How much is AWD worth to you?

How much is AWD worth to you?

Just curious to see how much extra people would be willing to pay for an AWD S. I would've been willing to spend another $20k provided the range didn't decrease by >5%.

risingsun | 6 August, 2013

why would you pay $20k for awd? Does it have that much better traction? Is the acceleration faster? Someone at Tesla leaked that they are going to have an AWD option available in 2014.

Timo | 6 August, 2013

Maybe $5k. Maybe.

Unless you go off-road AWD doesn't matter that much. Not in here anyway.

nwdiver93 | 6 August, 2013

"Unless you go off-road AWD doesn't matter that much."

You don't live in an area with hills that gets snow... do you...

Timo | 7 August, 2013

I live in Finland. Good tires matter a lot more than AWD.

Navi | 7 August, 2013

When the Model X comes you will be able to see what it costs :)

On the Model X it's only for the 85 kWh or 85 kWh Performance btw.

Bottom of the page.

Mark22 | 7 August, 2013

Zero, all AWD does in my area is make drivers overconfident leading to more AWD drivers in the ditch in the winter.
With RWD and the traction control in the Tesla vehicles I have had no issues in Minnesota suburban or urban driving.
For rural areas, sure, but for me personally, no.

However, there are a lot of people, especially in northern states, that consider AWD a big selling point.
I definitely feel it will be a big selling point.
It just has no value to me.

Jewsh | 7 August, 2013

I drove my Model S here in Mississauga last winter and it was fine. I took it easy and have the 19" wheels though.

I'd have considered an AWD model if it would have been available when we bought our car but I'm concerned about the extra moving parts (given that one selling point of EVs is their mechanical simplicity) and reduced range. Presumably it's not a 1:1 ratio in terms of power consumption per motor installed, given that each motor would have less work to do than the single motor now, but even so... there's a lot of potential for reduced range IMHO.

Skotty | 7 August, 2013

Probably $5K. While it won't help you stop, AWD definitely helps with not getting stuck. Just last year a major highway was massively backed up in Kansas City on a slick morning due to a slippery incline where all the rear wheel drive cars were getting stuck. Half way up their rear tires would start to spin and they would get stuck in the middle of the road, until limping onto the shoulder. Adding weight over the rear wheels helps, but not nearly as much as having AWD.

How much I would pay might would go up if I get richer, and down depending on how much it hurts efficiency. I think efficiency is something where electric AWD may shine though -- I bet it will lose less than traditional 4WD/AWD systems.

Timo | 7 August, 2013

I don't see why you would get reduced range with AWD BEV vs RWD BEV except the weight of the motor, which is small % of overall mass of the vehicle. If motor best efficiency goes to low torque load then AWD could even use less energy than RWD for the same trip, especially in hilly terrain. For regen front wheels can capture a lot more energy than rear, so in hilly area you might want AWD just for better range.

frmercado | 7 August, 2013

I live in Portland, OR, where during the winter it doesn't get extremely cold and it never or seldom snows. Therefore there is no need to get winter tires. Notwithstanding, once you leave the city valley it's all snow and hills; with no winter tires it is essential to have AWD if you want to go skiing or just want to get to certain places, unless you want to stop and put chains and then take them off every time you enter and leave a snow zone (I guess this is why Subaru is such a popular brand around here). I think this is how it is in most of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle included.

I'm sure these circumstances are not exclusive to the PNW. So yeah I think a lot of people would be willing to pay the extra money just for the convenience that AWD brings to the driver.

risingsun | 7 August, 2013

It's it possible to be faster too since you have power going to all four wheels?

". The new model could launch as soon as early 2014, and may initially be offered in an ultra-premium (and ultra-expensive) trim with performance equal to or better than the current "P85" drivetrain that delivers 0-60 mph in an impressive 4.2 seconds."

olanmills | 7 August, 2013


Brian H | 7 August, 2013

The total power delivered to the wheels won't change.

Panoz | 9 August, 2013

AWD is essential in Colorado, if (for me) only on hills and driveways. My own driveway is unusually steep, forcing all of my 2WD vehicles to park at street level on occasion. We have long-run streets on hills, making the winters a pileup for 2WD cars sometimes. I'll have to wait for a Model X, AWD version, I'm afraid.

Timo | 10 August, 2013

How steep is steep in your case? I too live in hill which gets rather slippery at winter, but with good tires RWD doesn't have any trouble getting up. OTOH I have seen one van sliding sideways all the way to the bottom of that hill. It was rather entertaining to watch and wait if it hits anything in its way. It didn't. Bad tires make any car slide. | 10 August, 2013

$10k with a caveat...


Tesla Model S
All Wheel Drive
Four Wheel Steering

You would have the best handling production car in the world.

Zooomer | 11 August, 2013

Without AWD, we have to have 2nd vehicles here in MI for the winters. I think it's worth a lot. Depending on what they give you 5-20k. On the low side if you lose range and do not gain performance. 20k easy if you gain performance and don't lose range.

ws6_mac | 11 August, 2013

This will prove to the world that an electric can be just as fast as a high end fosil hungry car, if not faster.

Brian H | 11 August, 2013

AWD does not contribute speed.

DSurber | 11 August, 2013

I'd probably pay something extra to avoid AWD. To me it's just more stuff to break down, more weight to lug around. AWD is no help braking and if I can't brake I don't want to accelerate. Good tires, however, make all the difference.

TSLAholic | 11 August, 2013

AWD does not contribute speed

The discussion above focuses on improved acceleration potential.
Do you honestly believe that such models as Veyron, Aventador, 911 Turbo S, GT-R, and the list goes on... would achieve the same acceleration results sending power to rear wheels only?
0-60 times are a strong selling point of the MS. Was a 4.2 0-60 achieved due to traction limits, or battery current draw limits?
If it's the former, there's definite potential for a lower 0-60 time if power is sent to four wheels at proper proportions. No one says there won't be any trade offs with extra weight up front when it comes to handling and range efficiency, but the benefit of a quicker car from a performance (selling) standpoint is well worth it.

Bikezion | 11 August, 2013

They quickest cars in the world are rear wheel drive. Top fuel dragsters go 0-100mph in .8 seconds, all wheel drive would slow it down.
In the real world, however, all wheel drive is worth it's weight in gold. On a perfect, dry road rear wheel drive is great, add in any moisture or imperfections and the awd wins hands down. I agree with TDurden make it all wheel steer and it's incredible, add in torque vectoring, and it'd be amazing what it could do. Awd with torque vectoring almost wouldn't need aws. A model X with some long travel adjustable suspension, a motor to each wheel, and all wheel steering would be absolutely incredible.

Timo | 11 August, 2013

@Bikezion, not really true that AWD would slow top fuel dragster down from purely theoretical point of view, problem with those is the configuration of the car, you can't really put power to those tiny front wheels from that single monstrous ICE.

As you said in real world it does make difference in handling. Also it might improve regen so much that that alone is worth the extra weight if you use it in stop & go traffic.

hpoe5 | 12 August, 2013

I have seen both a Porsche Carrera 4 (AWD only over 25 mph) and a RWD Mercedes Benz SL500 fail to get up our driveway in the Seattle region ice and snow. A Dodge Caravan AWD worked fine. For me the AWD Model X is worth a two year wait.

ian | 13 August, 2013

What kind of tires didmtyat Poesche and Mercedes have? Snow tires? Doubtful.

Tires do make a huge difference but AWD helps quite a lot as well.


ian | 13 August, 2013

Damn! Forgot to proof it once again. Sorry.

*did that Porsche...

hpoe5 | 13 August, 2013

goneskiian -
The three cars all had all season radials: Pirelli, Michelin, and Goodyear, (Porsche, MB, Dodge) respectively.

Brian H | 13 August, 2013

No-seasons? Useless. Waste of money.

ian | 14 August, 2013

Exactly Brian.

Think about it this way, all season tires are a compromise in every season.

Vawlkus | 14 August, 2013

"Jack of all trades, master of none".

vadik | 15 August, 2013

AWD value for Tesla is actually negative as it would damage its appeal as a green means of transportation.

Timo | 15 August, 2013

Why would it do that?

vadik | 15 August, 2013

Because in my mind as a likely customer AWD goes into the corner of huge SUVs and stupid heavy duty gas burning pickup trucks which I do not want to be even slightly associated with.

And then AWD adds weight and friction making Tesla less green per mile.

cloroxbb | 15 August, 2013


So because YOUR personal perception of AWD is skewed, that means everyone else is going to think the same way? Nonsense.

AWD adds weight, yes, and what does weight give you? More traction. People want the traction, and want to be able to drive the Model S in winter. It doesn't have everything to do with be "green." If green was the ultimate goal, then everyone would be hypermiling.

Timo | 15 August, 2013

It also allows better regen, so in stop & go traffic it probably increases range, not decreases it. It allows motors to run on lower torque in normal load which too might increase range.

Entire electric drivetrain minus battery is also quite small portion of the car weight, so adding one more motor doesn't affect that much.

More range = better efficiency = more green.

Anyway effect should be quite small in either direction for BEV.

vadik | 15 August, 2013


So because YOUR personal perception of AWD is skewed, that means everyone else is going to think the same way? Nonsense.


It is nonsense to think that I am the ONLY ONE who thinks this way, hence there is a slice of market who thinks like I do. I bet this slice is big enough.

@clorox & timo

Thinking that adding weight to a car can increase its weight is an invitation for public flagellation.

vadik | 15 August, 2013

I mean van increase its RANGE

Timo | 15 August, 2013

In case of BEV it might well be the case. Motor is very light, in Model S it weights something like 70kg. Entire drivetrain maybe 200kg. For two ton car that's 10%. Rolling resistance is maybe 1/5th of the resistance in highway speed losses, so if the motor efficiency increases about 2% you get about +- zero change in range. You can also use smaller motors for same overall power.

In slower steady speed it loses range, but again in stop & go traffic you get benefit of better regen and again you might get better range.

In any case effect to range is small while it improves handling quite a bit.

Brian H | 15 August, 2013

AWD is sacrilegious. God intended rear wheels to push and front wheels to brake.

Zooomer | 15 August, 2013

I drive an AWD Escalade that gets 12-13 mpg in the winter. RWD means I continue to do that. An AWD Telsa would be used more often than a RWD one making it essentially more green.

cloroxbb | 15 August, 2013

Who said that adding weight would increase range? I said traction.

vadik | 15 August, 2013

cloroxbb: Who said that adding weight would increase range? I said traction.


If you like traction that much why not buy an Abrams or, for purists, a Leopard? How many people buy a Tesla for traction??

frmercado | 15 August, 2013

Kind of idiotic to associate AWD with gas gosling SUV's. I own a 2012 Impressa with real time AWD and I get 40mpg highway and 33-35mpg city. My record is 46mpg going from Portland to Hood River, with strong tail winds from the Gorge of course, but still pretty impressive. Subarus are AWD and probably the most popular brand here in Portland. I can assure you if there is an adjective that would perfectly describe this city and its population it's green.

frmercado | 15 August, 2013

Before I get scolded by Brian... guzzling

cloroxbb | 15 August, 2013


You are a moron.

Brian H | 15 August, 2013

The Tesla goose pedal might be accused of electron gosling. ;)

ian | 15 August, 2013

@frmercado - I'm pretty sure Subaru doesn't make an Impressa. Did you mean Impreza? ;-)

@Brian - LOL at the God intended RWD comment. Pretty sure the WRC and any rallying fan would disagree with you on that one. If anything is sacrilege, it is FWD. Although those seem to work pretty well in snowy environments (and in rally races) too. Then again, just as with government, I think we need to keep religion out of any automotive discussions. Thanks!

Timo | 15 August, 2013

@frmercado Kind of idiotic to associate AWD with gas gosling SUV's

I think that's vadiks point. People in some areas associate AWD to gas guzzling SUV:s and other not-so-green vehicles, true or not.

Tesla can of course break that illusion just like it has done with the association of BEV with golf carts.

Anyway Tesla car point is not to be green, it is to be best possible car. As in transport things around with passengers and driver enjoying the trip and convenience of owning it. And I think they are doing pretty d*mn good job at that.

Code4Ever | 17 August, 2013

I was an AWD convert and bought a lexus with it and I can tell the difference in bad weather with it or without it. The only thing I have noticed is Front wheel drive cars in the winter are terrible.

Olof | 18 August, 2013

Zero, if it means that the car will be a few pounds heavier. I drive in snow max 2 weeks a year here in nyc. Would much rather have a better performing car the remaining 50 weeks.

I know they say awd cars perform better in rain. Only like to drive super fast on dry roads anyway so I can't really see the benefit.