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Summary
  • Dual-motor Teslas have a motor at both the front and the rear axle, and all Teslas are available with this variant.
  • When compared to single-motor Teslas, dual-motor Teslas have greater AWD capability, drive farther on a single charge, and accelerate faster.

You might have noticed that some Teslas like the Model S and Model 3 feature dual motors. A dual-motor Tesla simply means that it’s equipped with two motors instead of one. However, what does this extra motor offer in terms of performance? Do you really need a dual-motor Tesla? We’ll dive deep into the benefits and drawbacks of a dual-motor design in this article.

What Do Dual Motor Teslas Offer?

On a dual-motor Tesla, there is a motor at both the front and the rear axle. All Tesla models are available with a dual-motor variant. The Model S has dual motors as standard, and you have the choice of getting a three-motor variant, which has two motors in the rear and one at the front. If you get the dual-motor variant, the additional motor is attached to the front axle, allowing it to have all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD systems have the ability to send power to certain wheels, which allows AWD vehicles to have better grip, faster acceleration, and better traction in slippery road conditions.

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tesla model 3 and model s
Both the Tesla Model 3 and Model S have variants that are equipped with dual motors.

AWD systems in traditional vehicles typically send power to certain wheels by mechanically distributing rotational force from the internal combustion engine. The AWD systems in dual-motor Teslas are purely electric, so they optimize traction better because they are able to send power to certain wheels within milliseconds.

Aside from offering all-wheel drive, a dual-motor configuration allows the vehicle to have better acceleration, top speed, and range. Electric vehicles are generally known to accelerate fast because lectric motors can produce a lot of torque instantaneously. Variants like the Tesla Model S Plaid, which has a three-motor model and AWD, can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in two seconds.

Comparing Dual-Motor vs. Single-Motor Teslas

Aside from the number of motors, dual and single motor Teslas actually have a surprising amount of differences in terms of how they drive.

When it comes to cold climates and snowy weather, the AWD capability is a great plus. You can drive up hills more confidently knowing your tires won’t slip because dual-motor models have AWD. In terms of handling and vehicle balance in normal road conditions, AWD is also great. Tesla’s dual motors allow their vehicles to accelerate out of corners quickly without much wheel slip.

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tesla model s on the road
Aside from offering all-wheel drive, a dual-motor configuration allows the vehicle to have better acceleration, top speed, and range.

In terms of range, you might think a dual-motor variant will be less efficient since it’s using two motors instead of one. However, Tesla has compensated for the increased power draw by adding a larger battery in the dual motor variants. As a result, they offer slightly more range.

The dual motor Tesla variants also trump the single motor variants in terms of acceleration. For example, the dual-motor variant of the Model 3 is able to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in just 4.2 seconds. It beats the single motor variant by more than a second. To put the dual-motor Tesla’s performance into perspective, some supercars like the Audi R8, Aston Martin Vanquish, and Lamborghini Gallardo have pretty similar 0 to 60 times.

If you’re interested in looking for an electric vehicle that’s able to accelerate as fast as a supercar at a fraction of the price, then the dual motor variant packs the most value. To top it all off, the extra money you pay to get the dual-motor variant will also get you the full premium interior.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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