AWD Model S

AWD Model S

Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere, but anyone hazarding a guess about how long it will be before we have an AWD Model S? It would be freaky fast to 60 with two motors, and the AWD combined with the low CoG would make it limpet-like. The weird bit of the frunk that is tucked under the dash looks like it is ready and waiting to be filled with the 2nd motor.

Would make a BMW M5 look like a bus.

Can I reserve one now, please?

stephen.kamichik | February 12, 2012

If TM makes an AWD model S, they may loose sales of AWD model X. TM has to thoroughly test their AWD system before adding it as an option on the model S. Perhaps when TM starts producing the model X, they will offer an AWD model S.

Brian H | February 12, 2012

I wonder if there are frame structural constraints on the S; IAC, since anyone purchasing a 60kwh+ S could get a similar X for about the same price, and then add the dual-motor price bump (whatever it turns out to be), there's probably not much net demand left for a straight S AWD.

Timo | February 13, 2012

I would like to turn that around: if there were straight on AWD S then there would not be much demand for Model X. They really eat each others market share. Model X biggest competition is Model S (and vice versa).

olanmills | February 13, 2012

I would really love an AWD S, but I'm not going to wait for it, especially considering it may never come.

"...there's probably not much net demand left for a straight S AWD"

I don't know about that. I think you're saying that if someone wanted AWD, and the price for an AWD X was about the same, then they would most likely choose the X. That's certianly not true in my case. I just don't like SUV's.

"eat each others market share"

And why is this is a problem? This sounds like no problem at all. What we're saying is that if that the two vehicles had all of the same features, except of course the obvious: the X would have larger seating and storage capacity and more interior space, and the S has a leaner profile, they people would more likely be able to choose the vehicle they prefer without having to sacrifice a feature they want.

Since Tesla makes both vehicles, that doesn't sound like a problem at all.

If all of the features were the same (within reason, obviously), there are some people who would prefer a sedan and some who would prefer an SUV.I don't think sales cannabilazation would harm the success of one vehicle or the other.

perbakken | February 13, 2012

I would surely like to get an AWD Model S so I really hope that TM will make this as an option.

Robert.Boston | February 13, 2012

I want to see the performance of the RWD Model S in winter road conditions before I make a call on AWD. I love the simplicity of RWD, and in 99% of the situations, AWD adds little (for my driving) other than weight. That 1% can be important, even life-saving.

Every car company that offers a SUV/Cross-over also has sedan alternatives; both offerings appear to be successful, without crippling capabilities of one to steer customers to the other.

It appears to my eye that the Model S chassis could easily be put onto the AWD skateboard. It would cut into the frunk space, eliminating the tunnel and probably squeezing into the "bowl" a bit. I expect to see, therefore, an AWD Model S available for delivery in 2014, at the same time the AWD Model X general production begins.

nickjhowe | February 13, 2012

I was thinking of an AWD S like the M5 - a low volume, high price, v niche car. A few hundred units a year. Not enough to compromise the Model X sales. A platform where TM can push the latest premium technology - head up displays, laser lights, über torque motors, lithium air batteries, before they go mainstream.

Peter Spirgel | February 13, 2012

I would definitely opt of the AWD version of the Model S if it was offered!

Brian H | February 13, 2012

olan and nick;
I think the arithmetic Timo is referring to with "eat each other's sales" means that TM has to count as unique customers ONLY the added total that having the new model brings. So, you need to consider the sales total of the new variant as being partly composed of people who would not have bought any of the existing line without that new entry, and partly people who would have "settled" for one of the existing line. ONLY the former are "new". Perhaps there is some immediate benefit from higher margin on the new offering, but that's heavily offset, or even more than cancelled, by the design, tooling, and other associated costs of a new product.

There's one major benefit of the "new", of course -- it's new-s (news) and buzz, which is publicity and attention and added sales. This is part of what boost the "combined total" sales, which is the real top line that ultimately feeds the bottom line.

gagliardilou | February 13, 2012

An AWD Model S is a no brainer. I would prefer that since I drive thru snow in the winters. If Tesla has the system down, they should offer it right now to us. It would bring in more money too. I dont feel the "X" sales would be affected by it either.

Discoducky | February 13, 2012

How much would the AWD drive option be? $2K or more? I do like the idea of the front motor being geared to highway speeds and the rear being geared for off the line acceleration.

stephen.kamichik | February 13, 2012

The AWD option requires an extra motor, transaxle and electronics (inverter, etc.) as well as a front axle redesign. All this for $2K? I doubt it.

wtrask4 | February 13, 2012

I'm planning on buying a S & X, and would prefer both have AWD!

Robert.Boston | February 14, 2012

My guess is the AWD option is a minimum of $10k.

JackB | February 14, 2012

I'd love to have an AWD Model S, even if the "frunk" luggage space would have to be given up. Being a range junkie who travels frequently between the Sacramento area and Reno, there would be no need to chain up going over the Sierras, since vehicles with AWD are usually waived through the checkpoints. Ideally the AWD option would be part of a performance and air suspension package, since the front motor provides faster acceleration anyway. In snowy conditions you would just raise the shocks and keep on driving. While this feature may cannibalize some sales of the Model X, it would also boost sales of the Model S (the Model X stands on its own as a great people/luggage hauler with or without AWD). If the Roadster traction control system is any indication, Tesla's AWD should be a fantastic technology.


Crow | February 14, 2012

I would love AWD, but I can't wait. I want, I want!

mvbf | February 15, 2012

Just to give balance to Robert's 10k guess which has been repeated in many threads including my thread on cost projections, I will put out my guess which is 5k. See the above thread if you want my reasoning. Sorry to cross post, but its a lot to repeat.

mvbf | February 15, 2012

I have a reservation for the S and X. At this point I am inclined to wait and not purchase until/unless the model s gets AWD. If they started offering the AWD option in the S in the first round, which is doubtful, I think they would see a lot more initial reservations converted to purchases during this critical period and less people waiting or migrating to model x. especially if they were able to offer it in the 5k range.

Robert.Boston | February 15, 2012

Budget for $10k, hope for $5k. :-)

EdG | February 15, 2012

More options probably means more sales, not less. Does offering a white car eat into sales of the red?

I guess if I want delivery in months, not years, then I'll be seeing about snow tires and RWD. Still, if they've got the software for the rearview cameras while driving, can I have cameras wired into the outside mirrors with the X dashboard software to run them? I can wait a few months for the software installation.

ManuVince | February 15, 2012

I'm a big fan of Audi Quattros (A6, A4, I don't like SUVs, well the X is changing that, I'm digressing...), so no need to say that I would love an AWD version of the S. Can I wait for it to happen ?... Probably not. Then again I'm Europe, so I will have to wait until next year anyway, so who knows...

In terms of price, like Robert.Boston, I would plan for 10k and hope for 5k.

BYT | February 15, 2012

AWD is an option I never personally use, and why would Tesla want to cannibalize sales of the Model X to a AWD Model S? That doesn't make any business sense to me!

mvbf | February 15, 2012

@BYT "AWD is an option I never personally use, and why would Tesla want to cannibalize sales of the Model X to a AWD Model S? That doesn't make any business sense to me!"

Good sales of the model s are what create the healthy financial foundation for all the following models, quite the opposite of cannibalizing. The amount of R&D $ that went into developing the model s platform had to be pretty extreme for a very new car company. All future cars that use the same platform as the model s such as the x will have a much lower R&D cost and therefore will have a higher profit margin.

The sales of the model S will make or break the company. Every car that follows will be that much easier from a financial perspective. Tesla has done a nice job of creating an extremely attractive car from many perspectives with the model s so my money is on their success. Still they are definitely not out of the woods. They need to do everything they can to get past these early stages looking like the rock stars they deserve to be.

Robert.Boston | February 15, 2012

Does the Quattro A7 cannibalize the Quattro Q7? Some, perhaps, but the car market is so big that most incremental sales will be won against competing ICE vehicles.

The RWD aspect of the Model S was almost enough to tip me against the car; living where I do, icy roads are frequent (well, except this year), and it took some convincing for me to understand that Tesla's RWD will handle these conditions. I can well imagine, though, that there's a big chunk of the auto buying populace who has it drilled into their heads that AWD is what you need in ice and snow, and many of these buyers have no interest in a big SUV/crossover. In those markets, offering the Model S only with RWD will limit sales.

mvbf | February 15, 2012

"Budget for $10k, hope for $5k. :-)"

You mean budget for 5k or plan for RWD :-()

BYT | February 15, 2012

Would placing the electric motor in the front or under the "frunk" of the Model S be the solution for some then?

Robert.Boston | February 16, 2012

I'm sure that the AWD Model S will be built on exactly the same platform as the AWD Model X -- Tesla's strategy is to maximize commonality of parts between the two vehicles. The front motor and linkages will eat into the frunk. (The Model X prototype didn't have that channel at the back of the frunk, likely because of the placement of the front motor.)

Brian H | February 16, 2012

Speaking of the "frunk", in the UK they call a trunk a "boot". So that would make it a "froot"?

Alan S | February 21, 2012

Love the idea of an AWD model S, hope it will become a reality.

Vawlkus | February 22, 2012

I seriously doubt we'll see an AWD S until long after the X becomes established. I just don't see Tesla "robbing Peter to pay Paul" that way.

Volker.Berlin | February 22, 2012

Vawlkus, I simply don't know, but I think it is conceivable that Tesla doesn't care at all whether someone chooses a Model X or Model S, as long as s/he buys one of those instead of ICE competition, and becomes a satisfied Tesla customer.

ManuVince | February 22, 2012

I think assuming that people buy the X mostly because it is AWD is a bit wrong. Actual Model X sales in 2 years time will prove me right or wrong (we'll see the mix between RWD and AWD). I think the first thing most people look in the Model X is a good family hauler (and also the feeling of security it bring to "soccer moms").

For me AWD is attractive mostly because I own a house in the mountains, and have been stuck on my way up or sometimes in my stip drive way couple of time (yes even with proper winter tire). I don't want nor need a big family hauler, but would still like an AWD sedan. Tesla will not win me as X customer, but will miss on selling me a additional option and do some more margin.

Maybe that is a European thing, but in here the AWD sedan (Audi quattro) market is pretty good and falls right in the Model S market segment.

Now I just hope the good weight distribution and TC of the Model S will be good enough not to get stranded again on a snowy hill :-)

mvbf | February 23, 2012

ManuVince, one of the big differences between the US market and European market is that the US market does not have a fuel efficient AWD vehicle. We can not get an AWD diesel vehicle that is not meant to pull a 747. You Europeans have tons of AWD diesel options that get 40+ mpg. this has frustrated me to no end over many years - so sorry about the rant.

But as you say the weight distribution should help a lot. This has been discussed in other threads more. The RWD roadster for example does very well in snow and ice and can even go up hills on the stuff. From what I have heard from other members, they plan to supply the Canadian market with winter tires. Hopefully this means the US and European markets will get them too.

gagliardilou | February 25, 2012

Know I'm really reaching on this one but it would be HUGE if they included AWD in the signature! How would that silence all those that feel they should receive extra for plunking down their 40K!

perbakken | February 25, 2012
wtrask4 | February 25, 2012

AWD a surprise for the launch !

That would be fantastic!

brianman | February 25, 2012

In case Tesla's listening...

If you offer it as an last-minute option on the Signature, I'd likely have *no* problem paying $5k (and maybe $10K) extra for it.

Mycroft | February 25, 2012

Here we go, another saddle leather thread.

olanmills | February 25, 2012

I would have a problem paying and extra $5 - 10k for it, but I would make it work somehow. That's because I'm seriously worried that I won't be able to drive in the ice this year, or at least, I'll have to avoid hills, which means I'll be stuck in a small area of my city, lol.

Anyways brian, if it's not something they've already planned, don't hold your breath. I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see it in a future year model, but adding the option now at the last minute is not very realistic.

gagliardilou | February 26, 2012

I feel they have time to add it but believe they will not BUUUUT they should!!! I would way prefer it to be free for sig but would pay 5K- 10K not so sure. The additional pain I would feel paying 10K added to the original pain of paying for a sig might just be too unbearable!:)

Sudre_ | February 26, 2012

I would think they would have to re-crash test the vehicle with this engine added in front.

gagliardilou | February 26, 2012

Good point Sudre_

brianman | February 27, 2012

Heh, there's not a prayer they'll consider it for 1.0 but that's not going to stop me from baiting them with cash. :P

ADVOCATORY | February 2, 2013

TM’s product roll out to me seems appropriately aggressive – they have the necessary capacity in their SOCAL plant to deliver a multitude of models to meet all the premium market expectations and to expertly produce more middle market products. In terms of
AWD Premium models I feel this market is already well defined. Just look at the models that have already been well received in terms of sedans and SUVS offered by Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and the many premium Japanese & domestic models.

Most have migrated away from the various traction control iterations in favor of, a full or partial AWD technology. Which would be of particular interest, I would think, in an instant full torque drive-train, combined with ever so wide, tire contact patches.

Points being, I believe there will be successful markets for TM, in delivering products in both premium and mid-market sedans and SUVs, if they can offer them to the buying public within the already established market-prices for AWD systems, over RWD or FWD price premiums.

I personally am very pleased to see some Models S’s already delivered in my area!

For now, I will wait for more Supercharger roll-outs on the East-Cast before telling my community to go all in .. . and there I can help TM if they need….


nickjhowe | February 2, 2013

@ADVOCATORY. A few points:
the factory is in Northern California (Fremont), not SOCAL.
AWD cars still rely heavily on traction control.
AWD cars are generally more costly than RWD or FWD (in the case of TM it needs two motors not one), and not everyone needs AWD.

mikhaila | March 11, 2013

I have never seen anyone cross-shopping SUV against sedan. So X and AWD S cater to different people. Liiok at BMW - long standing "RWD" is enough now is offering AWD in all models. Apparently enough people don't actually want X5

FLsportscarenth... | March 12, 2013

More options - more happy customers getting what they want....

Hopefully they will offer AWD on S for 2014....

Me, I want a convertible variant...

cloroxbb | March 12, 2013

It would be awesome if, by the time I am in the market to PURCHASE the Model S, that they will offer an AWD option.

I doubt it will happen anytime soon, but I can dream :)

torst1 | March 13, 2013

Now would actually be the perfect point to market an AWD Tesla S.
Model X will be delayed until 2015. A new S AWD would for sure give lots of press, publicity and guarantee that many would put down a sign on fee. I am even sure people gladly would put down twice as what Tesla gets for the S.

I do not by into the cannibalism theory that an AWD S would eat away the market for Tesla X. Those are 2 completely different cars. Look at Porsche. Sure the Cayenne was great, but they still launched Panarama. Because those models targets different buyers. Just like an AWD S would not steal customers away from the model X.

I hope that someone hi up in Tesla will give this a closer look. If they already know what to do with the front axel part for the X maybe they can hook that up on the S - after all the platform and the rest of the car is there already. Just waiting for that second engine.

I would gladly put down 20K right now if that would get me an AWD S.
And I would gladly pay 10-15 % more then a standard S. Should be a no brainer.
Give us an AWD S - and do it now.

CarlE_P439 | March 14, 2013

My only initial reservation about the Model S was it's being a RWD car since I live in Connecticut. However, since owning one for 3 months now, I can tell you that it is NOT a problem. Handles as well as my old car (FWD). I assume the equal weight distribution of the Model S is the key (no heavy engine in the front). I am not so sure about the range that an AWD vehicle can achieve (2 motors to power).