The Tesla Model S Raven Explained

The Tesla Model S Raven Explained

While it may not have been Tesla’s first vehicle, it is considered their flagship vehicle. The Tesla Model S can be traced back to 2009, though it was not released to the public until 2014. Since then, Tesla has updated the Model S to include a new type of suspension system they nicknamed “Raven.”

The Tesla Model S is an all-electric vehicle that now features an adaptive suspension system called “Raven.” The Raven system adjusts automatically during travel, which makes driving much smoother. Moreover, the Raven system helps gain efficiency with drive speeds, and it updates the powertrain.

Tesla now has a large range of vehicles, but the Model S is at the heart of the company. The Raven suspension system now implemented in the Model S is making it even more popular. Read on to discover all you need to know about the Model S Raven, and more.

Tesla Model S Raven and Tesla’s Flagship Vehicle

The first car that Tesla released was the Roadster back in 2008. The Model S did not reach car owners until six years later. However, it was a major innovation for electric cars in the entire marketplace. The reason? Tesla innovated the powertrain system that helped the car reach new levels of efficiency.

The powertrain, which is located at the base of the vehicle, is part of what makes the Model S so efficient. The powertrain that is used in a Model S is fully electric, and it is located at both the front and the rear of the car.

Why is this important to know when talking about the Raven system? The efficiency of Tesla’s vehicles should not be ignored because it is at the heart of everything the company does. Each vehicle that is created by Tesla is created with progress and efficiency at the forefront.

Tesla’s Model S is its flagship for good reason. Consider the following elements when thinking about the Model S.

  • The Tesla Model S comes with the Raven adaptive suspension system.
  • The Tesla Model S has an innovative electric powertrain.
  • The range on a Tesla Model S has increased up to 390 miles.
  • The Tesla Model S can reach 200 mph.
  • The Tesla Model S has an elegant, sleek design.

The Model S is probably the most important vehicle Tesla is made because of how innovative it is, so it makes sense that over the past few years they have been updating it with better features, such as the Raven adaptive suspension system.

Before the Tesla Model S Raven: Suspension Systems

Tesla is always innovating the different working parts of their vehicles, and the suspension system is no exception. Before explaining the Raven upgrade to the suspension system found on its Model S, it is important to know what came before.

Before 2019, Tesla had developed its smart air suspension system, which the Raven system upgraded. What is the smart air suspension system? It is the suspension system that was developed for both the Model X and the Model S vehicles. The smart air suspension system has several benefits.

  • Collecting data points. As you drive, the suspension system gathers data points to “remember” how to act at those places. For example, if your driveway is on an incline, it will remember to adjust accordingly for that incline. It will also collect data points for environments such as bumpy and dirt roads.
  • Uses GPS and speed to adjust the suspension. The smart air suspension system uses software to operate, and it uses GPS and the speed of the car to adjust as you drive. If the speed of the car goes up, for example, the system will adjust accordingly to get the most efficient aerodynamics.
  • Has three different heights. The suspension system can adjust to either low, high, or very high, which is great for a multitude of locations.
  • Can be manually edited. If you do not want to keep certain data points, you can manually delete them. You have control over how the software collects and uses the data.
  • Has five to seven inches of clearance. The different heights of the suspension system mean that the clearance changes, too.

This smart air suspension is no longer available on newer models of Tesla’s vehicles because it has been upgraded with the Raven system. However, it is important to understand the starting point before understanding the upgrade.

The Model S Raven

Now, the Model S’s smart air suspension system was upgraded in 2019 to a smart adaptive suspension system It is this upgrade that they nicknamed the “Raven” system. If your Model S is a newer version, it will include the Raven system.

However, what exactly did the Raven upgrade change from the previous iteration of the suspension system? Consider the following changes that come with the Raven upgrade.

  • The control system is different. With the Raven system, there is a control panel where you can choose when the suspension is raised or lowered based on preferences, such as never, always, and highway. The old system raised and lowered incrementally based on ride height.
  • Ride comfort is increased. Because the Raven upgrade is an improvement on the old system used in the Model S, the ride comfort has increased. For example, even if there are some bumps in the road, you will unlikely feel them. The ride itself will be very smooth.
  • Highway driving is very efficient. The Raven system automatically lowers the suspension once you have surpassed a certain speed. This improves the drag of the car, which makes the Model S’s efficiency on the highway excellent.
  • Data is visible to the driver. Within the vehicle is a touchscreen where you can see the data of the suspension system. Moreover, in real-time, you can see all the adjustments that the suspension system is making.
  • Ride height can still be made manually. At first, this was not an option, but the Raven system does have a feature where the driver can still manually set the ride height.
  • Advanced settings are available. The new adaptive suspension system offers advanced settings, such as the ability to soften the suspension or to firm the suspension.
  • GPS feature now an option. In the old system, the GPS monitoring system to raise or lower the suspension was the default. Now, however, it is an option. You are not forced to use the GPS feature.

Many have recognized the vast improvement that the Raven system has given to the Model S. It is part of the move toward full autonomy in Tesla’s vehicles. Moreover, it can change the suspension quickly without hassle. The touchscreen is instantaneous in its ability to adjust the suspension.

The Raven Upgrade in Other Tesla Vehicles

Currently, the Raven upgrade to the suspension system in the Model S has been implemented in both the Model S and the Model X. However, you may wonder whether the upgrade will make its way to the other vehicles in Tesla’s lineup.

It is important to remember that adaptive suspension technology is new. Therefore, it is expensive to produce and to purchase. The result? Model S vehicles and Model X vehicles that have implemented the Raven system will be much more expensive than the vehicles that used the old system.

More importantly, since the raven system upgrade is expensive, it will not be present in other vehicles that Tesla produces. You should not expect to find the Raven upgrade on the more “budget” vehicles Tesla produces, such as the Model Y and the Model 3. However, this can be viewed as a good thing. Consider the following points:

  • Lower cost without the Raven upgrade. The Model 3 and the Model Y will continue to use coil spring suspension systems, which predates even the smart air suspension system. However, this means the vehicles are more affordable and easier to fix if something goes wrong.
  • Gives car buyers options. If every vehicle Tesla manufactured had the Raven upgrade, there would be no real choice between cars. Instead, since the other models do not use it, there is a Tesla for different budgets.
  • Many drivers are still used to coil spring suspension systems. This type of system is the most common suspension system on the road, and many drivers are used to it and prefer it, too. Some drivers may not be ready to upgrade to an air or adaptive suspension system.

However, this does not mean that, in the future, all Tesla vehicles will not include the Raven suspension system. Tesla is constantly progressing forward and innovating its  own innovations. It is possible that, at some point, the price for the new technology will come down making it a viable addition to all the Tesla models.

The Tesla Model S’s Other Features

The Raven upgrade to the Tesla Model S’s suspension system is only one part of what makes the Model S the flagship vehicle. The adaptive suspension system is part of Tesla’s overall push to become fully autonomous, but other elements are working toward that goal, too.

Take, for example, the autopilot feature that is now standard on all Tesla vehicles. This autopilot system helps lessen the burden of driving on the driver. While the Model S is not fully autonomous yet (the driver still needs to remain in the driver’s seat with their hands on the wheel at all times), the autopilot system is moving toward that goal.

It is important to make a note about Tesla’s innovations. As mentioned, the Raven suspension system is a big improvement from previous suspension systems. Tesla created this system that other companies want to copy. Their autopilot system is also very different from other systems on the market since it relies on cameras instead of Lidar technology.

The Raven upgrade is one of the features that makes the Model S an important vehicle to consider when thinking about both electric cars and autonomous cars. Consider all these features that make it stand out:

Raven Adaptive Suspension SystemAs mentioned, the Raven upgrade improves the efficiency of the suspension. It automatically changes based on driving conditions and makes the ride a smooth one no matter where you are.
Autopilot SystemThe autopilot system uses cameras and sensors connected to the onboard computer system to help with navigation, lane changes, parking, and more. This feature is helping Tesla move toward autonomy.
Model S TouchscreenThe touchscreen in the Model S is connected to the Raven suspension system for real-time updates. Moreover, it includes diagnostic information for all parts of the vehicle, and other features, too.
Electric PowertrainThe electric powertrain is an efficient pair of motors placed at the base of the Model S. It allows for more efficient charging of the car’s battery, and it allows
Tesla WheelsThe Tesla wheels, which are designed specifically for smooth riding, when coupled with the Raven upgrade to the suspension system help make the ride comfort high.
Dual Wheel All-Wheel DriveThe system Tesla has implemented into their Model S is light and efficient. It uses motors in both the front and the back, which is a large improvement over regular systems that only use one motor.

When taken with these other features, the Raven upgrade is a perfect complement to them.

The Model S Raven Powertrain Upgrade

The Raven upgrade to the suspension system is not the only upgrade that uses the nickname “Raven” for the Model S. The powertrain has also been updated with the name “Raven.”

The electric powertrain that Tesla innovated, as mentioned above, was already a powerful part of the Model S. However, over the last few years, Tesla has upgraded it with more powerful motors. Consider these improvements that have come with the Raven upgrade.

  • The Raven powertrain uses the largest battery available. By using the biggest battery that is available for the Model S, the Raven powertrain ensures the most power.
  • The Raven powertrain uses the Model 3’s rear motor. The Model 3’s rear motor is used on the front of the Model S. This provides even more power for the Model S.
  • The Raven powertrain is more efficient and more powerful. The Raven powertrain, therefore, is a much more powerful unit than the previous iteration. It is both more powerful and more efficient, which couples well with the other features of the Model S.

These upgrades to the Model S improve its efficiency as an electric vehicle. Moreover, they push the vehicle closer to autonomy. Remember, Tesla is always pushing forward in an attempt to make the safest, most efficient, fully autonomous vehicles. So, everything they do for their vehicles is done toward this goal.

Is the Model S Raven Upgrade Important?

The Model S Raven upgrade may have you wondering if it is worth it. Should you consider one of Tesla’s other models that do not incorporate the Raven upgrade, or should you look for a used Tesla that still has the older suspension system in place?

The answer comes down to your budget and what you are looking for. If you can afford it, the Model S Raven upgrade is a giant step forward and is worth your time to consider. It makes the Model S (and the Model X) much more efficient and powerful vehicles.

Likewise, if you have a budget, you should try to look toward Tesla vehicles without the Raven update since it is costly, both upfront and if something goes wrong.

Comparing the Different Model S Raven Vehicles

The Tesla Model S comes in different variations. The different versions of the Model S are differentiated by a number.

Consider these different versions of the Model S:

  • “60D” Model S. This is the most basic version of the Model S. The number refers to the size of the battery, which is 60kWh. It can come with front and rear all-wheel drive, and its top speed is 130mph. Its range is only 218 miles, but this is good for most people who only do daily commutes.
  • “70D” Model S. The next variant of the Model S is the 70D, which has a battery size of 70kWh. The difference between the 70D and the 60D is not much as the top speed is only increased to 140 mph, and the range is increased to 240 miles.
  • “90D” Model S. The 90D Model S is relatively new, replacing the 85D Model S. With each higher number, the top speed and range are increased. The 90D, for example, can run around 294 miles before needing to be charged again.
  • “P90D” Model S. This variant of the Model S is one of the most powerful you can get, and there are upgrades you can get to make it even more powerful (something Tesla calls “Ludicrous”).

The Raven upgrade to the Model S, however, makes all these variants even more efficient. This is why it is important to understand the different versions of the Model S. For example, you may not want to get a higher-level Model S since it now has the Raven upgrade. Likewise, you may find that, for you, the perfect combination is, for example, the 90D paired with the Raven upgrade.

It is also important to note that older Model S’s that have been on the road for a while will not have the Raven upgrade. It is important to inquire whether the Model S you are looking at has the upgrade or not.


The Model S Raven is an important upgrade to the inner workings of the Tesla vehicle. It is an important upgrade to consider when looking at Tesla’s electric vehicles.

The Raven upgrade updates the suspension system on the Model S (and Model X), and it also updates the powertrain to make it much more powerful and efficient, which is important in a vehicle that is moving toward full autonomy.


The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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