Tesla Model 3 buyers that are holding out for the dual motor configuration that’s expected to arrive in mid-2018 will be rewarded with the Smart Air Suspension upgrade.
CEO Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet-reply to devout Model 3 reservation holder and host to Ride the Lightning: Tesla Motors Unofficial Podcast, Ryan McCaffrey, that Tesla’s touchscreen adjustable dynamic suspension will be released in conjunction with next year’s dual motor Model 3.
“My driveway is weird & I need it!” proclaims McCaffrey.
In about six months or so. Linked to dual motor config.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 31, 2017
Tesla’s Smart Air Suspension was introduced as an optional upgrade on the Model S when the vehicle was first released in 2012, but the company has since made it a standard item for both Model S and the all-electric Model X SUV.
The location-based suspension enables the vehicle to automatically adjust its height at frequently-accessed locations where a higher suspension setting is needed. This could be a steep driveway to one’s home or workplace, and speed bumps along a commonly travelled route. Once a driver sets the vehicle’s suspension height to High or Very High through Tesla’s center touchscreen, the car will remember the location and automatically raise the vehicle the next time it arrives.
A Low and Very Low suspension height setting also exists. Both Model S and Model X, and presumably the future dual motor Model 3, has the ability to automatically lower itself once the vehicle surpasses a preset highway speed, thereby improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics and increasing vehicle range.
Here’s a look at Tesla’s Smart Air Suspension in action on a Model S.
According to Musk, Model 3 buyers will also have this option made available.
Tesla made the decision to minimize configuration complexity on the first iterations of Model 3, as the company continues to work through ‘production hell’ and keep to its aggressive ramp schedule. Single motor rear-wheel drive configurations of Model 3 with standard coil suspension are being produced first, followed by the dual motor Model 3 that will also have a Performance version with Smart Air Suspension.
As to whether a Model 3 with electronically-actuated Smart Air Suspension will ride any better than its standard coil suspension offering – most likely. According to a road test conducted by popular YouTuber DÆrik, a comparison of a Model S with Smart Air Suspension against one with coil suspension yielded positive results for the vehicle with the air-tuned ride height.
DÆrik shows the varying degrees of suspension travel between both Model S’ traveling at identical speeds over the same stretch of road.