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S Performance in Snow/Ice

Does anyone have experience with the 'S' in snow/ice/adverse driving conditions? Being a rear wheel drive immediate concern is that it will not behave well in these kinds of driving conditions.........apparently mitigating factors are that the weight distribution is better than other gas powered vehicles but I remain unconvinced at present.

It drove great for me in 4" of snow a few days ago. No ice really yet so I can't comment on that. Of course with so much torque you have to baby push the throttle. I had no problem even starting from a complete stop on a hill.

I have the 19" with winter tires from the Tesla store.

Im interested in knowing if the car can climb a steep icy/snowy hill :) concerns me if i get stuck and can't charge in the garage.

Scorch;
With Traction Control, you can mash the accelerator (which you should call the "goose pedal", btw) to the floor, and the car will only apply as much torque as the tires and roadway can handle. No need to baby the thing!

simen;
Roadster owners have proven that's not a problem. As noted above, just point up the hill, mash the "goose pedal", and TC will send up upwards as fast as the friction can handle, without slipping. It's almost impossible to get stuck.

typo: ... send you upwards ...

Awesome!
Thank you Brian.

I have had front wheel drive car for the last 20 years, so I was a little leery about how the S would do in snowy conditions. Last Sunday, we had some wet slippery snow. I took that opportunity to try and get a feel for how my new S handles in the snow. I had regular tires 19" non-Perf S. I floored it on a small hill, the traction control came on jut fine and the car accelerated smoothly. It was not 0-60 in 5.6 secs, but nice and controlled. I also tried some breaking while cornering on unplowed streets and stayed comfortably in control. Straight ahead breaking as just fine too. I was generally pleased and reassured.

Tested the S Perf on very slippery ice and new snow (last weekend). Although the car was fitted with "autobahn"-tires and not proper nordic tires, it behaved very well. Traction control was not noticeable, aside from an orange light in the dashboard. When flooring it, the tail leaned slightly to the right (just to tell you that you're slipping) and that's it. Letting go of the accellerator, the car adjusted back, without slinging back out to the left. I was worried that the regen would be troublesome, but it did not cause problems, even on entering very icy intersections. Compared to any other RWD I've driven, including the BMW 530GT, the S feels better. Compared to my Audi A6 quattro, it's not as good. As is expected.

Yeah, I drive a Audi A4 quattro today. And winter is no obstacle. Hope i can stay just as calm in the S :)

While i hold my A6 Avant Quattro in the highest esteem for snow driving, we just came back from Tahoe and did 55 mph in full blizzard conditions w/o skipping a beat, I'm not sure I can say I'd be comfortable doing that in the Tesla. We had no chains, just all season tires, not even snow tires.

I think on flat ice surfaces the Tesla would do well, I would suspect that cutting across donner pass in a blizzard would be the real test. i hope oneof the testla engineers goes out there and does the real driving test.

Glaserud
What are Autobhan tires and how do they differ from the stock tires on the Perf?
By all accounts the Roadster performs well in the snow but I am a bit leery about taking mine up to Tahoe before hearing some survivor stories first

A6 looks really nice. I wonder if there is an enthusiast's forum where you might find people that would get jazzed talking about it?

Drove the car home in a smaller snow snow on the 24th, (just a few inches on the ground), seemed to do really well. Again, I have 19" with the winter tires.

Still getting used to the car so not totally confident in the snow/ice. But I can't remember sliding once.

Hearing most everyone having a good experience driving in the snow shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Remember, the weight bias in this car is 53% in the rear where the drive wheels are. That compares favorably to a front-wheel drive ICE. And of course you have the superior Model S TC.
It not likely to be on par with an AWD car, but if you get around your area OK with front wheel drive no reason the Model S shouldn't be as good or better.

For the last many years and cars, I have always depended on 4WD to deal with snow. The MS will be my first 2WD car while living in snow country, but I am hoping the MS will handle some snow without the need for me to plow the driveway, So the critical question for me is getting up a driveway with a 13% slope with 3 to 6" of snow. Any experience with the MS on a snowy hill of this slope?

We had a heavy wet snow here in Iowa this last week. This is the type of snow that I normally have the most trouble with. I wanted to see how the S would handle so I took it in some areas that I normally would have avoided as too difficult to navigate with snow. One was a very steep hill (not good with slope numbers but I would guess it is in the range of close to a 45 degree mathematically speaking) slope. The hill was nearly glare ice and I nearly turned around but thought how else am I going to know if I don't try it.

I have the summer 21 inch tires so it was probably a stupid thing to do but I was at 30 mph at the bottom of the hill and fell to 10 mph quickly as the traction control tool over. But once I was at 10 mph the car never slowed anymore and took the rest of the hill with ease. I was amazed to say the least!

Wow, thanks for the quick reply. Our driveway is not near 45 degrees!

45 deg is pretty extreme. The steepest public road in the whole of the UK is only 35 deg. You'd struggle to walk up a 45 deg slope without using your hands.

Oops - math error - the steepest public road in UK is only 18 deg! (1:3 or 33%)

It may not be totally 45 but it is definitely well over a 30 degree slope. It is in a neighborhood that has tried to keep the land the way it always was. It is not a long hill but I cannot ride my bicycle up it unless I am in low gear and even than I sometimes can't make it up.

Also as I stated I am not sure of the numbers in road terms as I know a 100% grade is a 45 degree angle but other than that I don't know the numbers

You'd never make it up a 45 degree slope on a bicycle without tipping over backwards...

The steepest part of the steepest residental road in the world is around 19 degrees or 30%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldwin_Street

Theresa - THAT TOOK A LOT OF GUTS TO DO IN YOUR NEW MODEL S! Thank you for the very useful information.

There are no 30 degree roads in the US. Anywhere. And nothing close to 45 degrees, even off road, would be passable in a passenger vehicle.

I think the point is that the icy hill was steep and the S climbed it beautifully. Not really that hard to understand.

Good stuff about traction. Any issues with starting or charging in cold weather? I guess we are about a month or two way from the really cold weather though.

I have a Performance MS with 19 inch Pirelli Snow Tires from the Tesla Store and I just drove up to Park City, UT, in a "white out" blizzard. There were cars off the road in many places and except for a few times that the Traction Control kicked in, I was driving up and down the mountain on interstate roads and small snow covered ski roads without any major difficulty. My normal Park City vehicle is a Toyota 4Runner in 4x4 and I was able to go to the ski resort and condo without any difficulty. I did clean 12 inches of snow off the MS after the ski day! It takes about 10-15 minutes for the battery to warm up after being parked outside in the cold/snow and it initially limits Regen, however, the MS warns you that the battery is still heating and it hasn't bothered me.

I took out my Performance on 21" wheels today on some lightly iced roads. It handled better in my opinion than my 2005 Tahoe does with its regular season tires on. Very impressed. Not sure I'd brave much icier roads in it though as I don't want to join the first dent/wreck thread.

On a bike on a 45° hill, your CoG would be vertically above a point behind the rear wheel contact with the road, and you and the bike would rotate around the rear axle and plant your pointy head firmly into the pavement.

Just sayin'.

@mscheuller - how cold approx was it when you parked your car? And when you say it took 10-15 mins to warm up does that it mean it started up right away but took 10 mins for the regen to start working?

My first impression of the Model S on snow and ice was simply outstanding. I've dealt with a Prius traction control for the last few years and the Model S is nothing like it. The Prius would literally cut all power going to the wheels and almost stop. Where as the Model S cuts power, but keeps the vehicle moving quite nicely. On icing roads, I floored the Model S and it just gained speed as the roads permitted. A very nice job of engineering in the traction control. Braking seemed extremely nice as well. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised with the Model S ability in snow.

Drove in 1" of snow on pretty steep hill and unplowed driveway to my home yesterday. Great performance, stayed perfectly on line to make entrance to garage without hitting mirror, only 1 1/2 inches clearance on each side. The regen helps with slowing down going downhill also. I would say marginally worse than my "soon to be sold" 335xi four wheel drive!.


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