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Sospensione pneumatica


I realize that this has been discussed previously, but I am now at the time to finalize my order. I would appreciate any current thoughts on whether or not to add this option.

My concern is primarily reliability , particularly in the southwest heat where I live. Any input would be appreciated. I especially interest in current owners of the car.

The air suspension in my Range Rover (in Florida) started to have problems at 8 years, 90,000 miles. I've had leaks in the suspension itself, and a failure of the air compressor. The auto shop that I take it to said this is typical for Range Rovers in his experience.

But - when it works it is amazing.

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).


Thanks. I have looked through those threads. I can't find out though in which other cars these continental air suspension parts have been used and its reliability. These parts are not in the roadster either.

Also, a negative of not getting them would be the additional wait time :(

I would get it for sure. Must have IMO.

The ride that the active air suspension gives you is absolutely worth the risk of (possible) additional maintenance down the road IMO.

I intend to keep my Model S for many years and accept that fact that I will eventually have to spend money for maintenance. Having said that, I am absolutely sure that it will be significantly less than maintenance on an ICE car.

Just do it. The air suspension ride is heavenly.
Before my test drive the Air Suspension was on the bottom of my upgrade list.
After my test drive, it's #1.

How do we know the ride without air suspension isn't also heavenly? No one has ridden in a Model S without air suspension.

True, but you can compare it to other cars and it's totally different.

Like my pop's used to say, "BOY! Stick with what you know!"

The DS-21's semi-air suspension worked just fine. You did have to replace the spheres about every 150,000 miles but they were very easy to do as they just screwed on. I don't expect any particular problems with the Continental air suspension.

Thanks for the input. I have decided to add the option. Now the waiting begins! P3189, given dec/jan delivery timeframe.

I test drove the car last month in Dania Beach Florida which had air suspension. I thought it handled the bumpy industrial area roads suprisingly well considering the low profile tires and 21" rims. Obviously in FL we dont have to worry about snow, but I doubt anyone will get to test drive a car without the air shocks. So we will have to hear from the owners. I intend to add that option due to the ride I experienced and other benefits.

I spoke to the rep and they do not have cars without the air suspension. Their current focus was to make the "best car". I think it will be 2013 when customers will get a chance to drive a car without the air suspension.

I can't believe I did this, but I forgot to ask what the clearance addition was with the adjustable suspension. Does anyone know? We fiddled with it at a stop sign during my test drive, and it went up slowly, but it was definitely multiple inches, and just a little surreal. Not exactly the height differential of the Hannibal 8, but it would still win on a race from New York to Paris. I don't know what "breaks" suspension, but where I live, suspension does break. I think even weight distribution of the vehicle (versus an ICE) will improve longevity on suspension, instead of reduce it. Since they drove it on (or near) a frozen lake in Minnesota, I'm confident the suspension will hold up!

From an email by Walter Franck (Tesla Motors?) to brianman, via:

Dynamics on how the active air suspense will handle when corning is to be announced, but I can expand upon the height levels. Manual Adjustments are as follows:

  • Normal height = 6”
  • High Level 1 = 0.90” taller; When the vehicle accelerates above 19 mph, the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
  • High level 2 = 1.3” above Standard and can be used for ascending a steep driveway or fording deep snow. Clearance reverts to High Level 1 above 10 mph.
  • Low Level = 0.79” under Standard; Active Air Suspension will automatically lower the vehicle for highway driving to improve aerodynamics. Low Level is also accessible from the touchscreen for loading/unloading of passengers. When the vehicle begins driving the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
  • The suspension will also self-level the car. For example if you load a lot of weight in the trunk the vehicle will remain level.

"The suspension will also self-level the car. For example if you load a lot of weight in the trunk the vehicle will remain level." Or when doing clockwise 0.86 g skidpad circles with a 400-lb passenger seated behind the driver.

@Volker.Berlin - Yes, Walter is from Tesla.

brianman, sorry, right, we clarified that long time ago. I simply copy-pasted my own post from this thread. Obviously, I should have edited that part before posting it here.

No worries. :)

I had a question about the air suspension. If I have a steep driveway, I know I can use the touchscreen to control the suspension and raise the car. But I would love if you could program the car to recognize certain locations (via GPS), and tell it to always move to the high setting when you approach. This would be oh so cool. I expect I will not remember to raise the car every time I approach, and the thought of scraping the nose on my driveway makes me cringe!

I was thinking this would be a nice app to build if they ever release the API.

Tesla said that the charge mode can be automatically chosen based on GPS. Therefore is does not seem far-fetched to have something like that for the air suspension, too.

Hey TM folks: if you read these forums, I had the same idea and would love an auto adjust feature so that when I pull into my office, the car will rise up some and won't drag the front spoiler on those stupid parking lot bumpers. ... Plus, it would be sooooo cool... And after all, is that what the model is all about. Cool!


Both at work and at home (steep driveway w/ a high bump) - are 90% of the pull-in locations that i need to navigate. If the car would adapt and go max height for both locations, my front lower bumper shroud will be very appreciative...

Well, it has been said that the air suspension lowers at speed. Does anyone know whether it rises back up at lower speeds? That wouldn't require a GPS location to activate, but would achieve about the same thing (not quite as cool though)

Yes, it does raise the car back up at lower speeds, but it returns the car to the "normal" height. Going higher than the normal height can only be done if chosen manually, at least for now.

Would be nice to have a voice command for max height for all of those non-regularly used parking places. "Sparky, set suspension to max."

Does the air suspension only affect the vehicle height / clearance or does it also control the stiffness / softness / dampening as well? If it only affects the height (even dynamically based on speed / cornering), then I'm probably not interested. If it allows me to control the feel from 'soft floaty cloud' to 'let me feel everything about the road', then that's much more interesting.

this will also add 5% to mileage the car lowers at hwy speed

Looking forward to voice command option to use four times a day!