How Tesla’s Model S & X Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive Works

Several Tesla models, including the yet-to-be released Cybertruck, offer a Tri Motor All-Wheel Drive powertrain option. Choosing this platform often provides the most horsepower and top speeds for respective models, though they inevitably come with a significantly higher cost. For some, the bump in performance alone will be worth the expensive price tag. For others, it might be helpful to know how this high-powered drivetrain actually works.

Since its founding in 200, Tesla has gone on to become one of the leading electric vehicle manufacturers in the world. Under the leadership of Elon Musk, Tesla has just had its most successful stretch, with its share price increasing exponentially over the past year. With vehicles ranging from the Model Y – an all-wheel drive vehicle capable of carrying seven passengers – to the incredibly fast Model S, Tesla has built a lineup of electric cars that meet the needs of a wide range of today’s consumers.

Of that lineup, vehicles like the Model S, X (and eventually the Cybetruck) offer Tri Motor all-wheel drive variations. The platform features three independent motors with carbon-sleeved rotors that, Tesla says, allows the vehicle to “maintain peak power output all the way to top speed.” As a result, a Tri Motor Model S can do 0-60 MPH in 1.99 seconds. Considering it takes 3.1 seconds for a Dual Motor Model S to travel the same distance, the Tri Motor platform represents a massive increase in power.

Typically, moving from a Dual Motor to a Tri Motor Tesla is an expensive endeavor. A Tri Motor Model S starts at $112,990 compared to a $72,990 Dual Motor Model S, and ordering a Tri Motor Cybertruck will cost $69,900 as opposed to $49,900 for the Dual Motor edition. For such staggering hikes in price, the Tri Motor platform would need far better performance specifications in order for most people to justify the added cost.

For the most part, the Tri Motor platform does exactly that. A Dual Motor Cybertruck is rated for a range of 300+ miles, 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, and 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds. When switching to the Tri Motor setup, those numbers improve to 500+ miles, 14,000 pounds, and 2.9 seconds. In terms of the Model X, the Dual Motor edition is rated for a range of 360+ miles, 670 horsepower, and the ability to travel 0-60 MPH in 3.8 seconds. The Tri Motor, meanwhile, is capable of 1,020 horsepower and a 2.5-second 0-60 MPH. However, the more powerful edition does come at the expense of a slightly less impressive range of 340 miles.

There’s no other way to say it – the difference in price between a Dual Motor and Tri Motor Tesla is big. For those already committed to investing in the technology and the the Tesla community, it may be worth it to get the best platform Tesla offers. After all, there’s certain conveniences that come with being able to drive a futuristic car like a Tesla faster and farther. In the case of Tesla’s Cybertruck, which adds both towing power and range thanks to the Tri Motor platform, it’s almost a necessary upgrade for anyone looking to make the most of what looks to be a game-changing truck.

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