Congrats on your new ride, buddy. Tire rack has some good comparisons for you to take a look at (including comparisons of AWD cars with AS tires vs. AWD with Winter in snow/ice.
I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be able to carefully make it through the season on all season tires. People do it every year. However, it only takes one emergency instance in which you needed to stop 3 feet shorter or turn 4 feet further to the left/right for you to kiss the rubber that winter tires put to the road. It basically just comes down to the amount of risk you are wanting to avert/allow in your daily commute.
Personally, I put winter performance tires on all of my AWD and RWD (I don't buy FWD, but I'd put them there too) vehicles ever since a scary braking scenario in an AWD with all-seasons. The thing to remember (and what I think the posters above we're arguing about) is that the advanced drive logic and electronic torque vectoring of modern AWD vehicles is designed for stable acceleration and deceleration-forward and backward motion (think accellerating or braking through a turn, in a straight, etc). However, your grip (which allows these systems to do what they need to do) is limited by the vehicles tires. All cars (regardless of their potential acceleration/deceleration capabilities) are essentially limited to those four little patches of rubber underneath them (be they 4x4, AWD, RWD, FWD, open differential, LSD, etc, etc.).
I'd say no go on the car cover several mentioned above. You are probably more likely to cause damage than to prevent it.
If you drive through the carwash, make sure it is touch less and pay for the undercarriage wash. Just keep in mind that these will still leave behind a film of grime, so doing an old fashioned wash when weather permits is a definite go. Finally a good pre-season cleaning & wax will do wonders for preventing paint damage.
Hope this is somehow helpful (albeit wordy). Congrats on your dream car!
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