TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Bolt has FWD and Model 3 does not.

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Vitold, Apr 1, 2016.

Tags:
  1. steveho

    steveho Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    RWD vs FWD, weight distribution is only part of the question. The rest of the question has to do with the rate that the wheels are turning. Physics says that the faster turning wheels will always want to lead. So in FWD, that is a good thing in snow, and RWD is not as good in snow. This is given other factors being equal.
    BUT, and here is the big but, when trying to slow down, RWD is better than FWD. The reason for this is when you take your foot off the accelerator in FWD, the front wheels are slowed down by engine drag (or regen motor drag) which means the rear wheels are turning faster, plus the fact that weight transfer goes to the front wheels, making it easier for the rear wheels to lose grip. This is what probably happened to you when you did a 180.

    In RWD when you take your foot off the accelerator, the rear wheels slow down, dragging the vehicle slower without spinning out.

    So inherently RWD is safer when trying to slow down on ice or snow, but FWD is better when accelerating. I prefer having more safety while slowing down than while accelerating.

    Just my observations, but of course all of my observations are in gas cars with front engines. I've driven FWD, RWD, 4WD, and AWD and live in Minnesota.

    -Steve
     
  2. AC238

    AC238 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    USA
    Have you seen the videos of Tesla Model S RWD in snow? The low center of gravity and decent traction control more than compensate for the RWD. Just put some winter tires (Blizzaks/Nokians/etc) on it.

    Anyway it is highly likely AWD will be offered. Why would you want torque steer?
     
  3. NeverFollow

    NeverFollow Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,263
    I think that you are missing the point:

    When riding on snow, the type of tires is the most crucial, and especially when icy only studded tires can provide enough grip.

    Also, the second you press on the brakes, having FWD, RWD, or AWD has no difference.


    For the general usage:

    FWD provides more regenerative braking, since all the weight goes to the front when breaking.

    When the Electric engine is on the front axle, this translates in better range, which is premium for any EVs.
     
  4. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    15,665
    Location:
    Central New York
    Not in the real world. Unless you're doing a lot of emergency type braking at the very edge of traction, the front wheels produce no more regen than the rear wheels, and, more importantly, regen is only a small fraction of range extension anyway.
     
    • Helpful x 1
    • Like x 1
  5. miatadan

    miatadan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Canada
    For me RWD is what I prefer. Even in electric cars I only looked at those that were RWD such as BMW i3 as the Tesla S is out of my price range. With the price of the Model 3 , the Audi A3 e-tron or BMW 330e plugin cars are not good value

    Dan
     
  6. coei

    coei New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    NoVa
    Coming from an appreciation of performance cars, I never really realized that there are a decent amount of people that actually prefer FWD over RWD. I have driven the GTI, Focus ST, and Mazdaspeed 3 (all performance spec FWD cars) and while still a blast to drive, the torque steer and understeer was always there reminding you that your front wheels are doing all of the work. Compare that to say a Mustang GT or (BMW) M3, and you have a completely different and much more fun to drive animal.

    I do not know much about when and how Tesla's dual motor system activates, but I would have been very disappointed if the Model 3 ended up being FWD in single drive mode. The Model 3 having a focus on performance is really the only reason that I have any interest in EV's in the first place. Every other mass market EV is simply too slow for me.
     
  7. Lon12

    Lon12 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    744
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I've been driving FWD cars in snow and ice since my RWD Datsun 610. I have to say my RWD Model S is by far the best winter vehicle I have ever driven.
    I have been a passenger in crashes where the FWD engine braking caused the driver to lose control. I would not want to have regen on the front.
    I love how I can test the road condition by simply lifting up on the accelerator well before I need to slow.
     
    • Like x 2
  8. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    15,561
    Location:
    Texas
    Note that it is more efficient only at highway speeds. It will be less efficient in stop and go traffic.
     
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    15,561
    Location:
    Texas
    Given 50/50 weight distribution: none. ICE RWD vehicles with a front engine have a bad traction rep because, unless fully loaded, there isn't much weight on the rear axle. In addition, a poor choice of tires for winter use will make more difference.
     
  10. cokata

    cokata Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Велико Търново, &#1041
    Can't believe some people prefer FWD:rolleyes:

    It only gives you more traction initially and only if you have a front weight bias. If the car is 50/50 as i would think the Model 3 is RWD will give you better traction since the car will squat during acceleration giving more weight to the rear tires. Also if the car is not front heavy it reduces the chance of lift off oversteer. And all the electronic systems will keep you from sliding the rear if you apply too much throttle. For an EV there is 0 advantage to using FWD.
     
  11. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    15,665
    Location:
    Central New York
    Yes, there is a reason you don't see any FWD dragsters.
     
  12. cokata

    cokata Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Велико Търново, &#1041
    True. The only reason FWD is used in production cars is that it's cheaper to package the whole drivetrain at the front + it saves space. Never used in a performance applications, Nissan tried it and failed miserably.
     
  13. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have driven in over 20 years of Eastern Canadian Winters, and I dispute that as FUD based on ignorance.

    Currently, my only car is Mazda MX-5 (AKA Miata) and it is the best handling snow car I have ever owned.

    "RWD is terrible in snow" is a persistent myth, that I run into whenever people find out what I am driving in the winter: "How do you stay on the road?"

    The reality is that this myth is based on experience/report of someone trying to drive a RWD sports car/sedan on summer tires in the snow, usually a car from decades ago with most of the weight over the front axle. There are two real issues. Summer tires and poor weight distribution. Neither of these issue should be present with decently balanced RWD car with good tires (MX-5, Tesla).

    The only time I have ever lost control in the snow, was in a FWD car. FWD can lose control in slippery conditions while slowing down, as it is already front heavy, the weight transfer off the rear wheels makes it very easy to lose the back end, and it is extremely hard to catch this kind of slide. It is much more dangerous than RWD slide. This is exactly what happened to me in my FWD car, the only time I ever ended up ditching a car, in over 20 years of Winter driving.

    RWD is not a problem. Poor tires and poor weight distribution are. RWD is actually better most of the time as you separate steering from accelerating, you have more traction available for each job.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  14. nd4spd569

    nd4spd569 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Good to know. Being in SoCal I'd guess more than half my drivin is in traffic.... Yay. For autopilot. Now I'm reconsidering dual motors. Thanks for making this more difficult come options time!
     
  15. JonathanD

    JonathanD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    414
    Location:
    OC, CA
    FWD came into existence primarily for cost reasons, with some utility as a side benefit (no hump). In older cars it can be easier to handle in snow because you "point" in the direction you want to go with FWD, whereas RWD you have to understand how steer into a slide, etc. That's not really relevant any longer, because traction control has become so advanced. Between software and good snow tires, RWD is no longer an issue for snow driving. AWD really comes into play with steep grades where traction is more of an issue.
     
  16. Knobby

    Knobby Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    I've been driving a RWD BMW 323i for 10 years in Alberta and Ontario for the last 8. With good snows on all fours, and its DSC, or ASC or whatever it is called it is great in snow. No problem at all. My MS is classic RWD, and I'm glad Model 3 is going to be available as RWD. I reserved one. Love RWD. It's great. FWD exists because it's a cost reduction for the manufacturers.
     
  17. CuriousG

    CuriousG Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    The base model will most likely be 60kWh battery. On the Model S, a 70kWh battery gets 230mi while the dual motor adds an additional 10mi. Yes it's more efficient but it might be a hard sell to some people given the ~$5k for dual motor option and minor performance bump in 0-60.
     
  18. tpoltron

    tpoltron Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    And because you can vector your thrust and even steer back and forth searching for traction when the snow is getting deep.....
     
  19. Xminus6

    Xminus6 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Messages:
    604
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    We have one too. It's clear to me that the car was sorry of cobbled together as the chassis clearly can't deal with the torque of the drivetrain. I like the car part but it does feel a lot like two cars stuck together.
     
  20. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    Messages:
    2,787
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #60 sandpiper, Apr 2, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
    No. FWD is better in the snow because you're steering the driving wheels. With a bit of skill, you can almost always recover traction by steering in the direction of travel and easing up on the throttle. Even if you're not skilled enough to do that, you can oversteer, give a bit of gas and the driving wheels will continue to drag you around the corner, mostly in the direction that you want to go. Since the rears don't drive, it's pretty tough to completely lose them.... stay off of the brakes and they will mostly still follow the fronts.

    RWD is much more unstable... once you lose traction the rear end of the vehicle will pivot to the outside of the turn, causing the drive wheels to slide at an angle to the direction of vehicle travel. Once that's happened, there's no easy way to recover them. The best that you can do is to angle the steering wheels to the direction of travel, keep off of the brakes and hope like heck that the rear wheels hit a dry patch and pendulum back into line with the fronts.

    As a (former!) teenager living up north, I spent much winter time goofing around in empty parking lots in a variety of cars, long before ABS or traction control. FWD is far safer and more stable.... to the point that it really isn't a whole lot of fun!
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC