Performance in the rain

Performance in the rain

After having my S for three weeks I got to drive it in the rain for the first time this morning. It doesn't rain much here, so the roads can get very slick when it does. The car was great. Traction was as if the roads were dry, the regeneration allowed sparing use of the brakes but when I needed them they gripped confidently. Water beaded up on the hood just like you'd expect on a newly waxed car. The wipers took a bit of getting used to, but that was only due to user error. The slope of the rear window and lack of rear wiper is different than my prior cars, but visibility was good. I was impressed, as I have been with every other aspect of the car.

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

I drive in the rain routinely. I use the 21" in the rain without problem. There is definitely more power consumption in the rain and range is reduced.

Three weeks without rain?
Around our parts we call that a drought.

Darmok | March 8, 2013

Around these parts it's just called March!

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

Around these parts it is called Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

The rain, I mean.

Getting Amped Again | March 8, 2013

@Captain_Zap - you're giving the NW a bad name! We had like 80 straight days of sunshine last summer! (Ok, admittedly that was an aberration.)

jchangyy | March 8, 2013

320-340 days of sun here. I welcome rain

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

@got amped

That sunny spell was a first in my lifetime, as well as my fathers, my grandfather's and my great-grandmother's. I'm not familiar with the experience of any of my family that was here before 1900 though. I think that the rainforest might vouch for that though.

Sunny aberration today! Thinkin' road trip!
Daffodils have their heads up and evenings are longer. Yahoo!

Tâm | March 8, 2013

My favorite rear view camera is pretty much useless as tiny rain drops would be magnified and distort the view.

But otherwise, I've been driving in the rain right now from Orange county, southern California to Oakland, CA with my 19" wheels and it performs flawlessly.

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013


JZ13 | March 8, 2013

I also was wandering how the rear visibility would be without a rear-wiper. So far not a problem.

Epley | March 8, 2013


I think the Captain's right. It rains around here all the time, except sometimes on odd years in August and September.

I have the 21's with performance tires and I've been very impressed with their performance in the rain and--get this--even in the snow!

DouglasR | March 8, 2013

You know what they say: "If you can't see Mt. Rainier, it means it's raining; if you CAN see Mt. Rainier, it means it's gonna rain."

stimeygee | March 8, 2013

I'm sure this has been answered elsewhere so pardon my laziness but - why is the range reduced in the rain? Other than the wipers, I don't get it. Is it in the tire-road connection?

John-V707 | March 8, 2013

Ever pushed a grocery cart through a puddle? Now imagine 8" wide wheels. There is a lot of resistance pushing water out of the way.

This also lowers the mileage of petroleum powered vehicles, but they don't watch the mileage on a mile-by-mile basis.

mark_g | March 8, 2013

I have a P85, 21 in experience this morning on semi-wet roads (it rained yesterday) was markedly different than what I am reading here. I took off from a light ( did not really hit the accelerator hard) and the car skittered like crazy, almost like the car had lost alot of traction, really disconcerting. Also, when on on a dry road, when I do hit the accelerator, the front end feels like its losing traction..almost like the old Corvair where the front end lifted..I remember my older brother had to put cement blocks in the front to keep it down (it also had a "frunk"...anyone else have a similar driving experience?

jat | March 8, 2013

@mferrazano - I don't have the performance version and I have 19" wheels, but no I haven't had that experience. The MS has been more stable even in very heavy rain than other cars I have driven, and I have only been able to get the TC to noticeably kick in on wet leaves or painted lines. Even under hard acceleration through a tight corner, I have felt no loss of front-end traction.

mark_g | March 8, 2013

I was checking it out tonight on a dry road, straight acceleration, as I punch the accelerator, I can feel the front end pull to the right slightly and I feel like I am losing some steering control as if the front end is floating. Not a good feeling.

Robert22 | March 8, 2013


I've experienced the same thing with the mushy steering on hard acceleration and commented on it previously. The weight definitely comes off of the front wheels and affects steering on my car. I think if someone catches a 40+ mph wind gust head-on while crossing a bridge they might become a Tesla pilot.

ian | March 8, 2013

The performance tires on the 21" wheels should be better in all conditions above about 40 degrees. Below that and an all season or better yet, a snow tire will be better, especially in the wet.

Brian H | March 9, 2013

Flooring it, crossing a bridge, with a 40mph headwind? Stupidity is nature's only capital offense. Flooring it is what angles the vector sharply rearwards; a bridge wouldn't do that enough, I don't think.