In a AWD Tesla Model 3, why is the front motor (OEM 1120960-00-E) different from the one in the back (OEM 1120980)? Why not just use the same one for both front and back? I'm sure that there was a reason for this and I would like to know what insight it brings forth... It's for an EV project that I am working on.

  • $\begingroup$ You don't need as much power up front, since weight transfer under acceleration results in much more traction at the rear wheels - allowing you to put much more power down there rather than at the front. From there, it's just easier packaging and (likely) lower cost. $\endgroup$
    – towe
    May 18 at 3:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Space considerations as well $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 18 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


As SolarMike suggested, available volume is part of the deal.

The second motor is actually idle most of the time, being called upon for dramatic acceleration or when wheel slippage is detected. As such, it doesn't need to send as much power (or torque) as the main motor does.

BTW, Tesla is planning, for either the cybertruck or the roadster or both, to produce models with a single front motor but separate motors for each rear wheel (tons of torque!), and it's probable that heavy-duty EV trucks will be built with a motor for each wheel. This gets rid of mechanical differentials as a side benefit.


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