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RWD or AWD

RWD or AWD

I currently have a MS 70D. We will be selling this vehicle and get the Model 3. I am speaking to other Tesla owners, drivers who have AWD and people who use snow tires. If the AWD comes out by December then we will definitely go with the AWD. If it is delayed until 2018 I am torn between getting the RWD and put snow tires on it....or wait for the AWD. Having one of the first Model 3 in the area would be exciting and revolutionary, but having the AWD would be better in New England weather....thoughts??

Ehninger1212 | 01. April 2017

I've heard the RWD model s does great in the snow, having said that if I lived in a snowy climate I would be fine with RWD but I would not feel comfortable with my wife driving without the added safety of AWD. Fortunately I am in Texas and we only worry about snow once every like 5 years lol

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

Wait for AWD. RWD is the worst on snow and ice. Tesla mitigates it a bit with a more even distributed load but it doesn't change the physics that make RWD so problematic in winter conditions.

gnjherbst | 01. April 2017

I live in Colorado and am planning on AWD. I did not realize that there was a longer wait for an AWD.

The flying hippie | 01. April 2017

Three Canadian winters in my RWD and have never gotten stuck. I don't stay home for snowstorms either.

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

up

cvalhalla | 01. April 2017

I had the RWD S and it was great. Now I have an 85D. So much better. Very stable in wet weather.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Rear wheel drive is especially good for towing!

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Use the boat to push

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

A RWD with air suspension load leveling would work fine as long as no need to launch a boat. TS RWD with AS/LL would work fine and could tow a lot.

AWD would be safer overall for towing and Tesla only offers towing with AWD, AS and LL features.

But AWD is far and away the best and RWD the worst for winter weather.

So the AWD wins overall by a large margin.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Im kidding guy! Properly designed boat ramps have ribbed concrete down at the water. My E-250 never had a problem.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

I agree with the slick road disadvantage of rear wheel drive. However, the size of the boat you would tow with a M3 could be lifted off the trailer and put in the water. The real problem tho with using a car to launch a boat is that the trunk goes under water before the boat floats off the trailer. But is a M3 really all wheel drive? All wheel drive is not 4 wheel drive with ICE vehicles. All wheel drive incorporates differentials that use slip for cornering therefore in a "my car is stuck" situation, you have one wheel spinning in the front and one spinning in the back but it is really the viscous clutch that needs to heat up (albeit very quickly) before the front wheels do anything that disqualifies them as true 4 wheel drive. Still better than two wheel drive tho. 4 wheel drive is a "hard" connection to the front wheels using a transfer case that allows all 4 wheels to dig at the same. I would think with the electric motors that Teslas are actually 4 wheel drive

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

"Properly designed boat ramps have ribbed concrete down at the water."

Water is a lubricant for rubber. Using RWD on a boat ramp is asking for trouble.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

AWD is not better for towing in normal conditions because the tongue weight on the rear of the vehicle can make the front end light enough to allow the inside front drive wheel under power to spin in a corner

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

AWD puts the torque to the wheels with resistance. Old style Four Wheel Drive with lockup can have issues but again it will do better than RWD in all conditions.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

"Water is a lubricant for rubber" Hmm. Hence the water base in k-y

EaglesPDX | 01. April 2017

"Hmm. Hence the water base in k-y"

Hence RWD vehicles sliding down wet launch ramps as wet tires on wet pavement spin and gravity takes over.

noleaf4me | 01. April 2017

I don't care.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Im pretty sure that I can say that you havent spent much time at a popular marina cuz theres a lot of people there doing just fine with rear wheel drive

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

But would a rear wheel drive TESLA be that bad in snow? If it has an electronically controlled differential with a speed sensor at each wheel, I would think the differential would be able to give 2 no slip rear wheels

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

With that and snow tires, you would be close if not as good as all wheel drive on an ICE

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Some weight in the trunk over those drive wheels... u go boi!

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

Now if that is the case about the differential and the speed sensors and you did buy an all wheel M3, it would really essentially be 4 wheel drive. You could drive it on a flat beach

akgolf | 01. April 2017

I would listen to actual owners that have driven RWD Tesla's in winter conditions.

I've never driven one in winter, but had a friend in Alaska with a RWD Model S and he never had any issues. Even when I had to avoid the slight slope in my neighborhood with our Prius and winter tires, he was able to climb it with no problems.

Civicrick | 01. April 2017

I agree with conventional rear wheel being inferior (one wheel spins) but if both wheels are pushing... but there is the car being so low and getting the "snow plow" effect. Still, for people who in areas that dont get heavy snows regularly, having the knowledge that when they do get some that things wont be as bad as they were in Dads old Buick

The flying hippie | 02. April 2017

It plows fine. You'll lose the radar unit. The underside of the car is like a toboggan so it smoothly slides over the snow and leaves a nice compact snow path behind. Only issue I've had is if there's ice under the snow, and that was in my driveway backing up a slope so it became FWD. solution was to turn around and nose into my garage instead. RWD is fine in snow. Just use winter tires.

noleaf4me | 02. April 2017

Simpler and less stuff to break in a RWD

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

I think Im gonna run over to the service center tomorrow and ask one of the techs about the drive on the wheels. I wasnt planning on getting awd but I am curious if their rear wheel drive has the equivalent of posi-traction

Efontana | 02. April 2017

Civic,

It is better than posi traction.

EaglesPDX | 02. April 2017

" am curious if their rear wheel drive has the equivalent of posi-traction"

RWD has traction control.

Bighorn | 02. April 2017

123k miles of RWD P85+ in Wyoming--superior to conventional FWD and 4WD, in part because they don't usually bother with snow tires. FWD is only better than RWD in conventional cars because of the weight of the engine over the front wheels. Tesla has lots of weight over the rear wheels because of the battery. In summary, the RWD Teslas are awesome in snow--AWD must be other-worldly.

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Thanks Bighorn. Im guessing the 3s will be delivered with all season tires. Im sure chains wouldnt fit on the car but if I ever felt like I wanted more grip, do you ever see people using those cables instead of chains? We dont get enough snow here to warrant snow tires or chains but occasionally we get doozy and have to wait for the plows and the sun. But I would think where you are if the cables were worth anything, people would be using them

Bighorn | 02. April 2017

@Civicrick
I bought the original cables, but have never needed them other than for the requirement to be carrying chains over some mountain passes. I suspect they will be available for the 3 and that you are correct about the all season tires being stock.

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Wow. Are you saying Tesla makes its own cables?

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Guess they wouldnt make them. Just have the correct ones for purchase

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

And by making them available, I guess they do add something worthwhile to traction if needed

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Good learning experience! And they actually are metal chains so you know they're contributing something. They dont look like such a pain to put on as the old school chains but still probably not a walk in the park. Thanks for forwarding that link!

Pmca89 | 02. April 2017

Is anyone else prepared to pay $60k+ for their Mode 3? I'm thinking the top of the line with dual motors (AWD) and ludicrous mode will be about $75k.

PhillyGal | 02. April 2017

2 Philly winters in the RWD ModelS and I wouldn't hesitate in getting the RWD M3 if the AWD is too far delayed.
I still haven't fully decided. Wanted AWD for possible performance gains and for diversity in our fleet but again, might not want to wait.

No qualms driving our MS in the snow. In fact, it's the only car I'll drive. My other RWD car is a death trap in even a dusting.

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Whee! Im getting excited! Its like waiting for xmas!

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

And for me, xmas will come before my M3

JeffreyR | 02. April 2017

@Civicrick if you use Chrome, you can install the Tesla Forum Enhancement Suite. It's killer app is inserting a search field into the forum. I recommend taking a look at other RWD vs. AWD threads. Lots of discussion here, and many useful tips. @Bighorn has done so much driving though, all you really need to do is read his thoughts on RWD.

https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/tesla-forum-enhancement-suite-tfes...

Civicrick | 02. April 2017

Thanks Jeff!

leskchan | 02. April 2017

Don't forget M3 is the size of BMW 3 comparable so cargo space is limited. FWD has the benefit of extra storage space in the fruck.

leskchan | 02. April 2017

Don't forget M3 is the size of BMW 3 comparable so cargo space is limited. FWD has the benefit of extra storage space in the fruck.

EaglesPDX | 02. April 2017

"Don't forget M3 is the size of BMW 3 comparable so cargo space is limited."

With fastback and promised lift back access, T3 should have more cargo space and better access.

JayInJapan | 02. April 2017

RWD MS with snow tires works perfectly in both snow and ice. There's no reason to believe M3 won't drive the same or better. Proper tires are the key.

jrheilig01 | 02. April 2017

Is anyone *actually* pulling a boat with a Tesla? I'm trying really hard to think of something more stupid than that, and voting for Trump is the only thing I can come up with.

Civicrick | 03. April 2017

I dont know what the tow limit of a M3 will be but if the hitch has to bolted to the bottom of the trunk pan because the bumper wont support it (probable) then I would be surprised if the combined trailer/cargo limit was over 1000 lbs. You could probably tow a jetski but because the car is so low, the bottoms of the rear doors are going to be underwater before the jetski floats off the trailer