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Air suspension and ground clearance

Air suspension and ground clearance

How much can you raise the car with an active air suspension ?
I've looked at the specs and couldn't find how much clearance it adds at the highest setting.
6" seems to be normal level, but the specs page doesn't say if it's any different on cars with
active air suspension by default and in low and high settings.

Volker.Berlin | October 11, 2012

From an email by Walter Franck (Tesla Motors) to brianman, via:
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/7338-Responses-to-NAIAS-qu...

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.
sergiyz | October 11, 2012

@volker

thanks for the info.
This is pretty amazing, even the lowest ride is above 5" of clearance.
As an example, Jaguar XF has 4.5" of clearance, BMW M5 4.6".
Makes it really tough on steep driveways, especially with tail pipes sticking out...

Vexar | October 11, 2012

fording deep snow

And that's precisely why I got that option. Thank you, Tesla Motors! I do hope that it doesn't lower on you when you have the wheels spinning past 10 mph and speed is zero because you are slightly stuck, that would be self-defeating.

Volker.Berlin | October 11, 2012

Vexar, the wheels won't be spinning in the first place. :-) Tesla's traction control seems to be first rate, and thanks to the electric drive train, in an entirely different league than those systems in ICE vehicles.

Brian H | October 11, 2012

Yes, it seems all the bragging being done when the original Roadster TC was being developed and tested was justified. AWD results without the separate drive train.

Mand | June 22, 2014

Brian, thank you for all the great posts. Any idea if these ride heights are still the same for version 5.9?

From volker:
Normal height = 6”
High = 0.90” taller; When the vehicle accelerates above 19 mph, the clearance adjusts back to Normal height.
Very High = 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.

john | December 19, 2014

Is this with the 19" wheels or the 21" wheels? Seems to me, this would make for a 1" difference. Yes? So it seems, you could lower a non-adjustable suspension by 1" to close the gap in the wheel well if you use the 19" wheels (which have better range to begin with) and still pick-up the roughly 1% milage advantage the "lower" setting gives you at highway speeds. True, steep driveways might become a problem though...

gocken1 | December 19, 2014

The 19" wheels and the 21" wheels are about the same diameter. The 19" tires have 1" more sidewall on each side.

Hart | December 19, 2014

@volker: different subject, but I don't know how to contact you any other way, Volker: do you know of any place in Europe that rents a TESLA? I really would like to come over for a month in the summer and go sight seeing. Any ideas for hints would be very welcome indeed. I would be open to a swap idea as well. I have a brand-new P85D. Thanks you! Feel free to contact me directly at hrenger1atcomcastdotnet.