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Has anyone driven the Model 3 in snow??

Dntzing

New Member
Apr 26, 2018
4
0
Boston
I am currently in line for the first production Model 3 which - if they meet the current production timeline - it will work perfectly with my current lease (ending in September). However, I spoke with someone in the Natick, MA store who recommended I wait for the AWD though he's never driven one. I don't know what I will do for a car between my lease-end and the delivery of the Model 3 so this will be a big deal. Plus, I don't know how much the AWD will cost. I'm hoping someone in this forum might have experience driving the RWD Model 3 (or even the RWD S) in the snow. And, maybe someone knows what they plan to charge for the AWD-3?
 

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,958
Austin, TX
There are videos on Youtube. Looks for channel "Now You Know" Cost probably will be $3000-$4000. In my opinion as someone who lived in northern state most of their life, the biggest difference is using dedicated snow tires for the winter. All-seasons are compromise. Also, remember all wheel drive still doesn't help with stopping.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of older Model S in Europe, especially Norway that are rear wheel drive. Yes, all wheel drive might be slightly better in some cases, but it is not the panacea that everyone makes it out to be.

edit: videos are linked in post above :p
 

mekberg

Member
Jan 5, 2015
616
3,200
Madison, Wisconsin
$2,000 for aero: Model 3 18” Aero Wheel and Winter Tire Package
$3,500 for sport: Model 3 19” Sport Wheel and Winter Tire Package

Edit: I need more coffee.

Edit 2: I originally wanted AWD as well, but it's going to be net a ~$7k option ($3-4k cost for AWD plus the partial loss of tax credit). The above videos tipped the scale for me. In the Madison city limits they're really good about plowing. Also, if I hate it and decide to upgrade to AWD in the future I can probably get a reasonable price for my used Model 3.
 
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ForeverFree

Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2015
604
1,362
Sherman Oaks, CA
Drove a Model 3 on some snow and ice in the mountains this January. No problems.

Still, I have more confidence in the Tesla AWD system, which we have on our Model S and has allowed us to handle deep snow on all-seasons without drama. If you frequently head out to the Berkshires or up to VT/NH, that’s probably the way to go.

That said, living in Boston you have an option which we do not have in our Jekyll-and-Hyde-microclimate state: Dedicated snows. Those, plus Tesla’s excellent traction control system, will probably do well for you.

And, going RWD may get you into the joy of Tesla-ing sooner.

Either way ... enjoy!!
 

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,629
2,786
in the moment
I have had no problem driving in the snow. Never had a RWD car before and it took one day of a learning curve to get the Regen on the snow.

Don't plan on getting snow tires. I have always been in the school of thought if it's too crazy. I don't go.
 

jsmay311

Active Member
Apr 22, 2016
1,113
1,631
Chicago suburbs
"Less than 5K" that's all we know.

Cuz Elon has never tweeted anything that didn't turn out to be true years later. ;)

(Here's the original tweet from April 2016.)

God forbid Tesla did right by the customers who are on the fence between RWD and AWD and revealed the actual prices, specs, and bundling for AWD now. Surely their entire business model would swiftly implode. :rolleyes:
 
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John Lamoureux

l Parzival l
Jul 2, 2016
192
120
NH
I have had no problem driving in the snow. Never had a RWD car before and it took one day of a learning curve to get the Regen on the snow.

Don't plan on getting snow tires. I have always been in the school of thought if it's too crazy. I don't go.

This is what I'm kinda worried about. I've lived in NE for almost my entire life and know how to drive in the snow with RWD...with AND without snow tires. But I am curious as to the impact regen braking will have on the experience.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,055
9,777
SF Bay Area
No snow here with our MS but we do have AWD on it. It also came with Smart Air Suspension (SAS) which has been rumored to also be on or available on the AWD version. We live in an area that has lot of downtown nasty speed bumps and shopping center parking lots with them as well. The SAS lets you geofence an area so that the car as it approaches will raise up until after you have passed it and reached a certain speed where it will lower itself. We also have a driveway on an uphill angle from the street and come across a lot of businesses that are located above street level (builders way of keeping houses and businesses above water level if there's flooding I guess). Very helpful in all those situations so that your car doesn't bottom out on the battery. AWD on our car also gives us a slightly better range but not enough to make it a game changer for us. We wanted the geofencing ability primarily.

Almost forgot to mention parking near curbs. The front end of our Model S is lower than the rear and sometimes when you pull into a space your front bumper is pretty close to the curb or that raised parking wheel stop. We will raise our car in those cases as well (although you still want to be careful before pulling away to make sure your car hasn't self-leveled and lowered you in the meantime).

I did live in a snowy winter area of the country for many years and snow tires really do make a difference on any car. They have the necessary tread to grip in the snow. If you're on ice though I don't think either tire will do anything for you.
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,173
2,909
Los Angeles
If you're on ice though I don't think either tire will do anything for you.

Winter tires are designed to work better on ice as well, naturally, the traction will be significantly less than snow. While they do not grip like studded tires on ice, they are constantly improving.

If you do hit black ice at high speed, it will not make much of a difference if you have RWD vs AWD.
 

Dntzing

New Member
Apr 26, 2018
4
0
Boston
Drove a Model 3 on some snow and ice in the mountains this January. No problems.

Still, I have more confidence in the Tesla AWD system, which we have on our Model S and has allowed us to handle deep snow on all-seasons without drama. If you frequently head out to the Berkshires or up to VT/NH, that’s probably the way to go.

That said, living in Boston you have an option which we do not have in our Jekyll-and-Hyde-microclimate state: Dedicated snows. Those, plus Tesla’s excellent traction control system, will probably do well for you.

And, going RWD may get you into the joy of Tesla-ing sooner.

Either way ... enjoy!!

This is great info. We actually have an SUV to handle road trips, but I'm concerned about getting out of my steep and usually icy driveway. Sounds like winter tires may be all I need. Weird how the guy in the Tesla showroom was trying to convince me to wait. If all things were equal, I'd absolutely get the AWD but things are far from equal. Now just hoping they contact me in August or early September so my current lease doesn't run out!!
 

jsrawa

Active Member
Apr 11, 2016
1,083
808
Colorado
And even that is from an Elon tweet 2 years ago. I also think he more recently tweeted that AWD will be tied to air suspension. So frankly I expect AWD + SAS to cost more than $5k.

I agree, I think we may be looking at 7k bundled but time will tell.
 

AMIYY4YOU

Member
Jan 4, 2018
194
186
Boston, MA
This is great info. We actually have an SUV to handle road trips, but I'm concerned about getting out of my steep and usually icy driveway. Sounds like winter tires may be all I need. Weird how the guy in the Tesla showroom was trying to convince me to wait. If all things were equal, I'd absolutely get the AWD but things are far from equal. Now just hoping they contact me in August or early September so my current lease doesn't run out!!
When anyone is appalled by the fact that my $60k is "ONLY" RWD, I try to resist the urge to laugh at them. People have a tendency to immediately associate RWD with 'fishtailing' and really poor handling in the snow. The fact of the matter is - there is a HUGE difference between RWD combustion engine and a RWD Tesla EV. Combustion vehicles have a center of mass well biased towards the front because of the engine while Teslas have the center of mass almost directly in the middle of the car (and very low to the ground too which only helps further). If the point of traction (the rear wheels) is far away from the center of mass, THAT is what causes fishtailing which is why combustion engines are SO bad in the snow, but with EVs it handles extremely well given the short distance (review the principle of torque = r x F if you need to).

All in all, I see NO value add for AWD with the exception of marginally faster 0-60 times and while it will objectively handle better than a RWD Model 3, if you invest in a set of snow tires you will be absolutely fine. I know this living in Boston myself. Snow tires make a MUCH bigger difference when handling in the snow than an extra motor will IMO.
 

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