Deciding whether to buy a Tesla model with the standard RWD system or to upgrade it to an AWD system, really depends on where you live. It can be worth getting a Tesla with an all-wheel-drive system if the climate and driving conditions call for it.
If you live in a city where the conditions are perfect and things like snowy roads are rare, then you don’t need the AWD system. But if you live in the country or in an area where snow is an issue or the roads get muddy, then you need the Tesla all-wheel-drive system.
If you travel a lot or engage in racing, the all-wheel-drive system will also provide you with extra acceleration. However, the extra all-wheel-drive system on Tesla isn’t free, so consider if you acually need it added to your car before you spend money on it.
Which Tesla models are fitted with the AWD system?
Tesla Model Y
If you’re looking for a modern and efficient electric crossover, then Tesla Model Y is the ideal choice. This car offers an outstanding electric range and performs at a high level. Unlike conventional AWD systems, the Model Y AWD system uses a dual-motor setup that sends traction to all wheels.
There are two variants of the Telsa Model Y to choose from. The first one is the Long Range trim which costs around $50,000 with a range of 326 miles and a speed of 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The second variant is the Performance trim which costs around $60,000 with a range of 303 miles and a speed of 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds.
Tesla Model X
If the Model Y doesn’t quite cut it for you, you can also opt for the Model X with an AWD system. This car ranks highly on the list of luxury electric SUVs on the market. Thanks to features such as a spacious cabin, swift acceleration, excellent handling, and outstanding all-electric driving range.
On top of that, this efficient electric all-wheel-drive SUV has a seating capacity of 5. The Model X is fitted with a 100-kWh battery and two electric motors – one operating the front wheels and the other powering rear wheels. With a base price of about $80,000, it can be a good investment.
Tesla Model 3
One of the bestselling points of the Tesla Model3 is its dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that instantly controls traction and torque. It also has 20-inch Uberturbine wheels, lowered suspension, and performance brakes that help in adverse weather situations.
With a starting price of $38,000 for its standard range, this is a more affordable car. But if you want to enjoy the dual-motor AWD system, you will need to upgrade to either the long-range trim that costs $47,000 or the Performance trim that costs $55,000. This car has a quick acceleration of 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds.
Tesla Model S
Last but not least, the Tesla Model S also has the option of an AWD or RWD system. Even though the RWD system does great, the electric AWD system still has an edge, more so if you intend to drive in snowy or slippery areas.
If you want to enjoy the AWD system, you will need to get a Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, which starts at $80,000 or the Performance trim with a starting price of $100,000. The Model S can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and has a range of 412 miles.
Things to know about Tesla AWD
What makes Tesla all-wheel-drive different from other AWD systems?
Tesla’s all-wheel-drive system has two independent motors for better redundancy, each with only one moving part for minimal maintenance and maximum durability. However, what makes Tesla’s AWD system different from the traditional AWD system is that they digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels for exceptional traction and handling control.
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Is Tesla AWD good in snow?
Yes, the Tesla AWD is good in snow thanks to its excellent acceleration, handling, and traction. But since Tesla vehicles come with sporty wheels as standard, you will have to switch to winter tires to improve traction and avoid slipping on icy surfaces. Alternatively, you can use tire chains, depending on the area.
What are the advantages of having an AWD system?
An all-wheel-drive system is perfect for tricky surfaces, such as snow, ice, and wet areas. This is because it sends torque to all four wheels, resulting in better traction and grip. Therefore, all wheels will have power instead of just one or two front or rear wheels.
Besides offering great traction in slippery conditions, an all-wheel-drive system also ensures that you accelerate better and have no tire slippage. However, not all Tesla models feature this system, but it’s offered as an add-on to some models.
Do all four wheels of a Tesla AWD system engage at the same time?
Yes, they do. All-wheel-drive wheels engage at startup, then at a constant speed, they return automatically to two wheels to save battery power. Since electric motors have five times the rotational force of ICE, the acceleration is as much as five times ICE for the same weight, leading to extra wear on low-quality wheels.
Therefore, Tesla’s trick is that in the all-wheel-drive models, the drive ratios for the front wheels and rear wheels are quite different. That’s why the car behaves as if it has a range of gears by selectively sending more power to the rear or front wheels, or even driving them equally.
What’s the difference between an all-wheel-drive and a four-wheel-drive system?
Many people often confuse AWD systems and 4WD systems. An all-wheel-drive system works by powering both the front and rear wheels all the time. On the other end, the four-wheel-drive system works by providing torque through a series of the front, rear, and center differentials, transfer cases, and couplings.
Both of these systems allow the car to smoothly run at maximum traction under different conditions. People who live in snowy conditions prefer an all-wheel-drive system, while a 4WD system is great for off-road activities.
Worth it if you live in a snowy area
In short, Tesla all-wheel-drive system is worth it for people who live in snowy areas, racers, and those who desire extra acceleration. But if you live in an area where it’s dry most of the year, getting a Tesla with an AWD system is a waste of money.