P85 to P85+ upgrade

P85 to P85+ upgrade

I'm not sure if any of these have been done, but I was on the bubble when I ordered my car. I have seen the -- you can get 80% of the benefit for $12k as an upgrade -- type of posts.

What is the 20% you can't get? I understand that it is the hardest to access parts of the car. But where is that 20% penalty in the experiential part of "supercar handling"?

@Lolachampcar, you must know this. Of course, I appreciate all guidance. I only had a paragraph that appeared as I ordered, with no context. The roads in my world are viciously bumpy, so maybe I am wasting my envy. Somehow, I need to know.


sunnyms85 | 4 octobre 2013

Wait I didn't quite understand your post ..... Can u put the sentence into simple lamens terms

DigitalSavant | 4 octobre 2013

I think I understand what they're getting at - upgrading a P85 to a P85+. It's been talked about in the forums that it's impossible fully upgrade a P85 with all the parts & fittings of a stock P85+. I recently asked two service center techs about this, because I own a P85 and got to drive a P85+ as a loaner for a day (and was blown away by the difference). Both people I talked to at the service center told me a full (100%) upgrade could be done, meaning the end result would be a P85+.. and that it would cost somewhere around $20k. They went on to tell me that a couple of local people had already done it. It would be nice to have someone who has actually done the upgrade to chime in.

pimp-boy | 4 octobre 2013

Supposedly there was 5 beta testers @ the Fremont service center that got their P85's upgraded to a P85+... It wasn't a retrofit, but a full upgrade to P85+. Don't know the cost, but I know it wasn't cheap.

sunnyms85 | 5 octobre 2013

So would it be possible to turn an 85 to a p85? Or is that different because you would have to change to battery itself?

Dramsey | 5 octobre 2013

You wouldn't have to change the battery; just the motor and inverter. That battery is the same in a P85 and a P85+.

jat | 5 octobre 2013

@sunnyms85,Dramset - and probably the wiring to handle the higher current between the inverter and the motor.

It is probably possible, but AFAIK it is not offered and would be cheaper to sell your S85 and buy a new P85.

rchiang | 5 octobre 2013

how about if you buy the parts and install yourself? What would be the cost from 20k?

matt.wis | 5 octobre 2013

Sorry I wasn't clear, but others deciphered my meaning. I was finally placing my order and the new option for the P85+ appeared. Unwilling to risk a bumpy ride, I declined the + part.

People commented in other threads that supposedly there would be an upgrade, but that there was one or two parts that would require so much labor to get at to install them that it wasn't worth it. So, the number quoted was that you could get 80% of the benefit for $12,000. Perhaps that last 20% of the benefit is adding another $8k and then you could get a real, badged P85+.

matt.wis | 5 octobre 2013

(this was back in the March/April timeframe)

sunnyms85 | 6 octobre 2013

ahh foey, Unfortunately im only 18 and cant decide to spend an extra 10k to get the p85. Oh well should be happy enough Im getting an 85 in a week.
Btw my 85 has 21 inch turbines, I know the ride would have been smoother with the 19's but would it be that much of a difference. I like smooth cars but I think the turbines look "sick as hell", so What rims did you guys get?

EMDoc | 6 octobre 2013

Hi Matt -

I was one of the "march/april" people who posted about this. The option for the plus became available the month after I took delivery. It is quite a difference driving the "+" and I'm looking into the retrofit. To answer your question, the dampers and sway bars would be very expensive to retrofit (the last 20%). As others have can be done and the few betas had a complete conversion but it requires taking apart much more of the car. I'm looking to get 80% and would be happy with the ride and better control. Hopefully, it won't be 13K as replacing the two rear wheels (already have turbines) would be saving 2200 off the bat. Hope this helps!

Roamer@AZ USA | 6 octobre 2013

May be smarter to sell and reorder. With the constant upgrades from lessons learned the cars keep getting better. Not sure I would spend 20k to have an old car with new suspension.

Or even cheaper. Just order a P85+ logo badge and you have it for less than 100 dollars. That's what BMW drivers have done for years.

lolachampcar | 6 octobre 2013

The Skinny as I know it-

Factory P85+ gets stiffer bushings in the rear (includes lower a-arms, upper arms, toe links and torque links), re-valved dampers (I've not been able to put a P85 and P85+ damper on a shock dyno to tell you exactly what was done but I suspect they increased bump by a small amount while leaving rebound alone - all low speed as my butt has never been able to decipher high speed bump or rebound), and thicker sway bars front and rear. We all know about the 1/2 wider rear rims and 20mm wider rear tires.

The field upgrade kits do not get the dampers (too expensive) or sway bars (too expensive to install - drop rear subframe???). The quote that stuck in my mind when I talked with Huibert was "you get 80% of the benefits with the field package but get the factory one if you can afford it". I sold my Feb delivery P85 and bought the P85+.

Tesla made a change in very early production to stiffen the rear sub-frame bushings. Early owners wanting the + package require a rear sub-frame swap as well. I've only heard of this being done when doing a field installation of a complete + package.

Let me know if anyone wants to hear what I think would be the killer set up.

carlk | 6 octobre 2013

"Let me know if anyone wants to hear what I think would be the killer set up."

Hmmmm... I'm sure everyone wants to know.

T3SLA | 6 octobre 2013

Others have commented that upgrading the rear tires to the wider and more stick michillene sport that come with the plus will add 40% of the experience. Another twenty % comes from the bushings.
Obviously, the tires are the easiest upgrade, and will probably just add the missing traction but not resolve the floating.

lolachampcar | 6 octobre 2013

I'm kinda of out here on this one but I have traditionally loathed MB's air suspension when compared to their spring equipped cars (E63 v. C63) and am finding the same when I drive my wife's S85 with coil springs versus my P85+ with air. I think there is a very low cost option that would provide a better than P+ result. Again, I may be out in left field here but this is what I think.

I did not like the "squishy" feeling in the rear of my first P85, especially under hard acceleration or rapid side loading. This was the primary reason for my moving to the P85+. I've done a few different upper links to adjust camber and the latest link I did had zero compliance angular mis-alignment ball bearings instead of rubber bushings. I can not tell the difference which leads me to believe that the lower a-arm bushings are the primary contributor to a good feel in the rear of the car.

If I am right about the bushings, there is a good chance that changing the coil springs to slightly stiffen a S or P and lower it to where I have my P85+ (1/2" lower than normal) while also changing just the lower a-arms will yield a wonderful car. I would also change the upper link to set the rear camber back to negative one or so (normal for a spring'd MS). I would then choose the best possible rubber for either the stock 19" wheels or lighter weight 19s or 20s (depending upon which gave me the best choice in tire). I would start with the same width all the way around and check for oversteer. I would only go with staggered width rubber if absolutely needed to control oversteer.

I believe this approach would give you a better feeling/handling car for significantly less money than any current solution. The P+ lower a-arms are around $1200 although this cost could be avoided if a quality inner bushing solution could be found. Springs, even custom wound ones, are not expensive. Wheels and tires are common knowledge with many options significantly cheaper than the stock solution if you chose to move away from the stock rims (not absolutely required unless you wanted wider, lighter or staggered width rims.

I agree with H. Mees in that large sway bars are more trouble than they are worth. I never had an issue with my original P85's roll compliance and would not have changed the bars had I kept the car. The thicker bars on my P+ literally snatch your head from side to side when you hit a road imperfection with just one wheel (pothole). I could do without that.

One of the big downsides to the above approach is the inability to raise the car. There really is no need for it here in Florida and I find that I never raise my car (even though it is 1/2 lower than stock). That is not the case in other parts of the country and I routinely see posters writing about using the raise feature.

So there is my two cents worth. I've got some a-arms coming along with a set of dampers for trying different springs. Now I just have to explain to my wife why I want to muck with her car. I also have to figure out what I'm going to do if it works like I think it will as I am going to want the same thing in a P.

EMDoc | 6 octobre 2013


Thanks for the input. I agree...I think I may just change the rear rims to the wider ones when I upgrade to the Michelins. That my solve the majority of my concern but that "floaty" feeling is just not something I'm happy with. It's difficult to get used to having had a newer 911 and M3 sedan. I may end up doing the 80% retrofit.

J.T. | 6 octobre 2013


I have no idea what you are talking about but I find it fascinating nonetheless. You're a gifted educator.

carlk | 6 octobre 2013

I can understand most what Lola said but I'm afraid most people here, myself included, will not have the ability to make the same mod as he planned to do.

shop | 6 octobre 2013

Given the above, seems to make sense to sell a p85 and buy a p85+ if you want the plus features. Also if you have an older car, you get other upgrades too like the new door handles (which are a dream compared to the old dead ones), parking sensors, etc.

Spirous | 8 octobre 2013

But buying the MS today, who really needs the plus package? I live in Norway and can't drive like a racer car anyway... Never driven a very fast or tight car, so have convinced me I only go for the P85. Wise?

J.T. | 8 octobre 2013

Not really sure you even "need" the P. I drove a P85 yesterday for comparison and to me the difference isn't worth the money for the way I drive.

sergiyz | 8 octobre 2013

Just checked with the ownership@ the other day.
They say it's not currently offered as an upgrade and they don't have an ETA for it either.
I think they may give up on the whole idea, since they can't make cars fast enough, so really no good reason for them to get into the whole upgrade business at this point since the demand for cars is so high.

carlk | 8 octobre 2013

People you don't even need to read this thread if P/P+ is not for you.