Model Y: Will It Ever Get Air Suspension?


Model Y: Will It Ever Get Air Suspension?

The Model Y remains one of only two models in the Tesla lineup that doesn’t come with air suspension. But should we ever expect air suspension in future Model Ys produced?

As of late 2021, there has not been any official indication of Tesla offering an air suspension in the Model Y. The air suspension system is currently included in the Model X and Model S. The vehicles in the lineup that don’t have an air suspension are fitted with a coil suspension.

The advantages and disadvantages of air suspension systems are discussed in further detail below. As it turns out, there are benefits to having the traditional coil suspension seen in the Model Y. Plus, you can always make upgrades to your suspension, as is touched on later in this article.

Which Tesla Vehicles Have Air Suspension?

The Tesla Model X and Model S are equipped with an air suspension system, a feature that has been omitted from the Model Y and Model 3. Customers may see this as an unfortunate omission since this feature has earned praises since 2015 for its ability to offer a smooth ride and adjustable height.

What Is Air Suspension?

An air suspension consists of pressurized flexible rubber bellows that are known as air springs. The amount of air pressure that travels through the rubber springs is adjusted throughout the ride to provide an ideal ride height for the given circumstances.

The equipment responsible for regulating the suspension includes an onboard compressor, air dryer, and air reservoir. This a feature that is typically limited to high-end luxury vehicles.

Many drivers prefer to have air suspension because there are many advantages to it:

  • It reduces the likelihood of a vehicle getting stuck in off-road conditions (or in heavy snow).
  • It makes it easier to exit and enter the vehicle.
  • The car has improved fuel economy.
  • Air suspension offers a more comfortable ride.

Of course, it’s also worth mentioning a few of its downsides:

  • Cars with air suspension have higher installation and repair costs.
  • Repairs for air suspension can be complicated.
  • Worn rubber bellows can leak air and fail as they age.

Smart Air Suspension

Tesla calls the air suspension in its vehicles “smart air suspension.” The settings for this can be adjusted either manually or automatically. You can even create personalized default settings. Changing these settings requires little effort on your part, as the ride height can be changed from a slider on the touchscreen appearing at the center of the dashboard.

The adaptive suspension dampening takes care of overall ride comfort on the fly by regulating the air pressure that best suits your specific circumstances.

What Kind of Suspension Does the Tesla Model Y Have?

The Tesla Model Y is outfitted with a coil suspension system. The coil suspension system is pretty standard across all makes and models of vehicles. In fact, the vast majority, if not all, of the vehicles that you have ever ridden in probably had this feature. You may not even beware of the differences between the ride and feel of a coil suspension versus an air suspension.

Here is how a coil suspension works: 

  • Steel coil springs are positioned above each wheel.
  • A shock absorber (damper) controls the spring’s energy release so that ride is not excessively bouncy.
  • The coil spring’s overall motion is regulated via a reserve tube filled with hydraulic fluid.

There are certainly pros and cons to a coil suspension system. On the plus side, it should be simpler and less costly to do repairs since these components have long been the auto industry standard.

However, unfortunately, a coil suspension can easily become less effective over time. If the hydraulic fluid begins to leak, then driving the vehicle will start to become uncomfortable. In the event of a reserve tube failure, tire wear also may be accelerated. On top of that, adjustments to the suspension are not as easy to make as they are for a car with an adaptive air suspension.

Will the Tesla Model Y Ever Have an Air Suspension?

Some have speculated that recent developments could point towards Tesla adding an adaptive air suspension to the Model Y at some point in the near future. As of yet, no official announcements have been made by Tesla regarding the inclusion of this feature in the Model Y.

However, this omission shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for potential buyers for several reasons. First of all, the Model Y comes in at a price range that is much more doable than both the Model X and Model S. The MSRP for the Model Y is as low as $34,190, less than half the starting MSRP for the Model X. Keep in mind the fact that adaptive air suspensions are typically associated with high-end luxury vehicles.

While an air suspension is certainly a nice upgrade from a standard coil suspension, it’s also certainly mutually beneficial for the manufacturer and consumers to see what kind of premium features can exist in an electric vehicle that is purchasable by the vast majority of consumers.  Most drivers are familiar with coil suspensions in other makes and models.

Can You Upgrade the Suspension on a Tesla Model Y?

The good news is that you can also always make mechanical upgrades to your coil suspension system that can help improve the vehicle’s handling and performance.

Performance Coilover

Since the advent of the original coil suspension systems, engineers have long since devised ways to improve the mechanics for drivers in search of a smoother ride. One way to improve your car’s suspension would be to add a performance coilover.

A coilover contains parts that help dampen the effects of the spring’s back and forth action. You can purchase aftermarket coilovers that are specifically designed for the Tesla Model Y. This purchase would represent one potential solution to any problems incurred by the factory suspension system—although it would certainly not be a 100% guarantee.

Alternative Tire Options

Alternatively, you may also explore the tire options available to Tesla Model Y owners. You may find a tire that delivers a more pleasant ride versus the base trim tires. You will also be presented with a choice of wheel types when you order your Tesla online.

If you’re looking to have any work done on your suspension system, then you are certainly encouraged to visit a shop that is within Tesla’s approved body shop network. Given that Tesla vehicles are not quite yet ubiquitous to America’s roadways, it is critical to get in touch with mechanics experienced in working on Tesla vehicles.

Final Thoughts

The air suspension has not yet been officially announced as a feature available on the Tesla Model Y, although there is speculation that it could soon be included in coming years.

This is not necessarily a negative trait of the Model Y. For one thing, it helps keep the Model Y at a more manageable price range. The air suspension is a feature common to high-end luxury vehicles. It is also simpler and cheaper to perform maintenance on coil suspension systems versus an air suspension.

Should the Tesla Model Y ever get an air suspension, this certainly would provide owners with some key advantages. The smart air suspension that Tesla has rolled out in other models allows users to adjust the vehicle’s ride height to best suit their given circumstances. In the meantime, you can always make aftermarket adjustments to the coil suspension of the Tesla Model Y with the help of mechanics in Tesla’s network of approved auto body shops.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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