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Raven vs. Plus suspension

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,242
681
Springfield, VA
Has anyone driven both an S with the raven and performance plus suspensions? I am curious how they compare. I have read that the raven is very smooth, and the plus can be harsh. I have never driven a raven car, but I think the plus is great. I think it can be a little harsh over the worst bumps, but overall it is not that rough (with 19s). Cornering is so flat and immediate with the plus - and this is coming from someone with a Miata wearing a lot of pretty nice aftermarket suspension bits.

Not that I'm planning to replace my car anytime soon, but if nothing else changes, I could see myself in a 2019 or 2020 MSP in ~4 years time. It would be sad to see the suspension on my car go if the raven is not quite as good. That said, everyone seems to rave about it (great pun, eh?) but I have not seen any direct comparisons to the plus suspension, only the standard air.
 

eskaryo

Member
Jan 13, 2020
12
6
USA
I've ridden in a Raven for a few hundred miles though I've never driven and it has never been driven aggressively while I'm riding. I've only owned my 14 P85D (also Plus, also on 19s) for coming up on 2 months now but I'm nearing 10k miles on that clock.

Comparatively, I would say that the Raven suspension handles rashed up road a little more nicely but on twisty roads without asphalt damage it felt essentially identical. I know that's limited input, but it's all I've got.
 

Rogue Synapse

Member
Feb 9, 2019
480
603
Asheville, NC
The Plus suspension ceased manufacture on April 30, 2015. No OEM Tesla, performance or otherwise, has been made with the Performance Plus suspension since then.

But your point that it handles excellently is true I think. I would also like to hear an answer to your question of Raven vs. Plus in sporty driving. I have heard that the Raven is buttery smooth, and somehow I'm skeptical that it really firms up so immediately as to be comparable to the Plus, with just as little body roll, in "spirited" driving.
 

Kilowatt

Member
Jan 18, 2015
53
13
Stockholm, Sweden
Hi

I’ve had both actually and would say that there are some obvious differences.

both my cars have been on staggered 21” setup so no difference there.

the performance plus was certainly very sporty. Tighter and harder than Raven. More controlled when pushed hard.

but having said that, I actually prefer their versatility of Raven. Right now I have it set to the adaptive “auto” mode. It’s quieter, smoother and still ok stiff under pressure.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,242
681
Springfield, VA
Great comparison notes. I kind of expected that to be the case. I am not sure I would ever go for 21" wheels on the plus suspension as I think it could get pretty harsh. That may still be the case for the raven suspension, but it sounds like it's not "boring" either which is what I was concerned about.
 

Akikiki

A'-Lo-HA ! y'all
Nov 26, 2012
6,475
4,558
Kaneohe, HI
Rumored new suspension. Could be the fully dynamic Maxwell version: green on Twitter
Yeah could be. But about a year ago, I stumbled across this company and site. Not now, but then, the home page opened to a video of the Model S screen shot from the back seat so you could see it was a Tesla and see through the windshield. The S was working its way down the same bumpy road that it now shows the MB bouncing down. The page hinted that this system was on the Raven.
This is interest tech. Clear Motion
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
6,879
Canyon Lake,CA
Biggest difference over the earlier +suspension is the Raven adaptive suspension has a comfort, sport and auto. Gives the advantage of soft when you want and firm when you want.

It can give you a quiet and comfortable ride when you are cruising, then instantly switch to agressive dampening control in an unexpected emergency.

It will NOT give that buttoned down feel of the + suspension, but give you even better control when needed.

With old coil springs you needed a constant firm ride to reduce body roll. Lowering the suspension, with firmer shocks was also typical. This made the car feel like it was higher performing. Keeping the car flatter also kept more tread on the road, increasing lateral g-forces at the upper limits.

Now adaptive suspensions, with lightning fast response times can still give you the performance you need, without that harsh ride.
 
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diver110

Member
Aug 4, 2019
122
28
Baltimore
The Plus suspension ceased manufacture on April 30, 2015. No OEM Tesla, performance or otherwise, has been made with the Performance Plus suspension since then.

But your point that it handles excellently is true I think. I would also like to hear an answer to your question of Raven vs. Plus in sporty driving. I have heard that the Raven is buttery smooth, and somehow I'm skeptical that it really firms up so immediately as to be comparable to the Plus, with just as little body roll, in "spirited" driving.

I was looking through the used Teslas on the Tesla site. I could not find one that listed a Plus suspension. Several had a “smart air suspension.” Is that the same thing?
 

Rogue Synapse

Member
Feb 9, 2019
480
603
Asheville, NC
I was looking through the used Teslas on the Tesla site. I could not find one that listed a Plus suspension. Several had a “smart air suspension.” Is that the same thing?
Nope. The Performance Plus suspension had stiffer bushings on the upper and lower control arms, an upgraded anti-roll bar, and upgraded dampers for a stiffer, more responsive ride under “sporty” driving conditions. All Plus suspensions were also Smart Air Suspensions. Plus was originally an option for the P85 that debuted in 2013, and when the P85D came out in late 2014, all of those were made with the Plus suspension as standard, until April of 2015 when Plus was discontinued. In other words, the only models to ever have the Plus suspension were certain P85s (badged as “P85+”) and P85Ds (only badged as “P85D+“ for @BrokerDon ;)).

Smart Air Suspension (SAS) was originally a separate upgrade from the standard coil suspension and was available to all Model S cars (performance or not), but doesn’t necessarily mean a car with SAS had a Plus suspension. However, all Plus suspensions were on the SAS platform (none were on coil suspension). Eventually SAS became standard for all new Model S and the regular coil suspension was discontinued.

If you use https://ev-cpo.com/hunter/, it’s much easier to sort through all the options on used Teslas that Tesla doesn’t necessarily list on their website. For example, right now there are 132 (out of 297) Model S with SAS, but only 2 of those also have Plus suspensions.
 
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EV-CPO

Vendor
Jan 3, 2018
1,027
1,292
https://ev-cpo.com
If you use https://ev-cpo.com/hunter/, it’s much easier to sort through all the options on used Teslas that Tesla doesn’t necessarily list on their website. For example, right now there are 132 (out of 297) Model S with SAS, but only 2 of those also have Plus suspensions.

I just want to add, the PX01 code for the + suspension on P85Ds is hit-or-miss. There are many cars that have the + suspension (essentially all P85D made between November, 2014 and April, 2015, inclusive), but not all of them have the PX01 code. The only way to tell for sure is to get the build date (on or before April 30,2015) or visually inspect the shock towers for the FDSS part numbers.

More info here: Performance Plus (+) Upgrade
 

Rogue Synapse

Member
Feb 9, 2019
480
603
Asheville, NC
I just want to add, the PX01 code for the + suspension on P85Ds is hit-or-miss. There are many cars that have the + suspension (essentially all P85D made between November, 2014 and April, 2015, inclusive), but not all of them have the PX01 code. The only way to tell for sure is to get the build date (on or before April 30,2015) or visually inspect the shock towers for the FDSS part numbers.

More info here: Performance Plus (+) Upgrade
Yeah, good point. But I guess you could sort by P85+ AND P85D with original delivery date Apr 30 2015 or earlier (yeah I know a handful were made/delivered after that)... since it’s not really feasible to crawl under the cars posted online.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,242
681
Springfield, VA
Tesla also may have no idea, or they may just be wrong. When I bought my car, the EV-CPO site said that my car had the performance plus suspension, but the car also had cyclone wheels. I asked Tesla about whether it had the plus suspension since that option also required 21" wheels. They said it only had SAS. This wasn't a deal breaker for me, so I bought the car and checked the part numbers. Sure enough, it had the plus dampers. My car is a March 2015 build, BTW.
 

EV-CPO

Vendor
Jan 3, 2018
1,027
1,292
https://ev-cpo.com
I think "required" not accurate to describe the 21" wheels. The original P85+ was sold only with staggered 21" Turbine wheels, only because Tesla claimed they were needed for maximum performance for their flagship vehicle. (I have my own doubts about the staggered wheels affecting performance, but that's another thread). But they weren't "required." Remember by the time the P85D was released, the Performance+ wasn't an option you could select (like it was on the P85 that preceded it). The suspension components were just automatically and silently included on those early cars until they ran out of stocked parts in April, 2015.

When it came time for the P85D, the rules changed, and Tesla was selling the P85D with whatever wheels were available at the moment on the assembly line. People buying P85Ds back then never knew what kind of wheels they'd get -- 19", 21", base, cyclones, or turbines. There are many threads about this. But at the time, if your car came delivered with a set of wheels you didn't want, the delivery/service centers would happily swap them out for a small fee to upgrade to the 21" wheels or downgrades if people didn't want the 21" wheels.

Lastly, I wouldn't rely on the front-line sales associates to know these kinds of details at the time, and misinformation is very common.
 
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