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Air suspension (SAS) on Model 3?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Gilberto Pe-Curto, Mar 28, 2017.

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  1. Gilberto Pe-Curto

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    Hi all !
    What can current Model S/X tell about air suspension absorbing road excitations ?
    Reason I ask is I live in an area with a lot of tree roots that grow below road pavement and the experience driving around is a bit annoying...
    Does Air Suspension feels anywhere close to a Citroen DS suspension ?

    @MichelT3 , you have a Citroen DS, right ?
     
  2. AEDennis

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    I have air suspension, but CItroen does not sell cars in California.

    I do have experience with bumpy roads as we get a lot of potholes in Southern California. The S air suspension is very comfortable.
     
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    • Gilberto Pe-Curto

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      Just a comment:
      Citroen DS is not manufactured since 70's I believe...:)

       
    • AEDennis

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      Then, I'm pretty sure that I've not been in and experienced that ride... I was not old enough to drive in the 70s.
       
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      • Gilberto Pe-Curto

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        Neither am I, ;-)
        But once I went for a ride on one from a ex-boss....
        Once in a lifetime experience...
         
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        • MichelT3

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          Back after a while, because I got fed up with the way this forum was going.

          Yes I have a Citroën DS. They were built from 1955 till 1975. Sold in the US till 1969. It uses oil (which is non compressible) as a means of transport of pressure, and compressed air (or rather Nitrogen) as pressure / power source. Very comfortable and soft yet stable ride, with long yet firm wheel travel (not bouncy, like US cars had). Also load adjusted and adjustable ride hight.
          It's like riding a magic carpet. The pressurised oil is also used to power the braking and steering.
          I also have a 1988 Citroën CX, the successor of the DS, built from 1974 till 1991, which has the same system. Which actually was produced till a month ago in succeeding models. Because of it both the DS and CX are still very usable and road worthy cars.

          I don't know the Tesla Air Suspension well enough to compare. Did a testdrive in a Model S with Air Suspension and was impressed by the quality of its suspension and the ease with which it took speed bumps. Quite comparable to my Citroën cars. If it's possible to get Air Suspension on the Model 3, it's a BIG plus and I will certainly want that.
           
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          • Gilberto Pe-Curto

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            Thanks a big lot @MichelT3 !
            Your last phrase was what I wanted to hear.
             
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            • teslaliving

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              I have coils on my Model S. I've driven several P85/P85+ loaners with air suspension and other than playing with ride height I find it a novelty. I don't notice the difference between the two. So I'm either insensitive (my wife would confirm that!) or it's really not worth the money. I wouldn't pay extra for it. For a while, though, there were some configs where you had to get air suspension with them.
               
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              • Vin

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                I was also curious about air suspension vs. coil. I watched a video yesterday in which a guy did a test using some phone app that tracked vibrations. I know it's not the most precise test, but what was interesting was when he charted the difference, the air and coil had the biggest difference when going over 60mph.
                But under 45 it was about the same on the chart, but air suspension seemed much smoother going over 60.
                Any thoughts about this? Is this just nonsense or is there some validity?
                Thanks.
                 
              • Gilberto Pe-Curto

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                Was this test ?
                 
              • Vin

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                Yes exactly lol :)
                 
              • Gilberto Pe-Curto

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                I saw it too, months ago.
                I wasn't too impressed about it...
                It did not convinced me to choose Air Suspension on M3
                 
              • Vin

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                Yeah, that's exactly why I came to M3OC thread to get more feedback. Thanks for confirming.
                 
              • teslaliving

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                Honestly, I've spent quite a but of time driving both at highway speeds and on back roads. If there's a noticeable difference it's very slight. It is slightly smoother on the air suspension but each time I remember thinking that there's no way that its worth what they charge for it.

                And all the raising/lowering stuff is just marketing. It does do that but not for efficiency (Bjorn has videos on that) and not so much for steep driveways etc as the coil height is just fine.

                For those that haven't driven either I can see how the FUD makes them lean towards air suspension, but on the S I'm convinced the air suspension is not needed if you're not into the top end/high performance stuff.
                 
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                • Vin

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                  Thanks.
                  While we're on features, and sorry to jump a little off subject, but I heard 2 conflicting reports about upgraded audio suite vs. stock audio. One guy said stock audio is great, and another video said there's a night and day difference between stock and upgraded.
                  I'm 90% sure I won't get upgraded audio, but does the stock audio in S seem good enough compared to most cars or is there a difference?
                   
                • teslaliving

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                  Actually, I think its very relevant to the air supension as my experience has been the same. I'm definitely no audiophile and listen to mostly Country music and book tapes so keep that in mind. Almost all the loaners have the premium sound so, like the air suspension cars, I've had experience in them too under the same conditions. Here's what I noticed:

                  1) I couldn't tell the difference in the sound.
                  2) You can't get XM without premium audio (and you need an XM subscription on top). No loss to me. XM has ads, receiption is much worse than the in-car slacker, etc.
                  3) Bass was a bit better, but again nothing big to me.

                  So my summary:
                  1) Standard sound is good enough for most people (don't forget you always have ever-present road noise to a degree in a car)
                  2) If you're an audiophile and have the money perhaps it makes sense. Still seems crazy to me at ~2.5% of the car cost for a feature that I couldn't tell the difference on.

                  I'd get the larger charger, or the subzero package or a big dent taken out of the premium upgrades package first. But if you get all those (which I want) and still have money to burn....
                   
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                  • garsh

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                    Somewhat relevant (to the sound system question - not the original question) - TeslaPittsburgh did a series of blog posts about upgrading his Model S to an aftermarket stereo system.
                    It includes comparisons between the base system, the factory upgrade, and his aftermarket upgrade.
                    Introduction: Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade
                    Studio Test of the Light Harmonic Speakers
                    Installing the Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade
                    Light Harmonic's Speakers Go Head-to-Head With Tesla's
                    Final Verdict: Does the Light Harmonic Speaker Upgrade Make Cents?
                     
                  • MichelT3

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                    #18 MichelT3, Apr 8, 2017
                    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
                    Going back to Air Suspension versus Coil Suspension.
                    The characteristic of Air (or air-oil) Suspension is that it works much better for flatting out long bumps (speed bumps) and undulations, especially at higher speed. Short ridges and bumps at lower speed show hardly a difference. Result is that Air Suspension leads to more comfortable driving at higher speeds and so it's less tiring when doing a long drive.
                    That's important for me, since I will be using my Model 3 mainly for longer drives.

                    I don't know the Tesla hight correction system well enough, but I can imagine that it will correct for the load in the car, keeping it level at all times. This is a HUGE advantage, when driving, to always have the same hight, independent of how many people and load are in the car.
                    Raising and lowering is not something you use daily, but convenient to be able to do. Especially when driving on a dirt track.

                    Something I will look into.
                     
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                    • Michael Russo

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                      Nobody talks better about Air suspension than a true Citroën lover... And to think DS in French means goddess!! ;)
                       
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                      • MichelT3

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                        Thanks @Michael Russo. Even though I believe that Citroën nowadays is just a shadow of the old make. In my eyes Tesla is the worthy successor of the Citroën from the 50's and 60's.
                        I'll try and do some research into the advantages of Tesla Air Suspension as soon as possible.
                         
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