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Steering Mode - P100DL in Sport lighter than P85D+ in Normal


spaceship goes zoom
Nov 21, 2020
Hamburg, DE
Hey folks, I love my P85D+, especially because of the precise, tight Plus suspension driving feel, but the remanufactured battery put in is a ticking time bomb, as I lost the lottery and Tesla is refusing to replace it again even though it's less nominal kwh than my old battery at time of failure. But I digress...

Tried a P100DL (with 21" wheels), and even though there is no dead zone, steering resistance is super light, even in Sport mode, compared to the P85D+. Almost feels like Comfort mode on the P85D+. I can accept the Standard suspension is loftier feeling, even on 21's, as the Plus suspension is on 19's, but I would have figured the steering resistence/fake gearbox ratio in Sport mode would be similar. Not sure if expected or out of spec somehow. Makes P100DL feel like a luxury toy and the P85D+ feel like a sports car.

Can anyone else comment on Standard Air suspension vs. Plus Air suspension Sport mode steering resistance difference? Wondering if software difference when set to having Plus vs. Standard air suspension changes this
That matches my experience with those cars.

It's worth noting, suspension firmness directly affects steering firmness. For example, in my M3P with aftermarket adjustable coilovers, the steering feels firmer or softer as I adjust the damping to be firmer or softer.

So I don't think a soft boaty P100D would have the steering firmness of a P85D+ even if the power assist was the same level. And maybe the P100D is programmed for higher power assist too, I don't know. Suspension definitely plays a part though.
The Palladium (current Model S) has the feel you want when the suspension is set to Sport (or even Auto). Maybe a Raven would too, I never drove one of those, they also have adjustable damping so maybe.

If the original air suspension on my P85 ever needs replacing, I will upgrade it to the P85+ air spring dampers. Then I'll be able to say if the suspension alone brings the Plus steering firmness. 🙂 Stock the steering and suspension are similarly soft as a P100D, though the P85 still feels a lot better through the twisties just thanks to less weight, especially up front.

I just replaced every single control arm on the P85 to refresh all the bushings and wow, what a difference. Feels like its old self again. For the rear dogbone links I put in the P85+ version, but that's pretty minor I think compared to the P85+ dampers.
Thanks for the input. I'll have both in my hands shortly, and will downgrade each's firmware and try removing/adding Plus suspension config to see the effect. And then do a full suspension swap between the cars, moving the P85D+ air struts, swaybar, dampers, etc. to the P100DL. Dampers are a smidge rusty but oh well. Control arms seem negligible, more about fresh bushings there like you say. I've replaced front upper and lower single easy control arms on the P85D+ so far, nothing special about those.
Coming from a P85D+ to a P100D, I'm very interested in the result of your test.

I miss the feeling of the P85D+ so much. The P100D is better in a bunch of ways, but nothing beats the P85D+ when it comes to steering.

Moreover, the P100D is heavier, and I think this adds even more to the 'squishy' feeling.
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P100D is a modern American muscle car. Big, soft, comfy, ludicrous power...but heavy feeling and ponderous around the turns. Great car for cruising on the highway or overtaking in a straight line. Not my preferred Model S though, I'd rather drive a sportier version, even an older one with less power. Someone please get those P85D+ dampers onto a P100D and tell us if it brings the goodness!

Every time this thread gets bumped, I come closer and closer to dropping $$$$ on P85+ dampers for my P85...