Floaty suspension vs P85+

Had the P85 for about 48 hours. Totally love it. Astonishingly fast. I could go on, but it would be repeating material oft posted here.

I had no idea what people meant about "floaty" suspension until I drove this car and hit the accelerator. It seems to veer a little right and then a little left. I guess I am getting used to it.

I definitely would have gotten the Performance Plus option for $6500 if I had known. It became available right as a placed my order, but nobody had more than the paragraph describing it, and the test drive I did was on a regular 85 which didn't feel as floaty.

I suspect I'll quit noticing the floatiness, or get used to controlling it, but coming from a Mercedes CLS 550, I do notice that.

Not to pick nits, I'm mostly wanting to know others' thoughts on the floatiness and their perception of it over time.


You have a bad bearing in your short link in the rear suspension I'd bet. Does it feel like you're wind wandering all the time? Does it pull up and left under throttle and down and right under regen? Can you change lanes to the left with just your right foot?:) Volkerize throttle yaw and axle nuts to find many discussions. Look up the edmunds suspension walk around.

Just realized you may have a fault on the other side so all my rights may be left and all my lefts wrong.

Ah. Thanks! It seems consistent with the pull on acceleration vs. regen. I bet what's happening is when I hit the accelerator hard, feel the drift one way, have the "mother of god" rush, and then let off the "gas" and regen pulls me back the other way.

Will research more.

Come on guys! It's a BRAND NEW CAR he's only had for 48 hrs. I had the same problem on my lowly MS 60 with 19" wheels and it scared the crap out of me. Your tires are brand new and they are slippery (tire experts feel free to chime in why this happens). Give it a couple hundred miles or less and the problem should disappear. If it's still present after a few hundred miles, then it's something else.

I drove a P85 with Continental tires for my test drive then they delivered mine with Pilots. The Pilots felt much better (which is probably one of the reasons they are used on the P+). I should really try to get together with a local P85 owner (and ideally a P85+) as compare the cars on the same day with multiple drivers. It might be useful to have some (non-professional) owner feedback as each of us would be very familiar with our own cars and sensitive to the slightest difference with the other's car.

My step brother does also have a Tesla 60, so that'd be a point of comparison. Thanks for the commentary.

I forget. Which are the ones made in the Czech Republic?

Conties are Czech AFAIK.

When I first drove the p85 on test drive I notice that already I even told the sale person. But they didn't have the p85+ at the time when I got my car on April. Other wise I would of gotten the plus. So there wasn't anything I could of done except for enjoy what I have now. Just wrong timing... At this point I'll wait for after market parts.

I've driven 3 P85s. Each is a little squirrely in the back and floaty in the front if you jam your foot down. I've felt it from a standing start, from accelerating 35 to 75 and coming out of corners when pushing it a little. Easily cured by easing the accelerator on quickly rather than totally jamming down. But I still wish I had the bigger wheels and Michelins. P+ came out 3 days after they started my car and they wouldn't add it.

Would you really notice the difference in daily driving?
I have learned to use progressive throttle application and don't find the suspension to be floaty on my P85 any longer.

I am curious about the driving intended by the P85+ car owners :-).


I'm kinda funny about driving in that my butt likes to know what the tires are doing even if I am no where near pushing the car hard. I prefer an M5 over a 540 as a daily driver not because I will be drifting the boat around corners but because I simply like a car that responds much quicker.

If I had to guess, and this is only a guess, I would say that the bushings used in the initial production were readily available parts. Much stiffer bushings probably required development as they use the rubber annulus between the inner and outer bushing sleeves to take up the angular movement between the suspension arms and the upright. There was most likely a great deal of engineering and product qualification put into the stiffer bushing design to make absolutely certain that the fatigue life was good enough before putting them into production.

I base the above comments on the simple fact that a lot of people have taken issue with rear suspension lateral compliance. If we notice it, you better believe Elon and his crew noticed it and early on. I simply think the business reality of shipping product outweighed the desire to have the absolute perfect car on day one. Again, just a guess.

@lolachampcar +1 I suspect that M5 level bushings would have delayed production. And considering how well it does handle they've compensated well with the suspension architecture but couldn't tweak every material to perfection. That said I can't wait to rash my rims and trash my bushings enough to justify replacement with the P85+ bits. Going to have to slalom home again:) To be honest though driving my E60 does show me how much less smooth and comfortable a ride it is but it is more precise.

So I've gotten to 250 miles and re-read this thread I started, and have new data. A quick thanks again for the help. I'm a shareholder and share the religion, and am blowing people's minds daily with tours of the car.

Back to the issue at hand: if I strongly accelerate, the car bounces right, then left, in a way that almost seems like it is twisting a bit because it feels like there is a pivot somewhere in the car more than say a lean. It is always right then left, and it is also while the accelerator is held down firmly without letting up. I mention that to say that the bounce left is not caused by backing off the accelerator and/or regen, as someone astutely asked..

I can live with that when flooring it in a straight line, but the real issue is in cornering. I'm noticing in any acceleration while cornering some strange behavior. It's like excessive understeer that flips to oversteer, or vice versa, depending whether I'm turning left or right.

I don't have a feeling at all for the limits of the car. It's more like I know there's no way it could lose traction because I'm no where near a limit of a modern car, but I'm getting signals that it could be and it's hard to ignore.

I've written Tesla about this just today. It was my "HQ Product Specialist", but that may be the wrong person to pursue the issue with. Advice?

Perhaps I should do some hard cornering at a completely flat speed and then get more feeling for the car's behavior when this issue is not in play.

I'm also going to be in the bay area this week, and have requested to test drive a P85 and P85+. My only test drive was an S85 and so I think this will also help get me some perspective.

I have noticed this, when pushing the car onto the on ramps. The car feels like its floating and speeding up and then suddenly slows down, when all I am doing is letting off regen after coming in fast into the curve.

I agree with Matt, that the car feels as though its close to its limits, but really, it feels like it shouldn't be. My sport package equipped BMW cold take on the same curve at a higher speed and never felt like it was close to the limits until the front wheels started complaining a bit.

@RedShift, thanks that is where I am on comparable cars like Mercedes, Porsche, and really every other one I have ever had.

I just spoke to a product specialist who said it could be related to the air suspension being slightly bouncier than the standard suspension.

I'm going to test drive another P85 out of Menlo Park. I'll be in the Bay Area tomorrow, perhaps I'll start a thread to see if somebody might let me test out a p85+ to compare the handling.

Do you know if the P85+ have the same problem ????? I got a p85 and I 'm even a bit afraid with that floating

This really sounds exactly like what happened to me. Setup a service appointment and have them drive it on the freeway. The repair to mine was to tighten and re-loctite several bolts and to replace a bushing. This is NOT the way the car is supposed to drive. Mine is back to dead center on acceleration and deceleration. The cornering is where mine felt very dangerous as little throttle blips would flip it from pointing one way to another.
The explanation I got was that slop in the small link due to the bushing being too loose (they also called it a spherical bearing) was allowing the caster to shift twisting the car.

All but one of the rear suspension bits are rubber bushings. The only spherical bearing type thing is the ball joint between the outboard end of the lower a-arm and the bottom of the upright. If that was worn, it would be a very noticeable problem.

I must admit I've never noticed my car wander on (very) hard acceleration - 0-80, 30-50 or 50-80

the wander I was referring to was the tendency of my car to follow imperfections in the pavement at highway speeds (constant speed - no acceleration).

Sorry @lola - I was referring to the earlier comments, not yours. Mine does exactly what you describe on I95 near Miami in the express lanes. I call it tramlining. For me it is a constant speed problem. I've never had the issues others describe when accelerating.

OK. The closest service center is Houston, so it sounds like a flatbed truck to get it out there with no loaner car! It seems like this is related to the car itself, and not standard performance from everyone else. Ugh, but ok.

I'll report back when I test some other cars for comparison.

Matt, thank you for this thread. You are describing exactly my experience as well in my P85. A friend who witnessed it from the passenger seat called it "torque stear". Most disquieting.

Coming from a BMW M5, I find the Tesla MS to be ... squirrely under acceleration, and when cornering and accelerating. It's disquieting, and doesn't inspire confidence.

I've watched some of the videos of the MS on the test track, wheels squealing, the Car & Driver narrator going on about the amazing handling (for a heavy car), and I wonder if I've got the same automobile.

My car is at the service center now for what has become a rather long visit, but when I pick it up I'm hopeful I can get a test drive in with the staff and we can talk about it.


It is very hard to compare personal experiences on a forum. This is what I have pulled from different posts combined with my own experience (P85).

Like Nick, I do not have any torque steer issues under hard acceleration even in the wet. The inverter (motor drive electronics) together with the traction control meter power to the wheels much faster than any ICE I have driven which decreases the time between the rear tires exceeding the programmed slip limit. This is a very good thing in that more power is being applied to the ground in a given period of time. However, it does make the back of the car much more active then say an M5 under hard acceleration. The individual chirps associated with an ICE's traction control are more like a continuous light squeal on MS. Again, I take this as a very good thing.

Several posters have mentioned torque steer and have had success having it addressed by a service center. Something seems to be going on here and I think anyone having this problem would do current and future owners a service by posting before and after correction observations along with exactly what the service center had to do to correct the issue.

Lastly, I too have the "darn, it does not feel like my M5" reaction to the rear of the car. I'm trying to get together with some local P85+ owners to do a back to back comparison with my P85 and, if I succeed, will try to get all involved to post their observations on TM and TMC. I believe the issue of an uncertain rear - that is, less than stellar feedback from the back of the car - is the result of too much compliance in the rubber suspension bushings. This theory is backed up by statements from Tesla like "you get 80% of the P85+ benefits with the field upgrade. That field upgrade package consists of Pilots and bushings. My car was delivered with Pilots (Conti production issues) and I immediately felt my car's rear was much superior to the Conti shod P85s I had driven to that point. However, that uncertain feeling in the rear is still there on my car. It literally feels like the wheels, and thus the alignment, is changing under load from bushing compliance which will change the feel of the back.

The above are simply my observations and I am always mindful that I am dealing with a 4700 lb car. It is never going to handle like a 458 (or 12C for that matter) nor should I expect it to. It is a wonderful car and beats the snot out of any S Class I have driven. So please do not take my comments as negative; I love my car!

Though I did not order a P or a P+, I still find your analysis fascinating to read. I hope you guys get it figured out.

I guess I'm confused. What I refer to as torque steer is a characteristic of front drive cars caused by unequal torque at the driving wheels during acceleration.

What I observe in the Tesla is a quite different phenomenon under hard acceleration. It almost feels like looseness but I attribute it to the more responsive (quicker) traction control system. It feels to me that it could be quickly eliminated by reducing the torque limit under acceleration but I would prefer it as it is. The feel could be possibly improved by a less compliant suspension, modified suspension geometry, or different tires but all these approaches are being explored. My guess would be that even if the "loose" feel were eliminated by these modifications, one would want to increase the torque available at the rear wheels and bring the same feel which I think may be a "good" feel of the S.

I think what we are feeling cannot be characterized as 'torque steer' in the traditional sense. That term is always associated with front wheel drive as noted by others.

'Torque sway', may be?

Rear engine - rear drive layout and the large curb weight make this a unique problem for the Model S.
Still, a super amazing driver with surprisingly 'manic' turn in at low speeds during tight cornering. That turn-in is better than my erstwhile BMW, and a very pleasing trait of the Model S.

You mean it's just the powerful motor torquing to you?