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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I wanted to ask UK Model S owners how they found the ride quality of the car, I'm interested in hearing from those with air suspension and without, and which alloys you have (19" or 21")

Did owners get a chance to drive both air and no-air cars back to back? Is the air suspension worth it?

Another question would be how do you find the noise in the cabin at 70mph? (I've seen US owners looking to add additional sound dampening material to the car).

JimboJonesUK
 

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Watching with interest as the extra weight must produce more road (tyre) noise all things being equal. I love driving Leaf fast even more sureal with quiet tyres and little wind noise even at 99mph indicated correction 70mph.:p
 

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I've driven both air suspension and standard suspension... (in the US) The last two days have been on coils on a 60 as my wife's Roadster is in for its annual service and we're waiting on a part for her. (She has my S85 with air suspension).

A few things come to mind, (been as fast as 85 mph on the loaner, and faster on my own car). I have my air suspension set to go to LOW (since they re-enabled the feature) at 65 mph, and found the drive to be more responsive as we get to 70+ vs. the previous limit (which was Standard for a while (the whole road debris igniting Teslas issue from last year (before the Titanium shield.))) [yes, I like the use of nested ideas in my posts.]

The standard suspension on the 60 have the same effect as the air suspension stuck on Standard. I notice the suspension more because I go into a steep underground garage and my car (and the current loaner) would drag on the ground momentarily when I pull out of the garage. I am able to angle the car properly driving in. The air suspension affords me the ability to get out without such mishap. Additionally, I use the air suspension when I park in lots that have those concrete blocks that always seemed to scrape low bumpers, so I put the suspension up and pull right in.

As for road noise. The car does get noisy at low speeds and the airconditioning is on... But, I might have that checked. (not sure if it's normal or not.) At faster speeds, the road noise ends up covering that up. Besides, if I'm not talking on my phone, I'm listening to Sports, News, or blasting the music anyway.

As far as is it worth it? It does for me. Honestly, the loaner I have is pretty good and it's a basic 60 with regular suspension with only the panoramic roof as a discernible option. (it is pretty dim in the evening though (I have the interior light upgrade, and the loaner doesn't.))
 

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A few things come to mind, (been as fast as 85 mph on the loaner, and faster on my own car).
That's clearly not SOP - I'm not sure your countryman PJ O'Rourke would approve :cool:
 

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That's clearly not SOP - I'm not sure your countryman PJ O'Rourke would approve :cool:
What's funny is Tesla used to limit the top speed for loaners to 80mph. Sometime between November of last year and this summer, that limit was removed. It was the ODDEST feeling to merge into traffic and hit a virtual "wall" of speed at 80mph. There are spots in Southern California, when the traffic is nonexistent, that one needs to drive closer to 80mph than not "to keep up" even though the posted speed limit is 65mph.
 

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AFAIK you can only test drive air suspension in the UK, but if you ask, they are very accommodating and if they have standard coil available I can't see why they wouldn't sort something out for you!

I have air on 19s and I am very happy with it. Because you have no engine to hide the sounds of the ancillary systems, you do get to hear the compressor working when it initially charges the system, and occasionally when the car is auto-levelling.

The ride is firm and yet exceptionally smooth. It manages to soak up the bumps and provide good (not great) driver feedback without making the car feel like a massive 2 tonne barge. If you like cornering hard+fast then you'll need the P85+, but that is more down to the other suspension parts rather than the air option.

Being able to jack it up a few inches to get over extra high speed bumps or drive slowly through a suddenly flooded street is a bonus, as is the little bit of extra range you get when it moves to "low" on the motorway. Car looks cool on "low" when parked too :)

People complain about the road noise in the US, but you have to remember that over there many of the highways and streets are made of concrete, which is far more noisy than the tarmac we have here in the UK. For me, I am still getting used to the whole no-engine thing. Sounds sad, but driving along with the windows down, making no more noise than a couple of cyclists, is massively addictive.

I wouldn't say that air is an essential option, but IMO it should be high on your list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cheers for the info folks! Dennis nice to see they let you stretch the legs of the loaner on the highway. Jimbo agree about the tarmac vs concrete, hadn't thought about that.

I've been going over the options back and forth (I'm guessing many owners do?) I would have like to granular list of options as for the UK market, the tech package seems expensive (£3200) for what you actually get and as its required for the the other options (parking sensors, air, etc) feel like they are being a bit cheeky.

In my mind, I'm thinking 85kwh, leather, tech pack, air, parking sensors. I'm not a fan of sunroofs in general and didn't like the black bar inside between the two panes. Still can't decide on the colour, wish they offered more choices, although have been considering a simple base colour and then getting it professionally wrapped in a colour I actually want (also may help protect the car?).

I love reading all the details from other test drives and current owners.
 

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Sounds like a decent spec. The sunroof adds some headroom, especially at the back where most needed if you regularly carry taller people. It also adds the mounting points for roof bars if you ever need to carry bikes etc.
 

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Without a db meter it's hard to say. Subjectively everyone who's been in the car has said how quiet it is.

I've got standard springs with 19s and they are fine. It handles well, and is more than smooth enough. Think capable grand tourer more than dedicated sports car. It's weight does make itself known in fast directional changes, but it is progressive and communicative. Not really the right car for the Stelvio Pass, but a very nice way to get there!

Not sure they have any standard suspension models on the UK test drive fleet to do a back to back comparison. Saying that I bought mine on blind faith, having never test driven any Model S!

The steering is well weighted in standard mode. I don't like sports mode as it gives the car a very non linear feeling, but I don't like Audi steering for the same reason. I'm convinced VAG do it so on test drives it makes the car feel a bit more darty with minimal steering input, for the average punter this equals sporty. I find it very artificial, but then my other car is an Elise, and I've become a steering snob.

I have found with motorways and dual carriageways I will switch it into "comfort mode", and it works very well for just wafting along with the cruise control set.

I am 6'3 and have plenty of headroom in the front without the pano roof, but in the back my head does touch the headliner.

I agree the tech package is pricey, and requiring it before you can add parking sensors feels sneaky. I suspect the margins are much higher on the options, but choose wisely because I doubt from a residuals some are worth very much.

One thing I'd consider with air suspension is how long you intend to keep the car. They are notorious for going wrong on older cars and when they do are expensive to fix.
 

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19" wheels with standard coils, steering on "sport"; I love it! My previous car was a Mini Cooper S and the MS is much more enjoyable to ride, even if the handling is not quite as good. The Mini would bump and rattle while the Model S wafts. I can't really comment on the difference between coils and air as there was quite a time between my two test drives (on air) and arrival of my car, but I have not been disappointed.

Ride quality is the best I've experienced in any car I've owned; and it's an American car, who'd have thought it!!!
 
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