Elon Musk: Tesla Model X Will Be AWD Only (w/video)

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 19

Model X AWD Only

Model X AWD Only

In London, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk spilled the beans on the upcoming Tesla Model X.

Straight From Tesla's Website

Straight From Tesla’s Website

Expected to launch in late 2014, Musk says the Model X will carry a price tag that’s slightly (low single-digit percentage) higher than that of the Model S ($60,000 to $100,000-plus).

Pricing isn’t the BIG news though.  For the first time ever, Musk stated that the Model X will only come in AWD.  Apparently, rear-wheel-drive will not be offered (though Tesla’s notoriously slow-to-update website still shows AWD and RWD as being offered on the Model X).

Here are the words of Musk:

“The Model X’s price will be very similar to the Model S. It might be slightly higher, but… I can’t imagine that it will be… It’s probably going to be a slightly higher starting price because the Model X will only be offered as all-wheel drive. It will be dual motor, all-wheel drive.”

Since the statement was made in London, perhaps Musk was stating that, in the UK, the AWD version will be the only Model X offered.  Maybe…just maybe…there will still be a RWD Model X in the US.

The move to AWD-only certainly makes sense to us and it will definitely allow Tesla to charge a bit more money for the 7-seat SUV.

Tesla's Site Still Lists AWD as an Option on Model X

Tesla’s Site Still Lists AWD as an Option on Model X

Musk talks Model X at the 24-minute mark.  Fair warning: The video and audio quality are downright awful.

Source: Tesla Motors Club Forum

 

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19 responses to "Elon Musk: Tesla Model X Will Be AWD Only (w/video)"

  1. David Murray says:

    I wonder if the driver will be able to select if they want rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, or both?

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      I doubt it. I think it will be required to get max range. Why would you not want AWD engaged if it was an improvement to range? Is there a use case I am forgetting?

      1. David Murray says:

        Well, I was thinking about the fact that I prefer front-wheel drive in most regular driving because it gives better traction and less fishtailing.

        I can’t see any reason AWD would be an improvement to range. If anything, it might make it worse. However, I’m sure it is good for acceleration.

        I’m just curious about something. For example, are the motors they use half as powerful as the single drive motor in the Model-S? If that is the case, you need both motors for full acceleration. Although I would imagine a Model-S would still perform decently well for regular driving with a motor half the size of the current one.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          Watch the video scottf200 posted below for a quick description of the AWD system.

          You have to throw out all comparisons to mechanical AWD (more friction, less efficiency). I imagine both motors will be specced the same as you may want to use the full current from the battery at front or rear, depending on the situation. Most of the time it will be split between the motors and actively respond to traction control, preventing the RWD experiences you were concerned about.

  2. Tesla Fan says:

    the greatest suv ever made….. it will change the game when it comes out, all soccer moms will have this on their wish list

  3. Francis L says:

    I don’t see the point of offering both RWD and AWD. Tesla is a small business, and offering option makes the car a harder to build. Moreover, making it AWD isn’t really expensive compare to the price tag. Finally, I don’t see why somebody would absolutely wants RWD, as it will probably possible to just disable the AWD mode.

  4. scottf200 says:

    Front and rear are said to be geared differently and used optimally (lower speed, higher speed, best traction, etc). I would imagine more regen from the harding working front tires as well just like normal ICE cars use front breaks more. AWD was my choice anyway so this doesn’t change my purchasing selections.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      The AWD might be required to hit the range numbers Tesla wants with Model X, hence only offering with AWD. It might be cheaper to add the second drivetrain than add additional batteries.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Does the AWD really get better range? If it does it must be the better regen on the front drive unit as scott was saying.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          Musk made comments 1+ years ago that by gearing the two drivetrains differently you can optimize around two velocities. So say use the front motor more at highway speed (gears optimized for that) and use the rear motor more for low speed/launch (gearing optimized for that).

          I have never seen any data to back that up, but he said it so I imagine there must be some sort of truth behind it. Anyone have an electrical efficiency vs. RPM curve of the Tesla motor laying around?

          1. GeorgeS says:

            That’s interesting. He finally got his 2 speed transmission in a very unique way!

          2. scottf200 says:

            Check out this video where the drive stated the same thing:

    2. GeorgeS says:

      What?
      Your getting an X ?

      1. scottf200 says:

        GS, If you are talking to me then yes that is my current plan as I have a deposit down on a Sig and a GenProd and waiting to see the options and price on the Sig. Love my Volt. It is staying in the family. I don’t take my purchases lightly and buy cars for the long haul.

        1. scottf200 says:

          Several places I visit are within range or within one supercharge. Visited my son last weekend using the Volt. Taking a Model X would have taken me an extra 25 miles each way and a 15 minute snack at a IL supercharger (would not need a lot more charge). Visiting my other son would work as well. He has a 200 amp service at his house. A NEMA 14-50 would work overnight.

  5. Josh Bryant says:

    I struggled through and listened to the whole video. There were two other tidbits in there I thought worth mentioning.

    1. Musk implied they would make a even cheaper vehicle ~3 years after Gen III / Model E. That would end up in LEAF/Civic/Corolla competition range.

    2. He sees a clear path from the current 260 wH/kg to 360 wH/kg with their current cells in use with their battery in the next 5 years. That is ~40% improvement, so think a Model S with a 120 kWh battery or ~400 mile EPA range, assuming manufacturing costs do not increase.

    1. Anthony says:

      Well, 40% over 5 years is about 7% CAGR, so its a reasonable, safe assumption.

      I see the Model S/X increasing in range up to about 300 miles EPA range (100kWh) and not going higher than that for a while. At that size, an 80% charge (the top capacity before the charging slows down dramatically) is 240 miles, even de-rated in cold weather, should yield enough to go from supercharger to supercharger without issues. And it would charge up to 80% in 35 minutes at 135kW, and about 30 minutes at 150kW (assuming thats the next step).

  6. Bill Howland says:

    And here if I was going to purchase an “x” it would have been fwd only. I simply don’t want that much power or complication… At this amount of money, it will be interesting to see what SUV’s via has to offer. That would basically get me an electric suv with no range problems. (that is, I could take it on a trip. – they never seem to put those superchargers anywhere near me, and the thing I really don’t get – they don’t have many L2’s along my routes usually either)..

  7. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Model S is sexy…. I am NOT sure I can say the same about the Model X…

    It looks like a “chunky” Model S….