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Traction of a Tesla Model Y AWD tested in the snow using Off-Road Assist mode with all-season tires


How does testing the traction of a Tesla Model Y electric SUV on a snow-covered road sound to you? Fascinating, I know.

So, a Tesla Model Y AWD Performance owner and YouTuber Tommy L Garage takes his car out in the extreme cold weather and to a slippery road.

Tommy’s Tesla Model Y Performance has all-season tires and they have already been driven 22,000 miles (35405 km). However, the exciting thing is that we see some real-world usage of the Off-Road Assist mode in snowy road conditions.

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Off-Road Assist Mode is part of Tesla’s traction control features. Besides Off-Road Assist, Tesla Model Y also has a Slip Start function which is used when a Tesla vehicle is stuck in mud, snow, or ice.

Tesla Model Y owner’s manual describes the Off-Road Assist feature as:

Off-Road Assist is designed to provide overall improvements when driving off-road. In addition to allowing the wheels to spin, Off-Road Assist balances the torque between the front and rear motors to optimize traction. Off-Road Assist improves traction on rough and soft surfaces where one side of the vehicle may lose traction while the other side still has traction. When Off-Road Assist is on, the accelerator pedal provides more gradual torque, which is useful for crawling at low speeds (for example, over rocky surfaces). When enabled, OFF-ROAD displays on the touchscreen above the driving speed.

Source: Tesla Model Y owner’s manual.
Video: Tesla Model Y Off-Road Assist mode tested on a snow-covered and slippery uphill road.

Not only the road is snowy and slippery, but it’s also a steep uphill climb as well. As we watched in the above video, with Off-Road Assist, Tesla Model Y AWD climbs this road with grace.

With Off-Road Assist turned off, Tesla Model Y AWD had to make a lot of effort to go up the hill even for a smaller distance while pickup up from the stall.

When Tommy tried to start his Tesla Model Y using the Slip Start mode, the vehicle started sliding toward the curb of the road. Perhaps he was using the Slip Start feature in the wrong situation, it is intended to be used when the vehicle is stuck in a bit deeper and soft snow, ice, or mud.

Slip Start is designed to make it easier to dislodge Model Y when stuck in mud, snow, ice, etc. Turning on Slip Start allows the wheels to spin, making it possible to rock Model Y out of a situation in which the wheels are stuck.

Source: Tesla Model Y owner’s manual.

However, the electric automaker strongly suggests that Tesla vehicle owners should use winter tires for the cold weather season, especially in regions where the terrain is covered by ice or snow.

In the company’s online shop, Tesla also sells snow chains for all the Model Y wheels i.e. 19″, 20″, and 21″. Snow chains provide ultimate traction on slippery roads covered with ice.

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Video: Tesla Model Y durability testing in the coldest places of the world (-20°C). Off-roading on the arctic ICE. The video was recorded at Tesla’s cold weather testing facility in Alaska.



By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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