First snow

First snow

Yes, I've seen several vouch for the Model S's prowess in winter climes, but driving is believing. We got a couple inches of powder tonight, so I had to see for myself. I can now concur that the MS is very sure-footed in the snow, perhaps moreso than any other two wheel drive vehicle I've owned and better than a 4WD pick-up.

Captain_Zap | 20. november 2013

Told ya!

Bighorn | 20. november 2013

Yes, points were assigned.

eddiemoy | 20. november 2013

what do you have? p85+? i have my snow tires on order, wonder if i need it if you say it runs well without snows.

Captain_Zap | 20. november 2013


Just curious. Did you turn the regen to low? It seems that regen isn't as aggressive as it used to be with the new update.

I'm thinking that I might not need to switch regen to low this winter.

Bighorn | 20. november 2013

P85+ with winter set-up, 19" Rial Luganos with Blizzak LM-60s. PS2s wouldn't be a good idea.

Bighorn | 20. november 2013

I did knock regen down to low. It wasn't slick enough that I couldn't have modulated the full regen, though. It took over 40 minutes of driving to lose my regen limitation, so most cold days it'll be a moot point.

Captain_Zap | 20. november 2013


I'm putting my 19" Rial Luganos on the car Monday, but I got Michelin Primacy MXM4's for our wet winters.

Last winter, I was really blown away at how well the car did with the Tesla 21s on when I was caught in an unexpected snow squall.

Bighorn | 20. november 2013

I took the 21s up a mountain pass and ran into some icy curves and had no problem. I think that lower winter temps may adversely affect traction, though. The RLs are sweet and the winter rubber will conserve the pricey PS2s.

Hart | 21. november 2013

Very slick and icy early AM here today (No CO). Multiple accidents. Took my 85 out first time. All season Michelin, delivery late Oct. With standard regen, she would tend to briefly slip rear wheels with immediate traction control coming in - back and forth. Handled much better when I switched to low regen; no more breaking out. Also, used creep first time (never used it on dry roads). Very helpful when having to start in the middle of other cars on a slippery incline! On the road, she handled very well indeed. Solid, good cornering, even though I did go cautiously and slowly for obvious reasons (any time I tried to break a bit hard, full ABS action).
Overall, I am impressed and am looking forward to trying her in more favorable winter conditions. Not sure yet if I will go with winter tires.

Bighorn | 21. november 2013

One thing I discovered about the low regen setting--when it's cold and regen is limited, the low setting is not absolute, but a percentage of available regen. So, if you have a dashed line at 30kW regen, you can only generate about half of that and it is barely perceptible. I ended up putting it back onto full regen when the limiter was active and felt comfortable that it wouldn't break loose.

Brian H | 21. november 2013

Yeah, the combo of full regen, TC & SC should be stable even on ice.

TMCproud | 22. november 2013

A few weeks ago a neighbour stops beside my MS, rolls down his window, asks "how are you enjoying the new car"... I reply : "I love it". Before I can elaborate, he says : "I'll ask you again after the winter" and then drives away in his caca brown Land Rover...

I can't wait 'til spring.......

cfOH | 22. november 2013

Sounds like your neighbor might have a touch of envy. Or just general douchiness. ;-)

Gizmotoy | 22. november 2013

@cfOH: Sounds to me like a bit of both.

SamO | 22. november 2013

Just tell him "Come back after 500 gallons and let me know how everything is working."

Car t man | 22. november 2013

The neighbor sounds like a perfectly likable and funny guy... I would make that joke also, even if I knew full well that the car handles well, knowing many of you would be bothered on some forum somewhere, when the story would be shared..

+1 for the neighbor :)

Bighorn | 22. november 2013

@Car t man
Funny how, funny like a clown?

Brian H | 23. november 2013

Funny as in making a teasing challenge.

Bighorn | 23. november 2013

Pesci reference.

Pål | 23. november 2013

I've had the fair share of jealousy and scepticism, even long before I got the car. I had a BMW520 sport, and the BMW shop would give me a hard time whenever we talked about the coming Tesla. When I got it, I took it to them. They were so amazed they closed the whole store (it's a big new outlet with garage, about 30 workers). They were all over my car, couldn't hide their amazement, I took about 10 of them for a test drive. I think some of them contemplated what they were gonna do when they lost their jobs. Why would you by a BMW after this?

Don't fight envy and jealousy. Welcome it.

carolinagobo | 23. november 2013

I turned in my Jaguar XFR, my wife drove the MS and all the salesman came out amazed about the Tesla we just picked up, the sales Manager told me "Do you really like the Tesla more than a Jag" I told him you know this is the future how how disappointed I was of Jaguar not doing even a hybrid. He said well I know is wonderful the owner of this dealers had a P85........

logicalthinker | 23. november 2013

I live in S FL, so it's not really relevant for me, but isn't it true that if you finish charging just before leaving, your battery will be warm and regen will be available promptly?

Not that it matters.... right now, outside it's 82F, and the ONLY reason I'd drive up north is to enjoy the SC's or go skiing....

Bighorn | 23. november 2013

Still experimenting with the prewarming. Yesterday morning, I checked in on my cool/cold garage-kept car--I think it was 42 deg since it was 0 outside. Regen showed the yellow dashed line around 20kW. Plugged in, I added charge and turned climate to 72. When I returned 20 minutes later, the regen limitation hadn't budged. I'll have to try to time a finished charge for the morning commute to see if that helps.

logicalthinker | 23. november 2013

Thx, +1.

If finishing charging just before leaving doesn't help, there's an aftermarket opportunity: an undercarriage warming blanket for the battery!

Actually I guess all that would take would be exactly that: an electric warming blanket and a 5" high big flat cardboard box to hold the blanket up to the bottom of the car. Have it turn on four hours before you leave, or something. In fact you could install a more permanent structure say about 2' wide with spring-loaded passively extending sides so you could drive right over it, and the sides would slide out to cover the rest of the battery.... this could be really easy....

logicalthinker | 23. november 2013

Or you could just throw an electric blanket under the car when you park, and have a couple soft cloth nonabrasive straps sewn to it, to tie up over the car and hold it up to the battery. Like putting a blanket on your horse except on the underbelly!

Simple solutions are the best. That way you could travel with it, and keep your regen immediately available.

Pungoteague_Dave | 23. november 2013

Seriously? I find the Model S roughly equivalent in go-power on ice and snow as my former rwd BMWs and MBs. Which is to say no so good. On black ice the traction control takes over and the car will not move at all. Last week I inadvertently got into some packed sand on a beach road and had to be towed out. The car dug a hole at one wheel, spinning away until it was sitting on the battery. Luckily I had the hitch on and was able to get a quick rope pull to exit the area. The Model S is no better or worse in snow, ice, and sand than any otter modern rwd car. Fwd, awd, and 4wd get the call at our house when ice is possible, because the S can't move even a couple inches. It literally freezes in place.

SamO | 23. november 2013

It's clear @pd doesn't know how to drive in snow or sand. Yea it's the car's fault

Bighorn | 24. november 2013

I would concur that the MS will probably just dig a hole in sand or mud. When I lived on Baltimore, we didn't buy dedicated snow tires--have you switched over on the MS? I can certainly negotiate a snowy hill that my 540i would not.

tes-s | 24. november 2013

Can't wait to get some snow here and try it out! I had always thought I would drive an ICE in the snow (all-wheel or front-wheel drive), but now I'm looking forward to giving the MS a try. Our Prius and Acura are not too good in the snow even though they are front-wheel drive - my guess is the MS will be better, based on the reviews.

Djinn1 | 24. november 2013

Bought a set of Dunlop Winter Sport 3D's with the Rial Lugano Rims, getting mounted next week. Anxious to test out (well, actually anxious for Spring) - we have a FWD van (with snow tires), and a BMW AWD (no snow tires), so should make for a good comparison.

Maybe it won't snow at all and I will have nothing to report.

Oh look, pigs are flying ....

zero mpg | 24. november 2013

@PD - Yes, seriously. I've never owned a BMW or MB, but I've got an Infiniti M45 ('07) that I was too scared to get rid of when I took delivery last October not knowing how the MS would handle in the Chicago winter. My M45 has LM60's in the winter and still requires a 70lb bag of sand over each wheel to ensure traction at highway speeds. I've got the MS winter tire package and after the first snow I laughed given how solid the MS performed - which exceeded my expectations over the course of the winter. I'm sure it's a combination of heaviness, weight distribution, and tires and I can't comment on the all season tires and I would assume the summer stickies would perform like a pig on skates in the winter - my M45 does. Maybe a new M45 would perform the same as the MS ... anyone interested in buying an '07 M45 with 89K miles? It has a brand new $450 alternator.

Pungoteague_Dave | 24. november 2013

@samo "It's clear @pd doesn't know how to drive in snow or sand. Yea it's the car's fault"

I never said it is that car's fault. For your information, I have more off-road driving and riding experience than 99% of the people on this forum. I have competed off-road in many types of two wheel drive and four wheel drive vehicles and motorcycles. On January 2, I will fly to Mendoza, Argentina and will ride a motorcycle 5,000 miles in the Dakar rally, ending on January 18 in Santiago, Chile. That's a LOT of sand. I know how to get it done.

The FACT is that a Models S, sitting on flat black ice, cannot move a single foot. It tries to move its tires an couple inches and the anti-slip system takes over, braking to a stop. It's traction control system defeats it from moving forward, similar to BMW and MB systems. As it turns out, same for sand. The Model S CANNOT move forward or reverse on well-packed sand. It is not the driver. That car cannot do it, even a few feet, no matter how well feathered the throttle, and with or without the traction control enabled. That is NOT a criticism of the car in any way, just an accurate description of its mechanical characteristic.

Liam Ott | 24. november 2013

How much snow was on the road? Considering the MS 6-inch ground clearance (ignoring air suspension), I am wondering: Is a road with 6 inches or more of snow impassable?