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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 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.
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.
 

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I see it differently. The crown jewel of Tesla is its thermal battery system, it's designed to extend battery's life cycle and utilize it as efficient as possible. The mission statement of Tesla is steer EV toward massive adoption, I doubt Tesla will create a track car any time soon.

I question what will the track racing do to the life cycle of Karma's battery, maybe it's still letting you push it hard is because it doesn't have any kind of protective system.
 

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I see it differently. The crown jewel of Tesla is its thermal battery system, it's designed to extend battery's life cycle and utilize it as efficient as possible. The mission statement of Tesla is steer EV toward massive adoption, I doubt Tesla will create a track car any time soon.

I question what will the track racing do to the life cycle of Karma's battery, maybe it's still letting you push it hard is because it doesn't have any kind of protective system.
Karma does have a reduced performance mode if certain thermal thresholds (among other heavy cycle factors) are met. The NP batteries Fisker uses in the Karma are less finicky with regards to temp than the ones used in the Model S/Roadster. Having said that it is not the battery that is limiting performance but the electric motors and power electronics (same as the Roadster except the PEM on the Roadster was air-cooled). If I remember correctly, the inverter and motor on the Model S use the same coolant loop. I think this is a major factor behind why performance is limited.

I don't think anyone buys a Model S as a track car but doing a few loops should not render the car inoperable. Any other car in its class can go a few rounds without having the performance severely limited.
 

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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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Karma does have a reduced performance mode if certain thermal thresholds (among other heavy cycle factors) are met. The NP batteries Fisker uses in the Karma are less finicky with regards to temp than the ones used in the Model S/Roadster. Having said that it is not the battery that is limiting performance but the electric motors and power electronics (same as the Roadster except the PEM on the Roadster was air-cooled). If I remember correctly, the inverter and motor on the Model S use the same coolant loop. I think this is a major factor behind why performance is limited.

I don't think anyone buys a Model S as a track car but doing a few loops should not render the car inoperable. Any other car in its class can go a few rounds without having the performance severely limited.
That I agree, I wonder if they have that fine print somewhere when they deliver the Model S....
 

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That I agree, I wonder if they have that fine print somewhere when they deliver the Model S....
I am pretty sure it says that your warranty is void if you track your car. Would be difficult for them to enforce it though (not to mention a PR nightmare).

From this cooling diagram the drive inverter and electric motor share the same loop and if you have ever taken apart the front of a Model S the heat exchanger is tiny. I am not sure if it is the motor or drive inverter but I am leaning towards the inverter being the limiting factor (just from how quickly the power limit was hit would suggest an inverter problem and not a motor problem).
 

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I've driven the Tesla Roadster, and the MS P and P+. All have a GO accelerator pedal, which I believe is firmware adjustable (but not accessible to the driver). On the Tesla site, I read several posts from owners who were concerned about teens or unexperienced drivers inadvertently accelerating themselves into an accident. They'd like to be able to regulate pedal sensitivity.

By contrast, on the Model S, regen is software selectable (Standard and Low). In Standard mode, when you release the pedal, the regen braking is so aggressive as to be annoying (IMHO). Also the brake lights come on without using the brakes. Tesla owners have mixed feelings about this feature. In the Low mode, the car operates more like the Karma (and other cars), but the range suffers.

I believe the Roadster always operates in the Standard mode. Talk about deceleration when you lift your foot off the pedal. I drove it around town and on the freeway, and never once had to use the brakes. (I tried them just for grins and they worked well but squeaked loudly.)

I originally thought aggressive regen braking was cool but my right leg gets tired and feels tense when driving these cars. (Using the Low mode seems to defeat the purpose of a BEV, but it's better than nothing.)

I'd probably get used to the MS, but I'd rather drive the Karma and adjust regen using the paddle on the steering wheel, where it belongs. When I drove the car for the first time, it felt natural and comfortable, as if I had been driving it all of my life.
 

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Cars and Coffee (No Teslas)

I attended a cars and coffee event this past weekend in the Bay Area in CA. There were at least 100 cars in attendance from super high end to Detroit muscle. There was not one Tesla. To me this said a lot about the people who are attracted to buy the Model S. There was a lot of attention to my Karma with many people commenting on how beautiful it was. I worked very close to the Tesla factory for some time and I see so many they have become very common to me. I have several friends who own them. Very few are "car" guys.

I'm always asked what is the difference between the Model S and the Karma. All I say is they are two totally different things. Only thing they have in common is a DOE loan application.
 

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I attended a cars and coffee event this past weekend in the Bay Area in CA. There were at least 100 cars in attendance from super high end to Detroit muscle. There was not one Tesla. To me this said a lot about the people who are attracted to buy the Model S. There was a lot of attention to my Karma with many people commenting on how beautiful it was. I worked very close to the Tesla factory for some time and I see so many they have become very common to me. I have several friends who own them. Very few are "car" guys.
You don't find owners of 500E/S-Class/750i/M5 showing up at cars and coffee events either, and many Model S's are replacing those cars in the owners' garages. On the other hand, there are a number of Model S P+ owners on the Tesla forum who also own R8's, F430s, etc. and at least one who owns a McLaren :).
 

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The light around the charging connector will attract insects, so the spider is pretty smart to put his web there. Yum yum.
 
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