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Scraping the bottom

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Jkam, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Jkam

    Jkam Member

    Mar 13, 2010
    #1 Jkam, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
    I have an inclined driveway. It isn't super steep, but it is significant (I don't know the % grade). Right now I have two SUVs which have good ground clearance so there is no problem. But given how low Model S is to the ground, and how long the vehicle is, I'm guessing I'm going to have a problem getting it up my driveway. It looks like the wheel placement from the original Model S to the alphas has changed. There is a much longer section behind the rear wheel on the alpha. It was much shorter in the original.
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    It's going to be really tough to know until the actual cars come out. Then I'm sure there are some calculations you can do to see if it might bottom out or not once the official specs are released. If fixing your driveway (maxing it more shallow) is a possibility and not too expensive, that might be something to consider as well but I imagine any work on a driveway will cost a lot.
  3. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The suddenness of the transition is going to matter more than the actual angle in most cases. Often the road drops towards the curbs, compounding the problem of a driveway that goes up. Here in CA, some roads have deep rain gutters that usually make things worse by lowering the car an inch or two just before the sidewalk. In many jurisdictions (at least in CA), only city/county approved contractors can do sidewalk work, which includes the driveway ramp in typical designs. While they can probably make a shallower transition for you, these contractors typically charge top dollar (law of supply and demand). I've seen driveways with a pipe laid in the road gutter and covered with asphalt. That eases the transition while letter water drain by. I have no idea how legal that is in your neighborhood.

    From what I've seen of the Model S, the rear end is higher and slopes up as it moves away from the wheels. The front end, however, is not only low, it's low the whole length. My guess is you'll scrape on the front before you scrape on the back. For comparison purposes, the Roadster's specs show it has a greater ground clearance than the Model S, and most Roadster owners have scraped the bottom. Heck, if you pick your car up at the Menlo Park assembly plant, you'll probably scrape bottom (at the front) as soon as your wheels hit public pavement for the very first time!

    If you're able to enter/exit your driveway at an angle, that will help quite a bit. But, that's not always practical.
  4. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

    Jun 18, 2011
    On my boat
    There's a much better solution to that problem than a pipe and some asphalt. Here's one and here's another

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