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Benefit of AWD?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by Dag16, May 20, 2018.

  1. Dag16

    Dag16 Member

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    Forgive the potentially silly question, but I am trying to figure out the benefits of AWD other than needing it for weather related driving and slightly better traction. I live in San Diego, so weather isn't an issue, and I'm trying to decide whether it's worth it.
    Thanks!
     
  2. NeverFollow

    NeverFollow Active Member

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    Beside better handling there should be an increase in range, as the rear engine is more designed for acceleration
    and the front for highway cruising, and braking regeneration, a little bit like if you have a two speeds gearbox.
     
  3. Sully's8

    Sully's8 Member

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    I'm a Chicagoan and weather is/was 90% of the reason I'm waiting on dual motor, but most S and 3 owners indicate that the weight, low center of gravity and even weight distribution of the battery pack almost make the D unnecessary for that purpose. The dual motor also will be a bit quicker and since I'm used to 90D S speed, I'd like to have a bit more pep. This will be my wife's car principally, but I'm looking forward to swapping occasionally.

    If I lived in SD I'd put the cash toward EAP instead and save a few bucks.
     
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  4. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    + improved traction

    + improves handling

    + even tire wear

    + “spare motor” for backup in case of failure. This will only help some very specific failure modes.

    = range?? They are making no claims, and the new motor is a different type and adds weight

    - increased purchase cost

    - increased maintenance cost
     
  5. cab

    cab Member

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    #5 cab, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    So, I own a P85+ and currently have the 19" rims (slipstreams) with the Goodyear Grand touring tires on it (i.e. NOT a performance tire). This car puts down more power than the current RWD Model 3 (it is heavier though). The only time dry weather traction is an issue is when really nailing it off the line. The worst case scenario involves turning from a stop to merge onto a road with fast moving traffic. As an example, I turn from a side street onto a freeway frontage road regularly. In addition, the side street I am turning from has "decorative" brick pavers in that intersection and, when wet, they offer even less traction. Still, even then, it is just rarely an issue. The S puts down its power so smoothly (relative to other high horsepower RWD cars I have owned) that it rarely breaks traction, or if I think it will, I can ease out a bit and still nail it once the car is straightened up with minimal issues.

    From everything I have read the torque "hit" off the line in the Model 3 is softer than the Model S which would make the dry weather traction even less of an issue. Now, I have driven a P85D loaner (21" PS2s) and, just a week ago, had a new 100D loaner (19" Goodyear tourings). I will say those cars were even more surefooted than my car. The 100D in particular allowed me to hammer it more from a stop into the turn onto the fast moving traffic road, but it was a "nice to have" vs. a "must have" in fair weather and even "normal rain" driving (here in Texas anyway). The really high horsepower cars (P85D on up) need it to put all the power down.

    I suspect folks who live in states with a lot of snow or frequent rain might have a stronger preference for dual motor (I probably would).

    One other downside to dual motors - front motor whine. It's noticeable on the dual motor Model S and I suspect will be even more so on the Model 3 (seems like you are closer to those front wheels in a more cab forward design on the Model 3 and it may have less sound deadening than the latest Ses to boot).

    Oddly enough, the most noticeable benefit I saw with that recent 100D loaner (which we had for a week) - increased regen. I immediately commented about how the car was closer to "one pedal driving" than my P85+...a nice perk I hadn't paid attention to in my prior drives. Still not at Chevy Bolt or early BMW i3 levels, but noticeably stronger than my RWD car.
     
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  6. Zoomit

    Zoomit Member

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    In what way is the handling improved? The weight and inertia are higher. I think you're double-booking "improves traction."
     
  7. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

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    Handling is not improved over RWD. Usually AWD cars understeer more but I image they’ll be able to tune that out by routing more power to the back when cornering. Slightly faster acceleration is a plus. Biggest plus for CA residents is not having to put on chains in the snow! That’s why I’m getting it (and the acceleration of course :D).
     
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  8. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    True. Perhaps more forgiving of mistakes due to traction.
     
  9. MacGreiner

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    I agree with this. I didn't realize how whiny my D was until I drove a friend's 75. The sound difference was remarkable.
     
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  10. Dag16

    Dag16 Member

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    Thanks everyone. I think I'll skip AWD based on the feedback.
     
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  11. cbutters

    cbutters Member

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    This is true, but in the AWD 3, it is actually the front motor that will be more powerful induction, and the rear the more efficient PM motor
     
  12. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

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    A matter of perspective, I suppose. There's "improve traction" - I can put more power down on a straight line, which is what I usually think of - and "improve traction" - I can hammer the accelerator going around a corner and the car will hold the line and pull through accelerating the whole way.

    That's the "handling" benefit of AWD; in situations where you aren't applying a bunch of power I don't think it helps much.

    The other benefit of AWD that I haven't seen mentioned yet is more regen or better balanced regen; the mention of even tire wear is somewhat connected.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Pkmmte

    Pkmmte Le meow

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    Stronger regen is a big selling point of AWD for me.

    Also, I suggest you test drive a dual motor Model S and then a RWD Model 3. You'll feel a massive difference in the way they accelerate. If the dual motor Model 3 is able to accelerate like the Model S at low speeds, that might be the biggest benefit IMO.
     

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