a year or so.

    These additional posts continue to reinforce my belief that the "negatives" are really associated more with the 21" low profile tires than they are with anything else. The "worst case" scenario would appear to be that I hate the tire noise and/or ride quality and swap all the way down to the 19s, with the "in-between" option being to do what Hank did and get 2 "front" 21" rims and put them on the rear to allow for rotation (basically, the regular P85 setup).

    As most of you know the dang 21" inch rims are ridiculously sweet looking and those alone can draw us to the "dark side"....

    Hank, just for you - a couple pics of my previous ride (LMB / Caramel FTW!)....and I discovered your CPO consolidator a few days ago. AWESOME job with it and love v2!

    DSC_0003.JPG

    DSC_0017.JPG
     
  17. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Very nice! I have the LMB/LMB combo and love it. So much, I was thinking about getting a similar custom color interior for the P85+.

    For non M5 folks, this is the LMB (Le Mans Blue) M5 interior (yes, I know -- some people dislike it).

    IMG_0161.jpg


    p.s. Also, I may have been a little over-exuberhant last night. Malbec does that sometimes. :)
     
  18. cab

    cab Member

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    Loved the LMB sport interior as well (and it holds up so much better than the Nappa caramel).

    Back on our P85+ topic, what did the two new 21" rims cost you?
     
  19. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Noting. I found a willing TMC member who was willing to trade his two 8.5" rims for my two 9" rims. We met at a tireshop in Delaware who swapped my tires onto his rims.
     
  20. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I LOVE! my P85+ and it's 21"ers. I prefer a firmer ride. So I really can't say much about harshness. From my POV, she is smooth as silk. The staggered tires can be a hassle. I did swap out my Michelin PS2s for Hankooks, which are wearing much better. Though the rears do give up a little bit of grip. I love the RWD. I love the air suspension because I live in the mountains with many areas where I do need to raise it to get in drives, etc.

    I have been told that it does have more road noise than the 19"s. But I have not had the chance to compare. I expect that at some point in the future, I will probably do a DynaMat soundproofing just for Sh-ts and giggles. I do hear road noise; perhaps more than I would like. But the MS is, by far, the quietest car I have owned. And for a 4,600 pound beast, she handles really well. Always firmly planted.
     

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