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Rear Wheel Drive or Front Wheel Drive

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by lsteiner, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. lsteiner

    lsteiner New Member

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    I live in Southern California so snow or rain is not an issue. If you have a choice between getting a 75 or a 75D and you are most interested in the fun of driving and most of your driving is freeway and curvy roads which would you get saying money is not the issue.
     
  2. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    75 is rear wheel drive,
    75D is all wheel drive
    there is no front wheel drive
     
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  3. D.E.

    D.E. Member

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    You won't regret getting all wheel drive.
    More grip on wet roads, no tendency to oversteer on slippery roads with acceleration (may not be an issue with the traction control), better in sand and mud. The D car is quicker. If money isn't an issue then it is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  4. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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  5. DIL

    DIL Member

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    RWD is usually considered dynamically superior for sporty cars. Plus you don't need AWD in SoCal!
     
  6. D.E.

    D.E. Member

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    #6 D.E., Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    You guys don't have sand and mud in SoCal? Your roads don't get slick with a short rain after a dry spell? We've got sand, we've got mud, we get slippery roads, and that's in the summer.

    RWD was the old standard for sporty cars for several reasons. You can apply throttle coming out of a turn and get oversteer which swings the rear around and helps complete the turn. Remember the RWD cars were compared to front wheel drive cars, there weren't any all wheel drive sports cars. The front wheel drive cars would pull the car through the turn. Coming out of turns, you accelerate. That shifts weight to the rear tires and they'd have more traction. Front wheel drive cars also shift weight to the rear so there is less weight on the front and the driving wheels will lose traction.

    AWD was for Jeeps. It wasn't common in pick up trucks until later. There was a big power penalty for AWD, it was relatively inefficient. In the early days, one needed to get out and lock the front hubs to engage the 4WD. Then it wasn't really for use on pavement because the wheels couldn't independently change their rate of rotation.

    Now the AWD we have in the Tesla's is a different animal altogether. It is computer controlled, it is more efficient than RWD because the front motor is geared differently than the rear motor. It depends on the circumstances which motor supplies drive, and if necessary, both motors drive. Any combination of wheels can have braking applied so there is no wheelspin.

    Since the RWD Tesla has traction control, it will apply the brakes to limit oversteer. The old technique of applying throttle to bring the rear of the car around isn't going to work nearly as well.

    So here today we're comparing RWD to AWD, and the RWD vs front wheel drive comparison isn't really applicable.

    So is AWD superior to RWD on a twisty road? You betcha. Accelerating flat out, the rear wheels are pushing, the front wheels are pulling, and every bit of power is making it to the ground. And if a wheel starts to lose traction, the car slows that wheel before the driver is even aware of it. The car is safer, it is more controlled, and much less likely to get skittish when the traction conditions change.
     
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  7. Pezpunk

    Pezpunk Member

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    AWD is more fun. all the power, all the traction.
     
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  8. snd92

    snd92 Member

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    FYI: 75D is rear wheel below 90 km/h and front wheel driven above 90 km/h when not accelerating (>40 kW). Range mode on = front wheel drive. Range mode off = changes rear/front (torque sleep). All wheel drive below 2-4 C degree.
     
  9. Muzzman1

    Muzzman1 Member

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    I'm in LA. My first MS was a RWD 85, I sold it to get AutoPilot. I also decided to replace it with an 85D for increased performance.
    I'm SOO glad I did it. The 85D performs better on dry pavement, as it never so much as chirps a tire. It also accelerates quicker (about 1 sec in the 1/4mi) Needless to say snow and rain are also much better for those quick trips to Mt. High and Big Bear.
     
  10. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    AWD will give you a significant range boost over RWD at highway speeds. My back to back testing of a RWD 85 vs AWD 60D/75D Model S showed a roughly 25% increase in range.
     
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  11. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    AWD apparently gives more even tire wear all around, and saves having to do tire rotations. (Assumes your car is sitting squarely.)
     

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