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Discussion Starter #21
Instead of spending time going over her X, you should pay more attention to her V!

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But check out these trick doors...opens for you when you approach. Closes them once you tap the brake. What girl wouldn't be turned on by that?!?


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Discussion Starter #22
I'm reading thru the owner's manual RN. Any specific topic you want me to hit next? Audio/Infotainment? Suspension/Driving? Others?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Fascinating: In my V, the colder the ambient air got, the more power the car made. In the Tesla, battery pack output increases with temperature until the pack reaches about 50C, or around 122F. So here in Houston, I'll gain power as the weather warms up, not lose it. That's gonna feel odd for a while - I think all of us with FI cars are used to that big power bump that comes with cooler temps!

And if you want max power in cooler weather, you can use either the energy in the pack itself or a charging station (home or high speed charger) to warm the pack to peak operating temperature - but this would only be for a cold day at the track or something. Kinda like meth provides extra cooling for gas cars, heating the battery pack gives extra power to electric cars.
 

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Tri, how is that glass roof going to be in the Texas sun/heat?

I thought southerners hated moon/glass roofs.


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Discussion Starter #25
Tri, how is that glass roof going to be in the Texas sun/heat?

I thought southerners hated moon/glass roofs.


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Good question! I've heard various feedback on how it does. There are fixed and retractable shades if I want to go that route. And ceramic film helps too. Even a clear heat rejection film did wonders on the wife's Audi. Will consider that route if needed. But they say it's already treated pretty well.

I probably wont have a good verdict until springtime...

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I'm really curious about the suspension/handling. I have a few industry friends who have done tesla reviews as "competition analysis" and one of the things they all whine about is how poorly designed the tesla suspension is, but this is never a complaint you really hear from people who drive them. That alone doesn't surprise me because in general suspension and handling is something that is subjective and difficult to assess without significant data collection/analytical work.

My main question is A) seat of the pants feeling regarding performance and comfort, and B) how confident are you in really pushing the limits of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I'm really curious about the suspension/handling. I have a few industry friends who have done tesla reviews as "competition analysis" and one of the things they all whine about is how poorly designed the tesla suspension is, but this is never a complaint you really hear from people who drive them. That alone doesn't surprise me because in general suspension and handling is something that is subjective and difficult to assess without significant data collection/analytical work.

My main question is A) seat of the pants feeling regarding performance and comfort, and B) how confident are you in really pushing the limits of the car?
I'll have to dive into suspension and handling tonight then. Quick note: The Model S has a brand new air suspension recently introduced with the "Raven" variant. It's actually really nice. It's not a sporty suspension but in comfort mode it rides like a Town Car but if you yank into a corner there's zero body roll. Turn in could be a tad sharper but since the steering is 100% electric in theory this could be adjusted via software. There IS a Sport setting for steering but it mainly affect steering effort.

Also - this isn't really a replacement for my V, which on 265/305 Cup 2's had pretty good grip despite being heavy. This car is a few hundred pounds more with 245/265 tires so it's not going to have the same cornering ability.

The Model 3's have excellent suspension and handling. Some ride a tad harsh but that's mainly because of the factory 42 to 45psi tire pressure they run to get more range. Drop them to 36-38 and it's really nice.

Our Model X has the same newer suspension as the S does, so its ride is equally nice. Its heavier still and def not a sports car, but does really well. It came with Pirelli all-seasons which we will swap out for PS4S tires this week.

As a daily driver though, the suspension is damn near perfect. Track car...no, it's not. Too heavy with not enough tire under it. But I'll probably get some 255/285 20's on it which should help. There aren't any really great Cup 2 fitments for it right now unfortunately. I'd daily those here in Houston as its rarely that cold and never snows.

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I like the point about the service center. I fuuuuucking loath the normal dealership service model. Service writers/advisers are a useless waste of space who know less than nothing. I would love to be able to actually talk to the tech and explain the issue and also didn't realize until you mentioned it but I also hate that I can never see the car being worked on.
I probably have trust issues but I would really appreciate being able to look out into the service area while the car is there being fixed.

Nice reviews overall!
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I like the point about the service center. I fuuuuucking loath the normal dealership service model. Service writers/advisers are a useless waste of space who know less than nothing. I would love to be able to actually talk to the tech and explain the issue and also didn't realize until you mentioned it but I also hate that I can never see the car being worked on.
I probably have trust issues but I would really appreciate being able to look out into the service area while the car is there being fixed.

Nice reviews overall!
IN THEORY a Tesla (and most EV's) should need far less service and maintenance. But this mainly applies to the powertrain and brakes (because slowing down in an EV recharges the battery, putting far less wear on the brakes - I literally haven't touched my brake pedal in a week)

The rest of the car, however, is no different. From the power windows to the stereo to the wipers and tires to the wheel bearings - those are pretty much the same.

Over time, if y'all stick around, I'll try to update this thread periodically about any service issues. My owner's manual says one gear oil change after a year of break-in time, then nothing else needed for the life of the car. Check of the brake system (clean, lube, inspect and change fluid if needed) is every 1-2 years. Besides that, replace the tires and you're good to go.

Now will this play out that way? We'll see.

I definitely like the service model so far though. Was super impressed when a 26 year veteran master tech walked right up to me at the service desks (which are actually INSIDE the service bay area here - no "service drive" like at the Caddy and Audi dealer). He said. "I always like to talk to the owner directly to get the straight scoop." I knew right away the changes of things being fixed right were better.
 

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I had my first run in with a dual motor 3 that wanted to play. Damn they are quick!
I need to watch the video, then I’ll post it up.
Bet you are enjoying the S, Eric.


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Discussion Starter #32
I meant to post these pics here instead of another thread. This is the service center by my house in Houston. Instead of a service drive, you pull to an automated door and drive inside up to the service desk.

There's no automated wash here...hand wash only in an inside bay. The waiting area has a conference room for private calls and floor to ceiling windows looking into the service area. You can walk out and talk to the techs any time and they usually meet you to review your issues.

Pic 1 - wash bay
Pic 2 - conf room
Pic 3 - waiting area
Pic 4 - view of service bay thru waiting area windows
Pic 5 - the red carpets are where you pull up. Service desk is just behind this and open directly to the service area. No walls or service writers between you and the techs.



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I had my first run in with a dual motor 3 that wanted to play. Damn they are quick!
I need to watch the video, then I’ll post it up.
Bet you are enjoying the S, Eric.


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Nothing major, but it was some quick fun.
Stopped at a left turn behind a Model 3. "Nice, a dual motor. Wow, those tires are tiny, 195s?"
Away we go, onto a two lane road, come to a stoplight, side by side. Roads are wet, sprinkling a little. Between my window tint and his, I can't see anything.
Light turns green, and I get on it a little, not even enough for wheel spin. He bites, and jumps ahead. I get on it (still not WOT due to road conditions).
He pulls ahead, but I'm able to keep him from gaining. We let off.
We come to a T and he's turning left, me right. He already had his window down and yelled "Damn that things fast!", and I reply back with "That thing must be fun!".
A couple thumbs up, and off we go our separate ways.
I don't think he knew what the V was, and we may have just gained a new fan or some respect.
I now know how hard the dual motors can pull, and with such ease.
Those of you in the south, warmer, populated regions may get this every day. Not so much up here.

 

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I wonder if it was a Performance? They come with 235/35/20's. The standard dual motor has 235's also, but 18 or 19 inch. You may be able to get the 20's as a stand alone option.
 

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you seem to be spending more time here again TT. is the Tesla forum that bad?

much different demographic im sure but id be willing to bet its much more diverse.
one of the reasons the camaro and corvette's never fit me exactly . they have stigma in my eyes and i felt i fit much better on this forum which is more a wolf in sheeps clothing type .

I really would like to try out the model X for the next family car . i have driven the first gen p85 years ago but nothing since. I love the Escalade's but with this you get the power as well. which is exactly what id like .

the service side scares me if we have an issue and have to wait for a minor issue that is easily remedied but the part is back ordered or something to that extent i can see happening . I just have a gut feeling the keeps me from pulling the trigger and i cant put finger on it.
 

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Oh Tri not sure if you already addressed this or not but how is insurance rates with these new Tesla’s vs the V and Audi?

I know its not really apples to apples because between the two cars there is like $250k insures value vs well under $100k for the tow old cars, but I have heard the insurance rates are high for Tesla’s because of body work repair costs ballooning.




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Discussion Starter #37
Oh Tri not sure if you already addressed this or not but how is insurance rates with these new Tesla’s vs the V and Audi?

I know its not really apples to apples because between the two cars there is like $250k insures value vs well under $100k for the tow old cars, but I have heard the insurance rates are high for Tesla’s because of body work repair costs ballooning.
Insurance is about $75 more per month (that's for both Teslas vs the Audi SQ5 and the V), and that's for pretty much double the covered vehicle price so not too bad IMO. If it matters, that was on a $5M umbrella policy. Standalone car ins might differ a bit.

you seem to be spending more time here again TT. is the Tesla forum that bad?

much different demographic im sure but id be willing to bet its much more diverse.
one of the reasons the camaro and corvette's never fit me exactly . they have stigma in my eyes and i felt i fit much better on this forum which is more a wolf in sheeps clothing type .

I really would like to try out the model X for the next family car . i have driven the first gen p85 years ago but nothing since. I love the Escalade's but with this you get the power as well. which is exactly what id like .

the service side scares me if we have an issue and have to wait for a minor issue that is easily remedied but the part is back ordered or something to that extent i can see happening . I just have a gut feeling the keeps me from pulling the trigger and i cant put finger on it.
The Tesla forums are ok. Plenty of very knowledgeable people there. But there's also a ton of noise, fanboys, and ppl that just don't know cars like the group here. For conversation, general car talk, and for people that I know love cars and appreciate them in all forms, this place is hard to beat. The concept of respect and integrity exists here in a way that few forums have.

Now if I have a specific technical question or general operation question, need answers on service or repair - the one or two main Tesla forums are the place to go. But that's tactical. I'm not hanging out reading threads there....
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
So I'm finally getting around to spending some time on the suspension of the Tesla S (and X).

With the Raven update, Tesla radically improved the suspension system. The new system (on both our cars) is an air-adaptive and height adjustable system with variable damping and rebound with a remote reservoir, which you can see here in the lower left of the main air strut/spring and just in front of the brake line (maybe its behind? So just to the RIGHT in this pic I guess?) - the small black tube connected to the main strut tube.. This pic shows the old and new setups for reference...
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The new setup is both extremely smooth (even on my 21 inch wheels with 35 series tires all around). It rides far smoother than my Gen 2 V. And with the low center of gravity, turns create zero body roll as the battery pack is pretty much inline with the center of the wheels (vertically speaking). So the majority of the mass of the car tends to produce neutral roll in corners.

Now it's hard to discuss suspension without also covering steering. The Model S Raven offers a Sport and Normal setting for suspension - which works very much like in the V. Damping and rebound are the main changes, with little impact on spring rate.

There are three modes for steering - "Comfort", "Normal", and "Sport". These, like in the Gen 2 V when you use both "Competition Mode" and "Sport" suspension at the same time, tighten up the stiffness or effort in the steering. To me, Comfort is rather numb, but is, uh - comfortable? Normal is about like any average 4 door sedan. Sport is more firm and on-center feel is good, but its still not as directly connected as a good sports car. But it does provide reasonable (but not great) road feel. That said - it's an ideal daily driver in that regard...just not a track weapon.

Additionally, being an air suspension, it is auto-leveling/load adjusting, as well as being height adjustable. The Model S has "Low", "Normal", "High", and "Very High". The Model X adds a "Very Low" setting. Both allow a nearly slammed ride height all the way up to off-road clearances.
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Supposedly (and I have no way to validate this just yet), the suspension adapts to both driving style and road conditions. Also - there are options you can set for automatic lowering of the car to improve handling and aero/range. These settings are "Never", "Always", and "Highway only". The "Always" will always attempt to lower the car based on speed, road conditions, and other factors. "Highway Only" I think is purely speed based and lowers the car only at higher speeds to achieve longer range.

One other neat feature is that the car can automatically raise based on pinned GPS location. So if you have a steep driveway at home, huge speed bumps at work, or similar issues, when you raise the suspension at one of these places, the car automatically remembers the location and your ride height choice and the next time you approach that location, it will automatically restore the previous ride height you selected, as well as lowering back down once you pass that location. You can manually clear any remembered locations, too.

And there's also a "Jack" setting, which disables the automatic leveling so you can jack the car, tow it up onto a flatbed, or do other maintenance without the auto-leveling kicking in and messing things up.

A popular YouTuber compared the old Model S suspension on 19 inch wheels and tires with the new one with 21 inch tires, using a simple accelerometer app on a smartphone to measure the ride inside the car. The pic below shows the results of the old vs new in Normal as well as Sport modes. The new S on 19 or 20 inch wheels I would assume rides even better.
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Overall, I give the new setup an 8 or 9 out of 10 generally, but only about a 7 or 8 out of 10 for sporting/performance - mostly because I feel that for highly spirited driving, it's a tiny bit too soft and the steering isn't quite as telepathic as you'd find on BMW M and Audi S and RS cars.

That said - the steering and suspension are all computer controlled, so it stands to reason that the steering effort and feel could be adjusted via programming. But we are nowhere close to having anything like HP Tuners for Tesla cars - so unless Tesla pushes and update, it is what it is for now.

One last comment - while you don't notice at all how softly sprung the car is while turning because of the very flat cornering and low CG, and less so when braking (because we are accustomed to the nose diving), you can DEFINITELY detect the soft(er) suspension when launching the car. Between the massive electric motor torque and the softer suspension, any WOT action under about 60-70mph results in the nose of the car pointing skyward and the tail squatting hard as the car pulls like a beast. If there is one thing I would change about the car, it would be to figure out some way to curtail the massive nose raise, rear squat under hard acceleration. This isn't noticable on most cars simply because they can't accelerate anywhere close to what the Tesla can, but with this much immediate torque on hand, the tip rate and amount on both ends is striking.

I'll see if I can get a vid that illustrates what it looks like. It's not BAD per se, but it does impart the sense that you don't have as much control over the car when stomping on it. Putting the suspension in Sport mode and on the Low setting definitely reduces this a lot - so it's probably acceptable for those situations when you are OK with doing that. But the car is so comfy to drive around in Normal vs Sport suspension mode, it would be nice to have some way to better control the front lift/rear squat.

I've also driven the Model 3 in both standard and performance trims, and the steering on those cars is definitely tighter and more sporty feeling, and you can position those cars in a corner much more accurately. But they are lighter and a different design as well as different target buyer and audience.

I'll revisit this post when/if I get some 20 inch wheels on the car with a little wider rubber. The 245 front/265 rear setup is probably a great balance of long range and good performance, but I'm guessing some 255 or 265 fronts would help the steering feel as well as the ultimate grip. May take me a few weeks to get the new wheels and tires in though - so hang in there for that update.

Anything I left out? If you want to watch the full vid from where the above data/graph came from, here's the link:

Model S Raven Suspension
 

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Have you gotten to do a 60-130 with the dragy yet?


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Discussion Starter #40
Have you gotten to do a 60-130 with the dragy yet?


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No - it's at the tint/film shop right now getting some PPF on the front end and window tinting. So wont have it back until maybe tomorrow....

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