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Does dual motor make a big difference in terms of power, enjoyment, etc?

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,681
2,047
Seattle
Hey all,

I'm currently debating picking up a used 2019 Long Range RWD M3 (before dual motor was standard in long range) or a new 2020 AWD Dual Motor. I've driven the LR RWD before, but never dual. I live in California so any perks from AWD/DM would be strictly pleasure. I like to feel power when I drive, but I know the LR RWD has plenty of it. Is there a big difference between the two?

It makes a difference .. but whether it is "big" or not is subjective. However, it WILL objectively make the car handle better in snow etc.
 

robd

Member
Jul 25, 2018
89
73
Sacramento, CA
I think the answer lies in how much you value performance in your vehicles? If you don’t care at all then get the base model, but IMO in terms of EV you can never have enough battery or power (don’t HAVE to use it) if the cost isn’t prohibitive. I think the fact that you’re asking means you’re thinking or leaning that way so if that’s true you’ll regret not getting AWD. MY .02
 
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raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,022
768
Florida
I think the answer lies in how much you value performance in your vehicles? If you don’t care at all then get the base model, but IMO in terms of EV you can never have enough battery or power (don’t HAVE to use it) if the cost isn’t prohibitive. I think the fact that you’re asking means you’re thinking or leaning that way so if that’s true you’ll regret not getting AWD. MY .02

Agreed. If you are on the fence and your finances are in order then just bite the bullet and get what you really want. We see this happen all the time with enthusiasts and sports cars. Buyer is on the fence between a Charger/Challenger 392 or Hellcat, a Corvette Grand Sport or a Z06, a Camaro SS or a ZL1, Mustang V6 or GT or a Shelby, etc. Often times a buyer will settle and then regret not getting what they really wanted. Also, keep in mind while it may cost more for the AWD, it will cost a lot more if you decide to upgrade after the fact. Depreciation hit plus new purchase, fees, etc.

That said, if performance is not your thing and you just don't care, (like my wife) then save your money and get a base model.
 
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hallucinate

Member
Mar 19, 2019
37
21
Colorado
Enjoyment is subjective– to each his/her own. I love my LR RWD because of what it enables me to do each day, commute ~80 miles and pay next to nothing for energy and contribute little to no additional pollution that wasn't already being added by non-green power plants. Even in the cold of winter, I average around 200Wh/mi for the trip. This enjoyment is truly only accentuated when we take road trips.

Yeah I am sure that there are many a moment that I miss out on the dual motor (P or otherwise) added thrill factor. But being that this thing is positively the efficiency king of personal roadway movement machines, it overcomes that tinge of longing for me.
 

robd

Member
Jul 25, 2018
89
73
Sacramento, CA
Enjoyment is subjective– to each his/her own. I love my LR RWD because of what it enables me to do each day, commute ~80 miles and pay next to nothing for energy and contribute little to no additional pollution that wasn't already being added by non-green power plants. Even in the cold of winter, I average around 200Wh/mi for the trip. This enjoyment is truly only accentuated when we take road trips.

Yeah I am sure that there are many a moment that I miss out on the dual motor (P or otherwise) added thrill factor. But being that this thing is positively the efficiency king of personal roadway movement machines, it overcomes that tinge of longing for me.


Exactly, you value efficiency most of all. But, if you valued performance equally you might have made a different choice. Totally subjective, but the fact that the OP is asking means he/she has some doubts about not getting AWD/LR model. Again, just opinions which are like “noses”. But remember you have the best of both worlds in terms of range and efficiency which is no longer available so OP either gets efficiency with lower range or sacrifices efficiency and gains performance/range.
 

skydreamerjae

Goldmember
Nov 4, 2019
359
615
Fountain Valley, CA
The RWD will be faster than most cars.

if you get true RWD and you like performance, promise yourself you won’t drive the AWD or Performance model for 3-5 years (depending on how long you keep cars).
Exactly what I told myself. I should've saved up a bit more and waited, but I was so impatient so I bought an SR+. I'm not going to test drive the M3P anytime soon, because I know I'd probably cry in my SR+ driving home.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,786
1,756
Houston
If you can swing it, get the Lotus Evija. Quad motors, 2000hp. It will make the M3P feel very slow. Plus it comes standard with Apple CarPlay.
 
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dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,025
5,046
FL
+1

I've noticed how acutely aware I've become of ICE cars that make a lot of noise. Especially ones that make a ton of noise and don't seem to accelerate while doing so.

Yeah the worst part about going back to internal combustion cars is the combination of all the Racket and the complete absence of acceleration in relative terms. When I get into my Lexus IS350 which is a decently quick car, pressing the accelerator all the way results in an enormous amount of Racket while the car slowly oozes forward. It's just shocking how much better the model 3 is especially the dual motor Performance versions then even premium sport sedans with similar power to weight ratio
 
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cbaaz

Member
Feb 1, 2019
177
112
arizona
Hey all,

I'm currently debating picking up a used 2019 Long Range RWD M3 (before dual motor was standard in long range) or a new 2020 AWD Dual Motor. I've driven the LR RWD before, but never dual. I live in California so any perks from AWD/DM would be strictly pleasure. I like to feel power when I drive, but I know the LR RWD has plenty of it. Is there a big difference between the two?

This may be stating the obvious but if your financial situation supports it, you will definitely enjoy the car with more power.
If AWD is a stretch financially, then I think you would still be happy with the RWD. there are no “slow” Teslas :D
 

vkp-m3

New Member
Dec 9, 2019
2
2
Boston, MA
For a contrarian view to the popular opinions in the replies, I test drove both the SR+ RWD and the LR AWD (same car; sales personnel can switch with passcode) in Boston area. In as much as what they would allow on test drives on the highway that we went on (Rt 9 in metro-west, not a limited access highway), I could honestly NOT make out any difference in accelerating from an on-ramp and merging into traffic.

I eventually chose the LR because I needed the range for my daily commute, and love the car. And definitely the premium interior features (heated rear seats!) are perks that I value somewhat. But as a driver, all things being equal, if I could get a new LR RWD for a few 1000$ less, I'd definitely have taken it. The "more acceleration while passing" argument in this thread, though valid, is weak; even the single motor has ample torque that even in Boston traffic, where gaps in passing lanes are tight, I'd not worry about the difference.
 
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SigNC

Active Member
Aug 23, 2017
1,485
1,304
NC
For a contrarian view to the popular opinions in the replies, I test drove both the SR+ RWD and the LR AWD (same car; sales personnel can switch with passcode) in Boston area. In as much as what they would allow on test drives on the highway that we went on (Rt 9 in metro-west, not a limited access highway), I could honestly NOT make out any difference in accelerating from an on-ramp and merging into traffic.

I eventually chose the LR because I needed the range for my daily commute, and love the car. And definitely the premium interior features (heated rear seats!) are perks that I value somewhat. But as a driver, all things being equal, if I could get a new LR RWD for a few 1000$ less, I'd definitely have taken it. The "more acceleration while passing" argument in this thread, though valid, is weak; even the single motor has ample torque that even in Boston traffic, where gaps in passing lanes are tight, I'd not worry about the difference.

I find it hard to believe you couldn't tell the difference as I can readily tell the difference in a RWD LR and AWD LR and the SR+ doesn't accelerate like the RWD LR.
 
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vkp-m3

New Member
Dec 9, 2019
2
2
Boston, MA
I find it hard to believe you couldn't tell the difference as I can readily tell the difference in a RWD LR and AWD LR and the SR+ doesn't accelerate like the RWD LR.

I'm just highlighting that during a "normal" merge [not trying to establish a 0-60 best time], it was impossible for me to make the distinction between the LR AWD and the SR+ RWD. They were both incredibly fast. My comparison was against the other cars I test drove in my search -- a BMW 330ix, an Audi A4 and a MB C-class. Again, not trying to benchmark, simply normal driving.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,056
1,254
The Woodlands, TX
Yeah the worst part about going back to internal combustion cars is the combination of all the Racket and the complete absence of acceleration in relative terms. When I get into my Lexus IS350 which is a decently quick car, pressing the accelerator all the way results in an enormous amount of Racket while the car slowly oozes forward. It's just shocking how much better the model 3 is especially the dual motor Performance versions then even premium sport sedans with similar power to weight ratio

Yeah, that’s because the Lexus has zero low RPM torque and a lazy 8 speed automatic. Had that combo 3 years on a GS350 and couldn’t wait to be rid of it. Weakest part of an otherwise excellent car.
 

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