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Will the Model 3 be Standard with Front / Rear / All Wheel Drive?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Reeler, Feb 18, 2016.

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Will the Model 3 be introduced as FWD, RWD or AWD standard in base configuration?

Poll closed Mar 29, 2016.
  1. Front Wheel Drive (FWD)

    14 vote(s)
    9.5%
  2. Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)

    120 vote(s)
    81.1%
  3. All Wheel Drive (AWD)

    14 vote(s)
    9.5%
  1. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    The Bolt and Leaf are Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and the Model 3 is cheaper than the Bolt at least. Everyone presumes that the Model 3 will be Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) like the Model S started out as. Also, Elon has said this car will compete with the 3 series BMW that is RWD.

    I predict it will be FWD with a D option for those that want more horsepower. The econobox segment that the low-end Model 3 is targeting is all FWD.
     
  2. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    FWD is more of a function of the technology available in the "econobox" segment.

    Tesla doesn't have to worry about a driveshaft.
     
  3. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    FWD ICE cars are cheaper to manufacture which is why most are. You typically only find RWD in luxury and/or high performance ICE cars.
     
  4. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    FWD is far better with occasional snow/ice. In my neighborhood, the BMWs are parked for the winter and winters in Denver are mild.
     
  5. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    Not sure why everyone seems to be hung up on the 3 being "economy". Yes, I get that they're naturally competing with the Bolt. But EM has already said to think of it more as a 3-series/A4 competitor.

    The 3 series is RWD, the A4 in its most basic form is FWD.

    So who knows what Tesla is going to do here.............
     
  6. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    The Model 3 is cheaper than a Bolt. You can hope/dream that the Model 3 is high performance or whatever, but that is contrary to the few details we have from Tesla. If you want performance, Elon will tell you to buy a Model S.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Though not a poll option, I predict FWD standard with a AWD option. The AWD version will beat the 3-series/A4 in performance by a large margin, but the stock FWD will only need to beat the Bolt/Leaf.
     
  7. Mad Hungarian

    Mad Hungarian Member

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    I'm thinking they're leaning towards the RWD side of the equation.
    See last paragraph here
    Hardly conclusive, but I believe they'll stick with it as RWD as:

    - A designed-from-scratch RWD EV layout doesn't suffer the same weight bias issues as front-engine-RWD ICE vehicles
    - A 50/50 balanced RWD chassis actually offers better traction as the rearward weight transfer under acceleration favors the rear wheels
    - Driving dynamics are generally superior as the front wheels don't get overloaded when asked to steer and accelerate at the same time
    - Traction control and stability control systems are so good now - especially when coupled to an instantly responsive EV drivetrain - that even novice drivers can easily handle RWD in bad conditions

    In fact I'm actually driving a BMW i3 we have at work for the next few days and this thing is positively glued to the road and couldn't be easier to drive on snow and ice. And note that my frame of reference is an A4 Quattro with studded Nokians.


    9
     
  8. sms_327

    sms_327 Member

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    A product specialist told me that AWD with be a $5,000 option—making it $40,000.
     
  9. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    FWD is better in snow if you have a gas engine in the front because it helps the F/R weight distribution vs the drive wheels and there is a half second or more delay for power request changes.

    RWD with a Tesla doesn't care because the frunk is empty and the drive controller can increase/decrease torque at ms resolution, literally on the order of 100 times better control. Traction control and ABS on a Tesla are instantaneous at a practical level they happen quicker than you can even sense as a human.

    No reason to care about FWD vs RWD on a modern EV. It just isn't an issue.
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    This is what the "FWD is better for snow" crowd is missing. Modern traction and stability control (which is federally mandated now, unlike before) is so good now that you don't have to worry so much about oversteer in a RWD car anymore, and is especially true when coupled with an EV drivetrain that can make instant adjustments to power and with even weight balance of an EV (vs front loaded in an ICE).

    Plus, the original premise doesn't really apply, as a vast majority of FWD EVs aren't being sold in snowy areas either. The main reason for going with FWD is when the chassis the car was based on started out like that (Leaf used an evolved Versa platform, and Bolt is likely based on the next gen platform for the Trax).

    Also more food for thought, two of the cheapest EVs out there are RWD: iMIEV and Smart Electric Drive.
     
  11. Reeler

    Reeler 6 Years of Pure EV

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    I live in an upper middle class neighborhood where new BMWs are more the norm than the exception. Most are parked for the winter despite having ABS and traction control. With even more torque, I would think it a mistake to go with RWD. Myself, the only RWD car I drive is a classic VW.
     
  12. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Do Smart Cars even have rear tires? I thought they were so short they were like Segways.
     
  13. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    But you can always buy AWD, which probably will be most of the Model 3 sales anyway.
     
  14. rcarpen22

    rcarpen22 Member

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    RWD Tesla would be fine for the same reason Bugs are... drive unit over the drive wheels. This is also why fwd is fairly good in snow. Fwd still has the added safety bonus (for the average driver) of massive understeer, but that can be tuned into the suspension.
     
  15. ImEric

    ImEric Member

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    I really don't think that's the case. Without performance, how will the Model 3 possibly compete with the top seller in its segment (BMW 3 series), which has become synonymous with "sports sedan?" Even the "Poverty pack" 3 series has respectable performance. Also, this is presumably the same platform that the 2019/2020 Roadster will be built upon. I'm certain that it will be highly capable. So maybe he tells you to spend more for performance, but not "buy a different car." He's always said that he wants to make the best cars, not just the best electric cars. And since he loves performance, the M3 will perform. In fact, I would venture to guess that the Fully optioned, performance version of the M3 will outpace the MS in several categories. Stopping time, for sure. But also acceleration, handling and maybe top speed as well.
     
  16. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Hopefully RWD with optional AWD. Since AWD increases cost, it seems likely to me that the base model will be 2WD.
     
  17. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    I don't have the citation but Elon has said two things that I recall that are relevant to this discussion:

    1. Teslas will always be RWD because torque steer on a F(ront)WD vehicle would make steering under hard acceleration difficult (I hear there are some Ford EVs with this issue)
    2. Tesla won't dumb down the performance for a cheaper car
     
  18. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    and you live in a world were you don't even read the replies people type to you that tell you how those BMWs have gas engines that dont respond to ABS and traction control in a timely fashion but EVs do.
     
  19. Snow Drift

    Snow Drift Member

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    FWD sucks in the snow, RWD is worse but at least it lets you have fun. AWD is the hands down champion, especially with snow tires. I've owned a FWD Acura RSX and three AWD Subaru WRX. The RSX couldn't get up my snowy steep driveway, the WRX claw their way up with ease.

    Elon is a car guy. Everyone knows that there's nothing right about asking the front tires to steer and drive. You don't pull a shopping cart, you push it from behind. Wrong Wheels Drive is horrible from a driving stand point. He won't ruin the car with it.

    Plus, the competition is RWD or AWD in the entry level luxury sport sedan segment.

    AWD, Dual Motor, will be an option just like on the MS.
     
  20. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    After all, those VW Bugs are renowned for the awesome handling and are in no way affected by that huge lump of engine hanging out over the rear wheels.
    There is as much chance of the base Model 3 being a convertible as there is of it being FWD.
     

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