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Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Skione65, Aug 12, 2016.
How crazy is your RWD S in the Winter?
I have a P85 (RWD) and love it all year. With good winter tires (Michelin X-ICE or Nokian Hakka) you can get through just about anything you will find on public roads (at least in Southern Ontario). The Pirelli Sottozero tires were not very effective.
Of course, driving a P85 is always crazy (in a good way).
I've had ours through two winters on just the standard all-seasons so far and its been just fine.
Tesla's traction control is said to be much more precise and much faster acting than pretty much anyone else's. These videos are all RWD cars, from before the D was even available:
Tesla Model S Ice Drive - Swedish Test Track
Winter Driving Redefined
It's good to hear this.....I'm looking at CPOs (currently RWD). Am wondering if I should wait until more of the AWDs drop in....at a reasonable price of course. I'm coming from a lifetime of 'front wheel drive' vehicles and winter snow/ice driving and haven't driven a RWD vehicle in decades.....last one was probably my brothers Firebird (lol) way back in yesteryear and in wet/snowy/icy weather it was a nightmare.....we had to actually put either bodybuilding weight plates or sandbags in the trunk to help us out. I know the S is a different animal.....lower CG due to the battery pack....better performance....but still RWD unless a D model.
Impressive....especially the second vid done in Oslo....Bjorns neck of the woods!
Looking forward to others winter driving experiences/advice/etc.....
Unlike a front engine car, the Model S has over half of its weight on the rear wheels. That makes RWD have better traction than FWD would have.
Lots of posts and videos from Canada and Norway here at TMC with RWD Model S doing great on snow and ice. It is at least as good as most FWD cars. Of course, AWD is even better.
Check out Bjorn Nyland's youtube channel. He's had a P85 (RWD) in icy Norway for a few years. Even taken it to the far north.
I used the stock Pirelli 240 Sottozero on my classic RWD S this winter. We didn't have any really deep snow but they worked great. Our front wheel drive minivan has Micheline X-ice on it and there was one day with freezing rain covered with snow when the Van could not go up our driveway but the MS did fine. The traction control is amazing.
Of course AWD will be even better but if it means you are not going to be driving a MS then I wouldn't worry about it. You want to be driving one as soon as you can!
I've had 2 winters on a RWD 85 in Minneapolis. I put on Michelin x-ice as well and that combo has been better than a front wheel drive on good all-seasons for me.
A D would be nice, but a RWD S with a good snow tire is completely snow worthy.
I have a steep hill in my neighborhood that I like to test the tires on on snowy days. I've always been able to get up the hill from a dead stop. Sometimes, there is a little drama but never much.
I find it true that a combination of great traction control, even weight distribution and a low center of gravity make the S MUCH more snow worthy that a similar ICE car.
All reinforcing comments on the exceptional Winter handling of the MS. Better than I expected or anticipated.
@Lon12 and Evbwcaer,
Some excellent recommendations for the Mich Xice.....I'll definitely look into those. Ev......2 winters in Minneapolis is a great endorsement....just as good as Bjorn in Norway!
I've been through 4 Canadian winters with my P85. Good snow tires and good to go.
That's my concern....although my commute is 90 miles each way (180 rt) on mostly interstate....I do have 10-15 minutes on some serious grade 2 lane country road hilly twisties.....(the stuff bikers Love) to get to the interstate as well as a serious inclined entry road to my Subdivision and inclined driveway entrance. These in Wintry conditions can be challenging....hasn't been an issue in my wife's FWD 2016 Ody or my FWD car. Good to hear the RWD MS does as well as it does and sounds like the performer I need if I don't want to wait for the AWD CPOs to trickle in at reasonable pricing.
My wife's a Canuck so she's familiar with those!!!
Put on your 'Blizzaks' (or equivalent) in November, buy a pair of cables (not chains) and pack a sturdy shovel.
Remember too that a RWD car is going to do better than FrontWD, all else being equal, going up a hill because there is more weight on the rear wheels when facing uphill and a car squats to the rear as it accelerates. I guess a FrontWD is better going down a hill, but that is not where you have the problem....
I enjoyed my RWD P85+ in the Wisconsin snow (my first winter with it). I had all-season tires on the 19" wheels. It was no 4x4 but I never got stuck. My only complaint is that you can't turn off the stability control for the occasional snow drifting.
If you don't enjoy RWD and small controlled oversteer as much as I do consider AWD.
If you're not as comfortable in snow, get snow tires for winter use instead of all-seasons. I've learned with other cars they make a noticeable improvement over all-season tires. But then you need two sets of tires. If you don't want to do that, get all-season tires and AWD.
This past winter I was actually stuck on an incline covered with snow. The traction control was working but the car would not move more than an inch at a time. I was able to turn off traction within the settings and was able to get the car to move. In this case traction control actually worked against what I wanted to do.
I will most likely order a set of 19 winter wheels (I currently have 21s) and do the semi annual swap.
I have an early 2014 RWD S. I put the Nokian's on in the winter and its done well through some very nasty weather here in New England. I would love a D, but the RWD S is doing just fine with good tires.
Two Canadian winters on my S85 with the stock Pirellis, and it will plow right through a foot of loose snow. I've had no issues...except on a patch of wet Ice that looked like wet pavement. I hit that a bit fast and the car started to fishtail and got worst as I released the accelerator (regen low). Had to feather the accelerator to regain full control and the traction control worked overtime to bring the car back straight. Good winter tires and Re-Gen to Low are my recommendations for winter driving in a RWD Model S. Also remember Newtons laws of physics. Its a heavy car, so take that in consideration even though it feels firmly planted.
Edit: The RWD with TC off will make wicked donuts!