Tesla owners from around the world have managed to help the company brand its Model S and Model X vehicle as having world-class performance, both for its supercar-destroying acceleration as well as for its winter handling capabilities.
The current versions of Tesla’s flagship vehicles control power to all four wheels through dual independently operated electric motors, providing unparalleled traction in even the worst of winter conditions. Short of driving your Tesla through a snow-covered off-road track with deep, muddy ruts, Model S and Model X’s all-wheel drive system will largely handle snowy conditions with relative ease. But, how does Tesla’s newest Model 3 compact sedan with rear-wheel drive fare on winter roadways, let alone on factory tires? Surprisingly well.
Tesla owners Zac and Jesse demonstrated Model 3’s winter handling capabilities in their latest video on the Now You Know YouTube channel. The show hosts drive through an active winter snow storm in a Model 3 that’s equipped with factory all-season tires, and at one point even activate the vehicle’s Autopilot system. Despite having only a single motor and rear-wheel drive – Tesla will be producing a dual motor Model 3 with all-wheel drive around mid-2018 – the vehicle navigates the snowy roadway without encountering any difficult.
Zac and Jesse then take the Model 3 to an empty, snow-covered parking lot to test the vehicle’s traction control capabilities. Despite several attempts to initiate full power and spin the Model 3, the vehicle’s traction control system consistently limited power, and prevented the vehicle from unnecessarily spinning the tires on the slippery surface. Tesla’s traction control system constantly monitors the speed of the front and rear wheels, and minimizes wheel spin by controlling brake pressure and motor power.
A slow-motion capture of Model 3’s rear wheels reveal a delicate dance of power limiting and power transfer to the ground, thereby allowing the driver to maintain control of the vehicle at all times. It wasn’t until the Model 3 was placed into Slip Start mode that the vehicle began to show any signs of sliding, when purposely pushed to the limits in an attempt to drift the vehicle.