Tesla China Quietly Equipped the Model Y With a Softer Suspension

Tesla China quietly equipped the Model Y with a more comfortable suspension 7 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
Tesla China quietly equipped the Model Y with a more comfortable suspensionTesla China quietly equipped the Model Y with a more comfortable suspensionTesla Model YTesla Model YTesla Model YTesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y and Model 3 have been criticized for their stiff suspension, sometimes making rides uncomfortable. Tesla China has decided to address this issue and fitted the Model Y produced at Giga Shanghai with a more comfortable suspension.
Suspension systems work differently, but engineers always have to compromise between comfort and stability. A more comfortable setup can prove less stable, especially on winding roads. Sports cars usually have stiffer suspensions because it guarantees the best stability, but they can be uncomfortable, especially when driving over potholes. You cannot have both, so comfort and stability are always a trade-off.

In the case of Tesla Model Y, the EV maker opted for the latter, which made some owners complain about a rough ride. Since Chinese customers love comfort, Tesla China has addressed this by tuning the suspension components for more comfort. Since many Model Y vehicles are exported from Giga Shanghai to other markets, most notably Europe, these customers would also benefit.

According to a Tesla post on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, Model Y crossovers produced at Giga Shanghai have been equipped with a more comfortable suspension since January. Tesla China has modified the shocks' characteristics, optimizing the elastic and damping components in the suspension system. As a result, the MIC Model Y will filter potholes better at low speeds while ensuring a more stable ride at high speeds.

Tesla China's posts offer surprisingly rich details about the upgraded suspension. For instance, based on a rough Chinese translation, the shock absorbers' damping force has been decreased by 50% at low speed and high suspension travel. This is common when the car passes over potholes at low speed, ensuring a more comfortable ride. On the other hand, the damping force has not changed in high-speed scenarios, ensuring stability when turning, changing lanes, or driving on winding roads.

The spring stiffness is reduced by 2-5 N/mm, all while the dampers eliminate low-frequency resonance in the vehicle suspension. This way, people will experience less motion sickness as the vibrations with 4-5 Hz frequency, to which the human body resonates, are eliminated. Tesla also promises that the new suspension offers more consistent feedback, connecting the driver with the car and the road.

Tesla reminded its customers on Weibo that the Model Y comes with a high-performance suspension. It features a double-wishbone configuration up front, with a five-link independent rear suspension at the rear, for maximum stability and improved cornering. This doesn't change with the upgraded suspension, but the components are optimized to offer better characteristics.

Tesla Model Y is very popular in China, thanks to its qualities, although it's not exactly cheap. Based on data from Chinese insurance registrations, Tesla sold more than 315,000 units in 2022. This placed the Model Y as the best seller in the premium SUV above RMB 300,000 ($43,440) category.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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