AWD Model S

AWD Model S

Car t man | February 5, 2014

And air suspension functionality will be restored. Will calm a lot of people.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

Actually finally an upgrade, allowing manual setting of speed and height tresholds. Great. Also staying in the setting you set it to. Tesla
listened to suggestions.

Roamer@AZ USA | February 5, 2014

The current model S has the spot saved in the Fruck for future addition of front drive in new model releases. That space is right where the front motor sits on the current X chassis skate board.

The all wheel drive S is an obvious follow on after the all wheel drive X. Pre orders late 2014 with deliveries mid to late 2015 is still my prediction.

Tesla needs new things at least yearly to keep interest stoked but does not want new products to impact the release of other new products.

All these new products will create a much needed used car market that spreads adoption leading up to the release of the E.

tezco | February 5, 2014

I wonder if sales of the X are slower than anticipated and have anything to do with this. I was thinking about the X, but I just don't see how the falcon doors would work out here with our frequent snows. I already get enough snow on the seats when I open a conventional door. I did't want to have to clean off the roof each time I wanted to open a back door.

leon.gelernter | February 5, 2014

Elon recently stated (watch the videos from Munich and Amsterdam) : AWD Model S not coming soon.

If it happens it won't happen before 2016.

Tiebreaker | February 5, 2014

@Roamer: don't Fruck with the Frunk, it may get annoyed.

Bighorn | February 5, 2014

Elon said something a bit different about MS AWD in Oslo--I'd say he was hinting at 2015.

Captain_Zap | February 5, 2014


I watched the events last week in Germany and the Netherlands.
I don't recall whether it was Elon or JB, but one of them said there would be no AWD Model S.

It must have been JB because he started talking about the engineering of the AWD for the Model X and how it will be superior to anything else on the market due to the benefits of electric drive and other factors.

I have never heard anyone from Tesla waver from the position that there will not be an AWD drive Model S.

Maybe they are saving it for their "Supercar".

SamO | February 5, 2014

Elon said to look for the AWD MS when the MX releases or a bit after.

DallasTXModelS | February 5, 2014

I was told it is in the works by the Dallas Service Center Manager as well. The reason the winter weather Frunk floor mat and the Frunk organizer do not fit in the newest Model S. The newer Model S has 1 1/2" less depth in that space to make from for the AWD front unit.

I had asked if they were ever going to get any more of the Frunk organizers in stock and he said they ran out of them very fast and they didn't want to make any more until they got the new size. The original Frunk organizer would stick out about 1 1/2" instead of fitting flush with the wider front section. And he said the winter weather floor mats curve up the wall by a couple of inches because of the shallower niche.

Panoz | February 5, 2014

An AWD Model S would kill the sales of the Model X...why would Tesla do that? They'd most likely need the AWD feature to launch the Model X and keep it a separate market from the MS.

Car t man | February 5, 2014

There would definitely be some cannibalization, but it certainly would not kill X sales.

AmpedUP | February 5, 2014

I just changed my MS "preferred delivery date" to Feb. 2015. 'Think I can add AWD if they haven't issued me a VIN yet?

Bighorn | February 5, 2014

JB and Elon's best European performance was before a massive crowd in Oslo. Elon was pretty coy, but he was pretty clear on Model S getting AWD. I also watched snippets from Amsterdam and Munich, I think, which were notable for their frustratingly inane questions. The Oslo version is worth the 90 minutes.

SamO | February 5, 2014

S and X will be cross-shopped, but those who want to buy a 7 (adult)seat SUV, won't go for the S regardless of how many wheels push the car around.

Look for the soccer moms, reluctant minivan owners and (some) truck buyers to take the leap for the X.

robert_ferrara | February 5, 2014

i believe he also mentioned a bigger battery "sometime next year" in oslo in addition to dancing around the AWD S

Jolinar | February 6, 2014

what's wrong about canibalizing or cross-shopping AWD Model X and S? Both cars will have similar price and profit per car should be roughly the same so I can't see what's the problem and why not to make AWD Model S??

Bernard Hong | February 6, 2014

The problem will be cost higher on X if the demand is low since they have to have a completely different line of production

AmpedRealtor | February 6, 2014

@ DallasTXModelS,

I believe the reason the frunk "box" is shallower is because Tesla moved the DC-to-DC converter in the front of the car to a new location. This has been well discussed over at TMC forums. It's speculated that the reason for moving this component was to make it easier and faster for fire crews to gain access to the battery in the event of a fire.

jkn | February 6, 2014

Bernard Hong,

Not completely different car. Most of components are same. I expect X to sell more than S at least for a while.

jordanrichard | February 6, 2014

One thing that the X will have to have that the MS doesn't is exploding hinge bolts for the falcon doors. In order for Mercedes to sell their SLS in the United Staes, they had to install chrges in the hinges in order to be able to open/remove the doors in the event of a roll over. I would imagine the X will have to have the same. I don't know about anyone else, but a X would not fit in my garage with the doors up, or up enough to make for easy egress. I am sure this will be a deciding/limiting factor for those thinking of buying one.

DallasTXModelS | February 6, 2014


I assume that the Service Center manager that told me knows what was moved and to where more than any owners discussing speculation on this or the teslamotorsclub forum. I didn't ask for that information I asked if the organizer was ever going to be back in stock. He said how much the back wall was moved forward and said it was for AWD.

I forget that many of the people on this forum know much more about Tesla than actual Tesla employees.

AmpedRealtor | February 6, 2014

@ DallasTXModelS,

I was simply sharing information with you, as a possible alternative hypothesis. I'm not sure what is prompting your sarcasm and defensiveness. I wasn't challenging you or anything, just sharing. Wow.

tezzla.SoCal | February 6, 2014

last time I was at the service center(Van Nuys CA); they told me that the tesla owners usually know more than they do!

AmpedRealtor | February 6, 2014

My service manager said the same thing. He told me that he and his technicians actually hang out in the forums and learn a lot. Take that for what it's worth. :)

Captain_Zap | February 6, 2014


Many of us have been at this a lot longer than most of the service people. ;-)

SamO | February 6, 2014


Most of us have had some "questionable" information at one time or another from the service people. They do a good job, but some of YOU owners here are obsessed ;)

JonathanL | February 6, 2014

When you look at the Model X blogs there is a thread detailing why people chose to order an X and the vast majority of folks list AWD at or near the top of their list of reasons. I think if there was an AWD S today, there would be a lot fewer X reservations. I only had an SUV because I needed more room than my sedan could offer Now that my S holds more than my SUV and handles better in the snow, I have no reason to own it anymore. I also think the S looks a hell of a lot better than the X or any other SUV. While the X may carry 7 adults, most people shopping for a minivan or SUV are trying to carpool kids. The S can easily handle 5 kids, just as many as the X. The X will appeal to some folks, but an AWD S is very compelling.

nickjhowe | February 6, 2014

I watched all the recent european videos. Elon and JB contradicted themselves. Elon did say that AWD Model S would come "not any time soon, maybe around the time Model X launches". At a different event it was stated that there would be no AWD on Model S.

Conspiracy or cock up? I think they are probably engineering an AWD version, but have yet to decide whether to bring it to market.

Elon was very clear in one response that the main reason for choosing X vs S was really styling, performance, and seating capacity. Want low-slung sportiness? Model S. Want more capacity, flexibility and are happy to tolerate higher CoG and slightly worse performance, go with Model X.

NomoDinos | February 6, 2014

@AmpedUp - they've been super accomodating so far up to the point when you are assigned a VIN. Some people even reported that they had the VIN assigned, but because they hadn't built it out yet, they were still able to change it.

@Tezzla - that's pretty sad!

@Nick - yeah, I noticed that he stopped JB almost mid-sentence to assert that capacity and flexibility, SUV versus sedan are the reasons to choose the X.

AlMc | February 6, 2014

There will be an AWD S. There is at least one 'mule' that some TM staff drive already.

I am sure that a model S AWD will cut into sales of the X, but as they will probably carry with them similar gross margins it should matter little to TM.

From an engineering aspect it makes more sense to bring out an S AWD prior to the X. It would require less time, money and changes on the assembly line to add AWD to an existing vehicle that has already been designed and tested (the mule(s)).

If TM wanted to do this they could bring out a 'limited edition', 'super S', or whatever you would like to call it that would have a larger gross margin than either an S or X.

Captain_Zap | February 6, 2014

@admjr - That means that there will be at least one AWD Model S.

This isn't the first time that there has been conflicting information from the top offices.

Said: We are not going to offer parking sensors in the future...
Unsaid: ...until they are required in Europe.

Said: There will not be folding mirrors in the future...
Unsaid: ...until the European market demands it.

Tesla adapts and evolves.

The big take away from the latest European Q&A reception was that the AWD is not ready for prime time yet. They are probably still refining its performance and testing. They probably started with a Model S version.

They probably won't consider a production Model S AWD until the Model X is in fully ramped up, the production model is completely debugged. That way, resources are utilized in the most efficient manner. It is still hard to believe that they would take resources away from GEN III. It would be revealing if we learned whether the Model S or Model X could share a production line with a Model S AWD.

Another take away that I got in the past few weeks was that they are hiring like mad and growing like crazy. At the Detroit Auto Show, Jerome called it "Growth, growth and more growth...Reckless growth."

I think that they just keep changing things and developing options until they think the market is prime for the plucking and the appropriate resources, human and otherwise, are available.

Skotty | February 6, 2014

An AWD Model S is probably just something they are spitballing about right now. Last week, they might have thought no. This week, they might think, yeah, maybe. Ultimately, I think they will make it happen if they think there is enough demand for it. But I bet it will come on the X first, and then adapted to the S later.

danej | February 6, 2014

I don't think it's a matter of if, but when. The AWD S has been part of the roadmap in presentation documents going way back.


Mark K | February 7, 2014

Expect the Model S AWD a quarter or two after Model X intro.

Once the heavy lifting of the front motor hardware and firmware development is done, it's a pretty straight shot to deploy the same platform in the S.

But no reason to diminish the thunder of the X sales start with a concurrent MS news event.

JonathanL | February 7, 2014

I agree with Mark on the timing of an AWD S. I also think that when there is AWD S the sales of the X will be greatly diminished. AWD is the X's greatest selling point, with a little more room being second. The negatives in my eyes are it's looks and reduced performance/sportiness. And the S is so spacious anyways that except for those folks carting around big dogs and many kids with hockey or football gear, the S would suffice. The S has allowed most of us to get rid of our ugly SUV's and minivans, why go back there with an X?

My point is that I think the target markets for an AWD S and X overlap to a large extent so Tesla should have spent the AWD R&D on the S, which could probably already be available by now, and used the rest of the X development budget on a smaller and less expensive car that gets only 125 miles of all electric range instead of letting BMW, Fiat, Leaf, etc. get a foothold in that market. The reality is that for many people 125 miles of range is plenty for daily driving needs. I know they want to make a cheaper version of the S with similar range, but I don't know if the technology or the resources to do so exist which is why they have pushed it out 3 years into the future. Paraphrasing Elon, "Tesla only makes a measly 25k per year." They need to be in the mass market. And we all know that Tesla would make a much better looking $50k car than BMW or Nissan.

Out4aDuck | February 7, 2014

On the Yahoo Finance forum, there was a lot of animated discussion about whether the AWD version would be heavier than the RWD version. Any thoughts here?

Jolinar | February 7, 2014

AWD will be definitelly heavier, just because it requires 2nd motor + 2nd inverter and other auxiliary equipment, but all this together shouldn't be too much. I'd expect definitelly less than 50kg, more like 20-30kg. But, who knows right?

jkn | February 7, 2014

About 50 kg (motor, reduction gear, differential, drive-shafts). It does not matter to Tesla if AWD S reduces sales of X. X will sell anyway because some of us need larger space in back seat. X would be an excellent taxi. If taxi company installs own supercharger, taxi driver does not need to drive somewhere to refuel. They charge while waiting next customer and while driver takes a break.

Tesla needs to get to mass market. They cannot do that before they have very large battery factory. So there is time for X.

Tiebreaker | February 7, 2014

Well, Tesla is quietly opening the door for a dual-motor AWD in 2014..

There is a thread discussing VIN numbers.
There @dayoreo had provided an image of the official Tesla Model S VIN decoder from the NHTSA web site. For the position 8, there are options:
? = Motor/drive unit
1 = Single Motor - Three Phase A/C Induction
2 = Dual Motor - Three Phase A/C Induction

I can only think that dual motor is for AWD...

Pungoteague_Dave | February 7, 2014

A rhetorical question - if the current average selling price for a 2wd S is $100k, and a fully optioned S is $130k+, what will be the ticket for an X, which is basically a bigger S with some added whiz-bag features like folding doors and 4wd?

What will the added cost be for 4wd on the S? The 4matic package on a Mercedes S550 is exactly $3,000. That system is a bit simpler as it takes power from the existing drive train, and the Model S would have a second drivetrain. If it cost $5k, would there be many adopters given the fairly good winter performance for the standard S?

Out4aDuck | February 7, 2014

Thanks for the feedback on weight increase. It makes perfect sense to me, but there were a few who were adamant that the 4WD version would be no heavier. Regarding intro timing, I was also thinking 6 months after X launch, but the already assigned VIN designator is intriguing.

AlMc | February 7, 2014

P-Dave; I believe the extra cost for an AWD S to the consumer is 5-10K compared to a similarly equipped RWD S.

It will be interesting to see what TM will do about an AWD S. Obviously we are all speculating. I believe there will be an AWD S before the X introduction. It may be a 'super S' that has very high gross margins.

I know I have said this already but if the stated goal of Elon and TM is to bring EVs to the market as soon as possible they will not care if you or I buy an X or AWD S you are still buying an EV from Tesla with similar margins. Any net loss of X sales will equal the net gain in AWD S sales.

Car t man | February 7, 2014

Heavier but not by a meaningful margin, especially given car's substantial curb weigtht..

Vall | February 7, 2014

I think there is enough room for an AWD model S and X, just look at audi, bmw, porsche, mercedes. They all have AWD sedans and staion wagons, but at the same time, SUVs and crossovers make a huge portion of their sales. Model X will have higher sitting position for the driver, and easier ingress and egress. This has always been a major selling point of big SUVs, especially among older or overweight people. Also, the rear doors make life easier for parents with children, after all, that's what elon was after. He was very specific that his audi Q7 was not flexible enough for a family of 7 people.

Koz | February 7, 2014

An S AWD version would be more similar to an engine upgrade + AWD rather than a $3K AWD only upgrade that is actually less efficient and less usable horsepower at the wheels. The S AWD can be significantly more powerful, with better handling and traction than the standard S or ICE AWD counterparts. The kicker is they could gear to add efficiency too for highway driving. Tesla could probably make a profit at $5K but expect $8-10k for it.

Tiebreaker | February 7, 2014

There will be many buyers based on performance increase only. It is like the price of P85 over S85, P85+ over P85... so it will be P85+ AWD over P85+. But I believe it will be offered as an option to the standard S85, or even 60, for the wither handling conscious.

Brian H | February 8, 2014

The motors/inverters in a MX or MS AWD will not be duplicates of the RWD version. My guess is about 2/3 the weight, each. There will be no doubling of available power.

The higher seating in the MX seems to be very important for the short-torsoed half of humanity (women), and may well be of equal importance to AWD in driving sales. Hunkering down close to the asphalt is not a fave feature among soccer moms, to say the least.

JonathanL | February 8, 2014

If it puts the S in the rarified sub 3.5 0-60 class, then it will sell in both warm and cold weather climates. If the 0-60 increase is minimal and the real change is better handling in poor weather, then probably just a cold weather seller.

P85D | February 8, 2014

The Model X is so ugly, cant believe that is the design they came up with, to each their own I guess.

Cannot wait for an AWD Model S!