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Wait for AWD?

I got my invite to order recently and I'm debating on whether or not to wait for AWD. From what I remember, the S/X "D" models had a bit of a performance bump vs. the rear wheel drive, but other than that, is there any other advantages to AWD that would warrant holding out (stability control)? I'm in SoCal so no snow and not a lot of rain. My current cars are RWD and the other half drives a FWD car. She'll be the primary TM3 driver.

Of course, the Federal rebate is in play but we don't know when that'll phase out just yet along with timing of delivery of AWD vehicles adds to uncertainty.

tl;dr Will I regret not waiting for AWD?
 

Troy

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
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7,022
  • AWD versions have 5% more range. Here are the EPA highway dyno test scores of two Tesla cars at 48 mph: Model S 75 342.4 mi, Model S 75D 358.5 mi. The 75D's score is 4.7% higher.
  • $7,500 is going to continue for deliveries until 30 Sep 2018. After that, it will be $3,750 for 2 more quarters.
  • Tesla.com shows Mid-2018 for 45% owners and Late-2018 for 55% of owners. Look at the table that starts in column AP here. Therefore it is hard to tell whether you will be in the mid or late 2018 group. You could wait until the end of this month to see how the production ramp-up goes. Tesla's target is 2,500/week by the end of March. Currently, they are below 1,000/week.
 

Troy

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
1,997
7,022
@wesley888, the deadline will be announced in advance on this web page. Tesla is expected to hit 200,000 US sales at the end of April. Any day in Q2 means full credits will continue until the end of Q3. Because it extends 1 extra quarter, there will be plenty of advance notice. However, the 30 Sep 2018 deadline is 99% certain at this point.
 
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I'm waiting for dual motors and maybe the white interior, but I'll only go for it if I get the full tax credit. I'm not about to play chicken with the tax credit deadline, though, so I'll go ahead and order the typical first production if it looks like there's any chance I'll miss out.

Having walked up the hill to my house in snow several times with my old RWD Mazda RX8, I'd rather not repeat the experience. But if snow weren't a concern, it wouldn't be a big deal to me.
 
After loving 5 RWD BMWs, despite needing snow tires on each, I was CERTAIN I would buy a RWD Tesla for the superior handling in normal conditions. Plus, who needs the extra cost? But it only took a few minutes of highway test drive to feel that the RWD Tesla could not match the AWD in stability. The RWD was skittish in lane changes relative to a BMW or the Tesla D.

You should definitely wait.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,486
11,085
Maine
I'm waiting for the AWD as well. How can you tell if you are getting the $7500 credit vs $3750 after you get the delivery? Will there be documentation from Tesla showing it or we just have to find it out ourselves?

Given the rules, that it's the quarter in which they reach 200,000 plus one more quarter, it should be easy to find out when they cross the threshold.

The IRS site has some quarterly sales numbers by manufacturer but it's just Ford, Mercedes and BMW.

IRC 30D Plug In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit Quarterly Sales | Internal Revenue Service
 
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ForeverFree

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Supporting Member
Jul 9, 2015
617
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Sherman Oaks, CA
I would wait as long as possible for AWD unless I lived in a snow free zone like CA or FL. Just remember all the people with 75Ds who received a performance upgrade while the 75 RWD owners did not. Combine that with better range, usefulness and resale value and it seems like a no brainer to me.

As a Florida native, I can tell you that CA is definitely not a snow free zone. Our favorite California ski mountain, Mammoth, received four to seven feet of snow in a single storm late this week and was hit by a major avalanche yesterday.

We always have at least one of our cars AWD. Waiting for it on our second Model 3.
 
We have a vacation home near Soda Springs here in snow-free California. While this year snowfall is rather light in total (5' so far), last year peak snow depth was 15 feet (4.6 meters).

Personally, we will probably go with a RWD Model 3 as our estimated delivery date is a bit too close to the projected Q4 cut in the tax credit. It would be nice to have a Dual Motor, but we have another AWD we can use for snow trips.
 
As a Florida native, I can tell you that CA is definitely not a snow free zone. Our favorite California ski mountain, Mammoth, received four to seven feet of snow in a single storm late this week and was hit by a major avalanche yesterday.

We always have at least one of our cars AWD. Waiting for it on our second Model 3.


Ok, in CA you don't have to see any snow unless you want to. I lived there for 12 years and never saw a flake and never saw temps much lower than 50 degrees. Of course, I lived in Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Redondo Beach. :)
 
What about regenerative braking? Isn't that supposed to be better on the AWD?After all, the front wheels on my ICE cars have always had stronger brakes than the rear (larger disks and calipers or disk versus drum).

Regen is almost never limited by grip, so that would be a very minor difference.

On the other hand the AWD is going to be offered with air suspension, and some people like that.
 

sperkin

Active Member
Mar 23, 2017
1,003
1,173
Los Angeles, CA
I'm also holding out for AWD until Tax Credit is at risk. However, it's been difficult. Since getting the invite to configure I've been building my car everyday on the site but never finalize.

I'm down to 2 colors now - Red or Grey Model 3

Down to 2 cars now - Model 3 or Cayman S but leaning towards Tesla

AWD with air suspension will push me 100% towards Model 3.
 
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Regen is almost never limited by grip, so that would be a very minor difference.
Acceleration and regen both feel completely different in the older RWD S vs the dual motor S. While max regen values in kW are, essentially, the same between the two configurations, the regen onset and ramp feels much more aggressive in the dual motor cars. Similarly, the D cars (even the slower ones) accelerate with a hard initial jolt that tapers off, whereas acceleration feels like a more gradual surge in the RWD cars.

I recently drove a Model 3 and the sensation of acceleration and regen reminded me a lot of the old RWD S... which left me wondering: will the dual motor Model 3 feel more like the dual motor Model S in this regard, or will it also feel like the old RWD S?
 
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So Cal. Holding out on AWD.

Hit sideways flowing water on a quick fast hard rain on the 15 on a curve once and watched all the cars around me except for a Benz spin and crash. Such a small amount of water but caused so much damage. I was spooked for a week and while I am not sure my hunch is the AWD helped.

However. My bigger question is leasing. Come on leasing. The lack of one might mess up my plans. We will see.
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,703
TX
Regen is almost never limited by grip, so that would be a very minor difference.
It's not a "limit" per se but more to do with the potential side effects.

I was under the impression that Tesla limited the regen in design because of the RWD? As the vehicle slows the weight shifts to the front wheels and my understanding is that using heavy regen on the rear makes for weird handling.

That this was the underlying reason why the FWD Chevy Bolt has so much more aggressive regen than the Model 3?

Although I never dug into what the Model S 'D versus RWD vehicles do. If they just stick with the same regen, so it'd have the same "Tesla feel" among all variants? *shrug*
 

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