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Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best - Car Talk - Nairaland

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Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 9:29am On May 15, 2015
The advantages of front-wheel drive (FWD) seem self evident: By avoiding the need for a driveshaft connecting the engine in front with the rear wheels, front-drive cars save space. The entire drivetrain can be packed into a neat compartment in the front, leaving the rest of the car's volume for passengers and cargo. Plus, front-drive cars have better traction in slippery conditions (in part because the weight of the engine is on top of the wheels that are providing the power).

Why are rear-drive cars more fun? Every enthusiast may know the answer, but I didn't. So I called up a helpful GM suspension expert, Vehicle Chief Engineer Ed Zellner. There are, I learned, five basic reasons:

1) "Balance": The car rides on four patches of rubber, each about as big as your hand. An ideal car would distribute its weight evenly, so each tire had to bear the same load, and none would give way earlier than all the others. The ideal weight distribution, then, would be split about 50/50 between front and rear (actually, 48/52 to help with forward pitch during braking). "A rear-drive car can typically approach that," says Zellner. Engineers can move the front wheels forward, so that the engine – which doesn't have to be connected to those wheels -- sits behind the front axle.

Meanwhile, the driveshaft and rear differential (necessary to send power to the rear tires) add weight in the rear. Front-drive cars, which must connect the engine and transmission to the front axle, typically have their engines mounted way forward and can't do much better than a 60/40 front/rear weight distribution.

2) Center of Gravity: This is the point the car wants to "rotate around" in a turn. On a rear-drive car, it's "about where the driver sits," says Zellner. In a turn, in other words, the car seems to be rotating around you – you're at the center. It's a natural pleasant effect, suggesting you're in control, the way you're in control when you're walking or running around a corner and your weight is centered inside you. (Analogy No. 2: It's like wearing stereo headphones and having the sound centered between your ears!) A front-drive car, in contrast, with its massive front weight bias, wants to rotate around a point in front of the driver. So in a corner, the driver isn't just rotating around his spine. He's moving sideways, as if he were a tether ball on the end of a rope, or Linus being dragged when Snoopy gets hold of his blanket. Not such a pleasant feeling, or a feeling that gives you a sense of natural control.

3) "Torque Steer": One of the most annoying habits of many powerful front-drive cars is that they don't go straight when you step on the accelerator! Instead, they pull to one side, requiring you to steer in the other direction to compensate, like on a damn boat. This "torque steer" usually happens because the drive shafts that connect the engine to the front wheels aren't the same length. Under power, the shafts wind up like springs. The longer shaft -- typically on the right -- winds up a bit more, while the shorter left shaft winds up less and transmits its power to the ground more quickly, which has the effect of pulling the car to the left. (This winding-up phenomenon occurs the moment you step on the pedal. After that, the wind-up relaxes, but "torque steer" can still be produced by the angles of the joints in the drive axles as the whole drivetrain twists on its rubber mounts.)

4) Weight Shift: Suppose you just want to go in a straight line. What's the best way to get traction? Answer: Have as much weight over the driving wheels as possible. Front-drive cars start with an advantage -- but when any car accelerates, the front end tips up, and the rear end squats down. This transfers weight to the rear wheels -- away from the driving wheels in a FWD car but toward the driving wheels in a rear-drive car, where it adds to available traction. In effect, the laws of physics conspire to give RWD cars a bit more grip where they need it when they need it. (This salutary effect is more than canceled out in slippery, wet conditions, where you aren't going to stomp on the accelerator. Then, FWD cars have the edge, in part, because they start out with so much more of their weight over both the driving and the turning wheels. Also, it's simply more stable to pull a heavy wheeled object than to push it -- as any hotel bellhop steering a loaded luggage cart knows. In snow, FWD cars have a third advantage in that they pull the car through the path the front tires create, instead of turning the front tires into mini-snowplows.)

5) "Oversteer" and the Semi-Orgasmic Lock-In Effect: In a rear-drive car, there's a division of labor -- the front tires basically steer the car, and the rear tires push the car down the road. In a FWD car, the front tires do all the work – both steering and applying the power to the road – while the rears are largely along for the ride. That, it turns out, is asking a lot of the front tires. Since the driving wheels tend to lose traction first, the front tires of front-drive cars invariably start slipping in a corner before the lightly loaded rear tires do -- a phenomenon known as "understeer." If you go too fast into a curve -- I mean really too fast -- the car will plow off the road front end first. In rear-drive cars, the rear wheels tend to lose traction first, and the rear of the car threatens to swing around and pass the front end -- "oversteer." If you go too fast into a corner in an oversteering car, the car will tend to spin and fly off the road rear end first.

What's the best way to fly off the road? Safety types prefer frontwards -- understeer. Why? To control an oversteering skid, where the rear wheels are heading for the weeds, you have to both slow down and counterintuitively turn the wheel in the opposite of the direction you're turning. In a front-drive car, with the front wheels slipping, you slow down and keep turning the way you'd been turning to get around the corner in the first place -- a more natural maneuver, since you're pointing the car in the direction you want to go. This is why, for safety reasons, even rear-drive cars sold to average consumers tend to have their springs and other suspension bits set up to make them understeer -- to make the front tires slip first, despite the car's innate oversteering tendency. Only by applying lots of power in a corner can you actually break the rear end of a bread-and-butter rear-drive car like the Mustang loose -- a maneuver favored by sports car freaks, but one you try at your own peril.


I'm not saying that any rear-wheel-drive car is better than any front-wheel-drive car, the way, say, any car with plain black tires looks better than any car with whitewalls. But it's close! Front-drive cars can be fun. Even bad sex is fun. But why choose it?

www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/gearbox/2003/04/why_frontwheel_drive_sucks.html

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 9:30am On May 15, 2015
Rear-wheel drive
With rear-wheel drive the rear wheels drive the vehicle. For decades, rear-wheel drive was the system of choice, primarily because it is easy to manufacture, simple, inherently robust and reliable. The typical rear-wheel drive layout consisted of an engine in front, connected to a transmission, then the power went through a driveshaft to the rear-axle gears and then the rear wheels. Almost all trucks---except a few light-duty models---have been rear-wheel drive. If you look under the rear of a typical pickup truck you will see the rear axle housing, which has a big lump, or bulge, in the center, roughly the size of a pumpkin or basketball. Inside that bulge will be found the ring-and-pinion gears---which transfer power from the driveshaft to the wheels, provide the appropriate gear ratio and also allow the power to make the right-angle turn from the driveshaft to the wheels---and the gears and assembly that make up the differential. By the way, the ring-and-pinion gears---also known as the final drive---are not the differential, and you can have one without the other.

With rear-wheel drive the rear wheels move the vehicle and the fronts provide steering. Thus, there is somewhat of a division of labor. The advantages of rear-wheel drive are based upon the application. For trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, rear-wheel drive offers rugged durability and, as the load is increased, the traction also increases, because that load pushes down on the driving wheels. For passenger cars, rear-wheel drive offers the capability to deal more effectively with higher engine outputs and higher vehicle weights. Luxury cars, for example, tend to have rear-wheel drive. All true sports cars have rear-wheel drive, and all purpose-built race cars, such as those raced in Formula One Grand Prix racing, or in NASCAR, have rear-wheel drive. For performance applications, a primary advantage of rear-wheel drive is that weight transfer causes traction to be increased with acceleration---the more acceleration, the more weight transferred to the rear wheels and the more available traction, all of which enhances acceleration.

A rear-wheel drive vehicle also has a more equitable balance of the vehicle's weight front-to-rear, so each tire carries a more equal share of the load, which leads to improved cornering response and higher potential cornering limits. Finally, a rear-wheel drive vehicle can offer potentially superior braking performance because, when the brakes are applied, the weight is more equitably allotted among all four wheels.

By the way, in case you're interested, the ideal weight distribution, as it is known, for maximum performance---as with a pure race car---is to be rear-wheel drive and tail-heavy. This helps acceleration, because there is more weight on the rear, driving wheels, and also helps braking because, under the extreme weight transfer that occurs during braking in racing conditions, the vehicle's weight then becomes more evenly distributed among all four wheels, so each of the four wheels can make a maximum contribution to stopping power. A high-powered, pure race car, such as those that race at Indianapolis or in Formula One, will have roughly 35 percent of its total weight on the front wheels and 65 percent on the rear wheels.

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by GAZZUZZ(m): 10:06am On May 15, 2015

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Kashif(m): 11:38am On May 15, 2015
Cant something be done about this dude? angry Does he not know the word 'plagiarism'?

@Mike!!

4 Likes

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by ogawisdom(m): 5:56pm On May 15, 2015
Op copy n paste without crediting d original author is a crime d4 put d source of d article nw or risk a ban. Lomomike u shld do wat u kw hw to do best ie ban d op for this crime angry

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Nobody: 6:17pm On May 15, 2015
Hey guys, I don't wanna ban him. I wanna oppose him, intelligently.


Tonychristopher, hope you know curvette and viper are RWD?
1. Why don't you try driving it in the wet or snow? A FWD will handle better in snow and wet than a FWD,
2. A FWD accelerate faster off the line than a RWD with same engine, same mass, same gear ratios due to mass on driving wheels while RWD won't accelerate as fast as a FWD due to excessive mass, and excessive wheel spin
3. A FWD has more space than a RWD,
4. A FWD gives more fuel economy than a RWD.
5. Some FWD handles high speed too. Eg, your Miata, golf gti


FIY I had a RWD truck before I sold it, I also acquired a RWD truck but I had to return it and get my cash back due to the kazeemization done to it.

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by GAZZUZZ(m): 6:24pm On May 15, 2015
ogawisdom:
Op copy n paste without crediting d original author is a crime d4 put d source of d article nw or risk a ban. Lomomike u shld do wat u kw hw to do best ie ban d op for this crime angry
No be ya friend again? grin
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 1:01am On May 16, 2015
lomomike:
Hey guys, I don't wanna ban him. I wanna oppose him, intelligently.


Tonychristopher, hope you know curvette and viper are RWD?
1. Why don't you try driving it in the wet or snow? A FWD will handle better in snow and wet than a FWD,
2. A FWD accelerate faster off the line than a RWD with same engine, same mass, same gear ratios due to mass on driving wheels while RWD won't accelerate as fast as a FWD due to excessive mass, and excessive wheel spin
3. A FWD has more space than a RWD,
4. A FWD gives more fuel economy than a RWD.
5. Some FWD handles high speed too. Eg, your Miata, golf gti


FIY I had a RWD truck before I sold it, I also acquired a RWD truck but I had to return it and get my cash back due to the kazeemization done to it.

Correct ..but.4wd ain't for speed I drive a Benz back wheel and Nissan front wheel personal and I can attest the handling of Benz is superb .:..but what makes u think that awd won't perform better in bad terrain ...but rwd u won't hear that kaka sound .. to me rwd is better for salon and do u know why firms shy away from their production
It's expensive ..shaft, tunnel et al..but in saloon rwd is great while awd is best in suv pick up

Now why are people caling me atention seeker ::.a. lot of fallacy has been peddled in car section so I am Here to debunk them

They will see more of me

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by doroboss(m): 3:43am On May 16, 2015
tonychristopher:


Correct ..but.4wd ain't for speed I drive a Benz back wheel and Nissan front wheel personal and I can attest the handling of Benz is superb .:..but what makes u think that awd won't perform better in bad terrain ...but rwd u won't hear that kaka sound .. to me rwd is better for salon and do u know why firms shy away from their production
It's expensive ..shaft, tunnel et al..but in saloon rwd is great while awd is best in suv pick up

Now why are people caling me atention seeker ::.a. lot of fallacy has been peddled in car section so I am Here to debunk them

They will see more of me

Been quietly watching you, its good to bold and outspoken, but the way you have taken it this 2 days is really becoming embarrassing. I feel you should read more and research more before opening threads with opposing general views.


Doroboss.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 7:13am On May 16, 2015
doroboss:


Been quietly watching you, its good to bold and outspoken, but the way you have taken it this 2 days is really becoming embarrassing. I feel you should read more and research more before opening threads with opposing general views.


Doroboss.

I did and I am sure of what I post but I will be appreciative if I get facts that are against my submission

I love the dudes here unlike most sections that are filled with kids


Hope u bought my tropicalization stuffs
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Kashif(m): 8:33pm On May 16, 2015
tonychristopher:


I did and I am sure of what I post but I will be appreciative if I get facts that are against my submission

I love the dudes here unlike most sections that are filled with kids


Hope u bought my tropicalization stuffs

Until you post original thoughts, you are not the one arguing. Give credit to IPRs!

There are reasons for FWD and RWD. They are different, and serve different purposes. Waiting for you to also bring up manual tranny vs auto tranny; oranges vs apples.

You think you are here to burst bubbles? Nope, you are rather advertising your ignorance.

2 Likes

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by auhanson(m): 12:07am On May 17, 2015
His post about the RWD isn't bad but for the plagiarism. He's got some point there though unlike the tropicalization mess.

I will never be a fan of front wheel

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 6:37am On May 17, 2015
Dude fwd.and rwd serve d same purpose and let me enlighten u

It cost more to produce rwd so manufacturer opt for front wheel so tvey maximize profit.

Rwd is better
Manual is car for men

Fallacies have been prddled here for long

My e
Kashif:

Until you post original thoughts, you are not the one arguing. Give credit to IPRs!

There are reasons for FWD and RWD. They are different, and serve different purposes. Waiting for you to also bring up manual tranny vs auto tranny; oranges vs apples.

You think you are here to burst bubbles? Nope, you are rather advertising your ignorance.

1 Like

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 6:38am On May 17, 2015
auhanson:
His post about the RWD isn't bad but for the plagiarism. He's got some point there though unlike the tropicalization mess.

I will never be a fan of front wheel

You agree today with me

I will give testimony
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Nobody: 7:47am On May 17, 2015
tonychristopher:
Dude fwd.and rwd serve d same purpose and let me enlighten u

It cost more to produce rwd so manufacturer opt for front wheel so tvey maximize profit.

Rwd is better
Manual is car for men


Fallacies have been prddled here for long

My e

Na lie. If you're stuck in mud or ice then you'll see how RWD sucks. Mind you, recent AMGs are dual shifts or MCT which are some modifications to auto, Bugatti veyron is auto, lamborghini, porsche panameras, bentley, rolls royce, maybachs are autoshifts these cars aren't for men but made men.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Kashif(m): 10:55am On May 17, 2015
tonychristopher:
Dude fwd.and rwd serve d same purpose and let me enlighten u

It cost more to produce rwd so manufacturer opt for front wheel so tvey maximize profit.

Rwd is better
Manual is car for men

Fallacies have been prddled here for long

My e

First of all, you cannot enlighten me, as you are devoid of inherent logic.

A fixed wing airplane and helicopter are both aircrafts, but they serve different purposes. Would you say a chopper sucks because it is slower, etc?

Think efficiency, cost, traction, take off; think FWD. Think performance, handling, stunt; think RWD. They both connect the engine to the wheels, but they deliver differently. If you know auto 101, this should not be tough to digest.

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 1:31pm On May 17, 2015
Bro I dont think you are an authority here have u designed an. Engine
Kashif:


First of all, you cannot enlighten me, as you are devoid of inherent logic.

A fixed wing airplane and helicopter are both aircrafts, but they serve different purposes. Would you say a chopper sucks because it is slower, etc?

Think efficiency, cost, traction, take off; think FWD. Think performance, handling, stunt; think RWD. They both connect the engine to the wheels, but they deliver differently. If you know auto 101, this should not be tough to digest.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by auhanson(m): 1:55pm On May 17, 2015
tonychristopher:


You agree today with me

I will give testimony

Don't get me wrong. I don't take side with the crowd in anything , whether you are an authority there or not , i stand objectively in everything in life, calling a spade a spade.

If i said you are wrong , know that you are wrong , and if i said that you are right, know that you are right whether i argue it or not cos i may decide not to waste time in any argument. You are right in this case , and i said so, except for the plagiarism.

1 Like

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by abatically(m): 2:24pm On May 17, 2015
I have never seen a more one directional thinker in my life. Op, u should learn to be dynamic in ur thoughts, it helps.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Nobody: 3:01pm On May 17, 2015
abatically:
I have never seen a more one directional thinker in my life. Op, u should learn to be dynamic in ur thoughts, it helps.

As in eh!
This kind tin sef tire man pikin
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 3:21pm On May 17, 2015
Thanks

I will post the link next time and I have never taken the credit
auhanson:


Don't get me wrong. I don't take side with the crowd in anything , whether you are an authority there or not , i stand objectively in everything in life, calling a spade a spade.

If i said you are wrong , know that you are wrong , and if i said that you are right, know that you are right whether i argue it or not cos i may decide not to waste time in any argument. You are right in this case , and i said so, except for the plagiarism.

1 Like

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by ZIMDRILL(m): 4:17pm On May 17, 2015
the difference is useless to an ordinary driver

the difference only matter to two types of groups

1 race drivers

2 drivers of nations that have certain type of environment i.e deserts and ice

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by maxjax(m): 8:36pm On May 17, 2015
Ah not again!

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Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Nobody: 9:31pm On May 17, 2015
tonychristopher:


Correct ..but.4wd ain't for speed
I'm just seeing this. Who told you AWD isn't fast?
Except you're referring to truck based 4WD. But try Audi's quattro, Nissan's attessa, or Acura SH-AWD then come ask me again if AWD is fast and pleasurable or not.
I drive a Benz back wheel and Nissan front wheel personal and I can attest the handling of Benz is superb .:..but what makes u think that awd won't perform better in bad terrain ...but rwd u won't hear that kaka sound .. to me rwd is better for salon and do u know why firms shy away from their production
It's expensive ..shaft, tunnel et al..but in [quote]saloon rwd is great while awd is best in suv pick up
IMO, you've always succeeded in shooting yourself in the leg, its no difference this time.

Now why are people caling me atention seeker ::.a. lot of fallacy has been peddled in car section so I am Here to debunk them

They will see more of me
The reason isn't far fetched- your researches are half baked and yet full of fallacies.

1 Like

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by abatically(m): 2:45pm On May 18, 2015
lomomike:

I'm just seeing this. Who told you AWD isn't fast?
Except you're referring to truck based 4WD. But try Audi's quattro, Nissan's attessa, or Acura SH-AWD then come ask me again if AWD is fast and pleasurable or not.

Maybe he doesn't know buggati veyron is awd

2 Likes

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by 9icetoo(m): 9:49pm On May 18, 2015
I have just been laughing here. Does this guy even digest these posts before pasting them here?
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by tonychristopher: 11:23am On May 19, 2015
pls digest it for us then regurgitate it and digest it again...as a ruminant...lol


9icetoo:
I have just been laughing here. Does this guy even digest these posts before pasting them here?

2 Likes

Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by ishokunleyahoo(m): 9:30pm On May 20, 2015
An AWD or 4WD is slow off the line compared to a RWD or FWD, but when it gains traction and balance you will regret you ever challenged it ask BMW AWD lovers.

From Nurey.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by Nobody: 2:36pm On May 21, 2015
ishokunleyahoo:
An AWD or 4WD is slow off the line compared to a RWD or FWD, but when it gains traction and balance you will regret you ever challenged it ask BMW AWD lovers.

From Nurey.

Not strictly true.

A 2WD car with 500hp is slower off the line than a 4WD of the same weight with 475hp. AWD is harder to launch cleanly due to the extra grip.

I've be drag racing AWD cars since 1998.
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by jamex93(m): 4:12pm On May 21, 2015
hmmm
Re: Reasons Why Front-wheel Drive Sucks And Why Rear-wheel Drive Is best by loomer: 4:12pm On May 21, 2015
In summary

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