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To "D" or not to "D"

Discussion in 'Model S' started by steveho, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. steveho

    steveho Member

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    I’ve heard this question several times on this forum as well as other and pondered it myself before purchasing my Tesla S.

    My car: Tesla Model S, 60 kwh, Dual Motor, AP2.0 (no fsd), Blue, Pano. Base 19” tires which are Goodyear Eagle Touring

    The loaner: Tesla Model S P85, leather, rear seats, Black, Pano, with Pirelle Sottozero tires with Aero rims


    We just had our first snowfall of the year and I had the loaner P85 over the weekend. I had (house) showings with (real estate) clients and drove about 50 miles showing them houses. It started to snow towards the last 3 houses. Everything went fine and there were absolutely no issues driving in the dusting we had.

    Sunday Morning I awoke to 3 or so fresh inches of powder snow. I have to run sound at my church so I head out at 7:40 in the morning. The alley wasn’t plowed, the side streets weren’t plowed, but the main street was plowed but had about an inch of powder snow on it. I was taking it easy since I have never driven any Tesla in the snow but trying to feel the limits of grip with the Sottozero tires. I wasn’t flooring it at any point, but the cold battery limited my power output anyway. The traction control also limited the power output a few times. The only point that I encountered any sliding was during a round-a-bout. The front end didn’t grab as much as I wanted (understeer) but I had plenty of room. Who goes out at 7:40 on a snowy Sunday morning anyway? Especially in a 450+ HP rear wheel drive car? Us Minnesotans know what that means. But I was impressed with the performance of those tires. I am seriously looking at purchasing a set of snow tires / wheels and swap them out twice a year.

    The only other point that I had any slight trouble with is backing into my garage. I have a slope on the apron and the traction control system was fighting me. It would limit power just when I needed, so I shut it off to back into my garage.

    By Monday, we ended up with about 7 inches of snow. I had the chance to drive back to the Tesla store on Monday in the P85, and pick up my 60D on the way back. This allowed me to drive back to back in very similar conditions. I already knew what to expect with the P85 and Sotto tires, but I really didn’t know what to expect on the Goodyear tires with dual motors.

    I drove to my office and had no issues with the P85, and then to Tesla, and again, no issues. I could feel that if I pushed the corners harder the tires would probably have slipped a little, but it still seemed to be able to reach traction in the turns.

    I picked up my 60D and ended up driving a couple places with it. I am impressed with both the “D” and the Goodyear Eagle Touring tires. I did not have any problems with a fresh 3 inches of snow on the ground, granted the snow was powdery not slippery. But this gives me encouragement that I may not need the snow tires. On one specific turn, I tried to turn too sharp for the available grip and it did lose a little traction, but the car then applied some braking to a corner or two to correct for that. I am pretty sure that was the electronic stability control that was activating. But again, another uneventful normal winter drive.

    I also tried parking at the side of a street that has been center plowed only. So there was a hump of snow to get to the curb. Pulling into that spot was no problem, and pulling out also was no problem. I should have tried this with the P85 before I returned it, but I didn’t want to get stuck.

    Overall, the P85 with snow tires worked pretty well, but I didn’t have as much confidence in it with deeper snow than the 60D. I am surprised at the Goodyear Eagle tires handling so well in the snow. I am sure that the dual motor had a lot to do with the snow performance of the 60D. So I’m going to try it out a couple more days before deciding on the snow tires.

    Conclusion:
    If you live in a heavy snow state, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan, you probably should get the Dual Motor. Or if you are travelling to mountains such as Colorado, then definitely get the dual motor. If you have occasional snow, or little snow, then the rear wheel drive with snow tires would work. Either way, always take it easier when there is snow on the ground.

    Why listen to me?

    I grew up in Minnesota driving various types of cars in the winter. This ranged from rear wheel drive (RWD) to front wheel drive (FWD), to 4-wheel drive (4WD) to All wheel drive (AWD). Each of them have their own unique qualities and each are better suited for different environments. I still like 4WD the best, but AWD with locking differentials would be great.

    Anyone know if we can get lockers in the Tesla or are they limited-slip already?
     
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  2. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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  3. steveho

    steveho Member

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    I would concur with several things:
    Ice buildup on the back window with rear defroster on. It's like the defroster didn't do anything.
    Warm air from the heating system. It's warm, but not hot.
    Streaking from the wipers due to snow / ice buildup. Yep.

    It's like it was designed for California. But the traction was great in both cars.
     
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  4. Hrhkee

    Hrhkee Doing research. Brb

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  5. IAMGQ

    IAMGQ Member

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    Pause @ thread title
     
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  6. Jeff4155

    Jeff4155 Member

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    Personally I think the right tire would make a massive difference, we in SA hardly see any snow, but we do a lot of off roading and i can tell you that I have driven in a purple 1970's mini over sand dunes were other 4x4's got stuck just because we were light as a feather, was good fun. you do live in a area were snow fall is a regular occurrence and four wheel drive can make a difference.
     
  7. Maximilien

    Maximilien Member

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    I went with "D" because I know I will drive across the country!
     
  8. ddimit

    ddimit Member

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    Picked the D due to better mileage with the dual motors. having driven a p85 loaner the last week it's real easy to break traction when you stomp on the pedal. My D just goes when you stomp on it. Having grown up in Mn but now live in CA I would definitely have a D car there.
     
  9. ev-now

    ev-now Member

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    #9 ev-now, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
    S60, RWD, Pirelli Sottozero's - handled well in a good dumping of snow the other week here in CO. That said the bigger issue for me was the snow build up in the arches - which I assume would be the same with the D - suggests the snow I was dealing with was deeper and wetter.

    If you can afford a D, go with the D. Honestly I'd do winter/summer tires regardless - it's more about the temps when it comes to the two formulas and 'all seasons' are a necessary compromise - albeit they might be a decent compromise they cannot out-perform the right specialist tires. Nokians will grip better than almost anything out there - which is why the Pirellis will be replaced by them once they wear enough.

    Tires and brakes, two things not to save on - and two of the major consumables for a MS too.
    And the 12V battery I guess which will also suffer more the more extreme the weather is.
     
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  10. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    D definitely, more control with AWD, more acceleration, more range, more regen.
     
  11. Dax279

    Dax279 Member

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    While everyone has their own opinion on the matter, i would recommend getting winter tires for your car. I am sure all seasons are great most of the time, but for me it is just that one time that you wished you needed them when they will come in handy or even safe you from a severe accident or perhaps less seriously just getting stuck. While winters help get you going easier, itnisnthe stopping and cornering when you really need them and this is likely not the time when you need the all wheel drive (well maybe an all wheel drive might help in cornering in certain situations as powers could be sent to on of four wheels rather than one of two).
     
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  12. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    I was driving the same storm as Steve.

    I would argue strongly for the snow tires.

    AWD and winter tires do 2 separate things

    AWD gets you moving and keeps you from getting stuck. in other words, it is invaluable for going 0 to 5 mph in snow/ice

    Winter tires also help you get moving and keep you from getting stuck. More importantly they help you stop and help keep you on the road. They are invaluable going from 30 to 0 mph (stopping) and for cornering

    Next time you're driving in the snow, look at the cars in the ditch
    Often, they are AWD SUVs

    Buying winter tires is not a huge expense. the only pain is storing them. People often don't realize that if you have 2 sets of wheels (winter and summer, or winter and all seasons) they last twice as long as one set!

    Only expense is swapping them out.
    And if you buy tires and wheels from Discount Tire, they will swap them each season for free.
     
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  13. JRMW

    JRMW Member

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    Please watch these very short videos from Tire Rack. they are what convinced me to go to Winters 7 years ago

    Most of us here are awed by the difference in 0-60 times between anow S85 and a P100D. even though it's just a few seconds (blasphemy !)

    Look at the amazing "times" of winter tires! (yeah I know, not as sexy)

    Winter vs All Season tires in snow:


    Winter vs All Season vs Summer tires in ice rink.
     
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  14. GTIceman

    GTIceman Member

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    Dual Motor definitely helpful in climates with any risk of dusting. If you are in any climate where you get snow, not just a dusting you should always have winter tires. All Season tires just are not up to the task of continuous cold/snow. You also need to think about tire compound and temperatures. I know we are not really discussing summer performance tires, but i the temperature is consistently below 45 those things will become like a hockey puck on ice.

    Tire Rack does a great job showing this. Before moving to FL we lived in the Philadelphia area and I grew up dealing with the seasons there. The last big storm we had we took my girlfriend's Mini out and it handled better than the crossovers using all-seasons.

    @steveho wrote a great and informative post and @JRMW shared a great series of videos. Moral of the story, if you can afford a Tesla Model S or X and live in an area where you get actual snow for more than one week a year buy snow tires.
     
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  15. Xenius

    Xenius Member

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    C'mon, everyone wants the D. That's what we went with, getting ready for the first Philadelphia winter with our Model S. I haven't outlayed the cash for a new set of wheels/tires for winter wheels yet though.
     
  16. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    Both difs are open with Tesla using differential braking to control the wheel with less traction.
     
  17. steveho

    steveho Member

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    @lolachampcar Good to know about the differential braking. That is an easy solution.

    As far as snow tires go, I've never had them before, and the Sotto Zero is the first time I've driven on them. And I've been driving in Minnesota for 30+ years without any accidents.

    But I do agree that the D plus snow tires is the best combination. I have not decided yet either way of getting snow tires for my 60D as I have absolutely no problems getting around so far on the Goodyear Eagle Touring factory tires.
     

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