2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S headlight

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side marker

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S door handle

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S brake light

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S taillight

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front cargo area

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear cargo area

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear seats

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S dash

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S emergency button

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S center arm rest

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S VIN display

The Model X sport utility vehicle may not be the first all-wheel-drive Tesla to hit the market. According to The Verge, Tesla is working on an AWD version of its Model S sedan. Currently, the Model S is only available with rear-wheel drive, but sources in the know at Tesla reportedly have said that an AWD version could be released as early as 2014, which is the same year the SUV is expected to be launch.

There was no hint in yesterday's conference call or shareholder letter that an AWD Model S is in the mix. Furthermore, the company's attention currently is focused in other places, such as Europe, Japan and China. But, as The Verge points out, CEO Elon Musk made comments in the 2013 annual shareholder meeting on June 4 about an AWD chassis that would be released in 2014 or 2015 – without the context of the Model X. We have to wonder: were the SUV's drivetrain and chassis also developed with other vehicles in mind?

Our own Domenick Yoney from AutoblogGreen adds another peculiar twist to the Tesla story: "When I spoke to Dorian West, Director of Powertrain Hardware Engineering, at Refuel, I was given the strong impression that I shouldn't expect anything [on the AWD front from Tesla] until after the Model X comes out."


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 81 Comments
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Musk listens to feedback and changes is mind. He did so with the financing program, remember? And he made a quick about-face and paid off the government loan soon after saying he had no immediate plans to do so. Therefore, it's futile to predict the company's next move based on what Musk did or didn't say in an interview.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Robert Fahey
        There are predictable firm promises and you are correct that there are flexible promises. AWD is a firm, will happen, promise from Elon and the company. They announced the Model X with it. Since the Model S and the Model X use the exact same platform then why not have an AWD Model S? People said it would happen on the Tesla forums on the same day they announced the Model X.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          There is no engineering reason why they couldn't produce an AWD Model S at the same time as they introduce the AWD Model X. But I bet you they won't do it. It's all marketing - first get the review in on the AWD Model X, then 6 months to a year later announce that "all the great features of the AWD Model X are now available on the Model S" for the next sales spike. Heck, even throw in a "we've listened to our customers who are demanding the great AWD capabilities of the Model X but in a sedan". (Even though it's obvious that with the "skateboard" design there is little difference between making an AWD Model X and AWD Model S).
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          I agree that it won't be at the same time. But probably within 3 months of X production. 6 months at the latest.
      AddLightness
      • 2 Years Ago
      "We have to wonder: were the SUV's drivetrain and chassis also developed with other vehicles in mind?" Musk has already said in the past that the Model S was designed for the future addition of AWD, but would not specify when it would be offered. It only makes sense that the AWD powertrain would be designed for the Model S, Model X, and future models moving forward.
      Mxpress
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good: I want one!… Bad: stupid mexican government adds almost 50% to final price because of taxes. Tesla please make a 7 year contract and Im in… Ha
      Mr Sled
      • 2 Years Ago
      All I know is that I want one.
      knightrider_6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't wait to test drive one
      stumpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes Please
      tankd0g
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why? Is anyone really going to try to drive this thing in the snow?
        mason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tankd0g
        they've done testing in cold weather already. whats the problem? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0sflIrq_UM
          GuyClinch
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mason
          What's the problem? Batteries produce a lot less power in the cold. And you have to heat your car in cold weather with battery power. So that further reduces your range. its a terrible snow car no matter what you do..
        Michael R. Rose
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tankd0g
        A few... "Norway to act as flagship for Tesla sales in Europe" http://gigaom.com/2013/08/07/norway-to-act-as-flagship-for-tesla-sales-in-europe/
        m_2012
        • 2 Years Ago
        @tankd0g
        Many people DO drive them in the snow. They actually handle very in the snow and AWD would just make it better.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've never quite understood the obsession of all wheel drive. Why should I care if a car is front, rear, or all wheel drive? They all work fine for me.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        You've never seen a Subaru rally car sticking to the road like it was on rails during very hard cornering?
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I used to have a much higher opinion of you Spec. But as of lately you seem to just be posting the most troll-tastic posts ever. I know you are smart enough to realize that there are advantages and disadvantages for AWD, FWD, and RWD, even if you personally don't care. You are a smart guy that pays attention. I'm absolutely certain you can list of a dozen pro's and con's for the different drivetrains, even if they don't matter to you personally.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        [blocked]
        Sten
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Flatlander :-) Not all of the world is a flat as Minnesota. Try driving in the Sierra Mountains that are in the same state that dominates Tesla sales. We get a lot more snow than MN, and we have a lot more vertical. The rest of the NW and NE US also get a lot of snow and also have more mountains, as does much of Europe. 4WD and snow tires are required in the Sierras if you want to avoid getting out of your car during a snowstorm to put chains on while cars with 4WD are zooming past you. In almost all cases, cars with 4WD and snow tires are exempt from the chain requirement. I agree that in most cases you could get by with the well designed weight balance of a Model S in most winter places with snow tires (including the Sierras). But most people don't want to just get by, they want to be safe. And to be safe in the Sierras you need 4wd.
          Sten
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sten
          R2 chain requirements are what we see the most often in the Sierras: R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles under 6,500 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on all four wheels. Chains for one set of drive wheels must be carried by four wheel-drive vehicles using snow tires. Stacey, I do agree studless snows are far superior to studs or M&S tires. If all you have seen is R1 then either you have not spent much time driving in the Sierras when it is snowing, or the person checking your car thought your car had 4wd. Its the law.
          StaceyS
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sten
          4WD OR snow tires. I've never been required to put on chains in my Jetta TDI (FWD) equipped with snow tires (Studless) anywhere in the Sierras or Cascades. And before my Jetta, I was never required to put chains on my Volvo 740 wagon (RWD), also equipped with studless snow tires. Whenever I've done a long distance winter trips (usually Bend, OR to Truckee, CA), its 4WDs and AWDs I see spun out on the shoulders. So far, I've never gotten stuck, or even had issues driving 2wd in the Sierras or Cascades. I think 4 and AWD give drivers a false sense of confidence. Most people I know who get a 4WD or AWD think they're invincible, but they drive around all year with crappy all-season tires on. My Jetta with studless snow tires is easily able to out accelerate my dad's Volvo XC70 on his all-seasons, and I'm able to stop much, much faster. After all, my cars have 4WB (4 wheel brakes), just like every other car out there. My snow tires are mounted on rims, it takes me a grand total of 20 minutes to put them on. I usually swap tires in the fall when I do a weekend long wash, wax and detailing of the car. Same happens in the spring. I get better fuel economy year round and a less expensive, less complicated and less heavy vehicle. And using studless snow tires won't tear up the roads or make the ride harsh and loud like studded snow tires do. I feel perfectly safe and capable with 2wd.
          StaceyS
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sten
          Sten, what I've found is that there is a narrow window between R2 and closing the road. I don't live in the Sierras, I live in the Cascades, but go to/through the Sierras a couple times a winter, and have done so for many years (parents have a place in Truckee). I have a set of chains, and I have yet to use them in the 10 years I've owned them. The set I had before these I used frequently before I got snow tires.
        jcar302
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Is this a serious comment? I find it hard to believe that someone that reads and takes the time to post on a site named "autoblog" doesn't care if his/her car is front, rear or awd.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @jcar302
          [blocked]
        JustinJQ
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Snow.
          Greg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JustinJQ
          Just remember AWD helps you go, but it doesn't do squat to help you stop, which is often much more important.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JustinJQ
          I grew up in Minnesota. I drove front wheel drive and rear wheel drive cars in plenty of snow with no problem. I guess people just don't know how to drive and require more and more baby-sitting these days.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JustinJQ
          http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/december/cars/winter-driving/overview/index.htm The extra traction of 4WD or AWD would be great for really serious work in the snow, but if you don't drive a rescue vehicle or something most should be able to get by without, I would have thought.
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        If you're the type that doesn't care about performance, viewing your car as simply an appliance to get you from point A to point B, then no, it doesn't matter.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Driving a car on a racetrack is a great fun day out. I have no desire to emulate it on public roads though, and dislike sharing them with those who seek to do so.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          If you watch your speed your ESC should keep your wheels under perfectly adequate control. To be clear, AWD or 4WD is better in the snow, and allows you to tackle steeper slopes etc. You should be perfectly safe although not able to take on such difficult terrain in any car with ESC though.
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        For all the 'enthusiasts' out there--remember, the vast majority of drivers do not care about FWD/RWD/AWD. Some do want AWD because they think they need it to drive in snow or dirt or in puddles on their way to the store. The vast majority don't know the difference in handling associated with each. (And it often seems the majority of 'enthusiasts' don't know that FWD is actually the better option for the way most people drive.)
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      In this case ,going to AWD doesn't mean a complicated, heavy and space robbing drivetrain. Small electric motors at each corner, delivering natural, all around limited slip. It could work very well, and be efficient.
        thomas
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lasertekk
        no it doesn't but 4 wheel electric drives could give you torque vectoring...if that is going to be a feature; a lot of engineering will have to be done..
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @thomas
          Lots of electrical and electronic engineering... but really no mechanical
        Sean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lasertekk
        More likely an electric motor in each axle.
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jesus Christ, they are really going to sell a crap ton of these now. If he can pull off a 500 mile range battery and get the price down by $20,000 in the future, it will be unstoppable.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why not... one or two motors for each side, with electronic torque vectoring as Mercedes uses. That's the future of how high performance electric cars are going to be designed. Quite awesome, isn't it? usually you pay a large fuel economy/power penalty when you go AWD... this won't be the case with electric power.
      rickkop95
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who cares!!! Most of us, myself included, will never be able to afford one.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rickkop95
        Do you post this same comment on every article that's talks about a Merc, Jag, BMW, Lambo, or Ferrari?
          J.R
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          That is not true, eventually you could get a used one for a very reasonable price say ten years from now, pay 10000 for a new battery and you have a new car in theory.
        Bernard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rickkop95
        It's not that expensive. Once you account for the lower level of maintenance, the lack of a need for oil changes, the lack of a transmission, the lack of a need for gas, the fact that super charger stations are free, the reduced depreciation rate, and the fact that it should last at least 2x as long as a gas car, it's very affordable. If you look at the total cost of ownership a Model S is not that expensive. I could sell my G coupe and get one.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rickkop95
        If you don't care so much, why even bother posting? Why do you think anyone else cares that you don't care? troll away little troll. Here is a social media website more to your liking: https://www.facebook.com/mylittlepony
    • Load More Comments