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Elon Musk Talks Tesla Motors and All-Electric All-Wheel Drive

Tesla Motors will Produce AWD Version of Tesla Model S
Tesla Motors will Produce AWD Version of Tesla Model S

At a recent town-hall style meeting held by CEO Elon Musk in Amsterdam, we learned a little more about Tesla Motors‘ approach to all-wheel drive.

Theres already plenty that we know about the Tesla Model X, starting delivery by 2015. Powered by the same 60 kWh or 85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack as the Tesla Model S, the Tesla Model X will have, instead, two electric motors. Both front and rear axles will get an electric motor, for all-wheel drive (AWD) performance and safety. The Model X, according to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, will only come in all-wheel drive. Production is expected to start sometime this year.

What’s really interesting is that, once Tesla Motors starts production of the Model X’s AWD platform, the Tesla Model S will also come with an AWD option. We already know that the Tesla Model S is a great performer in the snow, granted by its far-more-sensitive electronic traction control system (ETC). What will happen when we equip it with AWD andETC? We already know how great AWD sports cars are, as well as safe in poor road conditions. My only hope for a Tesla Model S P85+ AWD, if such a thing will exist, is that Tesla Motors won’t downgrade the power in the electric motors too much.

Image © Tesla Club Belgium (screenshot)

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  1. Master_Synaps in-wheel motors would add a lot of unsprung weight, affecting handling. the model s uses a single motor with an open differential, using electro-hydraulic braking to effect some semblance of traction and stability control. the model x is expected to have two electric motors, front and rear, with open differentials, and similar brake-system traction control. i think it would be nice if the model x came with electronically-locking differentials, however.

  2. Why don’t they go all the way and  have one motor per wheel. Cuts out all gearing, can be run with controls that adjust power etc to individual wheels both in drive
    and breaking. The motors would be smaller, and manufacturing volumes greater. Ideally for simplification, wheel hub motors would be ideal but too heavy for
    good suspension performance, but inboard with shafts same as independent rear etc. Easy simple highly controllable


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