Tesla’s Model S May Soon Run on All Fours

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As the adage says, “Good things come to those who wait.” That may certainly be true for those who have been holding off on purchasing a new Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S, which could potentially see the addition of all-wheel drive come next year.

Currently, the Model X — Tesla’s upcoming crossover vehicle, slated for production in 2014 — is the only car that is definitely going to possess all-wheel drive, though that could potentially change if a similar system finds its way into the Model S. Though the Model S is only available in a rear-wheel drive format, that layout can be less than helpful in more severe climate conditions.

“Notably, comments by Elon Musk made during Tesla’s June shareholder meeting point to an all-wheel drive chassis hitting the market in the 2014-2015 time frame,” The Verge reports. ”Musk mentions the chassis separately from the Model X, suggesting that it could find its way into other vehicles.”

Buyers can expect an AWD-outfitted Model S to run a healthy premium on what is already an expensive car. However, the vehicle would offer better performance and, perhaps more importantly, better traction.

Tesla Model X

But Domenick Yoney from AutoblogGreen said, “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.”

While an AWD system is coming to Tesla at some point — whether in the Model X or S — Tesla’s chassis options will likely become more accessible through the increasing model range at the company. An advantage of sliding the new chassis into a Model S before its implementation in the Model X will give the company an idea of how it functions before a launch in an entirely new vehicle.

So, how would an AWD system in an electric vehicle work? According to Tesla’s website, a second motor is mounted on the front axle. “The second motor enables more than all-weather, all-road capabilities: it increases torque by 50 percent,” the car maker says. “When outfitted with AWD, Model X Performance accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, outperforming the fastest SUVs and many sports cars.”

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