Tesla Model S Rear Wheel Drive vs All Wheel Drive: The Advantages and Disadvantages
"All wheel is definitely worth the money," writes Apoorv in Tesla Model S Owners Club on Facebook. "I have had both, and when I had the rear wheel, it used to skid so much during snow. That 1% can become the write-off in an accident," he continues referring if you drive only 1 percent of your driving in the snow.
Tesla Model S AWD Good for Handling
Some people say the Model S D slips a lot less in the rain too. The trade off between the all-wheel-drive and rear-wheel drive is the lower range and more tire wear. There is no good way to drive with much power unless you have an AWD Tesla. Indeed, the all-wheel-drive not only is good for the handling of the Tesla Model S, but also helps in slippery roads during rain, let's say if you live in Florida.
"Being from Florida I can tell you that 6 out of the last 8 cars I owned were AWD. When it rains, the first time you don't drag unevenly through a puddle and lose steering control, you'll know why you paid for the AWD," writes Elain.
"Even on dry roads AWD is worth it. I had a loaner without it while my car was in the service center and I broke traction on a dry road the first time I really hit the accelerator. That never happens with the D," writes Brandon. Overall one of the advantages of all-wheel-drive gives you a good control of the car.
Ivan Jue, who has contributed stories to Torque News, writes that on most other ICE vehicles, AWD is likely not much of a benefit in sunny or warm climates (with the poor fuel mileage and mechanical complexity along with it). But Model S is different. "There's no major complexity, and the additional motor helps add back the range for regen and helps with the tire grip. That's a big deal," he says.
Acceleration and Range
"Dual Motors increases acceleration performance (it's noticeable), and actually increases range because of whatever "torque sleep" does while cruising. There are basically no downsides minus the cost and less front trunk space," writes an S owner named Tyler. Apparently people have said this about the range. But do the published numbers agree? Apparently no.
Overall, if you want a performance car get a Model S D. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the acceleration, handling and sure footedness. But on the other hand, it is little noisier than rear-wheel-drive Teslas and you may want to check your car insurance for the rate difference.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Rear-Wheel-Drive
One person, named Alexei, spoke about the pros and advantages of having a rear-wheel-drive Tesla. "Rear wheel pros: less noise, 5k cheaper, more frunk room. Rear wheel cons: less range, less torque, less grip, less speed," he wrote. If you do long hauls very often the AWD is the way to go. If you are going to invest that much money in Tesla, you may as well want to do the AWD.