Are Teslas AWD? (Solved & Answered)

Tesla all wheel drive

Tesla’s cars are known for their sleek and futuristic styling, but they’re also known for all-wheel drive. But what exactly does this mean? How widespread is it? And should you consider it when you’re looking to buy a Tesla? In this article, I’ll be talking about AWD in Tesla vehicles so read on and enjoy.

In short, on newer Tesla models, only Model S, Model X, and Model 3 Long-range come with AWD as standard, in other models like Model Y and Base Model 3 AWD is an option and can be purchased at an extra cost.

What is AWD (All-wheel-drive)?

All-wheel drive or AWD is a type of vehicle drivetrain layout that distributes torque to all wheels and allows all wheels to have traction. This improves the average performance of a car’s traction and grip, even in extreme weather conditions.

All-wheel drive is the opposite of rear-wheel drive, where power and torque are sent to the rear wheels, and front-wheel drive where the torque is sent to the front wheels.

Are Teslas AWD?

As of the writing of this article, the only Tesla models that come with all-wheel drive are the Model S, Model X and Long Range Model 3. However, if one were to look up the specs for model y and base model 3, they would see that it says “AWD available as an option.”

The same goes for Tesla’s older vehicles which still have a relatively low supply on the market. For example, I’ve seen several first-generation models’ with all-wheel drive. For any Tesla model not named above, one will have to purchase an all-wheel-drive as an option.

Are Tesla Model 3 AWD to RWD?

Tesla Model 3 comes with both AWD and RWD. The default configuration is rear-wheel drive (RWD) but the all-wheel-drive version (AWD) can be ordered as an option. Except for the latest Model 3 Long-range pack which comes with AWD as standard

How Does the Tesla All-wheel-drive (AWD) System Work?

Tesla’s all-electric powertrain delivers unparalleled performance in all weather conditions – with Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, adaptive air suspension, and ludicrous acceleration.

Since Tesla is an EV, the all-wheel-drive works differently. Instead of using a driveshaft to send power to the rear wheels, one motor is placed at the top of the front axle to send power to the front wheels and then the second electric motor is mounted above the rear axle to send power to the rear wheels.

The system constantly monitors performance and traction, and it can send up to 100% of available torque to either axle. This helps Tesla achieve better handling characteristics in a variety of weather conditions.

Is Tesla AWD Good in the Snow?

Tesla AWD thrives in the snow. It is safe to say that Tesla AWD is amongst the best in the snow. The battery pack, motor, and electronics are located in the base of the car, providing great weight distribution and stability, making it much less likely to get stuck or spin out.

Even if you get stuck, there’s enough torque to pull you out. AWD is amazing in the snow because it provides traction or driving force to all four wheels of the vehicle instead of just two. It helps in acceleration by providing power to all four wheels simultaneously, which improves traction and prevents tires from spinning out when accelerating on a slippery surface.

It’s also helpful when climbing up a hill since each wheel has its own set of gears that can be adjusted according to need.

Tesla All-Wheel-Drive Pros and Cons


  1. Better Traction: The biggest advantage of Tesla’s all-wheel-drive system is that it keeps the tires gripping the road in slippery conditions. Without it, you’d be getting about half as much traction with your rear wheels as you would with your front wheels under normal circumstances. If you don’t have enough grip with your rear tires in the first place, all-wheel drive will give you even more grip than a traditional two-wheel-drive vehicle would in such conditions.
  2. Faster Acceleration: The power of an electric motor is delivered instantly to the wheels, so the all-wheel-drive can help accelerate your car faster than a two-wheel-drive car (though not quite as quickly as a single-motor four-wheel-drive vehicle). The Model S also has a larger battery pack that allows it to accelerate faster than its two-wheel-drive counterpart.
  3. Better Handling: In addition to making the car easier to drive in bad weather, the all-wheel-drive also improves performance in dry and wet conditions by giving the whole car more grip. A lot of people who buy cars with all-wheel drive say they do so because they want better handling for challenging Surfaces


  1. Added weight: Adding two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear of the vehicle, adds about some pounds to the car’s weight. The added weight will increase the energy required to power the vehicle, but it will also improve traction on ice or snow.
  2. Increased cost: The price of a Tesla with an all-wheel drive is more expensive than one with a rear-wheel-drive only


Jimmy Mitchell is an electric vehicle aficionado who has been following the space since Tesla first hit the scene. A longtime proponent of sustainable transportation, Jimmy was one of the first to buy a Tesla 3 as soon as it came out. He loves nothing more than helping others learn about and enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles. When he's not evangelizing about EVs, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family and travelling throughout south east asia

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