Loaner P85 much quieter than my S60, was it the active air?

I just got a loaner P85 for a day in exchange for my 60(40). One thing I noticed fairly quickly was how much quieter the P85 was. Then I narrowed it down to road noise. It seems like I start hearing the "buzz" of road noise at around 30/35mph and by about 45 or so, between the road noise and wind, I can't say that my Model S is significantly quieter than my old Lexus LS460. However, the loaner I had was almost without road noise at all until around 45, and then, all the way through 70 or so, it was significantly quieter than my old Lexus.

Was it the air suspension? Does anyone know enough about the air suspension to say whether than could isolate road noise from the chasis? Maybe tires? Maybe just a newer car with slightly "tighter" construction?

P.S. The motor "whine" was significantly louder both when I floored it and just in general.

P.P.S. The P85 is CRAZY fast, but I really had to search to find places where I could floor it with any safety at all.


I posted my experience multiple times so here's it is again:

I drive a standard 85kWh with active air suspension for the last 7 months. I drove a 60kWh with standard suspension for one day.

My car's high pitched motor whine is barely noticeable but the other's was very noticeable and couldn't ignore it (that's why the stereo is there right?)

I noticed right away with the other car, at any speed, that I could feel and hear every bumps or potholes on the road. Yep, it was more bouncy. Not as much as riding horses but you could recognize the subtle difference right away.

I had my family & friends (who didn't know the different options) drove the other car as well. They all said it's just a tad bumpier, noisier. When I asked more details, they said it wasn't the wind and they narrowed it down: it's the road. I asked flat road? They said any imperfections of the road such as cracks & pot holes... They also agreed that the motor whine was more noticeable.


My experience was that the P85's whine was MUCH louder. But that was the P85 vs. standard rather than 85 vs. 60. I suspect that the motor whine might be a variation from car to car more than from model to model. However, the road noise difference was very noticeable. I'd like to find out if it's entirely due to the air suspension, or whether the newness of the other car (both in time on the road, and being further down the manufacturing cycle in the factory). I never cared much about being able to raise the car to get up steep driveways, etc. but I would have paid for a quieter (and slightly smoother) ride.


Some other options to dampen the road noise is

1) Sound deadening Carpeting

2) Parcel Shelf

Adding to that list:

3) Tyres

Here's my 2¢:

It could be that the standard shock absorber is using a hydraulic fluid which would transmit more road noise into the car whereas an air filled shock would not because of the density differences.

+1 Andre-nl the tires make a big difference. Did the cars have different tires?

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