Tesla Confirms Model 3 To Arrive In RWD Standard, Dual Motor AWD Optional

1 year ago by Jay Cole 91

Tesla CEO Notes That The Model 3 Base $35,000 EV Will Be RWD Standard, Dual Motor/AWD Optional

Tesla CEO Notes That The Model 3 Base $35,000 EV Will Be RWD Standard, Dual Motor/AWD Optional

The early test drives that took place immediately after the Tesla Model 3 debut let us in on the fact that the EV would be at least available in a dual motor, all wheel drive configuration; but now the Tesla CEO has made it official, while adding some other details.

Specifically, the base Model 3, which is promised from a starting point of $35,000 will come standard with rear wheel drive.  While the dual motor, all wheel drive Model 3 will be an added option.

Of interest: For the lucky ~800 or so attendees who got a ride in a reveal car on Thursday (they were all AWD models), Musk notes that those cars were not fully dialed in for performance, saying “production AWD will be a lot faster” …which is good news, as absolutely no one complained at the time that the Model 3 already wasn’t fast enough.

Tesla CEO Confirms Basically What We Already Knew - the Tesla Model 3 will arrive with standard RWD, and optional Dual Motor AWD

Tesla CEO Confirms Basically What We Already Knew – the Tesla Model 3 will arrive with standard RWD, and optional Dual Motor AWD

In other words, if you are one of the first ~300,000 or so who have put money down on the Model 3 over the first 4 days since order books open, and you want your car early…your getting a dual motor Model 3 (as Musk has already spoken out on record that the higher optioned cars will be delivered first).

No word if the “additional cowbell” option moves you up in the priority sequence though:

More Cowbell

More Cowbell

Tesla Model 3 Looking Optioned Out -- Also of note: Elon Musk says demand is surprisingly high for matte black, will likely be an optional color for the Model 3

Tesla Model 3 Looking Optioned Out — Also of note: Elon Musk says demand is surprisingly high for matte black, will likely be an optional color for the Model 3

At the same time Musk re-iterated the significance of getting your order in early, even if you region is not the first to get the car.

Tesla CEO Tweets About Priorities

Tesla CEO Tweets About Priorities

Just as a reminder, the sequence for the Model 3 will be:

US West Coast, US national/Canada, Europe/Asia, RHD UK, RHD World

So basically, if one orders early, you get to show your Model 3 off to all your friends who sat on the fence and waited longer to pull the trigger…but at the same time, you now need to cut off communication with anyone you might know in California until probably late 2018.

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91 responses to "Tesla Confirms Model 3 To Arrive In RWD Standard, Dual Motor AWD Optional"

  1. Jay Cole says:

    /obligatory
    (or at least as far as copyright will allow)

  2. Clive says:

    I will take the Dual Motor w/ the Chris Tucker speed option.

    1. Kosh says:

      This makes no sense. FWD is always better in icy/low traction situations. The only reason for this I can think of is to force (sensible) people (who’ve driven in the snow) to order AWD option…..

      ON the bright side, I guess that means my wife will get her AWD Model 3 sooner.

      Now I have to decide… was the Bolt FWD?

      1. Nate says:

        Yes Bolt is FWD.

        Where are do you live? I’ve lived in northern states with rwd and fwd and was comfortable in either. This was before traction and stability control which make a big difference. Some of those years it was before abs. Typically it was the trucks and suv’s in the ditch first. Weight distribution and good winter tires are key. The 3 will have great weight distribution – you really can’t compare it to a front engine / rear drive ICE configuration. But, if you don’t believe me maybe you should go for awd vs. either rwd 3 or fwd Bolt.

        1. Kosh says:

          My understanding was that it was the STEERING wheels with the weight pulling the car, is better than trying to push the car behind the wheels that are steering.

          1. Nate says:

            Most FWD cars tend to understeer because of what you mentioned, and most RWD tend to oversteer. AWD and 4WD can do either depending on how they are setup. Stability control works to correct either. Both oversteer & understeer can be bad, but if you are familiar your car, drive within its limits, and have good tires you’ll be safer the someone who neglects any of these – regardless of their drivetrain.

            I figured you were concerned about getting stuck, so I mentioned the weight distribution and tires which makes a big difference. It looks like others figured in the subsequent comments.

            1. Aaron says:

              Having driven my Mitsubishi i-MiEV in the snow (the i-MiEV is rear-motor, rear-wheel drive), I know that modern traction control, especially in an EV, makes driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle in snow and ice plenty manageable. Turning off the traction control in the i-MiEV makes it into a donut machine bordering on undriveable. I expect my Model 3 will be the same way (I’m getting RWD).

      2. pk says:

        My previous car a 2010 Impreza with snow tires disagree with you.

      3. Kacey Green says:

        Because in ICE cars usually all the weight is over the front wheels

      4. JimGord says:

        I suspect that this is because the control electronics and inverter are between the rear wheels. Therefore rear wheel is base and front motor is auxilliary. No space for inverter and controller in the front

        1. Eletruk says:

          The way the Tesla drivetrain is designed, the motor and controller are integrated. There is one for each motor.
          http://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Telsa-Dual-Motor-P85D.jpg

      5. John says:

        I disagree with you. Wife drives a RWD BMW i3 with snow tires and its fantastic in the snow. Maybe its the extra weight in the back from the optional gas engine or maybe the thin high tires. Whatever the case thrown on a set of snow tires the the Tesla RWD will do just fine.

        1. mr. M says:

          Rally drives choose narrow tires when driving at snow, so the tires size already matches good for driving at winterly conditions.

        2. Rob Andrews says:

          In New England, the steep hills always have RWD vehicles stranded along the side of the road when it snows. BMW”s have best suspension Ever, but they are often among the stranded. Two sets of tires can reduce the odds dramatically, but cost wise puts you halfway to AWD.

          1. Terawatt says:

            It’s no more expensive to have two sets of tyres in the long run, since they’ll last twice as long. You end up buying a new set as often one way or the other.

            And being stingy on tyres is never a good idea. You’ve got four small contact patches to provide the friction to steer and stop. Since snow tyres are MUCH better in the snow, and friction generally MUCH worse in the snow, only those who can let the car remain parked on snowy days should even consider all year tyres.

            1. Phr3d says:

              AND
              just like true snow tires love temps below 50F, you can now choose true summer tires that easily take temps above 120F and handle rain perfectly, since the tread doesn’t need to be a trade-off between rain and sorta’ ‘snow grip’. Once you have driven in difficult conditions on either, you will eliminate All-Season-sorta’ from your shopping list.

              Additionally, for the storage impaired, many tire shops will store your off-season tires.
              With timely swaps, snow tires last a long time.

      6. Djoni says:

        Some FWD, even AWD’s aren’t that good on snow or ice.
        It depends on many thing, driver, and total weight and where it is put, tire, drive train, traction control.
        The big advantage of FWD is the engine sitting over the traction wheels and squeezing the tire to the ground and a lot less because they steer.
        So putting the weight on the right place is what makes the thing work.
        Happily, you can put an electric motor right over the traction wheel, wherever they are.

        1. Nate says:

          “Some FWD, even AWD’s aren’t that good on snow or ice.”

          Right. Some have sub par suspension, tires, or weight distribution (front/back balance or high center of gravity). But, people feel safer because they have some traction to acceleration from a standtill in those conditions even though they can’t stop when needed.

      7. Ambulator says:

        “This makes no sense. FWD is always better in icy/low traction situations.”

        Perhaps. I have no direct experience, but I’ve heard that. I’ve also heard that front wheel drive and rapid acceleration don’t play well together, but I’ve never driven a car that is fast enough for that to be a concern. With the Model 3 they claim it is.

        You’ll probably have issues with either a Bolt or a Model 3, but either one of them is better than anything on the market today.

        1. Terawatt says:

          FWD is able to pull you up a slope with some wheel spin. With RWD, for some reason you slow down much faster when the wheels spin. But with the kind of TC that EVs are capable of – the drivetrain has much less lag than in an ICE – this shouldn’t be a problem.

          RWD otherwise has the advantage. Having the wheels that steer free-roll means all their friction can be used to change direction. And when driving forwards, going up a slope shifts weight rearwards, increasing the grip at the back and decreasing it at the front.

          In any case good tyres matter far more. I grew up in the Arctic and preferred RWD even on snow and ice, without TC or stability systems. FWD was easier to drive up slopes. But when grip limits are exceeded you don’t lose control as quickly with RWD and it’s easier to remain in control. So I felt the FWD was more treacherous and dangerous and had the worse handling characteristics despite it climbing hills very well.

      8. np says:

        FWD is not necessarily “better” but it is safer than RWD on ice in situations where traction is lost or where there is substantial slip.

        That’s because when tires slip in the front on FWD, the car will still be pointing in its current direction (i.e. understeer). When tires slip on RWD, the rear ear can easily come around (i.e. oversteer)

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Yes, but RWD tires start slipping much faster than FWD on slippery road. You can go on road curves faster with FWD. Before AWD become popular, they had separate class in rallies for RWD as RWD was not able to compete with FWD cars otherwise. RWD is fine on track though and many sports style cars are still RWD for that reason.

          1. Nate says:

            “Before AWD become popular, they had separate class in rallies for RWD as RWD was not able to compete with FWD cars otherwise”

            Why did the RWD Landia Stratos and Fiat 131 win World Rally Championships prior to Audi’s Quatro? I thought the non turbo fwd class was easier for ease of entry (not as hard to master, not as much money) but was not the fastest class.

      9. Gibby says:

        Why is FWD always better in the snow? It’s because of the weight of the motor directly over the drive wheels. Same reason a VW Bug or Porsche 911 drive well in the snow. Well guess what, the model 3 should have a much better distribution of weight than an ICE car. That and the speed of electrons will be a huge benefit to traction.

  3. Bob Nickson says:

    Can somebody clue me in as to why a fast torque response would be advantageous on ice in any way?

    1. evcarnut says:

      It’s BS..he meant the Traction Control Response, because its instant…and together they work better…

      1. Will Davis says:

        yup much easier for him to keep it simple than go all technical

    2. scottf200 says:

      I witnessed this at an event here in Chicagoland where I tried to get a Model S P85D stuck in 4″-6″ of snow they had out in a 30 yard patch. It just went wherever I pointed it.

    3. Terawatt says:

      The torque response is the limiting factor to how fast the TC can respond. It doesn’t help much to have sensors and electronics that can measure and calculate corrections a thousand times per second if there’s half a second of lag between the system deciding to change torque and that actually happening on the wheel. ICEs can change injection levels quickly but there’s much more momentum (stored energy) in the engine and transmission compared to an EV. ICE even adds a lot of momentum (with a flywheel) in order to get a smoother-running engine.

      So TC can be much better in an EV and that is entirely due to fast torque response.

  4. evcarnut says:

    I need more cowbell….Range…..

    1. Aaron says:

      When they came out with 100 mile EVs, people wanted 200 mile EVs. When they came out with 200 mile EVs, they wanted 400 mile EVs… lather, rinse, repeat.

      Be honest with yourself. Do you NEED more than 200 miles of driving range a day, or do you want your security blanket and pacifier of more than that? Will you ever be passing a Supercharger station?

      1. Gibby says:

        Yes, more range please. What’s my range predicted to be when the car has 100k miles on it? I’d rather have more headroom on range so I’m not stuck with a big bill in 6 years.

        1. Brian says:

          Ask the guy who has 300k miles on his Chevy Volt (100k of that being electric)- he says the range is still the same. Thermal management of the battery is key, Teslas have it, so there should be little to no loss of range until you reach several hundreds of thousands of miles.

          http://cleantechnica.com/2016/03/15/2012-chevy-volt-passes-300k-miles-owner-says-no-difference-in-battery-since-the-day-i-bought-it/

  5. ffbj says:

    Still receiving 13k orders an hour, into the 65th hour of ordering.

    1. ffbj says:

      I mean 1,300 hundred not thousand/per hour.
      Arrr…

  6. pk says:

    AWD was always going to a must for me.

  7. SparkEV says:

    Any word on employee priority in getting it? That could be an incentive to attract talent. Some nut jobs might even volunteer for janitorial duties at night, not that I would. 😉

    1. Eletruk says:

      Employees got priority in the ordering queue, that’s why there where already over 100,000 orders before the reveal even happened and ordering was open to the public. So if you are an employee and you didn’t jump back then, you missed your chance for priority.

      1. Brian says:

        employees were able to order about 2 weeks early, for Tesla and SpaceX employees, but combined, they have around 20,000 employees, even if every one of them ordered 2, that’s still not even half of the number.

        The 115,000 number mentioned in the reveal was including all the people in lines to order in stores that day, and online ordering started an hour before the presentation, so some of those were probably in that number too.

  8. Larry says:

    By pre-allocating the first two years of production it seems to me as though the Tesla 3 has become totally irrelevant to the EV car market for at least three years. It can no longer be considered a competitor to any other EV on the market, thereby limiting price pressure for Leafs , Bolts, and i3s to come, even when they bring out longer ranges. Congratulations the 200,000 select customers who have taken themselves out of the market for long-term ownwership. Of course, many of them may be in the market for 2-3 year lease on an EV if they are committed to the paradigm.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      So, your argument is that if demand for a product is so high that it exceeds production, then that product becomes irrelevant to the market and ceases to exert competitive pressure on competing products.

      Ummm… no. That’s simply not how markets function.

      Potential customers are not going to ignore the Model ≡ even if they can’t get one. Nor will legacy auto makers ignore the Model ≡ for years, then suddenly take notice when Tesla finally manages to ramp up production to meet demand.

    2. pk says:

      What insane logic are you applying here? Having locked up ~300,000 purchases makes you irrelevant? This is a massive game changer and a huge wake up call for everyone else.

      1. Larry says:

        I hope you are right, but I just don’t see GM, Nissan or BMW feeling pressure to meet the non-existent competition. Time will tell.

        1. Ryan H says:

          This is ridiculous, Tesla didn’t just add $10B in revenues to 2017/18, the TOOK it from the 3-series, A4, C-class, Fusion, Camry, Accord, Prius, Bolt, Leaf, etc… this is going to put a major hurt on sales numbers across the board… similar to how badly Model S sales impacted 7-series, Panamera, A7, A8, etc this year

          1. jerryd says:

            Ryan,
            +1

        2. Anon says:

          The Bolt would not exist, if GM wasn’t feeling pressured to create a long range, 60 kWh BEV. It was positioned to directly compete with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3.

          Nissan would not be upping their battery to 30 kWh, or gearing up for the longer range IDS inspired Leaf 2.0.

          BMW has i5 in development, and longer range i3’s in the pipeline. Possibly even BEV Minis, etc.

          Don’t tell me these automakers are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re doing it to stay relevant in the EV Market.

          With the insane reservation number for M3, you can bet we will be hearing many PR Releases about everyone and their uncle, suddenly making longer range BEVs.

    3. lad says:

      You are not out of the market you can get your money back anytime. It’s just how long you want to lend Tesla the $1,000, interest free. Because the Federal Reserve is still running the bailing scam for the wall street banks, you ain’t getting any interest from your saving accounts anyway. I look at it as a bet on the future against fossil fuels continuing.

      1. Anon says:

        Another excellent point about giving Tesla $1000 for 2-3 years…

        Far more positive, productive outcomes can be accomplished to help reduce dependency on oil, improve the climate, reduce lung disease and premature deaths, advance safer autonomous technology, help bring the cost of batteries down, leverage more automakers into making compelling EVs, etc.– than just leaving your money in a bank, where it’s doing absolutely NOTHING. It’s not even keeping up with inflation.

        Vote with your heart and your wallet! Vote TESLA! Vote for a return to manufacturing in the US! Vote Model 3! Vote Gigafactory! Vote for more Superchargers and Service Centers! VOTE FOR A BETTER FUTURE!!!!

        1. danpatgal says:

          This is part of my rationale, since even a $35k (even minus the $7.5k credit, if it’s still there in 2018) vehicle seems extravagant to me.

          I must also admit that the driving experience of the Model S is beyond compare, my fascination with EVs (and a comparable disappointment in how inefficient, polluting, and destabilizing the fuel systems of ICEVs are) got me to pull the trigger on the reservation; even if I’m not so happy to wait 18+ months. I sure do hope Tesla can speed up the timeline.

    4. Terawatt says:

      Illogics 101.

      I can cancel my reservation and have my money back at any time. So the competitors are quite free to tempt me into doing that.

      I’d agree that it doesn’t look like anyone is actually competing…. but that’s certainly not due to lock-in, since in fact not one reservation holder is locked-in.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    More cowbell = faster acceleration

  10. Phatcat73 says:

    AWD will net improved range. As this is a car I will keep for 10 years, I won’t mind spending extra coin.

  11. georges says:

    This implies to me that Arizona orders could get a sooner delivery since he has stated west to east distribution.

    So if you are ordering in AZ then load it up and you could get an early car 🙂

    1. Nate says:

      I hope it really is West to East, because then Portland would be before Southern California since it is much further west:) The Bay area should be first though and I wouldn’t be surprised if Southern California is prioritized before the Pacific NW. I’ll be willing to pick up there to get sooner, or even change the address on my order to my brother’s place which is nearby their headquarters!

  12. georges says:

    I think that you will just get a steel roof for 35k$ not panoramic glass.

    1. Kacey Green says:

      Musk said glass roof standard

      1. super390 says:

        Then I want a discount for taking the steel roof. Glass is insane where I live.

        1. Aaron says:

          If it’s that bad, tint your roof like you tint your side windows. Sheesh.

  13. Speculawyer says:

    I think Musk just referenced our resident poster KDawg and his more KWH meme image. (Thus indicating more KWH is an option.)

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Here . . . from Kdawg’s Photobucket account:

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Maybe? Eh?

        I have that fever.

    2. georges says:

      @spec
      It will need more kwh’s. It will be heavier.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        The heaviest Model S is also the fastest.

    3. Rich says:

      One of the Tesla engineers giving test rides said the model they were driving had all wheel drive and “the larger battery pack”.

      1. Knut Erik Ballestad says:

        Sounds good, that is practically a confirmation that at least two battery options will be available.

        Hopefully 50/60kWh for 215 mile range and ~70kWh for similar range as Model S

  14. sven says:

    Elon Musk tweeted:
    “A Model 3 order gives you priority in your region, so, even tho total count is high, ordering early will make a big difference locally.”

    How does this work exactly? Is it where you live when you order or where you live when production is under way? Likewise, do you get priority delivery only if you owned a Tesla when you ordered, or do you also get priority delivery if you buy a new or used Model S/X prior to Model 3 production commencing?

    In other words, can someone get a better spot in line and get an earlier delivery by moving to California and/or purchasing a new or used Model S/X by the time production begins?

    1. sven says:

      Oops, hit reply before I finished typing.

      I could see people trying to game the system if the above were allowed, i.e.: using your friend’s California address and getting a California driver’s license to trick Tesla.

      1. Nate says:

        I wouldn’t go that far – then I’d have to pay CA sales tax. I would be wiling to pick it up in Freemont.

    2. Someone out there says:

      I think it means that they will prioritize sending a full shipment in one direction as much as possible instead of sending off cars one by one in every direction picking off the order list in chronological order.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      sven asked:

      “Is it where you live when you order or where you live when production is under way?”

      It’s going to be ranked by the number of days it takes Tesla to ship the car to wherever you want it to be delivered. We’ve already seen reports of priority given for some Model X deliveries, for people living near the Fremont plant.

      A quicker turnaround from the car exiting the factory to actual delivery means Tesla gets paid sooner, which is of course the actual reason such customers are being given priority. (Life isn’t fair, and you should already know that.)

      1. Speculawyer says:

        I camped out at a Tesla store and I live across the bay from the Fremont factory. ?

        1. Anon says:

          Let us know when you get your gift in the mail. 🙂

  15. sven says:

    Elon Musk tweeted:
    “A Model 3 order gives you priority in your region, so, even tho total count is high, ordering early will make a big difference locally.”

    How does this work exactly? Is it where you live when you order or where you live when production is under way? Likewise, do you get priority delivery only if you owned a Tesla when you ordered, or do you also get priority delivery if you buy a new or used Model S/X prior to Model 3 production commencing?

    In other words, can someone get a better spot in line and get an earlier delivery by moving to California and/or purchasing a new or used Model S/X by the time production begins? I could see people trying to game the system if the above were allowed, i.e.: using your friend’s California address and getting a California driver’s license to trick Tesla.

  16. jamcl3 says:

    Typo, “your getting” should be “you’re getting”, no?

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      My last non hatch car with a “standard” trunk was a Mazda 323 in 1996!

      I think I can get used to it again but like for the BMW 3 series it would be great to have both hatch and standard trunk available.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      On the hatch line of comment there is however an option for a tow hitch. So that can relieve if you need to carry oversized items like a cupboard or a dishwasher.

    3. Eletruk says:

      Elon says you can fit a 7 foot surfboard in the cabin, but without a hatchback, how is that done?

  17. ffbj says:

    Public Tracker information:
    https://model3tracker.info/

  18. ffbj says:

    Btw, everyone has cool plate ideas, many of them already taken. I thought of: EVRDY-1, and the better half’s could be EVRDY-2

  19. Fred Borloo says:

    FWD sucks!!! No soul!

    RWD rules!! I will happily give up half a second of accelleration and 20 miles of range for RWD!

    Elon Should make a RWD P version ???!!!

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I wasn’t all that caring about AWD until I realized that they cleverly use different gearing in front and back such that they can provide more power to the motor that is in the more efficient operating zone. I really respect that clever hack of creating a transmission without a transmission.

  20. ConfusedBrit says:

    I am in England and wondering what the hell all this talk about cowbells is?
    Is it some kind of joke or or sarcasm or something else?
    Totally confused!!

    1. Gizmo84 says:

      i live in the US and have no idea either, maybe it means more cowbells = more range? or more features?

      1. ffbj says:

        Yes, that is the meaning, in this context.
        (More bells and whistles). It’s from from a snl skit, where Christopher Walken, playing a famous producer, is trying to get the band “Blue Oyster Cult” to give him more cowbell during the song. No amount of cowbell is enough, he always wants more.

      2. MikeM says:

        Wikipedia!

    2. Djoni says:

      My understanding:
      A cowbell is just something that gives attention and shows everyone where you are all the time.
      Doesn’t change a thing on how you live, just make other aware that you do.
      It doesn’t always have a utility purpose, but could be fun for some and totally useless for others.

      1. gizmo84 says:

        ahh so Apple cowbells that i can think of, Facetime and 3d touch

  21. Murrysville EV says:

    I don’t want AWD or Performance, so maybe that means I’ll be waiting 3 years instead of 2? This puts my short-term interest in jeopardy, since I don’t want a $50k car.

    From past history, I should have realized that $35k and early reservation were not concurrent themes.

    1. Taser54 says:

      You probably wouldn’t want an early car anyway. Tesla has a history of muddling through QC problems with its early cars. Let others experience the minor or major annoyances.

    2. Phr3d says:

      yep, sorry M EV, but that is the size of it, e,000 ME ‘D’ to each region, as has been done (mostly) with every model so far.

      so, $40k is the minimum bid, $42.5 for auto-pilot moves you up, all options $unk up more and obviously highest is if they release a P option (I personally pray that they don’t for my place in line, but..).