Hi. I live in snowy Vermont on a dirt driveway. I am assuming I am crazy not get the dual motor? I ordered on April 1, 2016 and it says dual motor is Oct - Dec 2018. It makes me sad.
do you "need" AWD now? Have serious hills to negotiate? Winter tires make a RWD tesla as good as a AWD with all-seasons.
Agree with @KP; Larger discussion below
I'm in Minnesota and have wrestled with this. I'm not convinced that a RWD Tesla, even with winter tires, is as good as AWD with (good) All-seasons in relatively deep snow (not just icy). Not saying it's not true, just saying that a) I haven't seen anything like an independent test and b) the videos I've seen don't show anything I could not handle in my FWD ICE vehicle with winter tires.
But your question is about what you "need". So KP's point about your particular circumstances is valid. How is your driveway maintained? Slope? How are the roads outside your driveway maintained? How critical is it that you leave at a certain time?
Here in Minnesota, during bad (snow and ice) weather, you see AWD and 4WD vehicles in the ditches quite frequently. People think AWD is a traction cure-all. I suspect the RWD Testa with winter tires is better than AWD with all-season tires when the road is slippery or icy.
I've personally found that retirement is an excellent traction control device. When I lived in the suburbs and had to get to a 7am flight, AWD was necessary. Now I can wait for roads to be plowed. My son (in Boston) can telecommute when roads are bad. His wife, a teacher, cannot.
In my current circumstances, I've found that, having much more flexibility in my schedule, FWD in an ICE vehicle is perfectly adequate and AWD would be a luxury. So I don't think I'll wait for dual motor in the 3; especially since I would expect to lose any tax credit.
Also, keep in mind that given the ride height of the 3, it's ability to go through deep snow is questionable regardless of the drive (just like my FWD ICE sedan).
Finally, at least in Boston, winter temps are often above the temps recommended for winter tires. I think there are some winter tires that are more flexible in that regard.
I agree with some others, but I'd get the D as I think a D with all seasons is likely better than RWD with winter tires. If you absolutely can't wait, that's the only reason to get the RWD.
Also, as an early S buyer and very early X buyer, I can promise you they'll make changes to the 3 that will make it better when you get it at the end of 2018. They say the 3 is different, but it's still a Tesla. Something as simple as recent AP2.5 processor is an example.
If you have to choose, pick winter tires over D.
AWD will do better in the snow and there's no debate about that. Will RWD be good enough? The car isn't out yet, but I'd want to know how comfortable you are with any other RWD car where you live. If you are fine with it, you should be fine with it on a Model 3.
The Model S became the best selling car in Norway before it even had AWD and I think Norway gets snow, doesn't it? That doesn't mean the Model 3 will be the same, but both have similar weight distribution features given that there's a uniform battery pack along the bottom of the car, no engine and a more even weight distribution.
But speculation isn't worth very much. You should at least wait long enough for people to drive it in the winter. Then see if it's still 10 months away or if the date shifted.