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I spent a significant amount of seat time in the Karma (>10k miles) and I've spent a few days with various Model esses, particularly the P85+.

Bear with me as I attempt to explain here, I'm not an automotive journalist. While the S is undeniably the winner in a straight line, I find that the 85+'s grip feels 'artificial,' like I can tell that the Michelins are providing all of the lateral G's. Coming into a corner, I'm trusting that the car can pull me through, and the body roll combined with the not-so-sporty seats keeps me from feeling completely comfortable. The instant torque really shrinks the distance between corners on twisty roads, and the whole thing feels very much like a "point and shoot." It shows impressive grip, but not in a way that I find particularly enjoyable.

I preferred the feel of the Karma, which felt much more sure-footed. The grip seemed like it was coming from deep within the car, all of its components working together. The steering feel, lack of roll, and surprising grip from the 21s combined for a confidence-inspiring package. I miss hustling it around Ortega highway :-(

That being said, the S and the Karma are remarkable cars in different ways. I love them both.
 

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I have a Karma with the stock Goodyears and one with the winter wheels. I find that even the Karma with 21" W-drive tires has better steeering feel than the P+ with PS2's. Were you on the winter wheels/tires when doing these handling tests (you mentioned 21's)? Surprisingly I prefer this rim/tire combination vs CB & the Goodyear F1's. Steering feel is actually better with the winter wheels.

I think it may come down to the steering feel more than anything. The P+ steering feel is not very good and really takes away from how great that car could possibly be. It is a poor implementation of electric assist. There may be an aftermarket opportunity for someone to replace the rack and pinion EPS with something more performance oriented.
Oh wait, the stock wheels were 22s... it's been a while since I've driven one!
 
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