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Is the dual motor option worth it?

evJOULE

Member
Mar 10, 2018
175
91
Canada
I am interested in getting feedback about the dual motor option. Is there a big difference in handling in cold weather (snow conditions) between the RWD and the AWD? My current ride while I wait in line is a RWD car that has proven to be manageable during the winter season. The other question is whether there is any difference in actual range. I know that Tesla advertises an increased range with the dual motor, but after reading the attached links, I'm not so sure. Anyone (Model S owners) able to add comments. Thanks.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=...ient-but-how&usg=AOvVaw2t4RgDZ7ZQRRRmK47pp2xL

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=...om-my-old-85&usg=AOvVaw3FpOKQKZko2s29nNkpFeQf
 

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
It's 'uge - but that depends on conditions. Had the P85D, now the 3. On clean roads or with minimal amounts of snow AND snow tires, RWD will be OK. You need to be careful with fishtailing, but nothing out of the ordinary. With large amounts of snow or very bad ice, it is a completely different ballgame. Our driveway is slightly uphill. My wife was unable to climb it on ice, and I was unable to climb it on 6 inches of snow. On both occasions, our Merc 4Matic with winter tires had no problem. I remember our former P85D did well too. So to conclude:
1. Usual conditions with winter tires: OK
2. Extreme conditions: big advantage of AWD.

We are awaiting the AWD and will replace our current 3 when available.
 
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daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,251
4,601
Kihei, HI
My only relevant (?) experience was with a CJ5 Jeep in rural North Dakota. I got stuck in the snow numerous times. Eventually I sold it and got a Honda Civic. I never got stuck in the Civic. The lesson: AWD will be great unless you decide that now you can drive in poor conditions. I was over-confident in the Jeep so I got stuck. I was sensible with the Civic so I never did.

I did put studded tires on the Civic, though, and they worked like a champ. Except for the time when I stopped on ice and the car behind me didn't.

The Prius has Vehicle Skid Control, and it's amazing how well that works to prevent skids. I'm really not concerned about the RWD Model 3 here in Spokane, but then, since selling the Jeep in 1989, I never drive after it snows until the roads have been plowed or the snow has melted.

That said, I'd have gotten AWD had it been available. I didn't want to wait. If I lived in Quebec, I think I'd get AWD. And I'd still stay in until after the roads have been plowed.
 
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My only relevant (?) experience was with a CJ5 Jeep in rural North Dakota. I got stuck in the snow numerous times. Eventually I sold it and got a Honda Civic. I never got stuck in the Civic. The lesson: AWD will be great unless you decide that now you can drive in poor conditions. I was over-confident in the Jeep so I got stuck. I was sensible with the Civic so I never did.

I did put studded tires on the Civic, though, and they worked like a champ. Except for the time when I stopped on ice and the car behind me didn't.

The Prius has Vehicle Skid Control, and it's amazing how well that works to prevent skids. I'm really not concerned about the RWD Model 3 here in Spokane, but then, since selling the Jeep in 1989, I never drive after it snows until the roads have been plowed or the snow has melted.

That said, I'd have gotten AWD had it been available. I didn't want to wait. If I lived in Quebec, I think I'd get AWD. And I'd still stay in until after the roads have been plowed.
Yes. I do the same now. Less stress and do not have any problems. With all wheel, you can get out there but everything is closed. What is the point.
One year I did provide a "nurse pickup". Those needed at the local hospital for work. We were able to help those who could not get out to work.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,908
3,433
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
1. Usual conditions with winter tires: OK
2. Extreme conditions: big advantage of AWD.

We are awaiting the AWD and will replace our current 3 when available.

So, you're saying that in CA, you don't need four wheel. Gotcha. See picture to left, taken in January, at 1500' elevation. Here, there is not that much advantage of four wheel (S is 4wd) but electric advantage is YUuuge, and having one of first 3s is YUUuuge-er.
 

Eclectic

Member
Nov 8, 2014
792
1,404
Montana
I went from a single to dual motor Tesla...P85 to P85D. The P85 was generally ok, but in the rain the rear would step out almost immediately under anything but very gentle acceleration. With the P85D, it's never a problem. It might be that the 3 won't have the problems of huge, instant torque that the P85 had, but I would never get a vehicle with the power attributes of a Tesla without dual motors.
 

ForeverFree

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2015
606
1,384
Sherman Oaks, CA
Big difference between single and dual motor Model S, as Eclectic has noted above. Dual is incredibly surefooted, even with all-seasons on snow and ice. Sort of like the old metal-cap Volant skis.

RWD Model 3 is fun, but the back feels a little dance-happy, even on dry pavement. I suspect that AWD will again be rock-solid.
 
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RedOctober

Member
Oct 31, 2017
306
318
Earth
I am interested in getting feedback about the dual motor option. Is there a big difference in handling in cold weather (snow conditions) between the RWD and the AWD? My current ride while I wait in line is a RWD car that has proven to be manageable during the winter season. The other question is whether there is any difference in actual range. I know that Tesla advertises an increased range with the dual motor, but after reading the attached links, I'm not so sure. Anyone (Model S owners) able to add comments. Thanks.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiamZXri_fZAhVEyYMKHZRyBssQFggnMAA&url=https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102834_all-wheel-drive-tesla-electric-cars-rated-more-efficient-but-how&usg=AOvVaw2t4RgDZ7ZQRRRmK47pp2xL

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiStdnFjPfZAhWa8oMKHUdoAQUQFggnMAA&url=https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1115257_life-with-tesla-model-s-coast-to-coast-in-a-new-100d-and-how-it-differed-from-my-old-85&usg=AOvVaw3FpOKQKZko2s29nNkpFeQf
From my experience either way you go, get snow tires for the winter. I have dual motors on my S and just about wrecked it before heading south for the winter on the all season tires. Another tip for driving on icy roads, put regen on low, I learned that one the scary way. Advantages of dual motors as mentioned by others, better road traction in inclement weather, better regenerative power, more range and HP. I never noticed a difference in handling or driving experince between the rear wheel drive and AWD unless you are hard on the accelerator.
 

drawfour

Member
Mar 10, 2018
774
732
Seattle, WA
I have no experience with an S or X, but I'm personally waiting for the AWD (I'm an Apr 1 reservation holder). My current vehicle is an AWD Acura MDX. My wife has a Prius. Since I'll be replacing the MDX, I want an AWD to ensure I can get out if needed. The last time my wife and I tried to go anywhere in the snow (fresh snow, about 3-4 inches and still snowing), the Prius could barely make it out of our side street, and when I needed to turn onto another, it kept going straight. Got turned around, took the MDX, and no problems. I'm hoping the AWD Tesla 3 will be as stable. We don't often get snow too bad around here in Seattle, but when we do, the hills are quite difficult to navigate without AWD.
 

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,379
745
Seattle, WA
@evJOULE most has been said already: AWD is great for additional traction, though second the comment that more drive helps you go faster, more grip helps you turn and stop... these are heavy cars, so if you’re in quebec, I would strongly believe RWD with snow/ice rated types will be better than AWD with all-season tyres.

The RWD 3 on wet/slippy roads is more well-behaved, and I believe more predictable, than RWD P85 was. Partially due to less initially-available torque and partially due to better traction control implementation imo.

AWD will give slightly (iirc <5% range) on S, and would suspect similar for 3.

AWD will be more fun to drive in performance manner, doubly so around fast bends.

I would have bought AWD if available at launch, though don’t regreat RWD at all. This is in wet wet wet PacNw.

Oh, btw the standard all-season tyres on 3, really don’t work that well on snow/ice ;)
 

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
So, you're saying that in CA, you don't need four wheel. Gotcha. See picture to left, taken in January, at 1500' elevation. Here, there is not that much advantage of four wheel (S is 4wd) but electric advantage is YUuuge, and having one of first 3s is YUUuuge-er.

Agree to the YUuugeness factor of driving sooner - that is why we got the RWD M3 as soon as we were allowed to configure :). Will probably incur a financial penalty when exchanging for AWD, but the performance AWD will ease the pain.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,251
4,601
Kihei, HI
One year I did provide a "nurse pickup". Those needed at the local hospital for work. We were able to help those who could not get out to work.

When I lived in North Dakota there was a 4WD club whose members provided emergency transportation in blizzards. Medical personnel who needed to get to work, people who needed to get to the hospital, stranded motorists, etc. It's hard and dangerous work, and they did it as volunteers. My first years there I drove a Jeep, but going out in blizzard conditions was too much for me.

I went from a single to dual motor Tesla...P85 to P85D. The P85 was generally ok, but in the rain the rear would step out almost immediately under anything but very gentle acceleration. With the P85D, it's never a problem. It might be that the 3 won't have the problems of huge, instant torque that the P85 had, but I would never get a vehicle with the power attributes of a Tesla without dual motors.

I got to test-drive a P85D Model S, dry roads in summer. Its handling was amazing. But the RWD Roadster handles quite well, and the Model 3 has less torque than the Roadster, so I expect it to be fine, though I'd definitely have gotten the AWD if I could have gotten it when I was finally able to configure. OTOH, if I move to Maui I'll have no need for AWD. There's no snow, and most of the roads are 45 mph limit or slower, with actual traffic moving a bit faster. If I don't move to Maui, I'll probably take the loss and upgrade to P-AWD.
 
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JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,080
1,331
SF Bay Area, CA
I am speaking from absolutely no Model 3 experience (mine is on order), but having driven my 2013 S85 for almost 5 years, and my wife's 2015 S70D for almost 3 years, I vote for the D hands down. And I live in the SF Bay Area and have never driven either in the snow. The D just feels more planted and secure in all weather conditions. I'm not even paying attention to the performance benefit and the minimal mileage benefit. That's why I am waiting for my Model 3D (I could have taken delivery of the current build Model 3 in January). YMMV.
 
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evJOULE

Member
Mar 10, 2018
175
91
Canada
Anyone care to comment on the linked articles? I think I would lean more towards dual motors just for the Canadian weather, but will it give a range bonus, or range hit? I was hoping someone that had a chance to compare a dual and single motor Model S could add their real world experience.
 

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