In the UK we have ridiculously high speed bumps - what will happen to the battery pack if you bottom out over one of these?
I had the same concern over ground clearance. My garage access in my driveway is downward and I experienced issues with a Mazda5 with too low ground clearance in the past.
@ 6.1 inches, TMS is comparable to a lot of other cars. I believe BMW 5 series was in that range which was a relief for me
The air suspension at maximum height gives a ground clearance of 7.9 inches.
I had the same concerns until I visited the car and looked under it.
Even without the air shocks the clearance looks better than my Saturn. The lowest point is back by the rear tires not in the middle.
With the air shock option I will have no concerns at all.
This car appears to be well thought out and almost all the issues that have been brought up on this forum and elsewhere have been addressed.
The Prius ground clearance is 5.5 inches on a 20 inch shorter vehicle. It appears that the 6.1 to 7.9 inches of ground clearance is ample for almost everyone (You weren't thinking of driving your Model S on the Rubicon Trail, were you?)
The battery isn't exposed at the bottom of the car. The battery is solidly protected at the bottom. Here's an image of the bottom of the car:
That's the battery. It is the bottommost part of the car, so it is vulnerable to hits, though it is probably quite well protected against small blows.
Maybe Tesla will sell a skid plate as an option.
Two related threads, may be worth reading:http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/battery-packhttp://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/underbelly-protection-salt
My car bottoms out on all the speed bumps at the university where I am now working. I put the air suspension on high when I drive through the parking lot and it clears just fine. It also keeps me at 15 MPH because the suspension for some unknown reason can not be locked in the position you want it in.
Maybe someone can explain why I can't lock it in standard or high... I can sort of understand why not for very high or low.
I have bumped one several times and the last time I was at the service center they took a look and there was no damage because there are skid bars on the bottom of the battery design just for that purpose.
I'm searching the web for pictures or reports of damage to the undercarriage of ICE cars. I know it happens just not reported as much for obvious reasons. As a "new" owner awaiting delivery I'm not concerned enough yet to back out of it but I do want to understand as much as possible the root cause and if there's something about the design that could or should have been improved. Granted Model S isn't an MRAP! Another way to think of it is how often does road debris take out motorcyclist...
Any spec yet on clearance of the Model X?
Go over speed bumps all the time, some very steep and high which initially was a concern. But afte a few months of driving I e found if I go slow it all works well