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Rear wheel drive

You may want to rethink the rear wheel drive on the Model S. I guess performance on dry pavement is best with real wheel drive but that is not the case in difficult conditions. Front (and of course all wheel) drive vehicles are sooo much better in snow and ice. I would much rather be in my old Honda or even my old Plymouth van in snow than than in my current BMW. Please reconsider.

RWD tesla electric car are safer than any other car. not only for people inside the car but for all american, all people and all what can live on this planet. If Confucius had a car i think he choose a tesla.

Model S is RWD. If you are so in love with AWD Audi, or FWD Honda or Toyota, or old BMW, or wonderful 4WD Jeep, Please, keep on driving what you like. I have not seen a better system than the RWD with TC on the S. But, I want you to be happy. Not everyone is able to handle an EV.

Please don't diss people just because they have other tastes in car features than the Model S will have. How the Model S will handle in snow is still to be proven, BUT giving the reviews from the roadsters show that the changes are good that it also will behave well on snow.

As Tesla plans other vehicles with the same base as the Model S a AWD is not out of question in a few years. Just now I guess RWD is the only thing we'll get.

Let me brush up you minds guys :D
Here it is -
That's a gift to the guy with RWD (which in fact has proven as the most incontrollable drive layot EVER!)
And this is for everyone else (who are so reluctant to forget the Truth) -

Enjoy the music !
p.s. I'm not a swellhead Audi fen. I just bought an Audi_A4 2 yrs ago (with over 15 yrs of driving soap-boxes), and after couple of situations (from which no 2WD car woudn't survive or escape) i can guarantee with my Honor - that no two-wheel-drive could compare even in 1/10-th of 4WD !
This system is not only for winter (not ice!), mountain, desert but aslo for open roads. Only those who haven't a chance to drive 4WD (AWD or Quattro) can talk absurds. Please - never underestimate what you don't know, and most of all - NEVER FORGET THE HISTORY !!! ...coz you d'nt make next step(s)... , as we all see it here. You're gazing somewhere in front, but you don't know where (or what) to look at ? Crazy isn't it ?
You're so shy to make next step, to choose the Right Direction, that if you see yourselves from aside - you'd be amazed. How is that possible ?
Well, it is, because you don't allow the Truth to appear, to rise.

When you become brave enough, you'll get the idea ;)
Cheers !


Who go to work here @150 mph on the desert or on snow with fire on exaust tip.

If you wanna advertise for an Audi Peter, you're on the wrong site.

You bring your AWD to my neightbourhood, and I'll drive rings around it when you get stuck and I don't.

i dont think awd gaz car are faster and efficient in this realistic environement - oups i forgot audi can roll on vertical wall sorry.

I don't understand why some people whine about not having AWD. If you like AWD so much buy a car that has it, don't come on a website that sells RWD cars and complain while trying to convince people that AWD is a necessity.

Nobody can manufacture a car that pleases everybody on the planet. That's why we have variety and many different manufacturers.

why even argue about car traction and stability until we can test drive the car ... its built unlike any other vehicle with its low center of gravity .. wait until its built to debate

plus Peter .. its a Tesla Model S forum .. if your not advocating it or debating positively about it, why are you on here? go back with Das Auto and enjoy

:D Well, well...
Finally some movement here. Hmmm... Perhaps if someone else come and start sharing different view here, this forum WILL surely become a colorful place.
Don't you see that when you have something to compare with, only then you could enrich the environment, the technology, yourselves.
As i told you - i'm not a frantic fan. Don't even like Audi's shape (especially from 80 - 90's), but - after so many situations (not like this one in L.A.), this drivetrain layout showed amazing performance in so difficult circumstances that many of you wouldn't even imagine to escape !
And if you consider this sentance as a Commercial, then i realy have to think over my visit here.
If you really have problems (like "rush hour" traffic) and they are totally consumed your attention - then Ok, you have the right to focus ONLY on that issue. But if you experience some OTHER level of transportation difficulty (except polution) - then you have to admit that True-Automotive-Technologies are still ahead - way ahead from today's blur.

Take my writings as a different glimpse, nothing more.
Amen :)

p.s. "Nobody can manufacture a car that pleases everybody on the planet. That's why we have variety and many different manufacturers."
...and that's why so many young ppl die each year from RWD, after long striving to handle the oversteer!
And nobody talks about "pleasing everybody" - mass madia made the irretrievable damage over ppls's mind !
But here i'm talking about "pleasing the basic physical laws". Coz when someone dies, most of you don't take it personaly, m ?
But when someone start showing you the flaws in the circumstances that caused the crash - then (as we see), most of you jump like a kangaroo ?
Immature isn't it ?

...and i'm not here to proclame any model vehicle, just want to see you guys - how you manage with future tech. As we all see - muscular power, became INCONTROLLABLE (!), then "Power without control is nothing" slogan appear... then 4WD. That's all.
Those who doesn't see this natural path - it's ready to wake up !
'Coz human's life is many-thousands times more valuable than the greatest most efficient modern technology, and that'll be forever and ever in the future...

I thought that only religious fanatics I need to be careful of are those that worship some god, now I think I need to include car drivetrains in the lot.

Don't worry man, from now on i'll only read... "aphorisms" in this theme. You may start !

Well I don't have any experience with rwd or awd. Only that I thought the main difference was that AWD has more grip on slippery roads.. but well. I do what everybody does with no clue.. he posts a wiki link:

I don't really see a connection to RWD to the death of young poeple.. however I do see the connection of young people, fast cars, and driving too fast. If you drive to fast, chances are allways there that you can't react on time. And mostly those situations needs the care to stop or evade an obtect in time.. With both situations I think EBS and ABS and whatever are far more important factors than AWD or RWD.

But then I might simplify this a bit...

AWD doesn't have more grip on slippery road. Only difference between 4WD and 2WD is that 4WD applies power to the road from four points, and 2WD applies it at two points. That's all. In roads pretty much only place where you see that difference in practice is slippery incline. In other places difference depends on TC of the car (if there is any).

If you vary your speed according to road conditions, you will not have a problem.

The problem is the morons in AWD vehicles who think that their vehicle is far superior in slippery conditions, and drive too fast.

dont forget tesla is a very small company. are you interested to buy one PeterTenev ? w awd in it ?

Remember, Tesla has Traction Control. No spinout possible with RWD and Traction Control.
My daughter died from falling asleep while driving. I can't see how RWD affected that.

I drive an AWD car, and it's great to have AWD, but I really only need it on a few days in the winter when the roads are very snowy or slippery. The only thing it really helps with is acceleration on slippery surface. When it comes to control u might not loose the traction as early as on a 2wd car, on the other hand it will disappear a lot quicker when it does. What helps is the electronics: ABS, EBD, ESP etc. And good brakes + good tires. An AWD car can have both understeer like FWD car, oversteer like RWD car, or usually both. I believe a RWD car is just as safe as an AWD car, or even more safe, since u will get an earlier warning of slippery surface. Traction control and stability control helps, on all cars.
That said, I do believe an AWD electric car would, under certain circumstances, have an edge over 2WD car otherwise the same in every way.

I've not seen the real reason FWD is better in snow than RWD (with traditional cars), so I'll mention it.

In the ICE world, the engine is up front and the power to the road was under the light rear end. It was because of the layout of motor to transmission pointing to the rear of the car, so it made sense to put a drive shaft on and use the back tires to push the car. The light rear end in cars is what made driving in snow such a pain and why pickup trucks (and RWD cars) put weight in the bed, over the axle, for better traction. As designs improved and the motor was mounted transversely, powering the front wheels started happening; the weight of the engine aided in traction in snow.

Another thing to consider is that it's easier to pull a rope than push it, FWD cars pull through corners while RWD cars push. You generally have more stability pulling through the corners. It also applies to going up hills in slippery conditions, better to drag the car up than try to push since you will tend to drive the rear end out from behind you.

When it comes to AWD, you have more points of traction when all 4 tires are used than with 2. To suggest you don't get "better traction" with 4 wheel drive is kind of absurd. And when you're dealing with snow/ice, you might as well be "off road".. you're not on a "clean, dry surface" which is what the "road" is generally conceived to be.

Traction control does nothing more than limit loss of traction; spinning tires don't contribute to acceleration any more than ones just at the edge of spinning, and in fact provide less (you're effectively hydro/areo planing). Limiting slippage helps maximize traction. Clearly, traction control on an AWD vehicle would give better results than on a two wheel drive car because of the principle of having more force applied to the road with 4 tires driving than 2; but a well controlled two wheel powered car can still perform very well across all surface conditions.

Considering FWD versus RWD for front mounted ICE engines (on bad road conditions), FWD is always better because of the weight over the drive wheels.. In these all electric cars with even weight distribution, I'm guessing FWD would edge out RWD only in the pull/push physics, but generally speaking, most people won't ever actually drive their cars to that edge so it probably doesn't matter very much.

AWD would be best, but as noted, there is a cost of loss of efficiency of energy transfer for the drive system. Alternatively you could have 4 motors, one on each wheel, but then you have weight and complexity/logistical issues (like keeping all 4 exactly synced for power application).

I'm guessing, since this is "all new designs" and doesn't follow "traditional reasoning", the Model S with RWD will handle just fine under most conditions (that is, not have the "snow problems" generally found with ICE RWD designs; save maybe going up hills).

For going up really slippery snowy or icy slopes u can put on snow chains, so there is a solution to that too. Not as comfy as AWD, though.

Just like to put my vote for the RWD.

If you whant the AWD but the aport. Version that comes with 2electric motores

Rear wheel drive is highly preferred my most people that are serious about driving.

Four wheel drive would add aditional weight and likely reduce the range of the vehicle; it is unncessary.

@Savantster, very good summary IMO. Thank you for a well-balanced, fact-based contribution to an emotional discussion.

Cars are not ropes.
During accel, the net vector of weight (gravity) and acceleration is angled back. Which puts more weight/force over the rear wheels, lessening weight/force/traction over the front wheels. So with FWD, the harder you accelerate, the worse your grip. With RWD, the opposite.

"So with FWD, the harder you accelerate, the worse your grip. With RWD, the opposite."

That's true on a dry, clean and flat surface, i.e. you have enough grip to accelerate in the first place. On a slippery surface, it's not so much about "harder acceleration", but more about moving at all, and in the right direction. Spinning wheels do not help acceleration, no matter if front or rear. To go from zero to some movement, the weight of the engine helps a lot. Put the engine in the back and you will basically have the same effect -- except that it's hard to determine where the car actually goes. Therefore, in this particular situation, it is very nice to have the weight of the engine and the power on the front wheels: It helps to get some traction at all to get the car moving, and it will pull the car where you steer it.

Note: On a sufficiently slippery slope, cars become ropes.

Obviously, the whole consideration changes when we have a battery pack instead of an engine. In the Model S, we have almost even weight on both axles. So I hold back my opinion on whether RWD is a good choice for the Model S until we can actually try. I hope it is, and even if it is not the best choice for all possible surfaces and slopes, it is probably a reasonable choice for most practical purposes.

Whole discussion about how many wheels are driving wheels is missing one crucial point: it doesn't matter much how many wheels do the driving, it is the behavior of the car that matters. Badly behaving 4WD is worse than tricycle with one driving wheel. AWD, FWD and RWD all require a bit different driving style but all are good if the car behaves well.

The point TM keeps making about the low center of gravity of the M-S is crucial. When torque is applied, it is as though it was applied to that CoG. When that is low, nose and tail lift and drop etc. are minimized; it's more like a straight-line push.

But I must admit that FWD saved my a$$ once. When young(ish), I was driving in very steep hills, and approached a corner with my Civic too fast. There was some small debris on the road, and suddenly I was sliding towards a major dropoff. Without thinking, I turned slightly more into the curve, lifted off the gas, and then "blipped" the front wheels. They caught and hauled me around the corner quite nicely. (Un)Fortunately, I've never had a chance to practice that maneuver again. It was quite a thrill!

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