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P85 vs. P85+ vs. 85D : Question about safety in slippery road conditions

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by gaffneycatch, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. gaffneycatch

    gaffneycatch Member

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    I'm shopping for a used model S to replace my VW Golf TDI (selling it back to dealer as part of emissions cheating settlement). I live in the country in central Virginia, where it's wet in the fall and spring, and can be icy and snowy during parts of the winter. As part of my daily 50 minute commute (each way) I have to cross a mountain pass, and my house is at the top of a half mile, steep gravel road.

    I write all that by way of explaining why I'm trying to get a clear picture of the differences between the P85, the P85+, and the 85D in terms of handling and safety in slippery driving conditions. Clearly, there is a pretty significant price difference between these three models. I also see that they all have a similar range, and similar 0-60 acceleration. I also have read that the P85+ handles really well -- but the reviews I've read all seem to be referring to how it handles on dry roads. I'm wondering if anyone can give me an idea of whether I'll get significantly better handling from a 85D in rain, snow and ice because of the AWD. And if I decide not to spend the extra money for an 85D, I'm also curious to know whether there is going to be any difference between a P85 and a P85+ in those conditions.

    Thanks in advance to any who take the time to weigh in.
     
  2. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    I had a P85 with the 19" tires before I got my P85D (also 19"). The P85 would get squirrely on wet roads. That much instant torque causes the rear to step around on you if you're not very careful. The P85D has no such problems. It sticks to the road in all conditions.

    If I were to be driving in slick conditions I would definitely get the D. It's not even close.
     
  3. gaffneycatch

    gaffneycatch Member

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    Thanks for the reply. That's what I've been concerned about. I read some people saying the + is a bit better handling than the plain P, but I'd guess that it's not up the level of 85D in terms of traction in bad whether.

    The P85D sounds great. Best of all worlds. But I see that the range is a bit lower than P85 as well as the 85D ... that concerns me a bit (along with the higher price).
     
  4. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    I own a P85 and have driven a P85+ and P85D. Get the 85D. Period.
     
  5. TorqueIt

    TorqueIt Member

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    Agree with 85D, which is also more likely to include autopilot.

    A tesla employee said to me he likes how the rear end comes loose in a P85 around fast corners--to me that is not desirable at all when used as a family vehicle!
     
  6. gaffneycatch

    gaffneycatch Member

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    Thanks for the response. This was the information I needed, and confirms what I was leaning towards -- I'm going to get the 85D. Now I just need to find one with the 3rd row seats (I've got four kids). Thanks again.
     
    • Love x 1
  7. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    85D for sure. Or if you want incredible performance for $30k more, P90D Ludicrous. But the former will still blow you away.
     
  8. JeffK

    JeffK Active Member

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    I agree with the others, it's no contest get the P85D even if you have a pay a little more.
     
  9. Vrrooom

    Vrrooom Member

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    Just to point out... Price difference between a P85 and P85D are huge!

    I have a P85 and have had no traction issues in wet or dry - no driving in winter conditions as yet. You can't even really tell it's a rwd unless you're very aggressive on the throttle.

    AWD will always provide better traction, but it's not a small price difference and you can't tell when driving normally whether you're in a P85 or P85D, even driving in a spirited manner, the difference is very small and almost unnoticeable.
     
  10. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    As above, just go for the D for your situation, hands down. Don't even worry about the P85+ in terms of handling on wet roads. It's just like the P85, except it has a stiffer/tighter suspension, so the ride has a bit more road feel than the P85 or P85D on DRY ROADS! On wet roads, it will still have the same stiff suspension like any sport sedan (think BMW M5), but the handling really won't be much different than the P85. But all that doesn't matter because what you really want is AWD.
     
  11. SPXMike

    SPXMike Member

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    For your conditions I would consider AWD mandatory. 85D.
     
  12. Markk993

    Markk993 Member

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    i agree.. i think though all that you would want is a 85D and not the P85D. You can likely find a well equipped 85D for around 75-85K depending on mileage and options. . One thing about the 3rd row seat... it will be very hard to find in my opinion BUT I have read threads that talk about Tesla service centers being able to install a 3rd row seat even when it was not equipped as such from the factory. It seems like it is a fairly new thing but I have heard of a small handful of service centers who have done this install. I would check with your local center and see what you can learn about this option. (you might have to call more than 1)...If you can find out about that option (and the cost) it would open up your market considerably. Just a thought...Good Luck!!
     
  13. Markk993

    Markk993 Member

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  14. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The "D" versions have much better handling in all conditions. In wet, ice, snow they are vastly superior to the RWD versions.
    Anecdote: Last winter I drove my 85D in a snowstorm with 6" of slush/snow on the road. I found a deserted section of road and attempted to get the car to break traction. Couldn't do it. I first accelerated from dead stop with full accelerator... the car accelerated in a straight line and never broke free. I then slammed on the brakes and is just stopped in a straight line without losing traction.
     
  15. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

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    FWIW: We used to have 4-wheel-drive vehicles (sports/sedan type, not Jeep-type!) because we have some winters here with decent amounts of snow, and almost all have plenty of icy conditions because we live out in the country and the roads are rarely treated with salt in Winter.

    Then we moved to smaller, front wheel drive Eco cars and lost the benefit of 4WD, so we switched to using proper Winter Tyres during Winter. They are awesome - I drove to France skiing, heavy snow, the mountain road was packed snow from the bottom of the valley, French police stopping motorists to fit chains etc. (they waved us through on Winter tyres). I was easily and control-ably able to pass cars on chains, and that whole experience was a revelation to me.

    So I would fit Winter Tyres first, and then optionally have AWD additionally. My experience back when we had 4WD was that I couldn't slow down any better! I could just force the car around a corner somewhat better, and I could get going / make better headway on a slippery road. Winter tyres are all-round-better, including stopping and cornering.
     
  16. MacLeodMX

    MacLeodMX Member

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    Agree - it's all about having a proper set of winter tires first. I have 4 Canadian winters worth of experience now. My 2013 P85 (michelin X-ice 3) handles better in snow than the Hummer H3T I had on all-seasons in AWD. Yes, an 85D will be better, but if cost is a concern, you won't be unsafe with a P85.
     
  17. gaffneycatch

    gaffneycatch Member

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    Thanks for all these responses. Very interesting and helpful. Particularly the bit about the winter tires. I'll keep that in mind.

    Mark, thanks for the link. I've been in touch with that guy several times. I love his car, but he's not willing to come down on the price right now. And, while I don't necessarily think his price is unreasonable (maybe a little bit high for the mileage, but not outrageous), I really have my sites set on an 85D rather than a P85D. It sounds like both are get cars, and I don't covet the extra acceleration as much as I covet the the extra range that I'd get if I don't have the P (it seems like it's about a 25 mile difference in range). So, given that I can get the plain D cheaper, and it gives me more of what I want, I'm just not willing to pull the trigger on the P85D unless it's a very good deal. But I appreciate the help.
     
  18. Stiction

    Stiction Member

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    Keep in mind that in really slippery conditions you probably want to disable regen, esp in hilly terrain. I have an 85D and I forgot to do this
    on my first trip to snow country..

    first time I let up on go pedal to start milking the brakes on a downhill with a curve I stopped tracking the curve and the front tires were just sliding sideways. Had to find the neutral point really fast to get them to track again. Scared the crap out of me. (I had just gotten above the snow line for the first time in the car and didn't have chains on yet.)

    If you put the regen in 'low' it's no worse than an automatic ICE car freewheeling and the wheels still track fine when you let off the go pedal.

    I should say that I don't own snow tires (I live in Ca...I carry chains for Tahoe skiing a few times per year)..for you snow tires would probably a very good investment.
     
  19. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I have an 85D with snow tires. Live at Tahoe. Never had this problem (with full regen) but I'll definitely be cautious.
    AWD is not a substitute for snow tires.
     

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