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AWD vs RWD vs FWD

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by nwdiver, Jan 20, 2016.

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What's your M3 drivetrain preference?

  1. AWD

    73 vote(s)
    61.3%
  2. RWD

    32 vote(s)
    26.9%
  3. FWD

    9 vote(s)
    7.6%
  4. undecided

    5 vote(s)
    4.2%
  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    ASSUME:
    - AWD costs $5k
    - Improves range by ~5%

    Curious to see what kind of spread to expect...

    I doubt the M3 will be offered with FWD but I thought I'd include it in the poll incase some people would chose AWD only if FWD wasn't an option.
     
  2. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Since I live in sunny SoCal, RWD works fine for me. I wouldn't pay an additional $5k for it. I might pay $5k for other options collectively, but AWD is not a must-have for me.
     
  3. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    overall the average car buyer (not the ones looking for performance) prefer FWD to RWD, I don't imagine the base 35k car will be AWD as they need to keep costs down)
     
  4. eisbock

    eisbock Member

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    I would prefer FWD. I live in CT where the winters can be a bit, well, wintry. I fully plan on springing for the AWD, but only out of necessity. Not thrilled about the $5k bump, but I suppose my own safety comes first (and that of my shiny new car).

    Although it appears one of the big reasons FWD works well in the snow is because you have a big heavy engine up front to increase traction. I've heard reports of RWD Model Ss doing well in the snow because of the even weight distribution. FWD might have a slight edge over RWD in a Tesla, but from the looks of it, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to chance RWD. I'm not a gambling man though and probably will go for AWD.

    Anybody have any experience with AWD vs RWD in a Model S in wintry conditions?
     
  5. MiamiNole

    MiamiNole Member

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    Depends on how much the car would cost with all of the other options I want. AWD is nice to have, but definitely not needed here in FL. If I got it, it would strictly be for the increase in power and torque, and not the range. And even then, it would be just for kicks. I currently drive a 2010 Altima 2.5L, which is rated at 175hp and 180 ft-lbs torque. Right now, I believe the Model S70 is rated at 315hp. Safe to say, I'd probably be more than satisfied with RWD.
     
  6. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    Keep in mind that most common knowledge on AWD vs FWD vs RWD is far from scientific, accurate, or applicable to an EV.

    Most folks prefer FWD because it gets better gas mileage due to less drivetrain losses. They also prefer them because of their experience, or common knowledge based on RWD drive cars from the 70s and 80s (or 90's mustangs and camaros) which had horrible weight distribution.

    An EV will have excellent weight distribution and therefore RWD makes far more sense.

    AWD only matters when you are trying to accelerate and are traction limited, such as when you have a ridiculous amount of power like the P90D, or when its snowy. Course it doesn't help you stop or turn any better in the snow, so is benefits in the snow are way overblown.
     
  7. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    You beat me to it :) And yes, this is correct.... (Except for EV's that is build on an ICE platform, and may not get the right weight distribution.)
     
  8. GregRF

    GregRF Squirrel Power

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    AWD if it gives the range and performance boost like the S. Otherwise RWD.
     
  9. Gerasimental

    Gerasimental Member

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    Helps you control your acceleration better in the snow, mud, and on wet surfaces. E.g. on a motorway ramp a little flick of the accelerator may make a RWD car lose traction while a AWD car can easily handle it.
    EV-specifically, regen exerts a torque only on the driven wheels, so AWD improves handling at coast.
    An intelligent, torque-vectoring AWD is superior (or equal to) to RWD or FWD in exactly 100% of use cases.
     
  10. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Most people will tell you they prefer FWD over RWD for one reason - they've bought, hook, line, and sinker, the last 30 years of automakers' marketing departments telling them so.

    Why do automakers prefer to build FWD over RWD? One reason. It's cheaper to assemble.
     
  11. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I think you people are a bit jaded, people prefer FWD for the same reason performance people prefer RWD, it's the behaviour when you push a little too far. FWD has a tendency to keep going in a straight line when you lose control, RWD has a tendency to kick out sideways. Now that tendency in RWD can be good if you're using it properly, but if you're not, it can be scary. FWD does what people expect it to do, it feels more "common sense" to people who don't do a lot of performance driving.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And yet FWD didn't become common for a very long time after cars were being mass produced, why? because it is harder to design for. So I don't believe for a moment that it's cheaper to make it.
     
  12. Lonnie123

    Lonnie123 Member

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    Well... I would prefer AWD, but given that its going to be $5k that just doesnt make financial sense to me. I'll stick with whatever the base model has.
     
  13. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    #13 FlatSix911, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    Both AWD and RWD like the model S would be great choices. The entry level can be RWD and the D could be $3-4K more.
     
  14. Big-Al

    Big-Al Member

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    I agree with you.. Better to use the $5k to pay for other options.
     
  15. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I get FWD for an ICE, don't get why anyone would think FWD for an EV is a good idea. The torque steer and understeer that accompany FWD seem to be even worse with the torque characteristics of an electric motor--see lots of folks in ditches.
     
  16. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    fully agree - all that extra EV torque makes for horrible torque steer.
    OK for gutless ICE with zero initial torque - but a complete none starter for a potentially powerful EV
     
  17. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    Why not let the customer choose? Some people don't have an extra 5k to spend.
     
  18. Breezy

    Breezy Member

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    FWD is preferable to RWD in snowy weather. Not for everyone, but for most people most of the time. It's not weight distribution. It's because understeer is easier for most people to control. Also steerable drive wheels provide the ability to vector thrust in the direction you want to go.
     
  19. TNEVol

    TNEVol Member

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    Much of the FWD v RWD is about weight. A RWD pickup will go nowhere in snow but a RWD VW Beetle will do fine. I have been a fan of the FWD ICE for many years but guess where the weight is --- in the front. I was concerned about my Tesla being RWD. We had several snows with ice last year and I had no problem when other RWD cars were stuck. I recognize that our 2-4 inches of snow is nothing to many of you but there was usually ice underneath and I was surprised. I assume this is due to the battery weight distribution and the motor and inverter weight.
     
  20. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #20 nwdiver, Jan 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    I think a lot of the AWD / RWD / FWD conceptions that people have from ICE don't carry over to the EV world. Some are actually completely flipped. There was always a slight mpg hit with AWD in ICE... now there's a mpge gain. The RWD issues are also less significant since traction control is far more precise and there is more even weight distribution.

    If regen occurs with 4 wheels w/ AWD instead of 2 I would also assume there would be a slight decrease in tire wear. I know ~90% of my braking is regen => ~90% of my braking is only with the rear wheels.
     

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