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The best traction car I ever had was a VW beetle in college. (skinny tires). Getting up Onondaga hill in Syracuse in the winter was no problem.
My brother and I (probably 40 years ago) got our VW beetle out in the middle of a large parking lot covered in black ice. We couldn't get out because the RWD and engine weight in the rear, the car would just swap ends. We got out by driving backwards.
 

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The Tesla 3 just isn't even useful to me, personally. I was a VW TDI nut in a previous life and all I could find at the time was the Jetta, but I really wanted the Golf. I ended up using my truck so much more because of that one problem! I even had a trailer hitch and a little 4x8 trailer for the Jetta, but the truck won for last minute trips to pick up larger items time, after time, after time. Eventually we got the Prius and he problem was alleviated, but then I was driving a relative slug to haul stuff with and to use on vacations while my nicely modded TDI sat lonely and idle in the driveway. A hatchback is just the most useful all-around vehicle configuration for people that do stuff. I couldn't make the sedan mistake again.

With regular long-ish trips to the state parks/lakes and forests camping or renting cabins with friends, I also needed something that had back seats that worked as well as the Prius, and the Bolt does that duty really well. I don't like the look of the seating position in the back of the 3 for those kind of trips. Our friends are quite comfortable in the rear of the Bolt, it's at least as nice to ride back there as the Prius was, which itself was a great people hauler. That was another area the Jetta sedan fell flat on its face, the rear seats (by comparison). Sedans rear seating often sucks compared to these 4 door hatch models for 4 full sized adults, and the 3 looks no different in that regard.

Plus, for the price I'd be comparing the Tesla base Model 3 to the Bolt Premium for out the door pricing. There is no alluring tech differential that mattered to me between the two cars at that level. The supercharging network would be a marginal benefit for us on really long trips, but the longer trips we do in a full sized, full height camping van that is more comfortable to travel long distance in than any other vehicle on the road, period. A full service kitchen, bathroom, bed, it's better than the best first class airline accommodations for passengers. Now get me a fully automated EV/PHEV Ford Transit and we can talk... :)

It's all very use-case dependent!
 

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I agree that AWD would be great, but why would RWD be better than FWD?
As a Canadian Bolt owner, I also wonder about the practicalities of RWD in the snow and ice (which is many months of the year here). An AWD option would be terrific, but when choosing between two versions of 2-wheel drive, I definitely prefer FWD.
 

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First, there is a significant difference in 0-60 performance. The best rating I have seen for the Bolt is 6.5sec. The M3 is rated at 5.6 sec for the small battery and 5.1sec for the larger battery. That is a significant difference in performance for either battery version. Acceleration and range are two important factors in performance. If that weren't the case, no one would pay for a V8 over a V6 or 4 cylinder ICE vehicle. Six hundred HP cars would not sell for more because no one would want them.

Rear wheel drive is better for a couple of reasons. First, when you have a lot of torque like and electric motor provides you need to be able to get that power to the pavement in a controlled fashion or it is wasted. The induced torque steer is substantial in the Bolt. As a result of the high torque and tires that are not sticky you get wheel spin. The software tries to compensate for the wheel spin by applying braking to the spinning tire which then causes the torque to shift to the other wheel, this back and forth between to two front steering wheels creates an extreme squirrelly feel that could lead to loss of control as the driver tries to compensate first in one direction and then the other. Ultimately, it also impacts the performance because the power is not being efficiently transmitted to the wheels and road. If you want to compare, try this experiment. Get in a rear wheel drive vehicle, take your hands off the wheel and floor it from a dead stop with the wheels point straight ahead. It will shoot off down the road in a straight line in most cases (not having one wheel sitting on a slippery surface). Try that in a Bolt. It will scare the crap out of you. I haven't had the guts to try it as it can be scary enough with my hands on the wheel as I feel it trying to control the torque steer.

Where does one start.... I am pretty sure the Bolt is NOT a sports car. Just a fast crossover. If I wanted a sports car I would buy a Camaro SS or something like that. I have has rear wheel drive mustangs and lexus' all my 40 years of driving. I took racing school and got my race licence in the 80s. If you take stability control systems and traction control from both front wheel drive vehicles can outperform RWD vehicles in many situations. In the 80s I also remember how many people wrapped rwd mustangs into poles trees etc, even i spun them around a few times, wheras I learned in racing school on can almost be 90 degrees to the direction of travel and you can recover your fwd vehicle. Just steer into the skid and floor it.

The Bolt being my first FWD car and quite zippy, and grippy with Michelin X-Ice3 on it. I dont even notice any torque steer anymore. And I love to floor it! :)
 

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Where does one start.... I am pretty sure the Bolt is NOT a sports car. Just a fast crossover. If I wanted a sports car I would buy a Camaro SS or something like that. I have has rear wheel drive mustangs and lexus' all my 40 years of driving. I took racing school and got my race licence in the 80s. If you take stability control systems and traction control from both front wheel drive vehicles can outperform RWD vehicles in many situations. In the 80s I also remember how many people wrapped rwd mustangs into poles trees etc, even i spun them around a few times, wheras I learned in racing school on can almost be 90 degrees to the direction of travel and you can recover your fwd vehicle. Just steer into the skid and floor it.

The Bolt being my first FWD car and quite zippy, and grippy with Michelin X-Ice3 on it. I dont even notice any torque steer anymore. And I love to floor it! :)
We have quite a few member here that own both Tesla's and a Bolt and I don't think you will find any saying the Bolt performance is comparable to their Tesla's. I'm not sure what tires you are using but they don't sound like the stock tires that came with the vehicle. If you are willing to sacrifice some range and not having a self-sealing tire, there is little doubt in my mind that you can get better performance from the car by using higher performance software compound tires. However, in my own case, I don't like the idea of buying a new car only to turn around and buy new tires before I have worn out the ones that came with it. I have owned Porsche's and been to their racing school at Sebring and fully understand the difference in dynamics between oversteer and understeer; however, at my age now I would prefer not to have to employ those skills and fortunately most cars today will tend to understeer rather than oversteer.
 

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The best traction car I ever had was a VW beetle in college.
Beetles were legendary vehicles in the snow. I remember the
that said "Have you ever wondered how the snow plow driver gets to the snow plow?"

But in that era it was competing against a bunch of rear-wheel drive cars with engines in the front. Most of the beetle's advantage was because its engine weight was directly over the drive wheels, unlike the other cars.

I've driven front wheel drive cars with front engines ever since the 1970's, and I've never had any problems with them in the snow. I've always found them to be extremely effective because the weight is over the drive wheels and they pull you in the direction that they're pointing (rather than just turning into plows being pushed forward by the rear wheels).
 

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The best traction car I ever had was a VW beetle in college.
Beetles were legendary vehicles in the snow. I remember the VW ad that said "Have you ever wondered how the snow plow driver gets to the snow plow?"


But in that era it was competing against a bunch of rear-wheel drive cars with engines in the front. Most of the beetle's advantage was because its engine weight was directly over the drive wheels, unlike the other cars.

I've driven front wheel drive cars with front engines ever since the 1970's, and I've never had any problems with them in the snow. I've always found them to be extremely effective because the weight is over the drive wheels and they pull you in the direction that they're pointing (rather than just turning into plows being pushed forward by the rear wheels).
 

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"Beetles were legendary vehicles in the snow."

It was just that, a legend, started by VW marketing people turning lemons into lemonade. The beetle was a pretty crappy car. It was fun, for American kids raised on wallowing barges, with huge engines, lousy brakes, and farm wagon suspension. But it was far from the best the rest of the world had to offer.
 

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Tesla is an untrustworthy company

Claims about how good the Tesla Model 3 is are rather illogical. There is exactly one, count it, one, electric sedan in the sub $40,000 price range.
There are several reasons I would never buy the current Model 3 or, in fact, any product Tesla sells. The problems with the Model 3 are both unique to that model and one is common for all current electric cars. The common problem with the current crop of EVs is their batteries - they are far to heavy, too large, too expensive and have too limited a lifespan, and are about to be rendered obsolete. Problems unique to the Model 3, aside from sight unseen but likely electronic and mechanical problems when they ever manage to figure out how to manufacture the car, are the front end design - as ugly a front end as I've ever seen. Ditto for the aero wheelcovers. The square touchscreen located in the worst possible place, looks as out of place as a TV in an Indian teepee. It is also dangerous- I predict a recall after a suitable number of accidents. The crazy strange idea of locating the power window switches on the touchscreen leads me to believe that the interior was designed by a non-driver. Overall, Tesla's engineering is absurd- tons of electronic gadgets, certain to fail, certain to cost a small fortune to fix, if one even bothers to fix them, etc. Tesla has ruined the basic simplicity of the electric car.
 

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IMO, the front end design, and the aero wheel covers are great. I do agree that Musk is selling the sizzle, not the beef.

"tons of electronic gadgets, certain to fail, certain to cost a small fortune to fix, if one even bothers to fix them, etc. Tesla has ruined the basic simplicity of the electric car."
 

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The common problem with the current crop of EVs is their batteries - they are far to heavy, too large, too expensive and have too limited a lifespan, and are about to be rendered obsolete.
you keep saying this in _ALL_ your posts - but offer no proof other than "potential" technologies that are decades away from production for any mass market use. What is your evidence that LiON is about to rendered obsolete and what is the time frame? And "lab" technologies don't count, you need actual production facilities and evidence that some auto manufacturer is about to ramp production with these mythical batteries.
 

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one of the advantages of EV' is their "modularity" - in theory we should be able to replace existing battery tech with new battery tech - my attitude is "bring it on" - that's great - let's make it happen....this advantage is one of the many things that personally justifies my belief that EV's are a superior platform - I look forward to the day when I can upgrade the battery in my EV for more range or some other advantage.

but I've been listening to people predict the demise of LiON batteries for about 7 years now and to date I am unaware of _ANY_ actual better battery technology that is "about to go into production" - there are lots of demos, lots of theories, lots of talk, lots and lots of FUD that we should all wait - but until I see EVIDENCE to the contrary - there is NOTHING that is actually production ready - and even if it was production ready we're talking 2021 before it's deployed into automobiles…

so again - what battery technology does anyone have that:

1. can/is being mass produced (remember Elon had to build the biggest battery factory in the world to meet his minuscule car companies battery demands)
2. is actually being adopted by an auto manufacturer
3. is dramatically better than LiON
4. has actual factories ramping for production

if items 1-4 are not TRUE _TODAY_ it's 5 years out - best case - and any tech that is 5 years out - might as well be magic - because that sort of time horizon just means "we don't know yet".

the average life cycle of a car before someone buys a new one is 7 years - so buy your LiON EV today - and by the time you are ready for another EV there _MIGHT_ be a better battery technology on the market (if someone starts ramping production today given a 3-4 year time to market) - however until someone commits actual money to ramping production at scale of another battery technology - we're stuck with LiON (or close cousins) for the foreseeable future.

I remember Elon at one of the investor meetings for Tesla - he put out a "plea" for people to stop eMailing them "better battery" technology presentations - no more powerpoint please - just send us a working "cell" and we'll evaluate it and get back to you - so far to date no one has sent Elon a better "cell" and the power point presentations did stop...

show me a production ramp and then I'll believe you - otherwise it is 100% vaporware.
 

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I would say, at this point in time, we could see a major grain crop failure, a major war, a pandemic, a collapse of pollinators...anything short of a zombie apocalypse, in five years. But obsessing about cars is a pleasant distraction. :)
 

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The common problem with the current crop of EVs is their batteries - they are far to heavy, too large, too expensive and have too limited a lifespan, and are about to be rendered obsolete.
I've heard EV critics rag on battery weight before. But if weight was really such a big problem, then we'd all be running around on electric scooters. If the car can travel efficiently for a given amount of energy consumption, then weight is basically irrelevant. Could it be more efficient with less weight? Sure, but EVs are already far more efficient than lighter ICE vehicles for a given amount of energy so why single out weight as a problem?

And in terms of obsolescence, one could make the same point about ICE vehicles, yet they still seem to be selling very well for some inexplicable reason.

I agree that too large and too expensive are valid concerns, because they conspire to limit the range of affordable vehicles. But we're getting there, and every year the equation shifts enough to be acceptable to more and more people. I get that it's not there for you yet, and that's fine. But many of us are very happy with how far the industry has gotten and we look forward to future improvements.
 

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battery weight is only an issue also if you don't consider what you're losing by not having an ICE power plant - yes batteries are heavy - but a good portion of the weight is accounted for by not having a heavy ICE engine/transmisison/drive trains/differentials - don't look at the weight of the battery - look at the weight of the overall car vs. an equivalent ICE and EV's aren' that much heavier - yes they are heavier, but not by that much.

I agree with Sean - I personally consider the battery obsolesce/weight argument to be nothing but pure FUD - the cars work and work well in the current configuration, and they will only get better from here on out. So saying it's not there yet is simply not true, it's not true for 300,000 Tesla's sold/delivered, it's not true for 20,000 bolts sold (almost and going strong), and it's not true for 10's of thousands of Leafs and every other pure BEV product.

what actual difference does it make for the battery weight if the car and it's range fit your needs? that's like saying I'm not buying the new corvette because it's V8 is too loud and heavy I'm going to wait for the lighter and more quite version - the car either fits your needs or it doesn't - saying there is new tech coming is like predicting the sun it going to rise, accurate, but really not that deep of an insight, and what difference does it make about what you're doing today.
 

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The way I see it, the Model 3 is to the Bolt what an Audi A3 is to a Chevy Cruze. They achieve the same purpose, but with a very large difference in the quality of the finish and effective price point. The MSRP "may" seem close, but Tesla doesn't discount like Chevy does. Forget about any type of federal tax credit or state rebates for a minute. The Tesla will stay at $40K (assuming not the basest of base models) while the Bolt will get dealer incentives left and right, putting you below $35k. That's just how the two brands do business.

In the end it's about what you want to spend. You want value, you'll go to Chevy, you want finish and "exclusivity", you'll go Tesla. In a world where EVs occupy the lion's share of the market these cars won't even be discussed together. After all, do you play around with the idea of buying either an Audi A3 or a Chevrolet Sonic?
 

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Discussion Starter #40
The beetle was great for traction, as are some other RWD cars. But for keeping the frontend ahead of the backend, in bad conditions, I'll take a FWD every time.
Isn't front wheel drive different in ICE cars because of weight distribution with the engine over the driving wheels, which is not at all the same in a Bolt or Tesla? The Beetle had the engine over the rear wheels.
 
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