The Development of MSS for Tesla, By William Blankson
William Blankson, Managing Director and Head of Engineering at MSS, shares the ‘MSS for Tesla’ development journey
William, congratulations on the launch of MSS for Tesla.
Thank you. The EV market is really exciting for us at MSS.
Is there a ‘sticking point’ that EV’s face?
Quite simply, weight. By their very nature of what is on board, at the moment, EV’s are heavy.
Being heavier simply means that the suspension holds a relatively heavy vehicle up, so it needs to be compliant to hide the vehicle weight or bulk well. However, it also needs to be able to manage the weight from a performance point of view
If a suspension is well set up, it will make any vehicle feel small or virtually shrink around the driver and therefore manageable – That is an important point
When you sit in a vehicle that has the suspension well developed, no matter how big or heavy it is – it will respond instantly to your controls – steering during turning or brakes during stopping.
The contrast of not having the suspension calibrated to its full potential will make the vehicle ponderous, slow to react to driver input, and tiresome over a long distance. Touching upon the realms of clumsy and cumbersome
Why choose Tesla?
It had to be a Tesla. They are the leader’s in the EV market – and the Model 3 is at an accessible price. It was a dream to test, as it’s a flexible car, and being a 4-wheel drive we could work in all weather conditions. Overall, in its original state, It is a great vehicle.
Another factor for me on a personal level is that like Elon Musk, I have an IT background, so I was excited to review it from that perspective. I can tell you he has done a fantastic job.
In what way?
The technology he has brought to bear on the vehicle is setting a new standard, well thought out and functional.
The camera positions allow you to see all around the vehicle, The charging is very intuitive, and it has various driving modes. Finally, I MUST mention the sound system controls and overall quality are fabulous.
You like the sound system then?
Ha! I do. But honestly, it just floats in your ears. It surrounds you. If you are into music like I am, this will matter!
How did you feel working on a Tesla?
We had some trepidation, to be honest. There is some element of ‘fake news’ about the safety element of working on an electric car, but all of that was completely unfounded for us.
The suspension is a fundamental part of a car, and to us, understanding how the suspension is serving the vehicle, really feels like ‘home’
We were delayed on this product development due to lockdown in the UK, but the minute I got behind the wheel I was smitten.
What were your first impressions?
In standard state – the Tesla Model 3 is happy driving around town. Nice to get in, drive and go. No messing. No-fuss. Ideal for jumping in and going. And it is nice to think that it is a cleaner driving option.
Aesthetically, the interior is business-like and streamlined. It is not cosy, but the minimalist appeal works perfectly for me. The display has all manner of information for driver and passengers. Including a visual clue displayed in advance of approaching of any possible danger objects, which I really like.
Can you walk us through the development journey of the Model 3?
When the Model 3 arrived, we waited for feedback from customers on the ORIGINAL state. We noted that the vehicle was showing up to be fast, but handling could be improved, and when I watched programmes showing the vehicle at speed and during our testing, it was swaying a sufficiently to my eyes. On the motorway at 40-50, it is great, but as you creep up or on a windy day – you can feel it swaying, understandably.
How do you get started on the engineering process?
Well, I knew that Tesla had collaborated with other partners in the marketplace, such as Mercedes and Ford, and that we may see some similarities, but we had an open mind until we ‘got underneath’.
The first steps of the process are to take all the data – including weighing, cabin noise test, check spring rates and measure the suspension components of the vehicle.
The first thing that struck us was that it was heavy. After working through our process and programming, our goal was not only to ensure our springs fit well – but to add value in the driving experience for the driver and passengers.
What were your initial thoughts on the ‘sway’ that you mentioned above?
To be fair the Tesla Model 3 is powerful, so we needed to develop a product to appropriately calibrate the suspension to harness the power available.
The power is great, and it is quiet of course – but you can feel the weight, and I felt the suspension could be improved upon. There is a slight sense of ‘if only’
- ‘If only’ it handled a little shaper
- ‘If only’ it handled bumps better – especially the big potholes where it shuddered
What was your plan of action?
I felt that the cushioned effect of our dual tacked, triple rated set up would bring the car justice it deserves. From what our data and testing showed us, we could bring the power and distribute it evenly, to create a seamless and cohesive response inside of the car.
After all the testing and engineering, can you share with us what Tesla driver’s might experience – with MSS installed?
First and foremost, MSS makes the steering much more precise and reactive to driver input. It is at a new premium level. This reduces the need for constantly hurrying the steering along.
Driver’s and all occupants will love the MSS cushioned ride – we also found the interior noticeably quieter, as the suspension is not transmitting the road noise into the cabin.
Acceleration is no longer an untamed, uncontrolled power-sapping feat – with MSS, you can really get the power to the ground with confidence.
I am delighted with this product – and believe MSS for the Tesla Model 3 will delight the EV drivers who demand more control. Passengers will, at the very least, continue to enjoy a quiet comfortable ride.
All MSS aftermarket suspension solutions deliver superior performance, unparalleled comfort and enhanced safety – in one product and without compromise.
For details on stocking or purchasing MSS for Tesla products please email Evolve Automotive