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%.
Marginal increases in accel-decel efficiency might have a small benefit. Not much in it, though.
I'd think I'd pay 10K for AWD.
I've yet to experience a winter in my Model S. There is a steep hill to climb to get into my development. A few times a year there are 50-60 cars left at the bottom of the hill. In the past I'd ferry people up and down (AWD + snow tires = no problem). I NEVER once got stuck. I will of course put snow tires on my Model S, but I'm not convinced it will cut it. Time will tell.
@Brian H, negative impact of this tiny increase in weight is also small. My estimate for this effect in rolling resistance is about 10%, and rolling resistance is about 1/4th of the total losses at highway speeds, so 10% out of 25% is 2.5%. It doesn't take much to counter that.
My guess is that it depends of the terrain you drive which way the scale goes. On flat plane where you drive steady speed you lose some, on hilly terrain you might gain something.
In any case effect will be small.
AWD can provide better traction, better acceleration, and possibly greater regenerative breaking.
The dragster thing doesn't apply because a dragster has all it's weight in the rear and has enormous soft rubber slicks. Cars have roughly even weight distribution with modest all season tires. If you can peal out in a regular rear wheel drive car with traction control off, then you can accelerate faster if you also power the front wheels.
You can do better in the winter with snow tires, and better in the summer with summer tires, but most everyone just uses all season tires. Why? Because if you can get by with all season tires, why bother with all the extra expense and hassle? Nothing wrong with a jack of all trades if it serves it's purpose well. The Model S itself is a jack of all trades; it could have been faster, or more luxurious, or higher efficiency, but most people like that it's generally good at everything. All season tires try to do the same, though I guess there is argue room for how effective they are at it.
Efficiency can really drop in an ICE AWD car. Look at the MPG difference in a 2 wheel drive vs 4 wheel drive 2012 Ford Escape. It's like a 5 MPG difference. However, the difference will likely be very small with a BEV the way Tesla would build it; probably negligible.
Even if efficiency did drop, does it really matter? Is the Model S no longer a "green" car if it goes from 89 mpge down to ... lets say ... 75 mpge? Even if the efficiency did drop that much, it's still doing significantly better than a gas powered Prius. Maybe it's not as green as it could have been, but it's still green.
I originally said I would pay an extra $5K for AWD. When I said this, I did not consider potential performance improvements. If performance went up, I would pay maybe $10K.
You can do better in the winter with snow tires, and better in the summer with summer tires, but most everyone just uses all season tires.
Not in here they don't. We have proper winter here.
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