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Suspension / handling going from P85D+ to refresh long range S

danp

Member
Jun 25, 2013
111
44
Mid West
Has anyone gone from a P85+ or P85D with the + suspension to a Model S Plaid or LR refresh, and can provide some perspective on how the suspension and handling compare? I'm close to pulling the trigger on a new MS long range, but there are none to test drive.

I've had my P85D with the + since early 2015, and no other Tesla that I've driven compares in terms of how tight and planted the suspension feels, especially not any of the Model S loaners. They all felt floaty and disconnected from the road in comparison.
 
I don't have the direct experience you're looking for but I went from a 2017 Model X 75D with the old air suspension to a 2019 Raven S 100DL, which has their newer smart suspension but isn't as nice as the current Plaid suspension if I recall, and I notice an incremental boost to ride comfort on the non-sporty end of the spectrum. I only have had brief access to loaner S's to compare to but with them all locked into Chill mode I can't say how they feel doing anything sporty.

In my Raven S I do feel very planted to the road when I drop it into Sport and Low ride height and I can't recall any times where I felt the car rock when taking any corners at speed or being concerningly floaty when taking advantage of long empty stretches of highway. The car is very comfortable and tight between 95 and 110 to the point that one-handed driving still seems achievable from a technical comfort level (deer, elk, and other rational thoughts lead in the other direction at those speeds though...). :cool:
 

danp

Member
Jun 25, 2013
111
44
Mid West
I don't have the direct experience you're looking for but I went from a 2017 Model X 75D with the old air suspension to a 2019 Raven S 100DL, which has their newer smart suspension but isn't as nice as the current Plaid suspension if I recall, and I notice an incremental boost to ride comfort on the non-sporty end of the spectrum. I only have had brief access to loaner S's to compare to but with them all locked into Chill mode I can't say how they feel doing anything sporty.

In my Raven S I do feel very planted to the road when I drop it into Sport and Low ride height and I can't recall any times where I felt the car rock when taking any corners at speed or being concerningly floaty when taking advantage of long empty stretches of highway. The car is very comfortable and tight between 95 and 110 to the point that one-handed driving still seems achievable from a technical comfort level (deer, elk, and other rational thoughts lead in the other direction at those speeds though...). :cool:
That's helpful, thanks. There aren't a ton of the + suspension S's out there so I know it will be hard to find any direct comparisons.

I think the best way to describe the difference in feel between all the S's I've driven any my P85D+, when I get back in it, is that it just feels a lot smaller. The turning feels tighter, there is no body roll or float, etc. But I think the last S I drove, as a loaner, was maybe 2-3 years ago so it was before the Raven era.
 

danp

Member
Jun 25, 2013
111
44
Mid West
Why would you ever sell your P85D+?? Unicorn it is! You’ll never get a suspension as tight as yours in a model S.
Yeah, that's kind of my problem. I want all the new tech like sentry mode, faster charging, longer range, and the look of the pre-facelift front fascia is really getting old for me. But no other Tesla that I've driven has the same planted-on-rails yet cushy feel. So I'm hoping the suspension on the refresh S comes at least somewhat close.

EDIT - not to mention the open air feel of the sunroof that opens, nothing like it in the summer.

EDIT 2 - and the free supercharging, lol
 
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Destiny1701

21’ MY LR w/ABoost - BLUE ROCKET
Nov 28, 2015
1,165
880
Canada
Yeah, that's kind of my problem. I want all the new tech like sentry mode, faster charging, longer range, and the look of the pre-facelift front fascia is really getting old for me. But no other Tesla that I've driven has the same planted-on-rails yet cushy feel. So I'm hoping the suspension on the refresh S comes at least somewhat close.

EDIT - not to mention the open air feel of the sunroof that opens, nothing like it in the summer.

EDIT 2 - and the free supercharging, lol

Ok let’s brainstorm this…

1. You may upgrade to MCU2 thereby refreshing your UI speed and features to literally a 2020. Theatre, games, fast Gps etc
$1500-2k?

2. Front fascia…there are a number of upgrade companies updating pre-fascia MS to bring it to 2016+ Look :) have you considered this?

Range and speed of SC charging can’t help you there buddy. Do you charge at home mostly or use the SC quite a bit? Do you make enough long trips where having the extra miles of range would make that much diff?

Free SC and subscription…yep you’d lose that!

I’m not one to ever dismiss getting a new MS as I have one on order myself for May 2022 lol,
but in your situation I almost feel if would be the same cost to buy an LR Model 3 and have 2 vehicles as it would be to sell your P85D+ and have to buy a new LR even.? Have you done the math on that?

Your car is probably one of the best build a model S’s out there. The P85D’s were workhorses compared to every other model trim. They were built at the height of Tesla building each car as a custom vehicle with better attention to detail. Now? Their focus is numbers and deliveries…not so much finish and quality build.

Anyway you should try to drive a new MS and feel out the yoke before deciding! That’s a huge one for most.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,580
6,431
Merced, CA
Has anyone gone from a P85+ or P85D with the + suspension to a Model S Plaid or LR refresh, and can provide some perspective on how the suspension and handling compare? I'm close to pulling the trigger on a new MS long range, but there are none to test drive.

I've had my P85D with the + since early 2015, and no other Tesla that I've driven compares in terms of how tight and planted the suspension feels, especially not any of the Model S loaners. They all felt floaty and disconnected from the road in comparison.

Keep in mind that the + in the P85+ is a substantially softer suspension than the "plus" in the P85D which was discontinued in April of 2015.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,580
6,431
Merced, CA
That's helpful, thanks. There aren't a ton of the + suspension S's out there so I know it will be hard to find any direct comparisons.

I think the best way to describe the difference in feel between all the S's I've driven any my P85D+, when I get back in it, is that it just feels a lot smaller. The turning feels tighter, there is no body roll or float, etc. But I think the last S I drove, as a loaner, was maybe 2-3 years ago so it was before the Raven era.

Yes, it's like a quick handling go-cart. It's stunning that a 4800 lb car can feel so light and responsive when it isn't actually.
 

sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,580
6,431
Merced, CA
Why would you ever sell your P85D+?? Unicorn it is! You’ll never get a suspension as tight as yours in a model S.

I'd never do it again and if I'd even known about it and that it was going to be discontinued one month after I bought mine, I would have waited. And this coming from a guy who's never owned a Corvette without Z51.
 
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sorka

Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2015
8,580
6,431
Merced, CA
Ok let’s brainstorm this…

1. You may upgrade to MCU2 thereby refreshing your UI speed and features to literally a 2020. Theatre, games, fast Gps etc
$1500-2k?

2. Front fascia…there are a number of upgrade companies updating pre-fascia MS to bring it to 2016+ Look :) have you considered this?

Did the MCU2 upgrade. Unfortunately it also meant ditching V8 which means my USB music no longer works which really sucks so now I use a huge amount of my free grandfathered data to stream all the same things via Spotify. If they'd only fix USB music then I could get slightly better sound quality and save their data.

I still consider the Aston Martin nose cone look the best look on the S. I've never liked the refresh facia. Also, when that nose cone is damaged, it pops right off and costs $140 to replace and doesn't need to be painted.
 

lolachampcar

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2012
6,126
7,571
WPB Florida
Just some quick thoughts....
I loved my P90DL with the original early 2015 + suspension. A good friend of mine still has the car and I enjoy driving in it from time to time.

The above said, there is absolutely no comparison between that car and even my wife's MSLR, especially when you consider the $80k pre-price increase for the MSLR. The MSLR is STINKING fast and, like the Plaid, does not lay down at any speeds I am willing to do on public roads. The newer cars are quiet and very well built in comparison to my DL. They also have more grip. In the case of the Plaid on MPS4s (same tires I was running on my DL albeit a little wider), a LOT MORE GRIP. Whatever Tesla has done with the suspension keeps the tire patch more square with the road and does not seem to have the need for huge amounts of camber to get the stability control job done. It is like they wised up, tossed the old rule book out for top heavy sedan suspension and designed something that could take advantage of the super low roll center achievable with MS. That said, raw feel and feedback from the car is WAY DOWN from the previous cars. This is especially true for me in the rain when I rely on feedback from the wheel to judge grip. The feedback is significantly reduced.

For me, there is no comparison. The refresh cars are a much better daily driver. If you are coming from a DL, you will be perfectly happy with the MSLR now just MS. It is way more car for way less money. Just do not take a drive in a Plaid as that acceleration will ruin you :)
 
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danp

Member
Jun 25, 2013
111
44
Mid West
Ok let’s brainstorm this…

1. You may upgrade to MCU2 thereby refreshing your UI speed and features to literally a 2020. Theatre, games, fast Gps etc
$1500-2k?

Yes, but I wouldn't get things like sentry mode that depend on newer hardware, and there have been fewer new features rolled out to the (older) S anyway in recent years. My wife has a newer 3 and I was always jealous of the new features on hers. My S had some unspecified bug fixes here and there but not much else.

2. Front fascia…there are a number of upgrade companies updating pre-fascia MS to bring it to 2016+ Look :) have you considered this?

Yup, looking at the one from TSportline, especially since it's on sale right now.

Range and speed of SC charging can’t help you there buddy. Do you charge at home mostly or use the SC quite a bit? Do you make enough long trips where having the extra miles of range would make that much diff?

The S is much better for long trips, compared to my wife's 3, so having shorter range and slow charging speed almost defeats the purpose of the S as a nicer cruiser for long trips. But yeah, normally we just charge in the garage so it's only an issue for road trips.

Free SC and subscription…yep you’d lose that!

I’m not one to ever dismiss getting a new MS as I have one on order myself for May 2022 lol,
but in your situation I almost feel if would be the same cost to buy an LR Model 3 and have 2 vehicles as it would be to sell your P85D+ and have to buy a new LR even.? Have you done the math on that?

I'm not actually sure what you're suggesting there but I do have a MS LR on order, with June delivery, despite being on the fence about whether I actually want to upgrade vs keeping my P85D+ for another few years. We also have a 3.

Your car is probably one of the best build a model S’s out there. The P85D’s were workhorses compared to every other model trim. They were built at the height of Tesla building each car as a custom vehicle with better attention to detail. Now? Their focus is numbers and deliveries…not so much finish and quality build.

Anyway you should try to drive a new MS and feel out the yoke before deciding! That’s a huge one for most.

If only I could actually find one to drive! No demos for at least another few months at my local Tesla store. I might just bite the bullet and rent a Plaid on Turo for $400/day though.
 

danp

Member
Jun 25, 2013
111
44
Mid West
Just some quick thoughts....
I loved my P90DL with the original early 2015 + suspension. A good friend of mine still has the car and I enjoy driving in it from time to time.

The above said, there is absolutely no comparison between that car and even my wife's MSLR, especially when you consider the $80k pre-price increase for the MSLR. The MSLR is STINKING fast and, like the Plaid, does not lay down at any speeds I am willing to do on public roads. The newer cars are quiet and very well built in comparison to my DL. They also have more grip. In the case of the Plaid on MPS4s (same tires I was running on my DL albeit a little wider), a LOT MORE GRIP. Whatever Tesla has done with the suspension keeps the tire patch more square with the road and does not seem to have the need for huge amounts of camber to get the stability control job done. It is like they wised up, tossed the old rule book out for top heavy sedan suspension and designed something that could take advantage of the super low roll center achievable with MS. That said, raw feel and feedback from the car is WAY DOWN from the previous cars. This is especially true for me in the rain when I rely on feedback from the wheel to judge grip. The feedback is significantly reduced.

For me, there is no comparison. The refresh cars are a much better daily driver. If you are coming from a DL, you will be perfectly happy with the MSLR now just MS. It is way more car for way less money. Just do not take a drive in a Plaid as that acceleration will ruin you :)
This is super helpful, thanks!! I'll keep the MSLR I have on order and just try and find one to test drive in the meantime. Might have to be Turo, but I only see Plaids and people want like 400-500/day for them.
 

Unclepaul

Member
Jan 15, 2020
270
395
SoCal
The adaptive air ride suspension on the newer S & X is simply amazing, offering the best of both worlds.

It is soft and quiet when cruising along, but tightens up significantly when you run at higher speeds or experience some lateral G forces.

You can even set your ride/handling preferences if you wish.
 
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tm1v2

Member
Oct 18, 2021
632
430
USA
Just some quick thoughts....
I loved my P90DL with the original early 2015 + suspension. A good friend of mine still has the car and I enjoy driving in it from time to time.

The above said, there is absolutely no comparison between that car and even my wife's MSLR, especially when you consider the $80k pre-price increase for the MSLR. The MSLR is STINKING fast and, like the Plaid, does not lay down at any speeds I am willing to do on public roads. The newer cars are quiet and very well built in comparison to my DL. They also have more grip. In the case of the Plaid on MPS4s (same tires I was running on my DL albeit a little wider), a LOT MORE GRIP. Whatever Tesla has done with the suspension keeps the tire patch more square with the road and does not seem to have the need for huge amounts of camber to get the stability control job done. It is like they wised up, tossed the old rule book out for top heavy sedan suspension and designed something that could take advantage of the super low roll center achievable with MS. That said, raw feel and feedback from the car is WAY DOWN from the previous cars. This is especially true for me in the rain when I rely on feedback from the wheel to judge grip. The feedback is significantly reduced.

For me, there is no comparison. The refresh cars are a much better daily driver. If you are coming from a DL, you will be perfectly happy with the MSLR now just MS. It is way more car for way less money. Just do not take a drive in a Plaid as that acceleration will ruin you :)
This was super helpful, especially the part about reduced driver feedback (what I tend to call handling feel). To me it sounds like the new MS(LR) would be an excellent upgrade from my P85 (not plus sadly), in terms of doubling down on being a smooth powerful cruiser that can go around turns when needed (with the right tires) but never feels at home in the twisties, too big and numb. That describes late P100D to me btw - fast, smooth, quiet mile eater but really heavy feeling and out of place in tight twisty back roads. Not like the P85+ that felt about as good to turn as I can imagine for such a big air suspensioned car.

What you've also helped confirm is I'm really glad I just got an M3P instead of a 2nd MS when we needed a 2nd car. Both were on the table. I love how light and nimble and small the M3P feels compared to any MS, I realize I missed that so much, never owned such a big car before my MS P85. (Yes M3P stock handling leaves a lot to be desired, especially the damping, but that's why I have some choice aftermarket goodies on order for it.)
The adaptive air ride suspension on the newer S & X is simply amazing, offering the best of both worlds.

It is soft and quiet when cruising along, but tightens up significantly when you run at higher speeds or experience some lateral G forces.

You can even set your ride/handling preferences if you wish.
Does setting the suspension firmer give more driver feedback? Or does it just lean less but it's still difficult to feel the chassis balance, tire slip angles, etc? Yeah I know these are wrong questions to ask about an MS but it'll be a while still before new MS loaners or demos are available and I really want to know. :)
 

SoCal Buzz

Early Adopter
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
710
695
OC, Calif.
Does setting the suspension firmer give more driver feedback? Or does it just lean less but it's still difficult to feel the chassis balance, tire slip angles, etc?
The new suspension is amazing and highly configurable. My 2018 100D was cushy, floated over bumps at speed, and rolled a bit in turns. In Sport mode the new MS LR hunkers down and does not rebound over the exact same bumps. It's easy to lose track of speed because it handles so well and creates confidence in twists and turns. Plus the new staggered tire setup (on 19s) is very sticky with beefy 285s in the rear.
 

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