Hello From Kelowna, British Columbia

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Nov 21, 2017
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Kelowna BC
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#1
I live in Kelowna BC and ordered a Tesla Model 3 back in September, so won't be getting delivery anytime soon...
One question I have before I decide on my options... are there any Tesla drivers out there that have experience with winter conditions with RWD. Here in the BC Interior we have moderate winter conditions around town and often extreme winter conditions over the mountain passes. Should I fork out the extra bucks for AWD?
 

JohnMon

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#5
Robert, perhaps you already have an answer to your AWD question. If not, this is what I know...
I'm not presently a Tesla owner but had a good discussion about AWD with the used car manager in Toronto (he handles all used inventory for the country) when he took me for a test drive. His opinion was that AWD is not as big a deal with a Tesla as it is with an ICE car because of the very even weight distribution between axles on a Tesla.

I'm going with AWD for the road conditions I encounter, but it doesn't sound like you should pass up RWD for mild winter environments if it means getting it earlier or if you want to keep costs down.
 

Michael Russo

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#7

Archaebald

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#8
Judging from the webcam in Big White Village, your snow conditions are about the same as where I live. I have never needed an AWD for normal driving (i.e., on roads). However, in my experience FWD provide better traction than RWD because of the extra weight in the front. With the almost 50/50 weight distribution, I'd expect M3 to behave quite well, in terms of traction. Then again, i'd say that traction is generally not the problem on normal winter roads (as on the BWV webcam). In my experience, good (studded) winter tyres and preventive driving are much more important than AWD for keeping the car on the road or stopping quickly when needed. For driving on roads that have >15 cm of snow or traffic light racing, AWD could be a good idea. For several reasons, I tend to avoid both in my Ford S-max. :)
 

KarenRei

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#9
I live in Kelowna BC and ordered a Tesla Model 3 back in September, so won't be getting delivery anytime soon...
One question I have before I decide on my options... are there any Tesla drivers out there that have experience with winter conditions with RWD. Here in the BC Interior we have moderate winter conditions around town and often extreme winter conditions over the mountain passes. Should I fork out the extra bucks for AWD?
Check out Björn Nyland's Youtube channel; he works as a courier in Norway driving Teslas. These days he mainly drives an AWD Model X, but he used to drive a 2WD Model S. And often does all sorts of comparisons.

Remember that Norway is one of Tesla's largest global markets, and they're not exactly a tropical climate ;)
 

TrevP

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#10
Welcome to the site!

AWD alone isn’t the solution to winter driving. Snow tires are what all the difference in the world.

95% of sedans sold in Canada are RWD and they get along just fine in the winter. You should have snow tires in any weather below 7C otherwise the “all season” rubber is too hard to offer any substantial grip or stopping power.

If you get AWD with snow tires you’ll have fantastic handling and stopping power however the price that Tesla charges for AWD sure buys a lots of snow tires... just sayin’ ;)
 

Archaebald

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#12
Just to add some fuel to the discussion (AWD vs FWD/RWD, but also all-season vs winter tyres) ;)

"Through weeks of driving in snowy, unplowed conditions at Consumer Reports’ 327-acre test center in Connecticut, we found that all-wheel drive didn’t aid in braking or in certain cornering situations. Our evaluations conclusively showed that using winter tires matters more than having all-wheel drive in many situations, and that the difference on snow and ice can be significant."

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/09/do-you-really-need-awd-in-the-snow/index.htm
 

KarenRei

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#13
Do we really need to have this conversation for the tenth time? AWD is not supposed to help with braking. It halves the traction power on each drive wheels. There's a lot of power being applied to your drive wheels (tens of kilowatts in highway-speed cruising), which causes drive wheels to slip before non-drive wheels (overcoming the coefficient of static friction). You also have a lot fewer contact points to get a good grip on. Furthermore, on a RWD vehicle, loss of drive wheel traction equates to fishtailing, as the rear wheels lose traction but the front wheels do not. On an AWD vehicle in equivalent circumstances, first off you have to have double the force to overcome the coefficient of static friction, and secondly, all wheels lose traction equally (no fishtailing).

And it's not a hypothetical. View KMan's video where he switches back and forth between 4WD and 2WD in a Model S Tesla on very bad roads; it's the difference from "nice and steady" and "weaving around on the road". And it's very much not a hypothetical for me either, as I have a vehicle that I regularly switch between 4WD and 2WD, on snowy/icy Icelandic roads. I know the effects from extensive personal experience.

Summer vs. winter tires is a red herring, as people who live up north almost never are so stupid as to not put winter tires on in the winter. Here you could get fined if the police catch you on inappropriate tires in the winter.
 

Archaebald

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#16
Although I agree fully with you that there is no difference in braking performance between AWD/TWD, this fact does not seem to be true for everyone. Hence some re-iteration could be worthwile. I think the most relevant piece of information (in relation to the question posed in the opening post in this thread) from the CR video was the sometimes poor performance of AWD in "certain cornering situations", even in the hands of professional drivers. This is also my own experience from AWD (Audi Quattro), if you "provoke" the car you easily end up in a non-retrievable situations (which, of course also can happen with RWD/FWD). While acknowledging your experiences of AWD, I think this result warrants further discussion (or, rather, further study) on the relative merits of AWD vs. RWD/FWD . “The truth is rarely pure and never simple”.
 

Makkslive

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Oct 4, 2019
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Kelowna
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#18
I have a M3 AWD in white (yes, like Current Taxi) but with 19s here in Kelowna! See you on the roads here in KelownA!