Calling all S owners, is AWD really worth it, or should I spend the $$$ elsewhere?

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Bruce D

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i live in an area where we have awesome winter snow. Is RWD enough or can I put that money into other options?
 

Jayc

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I would have thought AWD would be at the top of the priority list. It is definitely at the top of my list because it should help to get my M3 moving on slippery ice and snow. I also think all four wheels under regeneration will help to reduce skidding. I don't own an S though.
 
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Michael Russo

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I also believe AWD will give you the additional sense of secure under all sorts of (primarily weather) conditions, ice, snow, even rain... I have certainly felt the difference when switching from a 5-Series BMW (RWD) to a 4-wheel drive X5. Though T≡SLA's have a much lower center of gravity because of the weight of the batteries, I've got to believe that AWD will be beneficial to them too.
Of course, as always, it depends how much they will charge for AWD, yet it would certainly be worth up to $3k...
Like @Jayc, I do not own an MS... by the way, who we really need to hear from would be someone who first had a Model S with RWD and then switch to a D version...
 
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Michael Russo

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@Bruce D
for reference, here's Bjorn Nyland's video (RWD) on ice with studded tires
Thanks, @MelindaV , very telling... clearly this also underpins the criticality of a right choice of tires... Winter tires - even with AWD - help enormously... for extreme conditions like those Bjørn display here, studded tires may be the only way (look at rear wheels still spinning on ice!). My view remains unchanged - unless you live in a very sunny place all year long - AWD is a welcome plus...
 

teslaliving

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I have a RWD Model S here in New England. The first Winter was crazy with snow. I have Winter wheels/tires and the car has gone great in the snow.
Winter Wheels.jpg

That all being said, at the top of my list for my next Tesla is AWD because:
  • Extra peace of mind in bad weather
  • AWD is more efficient than RWD
  • Most Teslas now are AWD, so most experience (work out the kinks) are on that.
  • If one motor fails there's still another so, in theory, you could still drive.
 
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microsrfr

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I own a 70D and am very happy with wet traction, handling and efficiency. Previously lived in snow area and would place this at top of my options list if still there.
 

David4

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i don't own a model s but have tones of experience with awd/rwd/fwd due to being a technician at infiniti and now mercedes, i live in toronto(well 1 hr north of it), we get quite a bit of snow and very low temperature(-25C sometimes)

snow tires are a must no matter what kind of car you have(AWD will not help you stop in snow or ice)

AWD drive is amazing(especially when coupled with snow tires) nothing will get in your way.
but for RWD it all depends on the car, if you have a 3000lb car and RWD(small sports car) you will most likely get stuck but a model 3 will be very heavy(a model s weighs in at about 4600lb) so i would expect the model 3 to weigh around 4000lb there is a major difference with the added weight

i will get a RWD model 3 because i like RWD(nice to drift around), i don't have the spare cash for AWD, if i don't need it why put it on(as in why waste the resources of the planet when i don't need it)
 

Tom Bodera

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The AWD version will have a much better regen (based on what TBjorn has noted on the X), better gearing for more bang out of the battery to name a few benefits. So even if you pay a bit more for the extra motor you get more than just AWD.

As for drifting, the true art is in AWD drifting. I love my Subaru.
 
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TrevP

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Interesting thought @teslaliving


Has anyone heard of an S or X being able to continue driving with one motor out? Similar to a multi-engine aircraft being able to keep flying with one engine out.


Sure, the motors are not connected by driveshafts, they're only linked electronically. If one goes down the system compensates.
 

Tom Bodera

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Sure, the motors are not connected by driveshafts, they're only linked electronically. If one goes down the system compensates.

The only thing I wonder about this is the software. If one motor fails this would be considered a major malfunction ( kind of like a CEL on an ICE). The car could determine that driving with the failed motor could cause more damage and would lockout drive. Only one way to figure out who is right?
 

Gimme3

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The only thing I wonder about this is the software. If one motor fails this would be considered a major malfunction ( kind of like a CEL on an ICE). The car could determine that driving with the failed motor could cause more damage and would lockout drive. Only one way to figure out who is right?

Or just ask Tesla.
 
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TrevP

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The only thing I wonder about this is the software. If one motor fails this would be considered a major malfunction ( kind of like a CEL on an ICE). The car could determine that driving with the failed motor could cause more damage and would lockout drive. Only one way to figure out who is right?

Check out this guy with a brand-new P100D:

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/posts/1769925/

Took delivery of my Model S p100d two weeks ago, was working fine until today. Got into car this afternoon, got rear motor failure alert, followed by air suspension, and 12V battery. have 400 miles on car, charged to 85% at night, was at 80 plus percent charge when this happened. Thankfully the front motor got me home, awaiting road side service. Think I have a lemon...

Rear motor failure but the front one kept working.
 
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jman

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I live in New England, have 70D don't have winter tires for past two winters, but don't drive in relatively poor snow conditions.
I would either get RWD and snow tires, OR get AWD and not drive in good amounts of snow. If you need to use it as a daily driver and go skiing, and drive in snow I may go RWD with snow tires, if get AWD AND snow tires it will be like a tank !!! Your call. Tires do cost $$ over time but figure about the cost over life of car for new tires and putting them on and cost of AWD and you may have your financial answer.....