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RWD vs AWD

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by aarons23, Apr 1, 2016.

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  1. aarons23

    aarons23 Member

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    Since we now know the base Model 3 is RWD, I am curious what your guy's opinion on what option is? Is the RWD good in snow, etc?
     
  2. sg021

    sg021 Member

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    We would get AWD because our house is on a hill that is tough to navigate in the snow, and my wife is expected to get to work if at all possible. Model S RWD does ok in the snow from what I've heard, but the 3 will be lighter which will hurt it a bit.
     
  3. mcghee33

    mcghee33 Member

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    In general all RWD card are suboptimal in the snow. I will also say that I live in Saint Louis where we only get a little snow and ice each year compared to some, and I own an AWD car and I will never go back to front or RWD. For someone who appears to live in the NE I would recommend the AWD, you will not regret it.
     
  4. jerry33

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

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    RWD is suboptimal in traditional ICE cars because the weight distribution is only 50/50 when fully loaded. Also, most people's experience dates from before traction control and stability control. With proper snow tires, my Model S85 is as good in snow and ice as anything else because the weight distribution is always close to 50/50.

    That said, when you can't go in an RWD it's because it's RWD. When you can't go in an AWD, it's in spite of being AWD. There is a strong psychological factor here.
     
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  5. Bimbels

    Bimbels GoldMember

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    The low center of gravity due to the battery pack makes a RWD tesla better than any other RWD car. That said, I live in the NE and have a 70D. We will only consider AWD. If I lived elsewhere I wouldn't need it - but I understand general handling is different without it. Maybe someone could chime in re: the difference.
     
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  6. Kalud

    Kalud Active Member

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    For what it's worth, I love my RWD Model S, after 2.5 years and 72,000 km. I would get RWD again and living around Montreal in Canada we get plenty of snow and hills.

    Not sure what we'll order for our Model 3 reservation since it will replace my wife's car, but most likely RWD.
     
  7. roguenode

    roguenode Member

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    I think RWD can be absolutely fine in the snow. Tires make the biggest difference regardless of the drivetrain, imo.

    Your local conditions are likely a bigger factor if you are thinking of going with AWD. For example, If I lived 20 miles East and went up to the mountains for summer hikes and ski resort visits, I'd go RWD for sure, even though I'd still see quite a bit of local snowfall in a mostly flat, urban environment. However, my daily driving area can get very high snow loads, has steep, dangerous roads, and is somewhat remote, so AWD makes more sense for the extra peace of mind. ymmv.
     
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  8. Eddyrelik

    Eddyrelik Member

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    Thread Revival!

    Have my order in for RWD, waiting for word on delivery (Sept-Nov estimated). I live in Southern California (never snows haha). Having second thoughts if I should do AWD for additional performance/safety? Car will eventually be my wifes car...

    What other arguments for RWD vs AWD are there other than weather (wet/snow where AWD is obviously better).

    Safer/better in dry climates too?

    Tougher to steer? (Noticed this is sisters Subaru, def tougher steering with her AWD)...

    Does car use RWD mainly and only AWD when needed in order to keep range?...
     
  9. Raechris

    Raechris Member

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    My understanding is rear motor preferred until loss of traction or demand for excess power, then front used. Hwy driving with range mode on may prefer front motor
     
  10. Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison Member

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    Front motor can full torque sleep, rear can't. So front should be shut off on highway cruising. Plus rear motor is more effecient. It's after 1am sorry if I messed that up. Ambien is a mofo
     
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  11. ByICE

    ByICE Occasional member

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    Comparing my 2013 MS RWD with 2017 MS AWD in snow driving, not much difference. Tires, ground clearance (in heavy snow) and driving technique are the most important factors.
    I find RWD more comfortable and quieter to drive. I can hear front motor when comparing MS RWD and AWD.
    That was the main reason that I got RWD M3. I did not drive it snow yet but I am not worrying about that at all.
    Other than performance, there is not much reason to go with AWD versus RWD. Lower cost, better efficiency and comfort but slower (by fraction of a second :).
     
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  12. Firewired

    Firewired Member

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    I think the AWD / RWD difference also makes a difference in other conditions rather than just in snow if you a more aggressive type driver. I know that driving a RWD Model S I had a loss of traction with the the annoying nag of the traction control light when rapidly accelerating off the line or with wet road's. I purchased dual when they first came out in 12/14 and it is was an immediately noticeable huge improvement. The dual motors are much more surefooted, and (to me) more enjoyable to drive with the high torque that an electric motor puts out. I drove a friend's M3 to be sure that I felt similarly. I loved the handling and lower mass of the M3, i really missed that planted AWD feeling. Even though I live in a place which snows once a decade, it does rain here, and often quite a bit. That is why I held out for AWD.
     
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  13. grovny

    grovny Member

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    A friend who has driven both RWD and AWD S models says he's forever sold on AWD based on handling and safety factor in rain. Speculative: lower insurance cost for AWD? Better resale value?
     
  14. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

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    I find AWD most useful in snowy environments for getting out of driveways, parking lots etc when you have been snowed or plowed in. If you have 4 wheels spinning trying to get you the f*(&U out of that mess, it's better than two.

    I do find AWD with snow tires marginally better than RWD with snow tires for driving on mostly plowed roads. But if getting unstuck is not a major issue, RWD may be all you need, and RWD + snows will be better than AWD + all seasons.

    I find my model S to be fine in the snow, but not the revelation that many other posters talk about. I wouldn't say it's much better (But also certainly no worse) than my prior subaru, infiniti or acura. It's fine, but not mind boggling by any means. It's also a super heavy car for it's class, so that factors in to stopping distances etc.

    That being said, I only get AWD cars now. I have to drive a lot where no plowing has been done and sometimes at late hours, so I've found it useful.

    For reference, this is living in IA, IL, NH, VT, MA, WI and MN.
     
  15. BruceW

    BruceW Member

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    AWD also gives you regenerative braking from all 4 wheels, not just the rear two.
     
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  16. grovny

    grovny Member

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    Have seen conflicting opinions on tire wear. There's an argument for less tire wear with AWD, but would like to hear actual comparative experience from S owners.
     
  17. ℬête Noire

    ℬête Noire Active Member

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    This is, beyond the steady footing in heavy rain, is what tipped me to AWD. Judging by regen across prior Teslas, the AWD should have a faster lead into regen. You can't regen brake as fast with rear wheels only because there is a natural weight transfer back to front when de-accelerating.
     
  18. Firewired

    Firewired Member

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    I have a P100D on it with the 21”staggered wheels. I can’t tell you how amazed I am with the tire wear. I have the original Michelin Pilot Super Sports at 25k miles. I just had it in for service and they are telling me that I still have a good deal of tread left. If I can get that kind of tread life from low profile performance tires, not driving very mellow, with as much torque as this car has. I can’t imagine what you can get with all season tires in a more standard AWD. I am very please after all the reported premature wear from initial year Model Ses.
     
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  19. Eddyrelik

    Eddyrelik Member

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    Has anyone noticed on other Teslas if there is a "tougher" steering wheel and/or torque steer with AWD?

    I noticed on my sisters Subaru AWD that the steering is harder significantly that a RWD car. Felt like it can get tiring on a long drive compared to a super easy to turn steering wheel (not sure if this is for all RWD cars but most).
     
  20. KenF

    KenF Member

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    #20 KenF, Jul 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    The difficult steering (i.e., the effort required to steer) on the Suburus has nothing to do with AWD. Starting with the 2017 Impreza, 2018 Crosstek, and [upcoming] 2019 Forester, Suburu revamped their steering so that steering effort is comparable to other modern cars. The Outback will see the same change in the 2020 model year.
     

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