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Sport model vs non-sport performance?

Discussion in 'Roadster: Performance' started by daniel, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I test drove a sport model 2.5 Roadster. Pretty darn impressive! I never had it in performance mode. I drove it in normal mode and in range mode, and even in range mode the acceleration blew me away.

    I placed my order for a non-sport model 2.5, which is supposed to arrive in a week or two. I know the specs of 3.9 seconds zero to sixty for mine, vs 3.6 (?) for the sport. Since I will seldom if ever drive more than 100 miles in a day in it, I could leave it in performance mode all the time if I wanted to.

    Is it right to guess that my non-sport in performance mode will accelerate harder, quicker, than the sport model does in normal mode? In terms of driving experience (as opposed to clock times) how would you compare the sport and non-sport models?

    For context, I own a Prius, but my daily driver is a Zap Xebra that goes zero to 35 mph (its top speed on level ground) in about 31 seconds. :smile:
     
  2. S-2000 Roadster

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    Summarizing what I've read elsewhere here on this forum: The non-Sport in Performance mode should be basically identical to the Sport in Standard mode. That's speaking from the 0-to-60 times, so I don't know if there are other metrics that might differ. I'm sure those reports could be less than perfectly accurate, but I seriously doubt that the non-Sport in Performance mode will accelerate harder and quicker than the Sport in Standard mode as you're hoping.

    Speaking from my personal experience with a non-Sport over three weeks: You'll be very happy with your non-Sport in Standard mode. For all practical purposes during city or even freeway driving, you'll pretty much only ever be accelerating from a rolling start, and the Tesla Roadster delivers instant torque without the hassle of expert downshifting needed in an ICE vehicle.

    I've been told that running in Performance mode all of the time will shorten the lifetime of your battery because it is allowed to run hotter. If you bought the $15k(?) battery insurance package, then perhaps you don't care. I drive mine in Standard mode all of the time, and have only spent a few seconds in Performance mode (sometimes allowing time for the battery to warm up). Even Range mode (charging or driving) will shorten the life of your battery, although charging in Range mode periodically is supposedly a good idea. Seattle to Ellensburg is a good choice for Range mode, but I haven't used it otherwise.

    Bottom line: When you receive your Tesla Roadster, start with Standard mode for charging and driving. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and quite satisfied.
     
  3. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    For both the sport and the non-sport (both of which I've had quite a bit of experience with), you really need to be in sport mode in order to get shocking acceleration off the line. In performance mode, assuming you charged in performance mode as well + a number of other considerations, the sport will get you from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, and he base model gets you there in 3.9. The sport feels quicker right of the line also, but just by a hair. In standard mode for both cars, you'll be at least a second slower to 60 -- perhaps in the 5 second range which is still quick mind you, but it won't knock your socks off.

    Note also that running the car in performance mode all the time is not particulary friendly to the battery pack. That said, it's so much fun you'll probably not be able to help yourself from flipping the key into sport mode when you find yourself alone at a stoplight. If somebody is next to you at a stoplight, you'll never be able to help yourself. That said, if longevity of your battery pack is number one and you'll be driving most of the time in standard mode, probably better to just get the non-sport perhaps as neither car is going to blow you away when you are not in performance mode.
     
  4. scott451

    scott451 KWH-PWR#1349Sprt,S Sig#96

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  5. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Okay, so let me see if I've got this right:

    Charging in performance mode puts the batteries at a higher temperature, so they can deliver more current, but the higher temp shortens their life.
    Charging in range mode fills the batteries full, which also shortens their life.
    Charging in normal mode fills the batteries to only 80% (which will be plenty for me 99.9% of the time) and keeps them at a lower temp, both of which are good for battery life.

    Driving in performance mode keeps the batteries at a higher temperature, allowing more current, but also shortening their life.
    Driving in range mode or standard mode keeps the batteries cooler, but what's the difference between these two? Maybe range mode also limits acceleration?

    Battery degradation will be gradual. If I charge in standard mode but drive in performance mode for the first month, it probably won't shorten my battery life an awful lot, and after that I'll probably stick to standard or range for driving except when giving people rides.

    BTW the battery replacement agreement is $12,000. Tesla is assuming that the cost of a new pack in 7 years will be less than that, so they'll make money on the agreement. (Hey, they're a GREAT company, but they still want to try to make money.) I think a better bet is to hang onto my $12,000 and buy a new pack myself when performance or range become unacceptable. I don't know what battery degradation will do to performance, but I doubt that range will drop below my needs within 10 years, and maybe much more. Batteries are a consumption item, like brakes. You can drive gently and make them last longer, or you can have FUN and pay for replacement. The salesman told me he only advocates the battery replacement agreement for people who are really worried about the battery. He suggested I not get it. Now, THERE'S a switch: A car salesman who tells you not to buy the extra stuff!

    I never drove the sport demo in performance mode, and I don't think I ever put the pedal to the floor. I know I'm going to be more than satisfied with the performance of mine. On the freeway at 60 mph I punched it to pass a car and I was going 70 in an eyeblink. And I don't think I pushed the pedal all the way.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Strangely Benji's experience with Standard versus Performance mode is very different from mine. There's no way the difference is anywhere near 1 second. I have an Infiniti G37xS, which is in the 5 second range, and my Base Roadster blows it away in Standard mode. The difference between Standard and Performance is more like 0.2 seconds, similar to the difference between Base and Sport.

    The soft AD07 tires on the Base Roadster wear out pretty quickly, especially the rears. The super-sticky AD08 tires on the Sport Roadster, which are necessary to make use of the extra torque, wear even faster.
     
  7. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Sorry, I was definately wrong about that -- the difference between standard mode and performance mode for 0-60 is definately not close to a second but probably under 0.5 seconds... still, the times when I floored the Roadster Sport while in standard mode really felt disappointing, I don't think it would scare anybody. If you get a chance to do another test drive it's definately worth trying some 0-60's out in both modes.
     
  8. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    I agree that performance mode feels like much, much less than a 1 second difference 0-60 in my Sport model. My Roadster Sport has much, much better acceleration, in standard mode, than my 2008 Porsche Boxster S had (in the 4.6-4.9s range, from magazine test results). I wonder if anyone who has taken a Roadster to a drag strip has compared performance and standard mode on consecutive runs.

    The standard Sport tires are still the A048, not the AD08, right?
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I've only driven a Sport once (my test drive) so I'm no expert on it. It's possible that Base and Sport accelerate the same in Standard mode.

    But if that's the case, you have a really high bar for "won't scare anyone". I did a demo spin on Friday, and as soon as I floored it my passenger started stomping on an imaginary brake pedal. It was in Standard mode.
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes, you're right. I'm not sure if my brain or my fingers failed there. :tongue:
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I did my demo drive in a sport, as noted above, and also as noted above drove in standard and range modes, never performance mode. And I never actually floored it, but the acceleration did scare me a little when I punched it moderately hard. I'll report what happens when I get my (non-sport) Roadster and see if I've got the courage to floor it in performance mode.

    I WANT IT NOW!!!
     
  12. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Maybe my problem is I just got too used to it... One thing I can tell you for sure is that in performance mode when I floor it it scares me even as the driver at peak acceleration at 0.76g. The car almost feels a bit unstable at that point, like it's pushing too hard for its design. The passenger always will scream at that point shouting something like 'Oh my god' or 'holy s***'. For them it's a bit more shocking than for the driver since the driver is initiating it and knows what to feel. This is without fail. By the way, the best I was able to do in a sport was 0.81g.
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    With my Base Roadster, at least, I don't think an inexperienced passenger would notice the difference between Standard and Performance. Unless they're a sports car nut I use Standard mode, and I'm still running about 40% "Holy S***", 30% "Oh my god", 10% "WOW", and the remainder various random things including giggling (funnily enough the gigglers are usually male).

    Wow, did you drive off a cliff?
     
  14. S-2000 Roadster

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    I don't think anyone here has agreed with you on this. Here's my story explaining why I disagree with you:

    I own a Tesla Roadster 2.5 (non-Sport), and first the first couple of days I didn't even use Performance mode. I also only learned recently that you don't get full torque unless you floor the accelerator. Due to my ICE training, I habitually never floor a car, but rather ride the accelerator to provide just enough gas - probably a habit from vintage carburetors that would lose vacuum pressure otherwise. Despite my naivete with electric motors, I took my new car to show off to a couple of brothers in town who have way more experience with sports cars than I do. They've owned Subaru WRX and various other turbocharged vehicles, and currently have a Nissan GT-R that I've never even ridden in. I took them each on a drive around the block, including an uphill 0-to-60. Their unanimous conclusion was that the Tesla Roadster is potentially a GT-R-killer. I repeat, this is a non-Sport Roadster 2.5 driven in Standard mode uphill without completely flooring the accelerator.

    If that's not shocking acceleration, then I don't know what you expect.
     
  15. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Sorry, I definately was not correct in my first post, I think my brain was turned off. One thing I can tell you for certain though -- I have hit 0.76g in my non-sport twice so far in performance mode (also charged in performance mode), but only 0.68g so far max in normal mode (normal charge). I have never tested yet charging in performance mode and sprinting in normal mode.

    But you're right, especially for a passenger, this really is shocking acceleration in either case. When charging in normal mode (which is all I do these days), the best I've done is 0.74g -->

    output.png

    I have tested a lot more in performance mode than in normal mode however. I'm going to do some further testing of this over the weekend to get it clear. I really wish the VDS had a 0-60 timer -- the best I can do is bring a light passenger with me to time it.

    I find that the car generates the most g-force when you floor the accelerator very slightly after take off rather than all at once. I did hit 0.81g in a sport with a Tesla sales rep with me in the car, and he said that it beat the previous high he had seen of 0.80g.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Charging and running in Standard, 0.68 sounds very reasonable for a Base Roadster. Charging in Standard and running in Performance I've seen 0.72, but I've not checked very often so I doubt this is optimum. I've never done a Performance mode charge.

    Cool! I'll have to try your technique.
     
  17. S-2000 Roadster

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    Charging in Standard (normal) mode actually fills the batteries to 90%. If you also drive in Standard mode, which only lets you drain the battery to 10%, then I suppose it's accurate to say that you are using the middle 80% of the battery. But the key is that you can switch to Range mode at any time and access 90% of the battery, even starting with a Standard charge. Thus, the Tesla "80%" is more than the Nissan Leaf 80%

    Range mode does limit power, but I think that it also allows the batteries to get warmer as it drains more current out of them. I've been told by Tesla employees that driving in Range mode lets the batteries run hotter and shortens their lifespan. But I've been told by other Tesla employees that the hotter Range mode is not true. One hypothesis from the forum was that Range mode runs the cooling system as little as possible to save the energy for range, and thus the batteries end up hotter.

    I messed around with Standard and Range mode at first, but was warned against driving around in Range mode. So, now I just use Standard mode all of the time. I really only use Performance mode if I'm giving a demo and even then only when I remember it.

    I recommend that you spend your first month in Standard mode, both for charging and for driving. Use that first month to learn everything else about your new car. If you take a long road trip, then the occasional Range charge is actually good exercise for your battery. I tend to start my trip as soon as the Range charge is done so that the battery never really sits around with 100% charge. All of this switching modes just takes your attention away from the road and from the other aspects of the vehicle to which you should really be paying attention.

    Tesla hires people who are nowhere near the typical car salesman in attitude. I bought my car from the same fellow as you, but I get the impression that everyone at Tesla is more interested in finding people who will be happy with a Roadster rather than trying to sell as many as fast as they can.
     
  18. S-2000 Roadster

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    I'm totally guessing here, but I imagine that charging in Performance mode has no benefit unless you drive hard immediately after charging. The reason I say so is that the temperature of the battery will change if there is a long time between charging and driving. Admittedly, I really don't understand what a Performance charge would do for you unless you're literally sitting on the race track connected to a charger.

    A video camera weighs less than a light passenger. The trick is to secure the camera so it keeps the frame on the VDS at all times. I guess you'd also need a clock in the video frame with a second hand ... tenths of a second would be even better.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The one time I ran Range mode for a road trip, the batteries stayed quite cool the whole trip. First tic. PEM was on second tic, motor on third.
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I'm not sure if the VDS screen will do the job for you; the speed updates somewhat slowly.
     

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