Dropkick
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Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Thu Nov 15, 2001 7:25 pm

What do you prefer, rearwheel drive or front wheeldrive?
Since I drive a BMW, I definitely prefer to have the drive at the rear wheels. Especially winter time. It's so much fun!  Smile
 
Twotterwrench
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Thu Nov 15, 2001 7:34 pm

AWD...where I live it's the only way to go. Your beemer is only good about 5 months out of the year here.
 
Aussiemite
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Thu Nov 15, 2001 8:39 pm

Ive owned RWD(commodore), AWD(subaru) and FWD(Lancer) cars and honestly they all are fun to drive. obviously a large car or a v8 is more fun in rwd, AWD is awsome on the subarus and lancers well as long as you have one of the fast ones GSR or EVO they handle fantasiclly.
 
Ilyushin96M
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 2:52 am

My front-wheel drive Honda Accord did pretty well on snow and ice - five-speed seems to handle better. Now, I drive a Toyota RAV4, with four-wheel drive. Nuff said.  Smile
 
cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 3:31 am

The only reason a lot of car manufacturers went of to front-wheel drive is cost savings. It is much cheaper to build (you assemble the engine, transmission, steering and front suspension in a single unit, then just bolt it into the car). I remember a Chrysler report that said they save over $2000 per car to do it that way. It also consumes less fuel, as you reduce the weight of the car by the weight of the driveshaft, which is pretty heavy.

But I think FWD drives like a pig. The front wheels do all the work, and the rear wheels are just along for the ride. In a RWD car you can actually turn the car with 2 things, the steering wheel of course, and with the accelerator, where you control the amount of oversteer. In FWD you only have the steering wheel, and if you happen to overstretch the limits of your front tires, you're in trouble, unlike in a RWD car. The car has up to 70% of its weight in the front, making it horribly balanced. This of course creates heavy understeer, which is fine for amateur drivers but frustrating for any kind of performance driving.

By the way, the best description I've heard to differentiate understeer vs. oversteer is "Understeer is when you hit the tree with the front of the car. Oversteer is when you hit the tree with the back of the car." I love it!

Another thing I hate about FWD is torque steer - when accelerating, the front wheels want to turn one side or another. The more powerful the car, the worse it is. About 12 or 13 years ago, I almost put a brand new Taurus SHO (then the most powerful FWD car in the world) into a ditch because of the monsterous torque ripping the steering wheel out of my hands (It was my first time driving the thing).

FWD is a little better in the snow because you have more weight on the drive wheels. However virtually all RWD cars have either limited-slip differentials or traction control. Many FWD cars are sold with neither, thus eliminating the advantage. I used to own a 1996 BMW 328iC with traction control, and I took it in snowed in places where FWD cars couldn't go - all the cars who went where I did were 4WD. The 50/50 weight distribution helped, of course.

Not all traction control systems are equal, neither. I have a Mercedes with traction control, and it is not very good. The system in the 3 BMWs I have owned have all been fabulous. I just bought another one last month.

Finally, 4WD is great, but you are hauling around a LOT of extra machinery and weight, although 99.999% of the time you are on roads which are navigable with 2WD. Overkill, unless you live in the mountains or in the far north.

So - my vote goes for rear-wheel drive.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Guest

RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 3:32 am

I prefer the two side wheel drive. You can choose either the left side wheels or right side wheels. That is the most fuel efficient, especially on a windy day.


 
Alessandro
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 4:33 am

FWD, Citroën had it since the 1930ies and they didn´t look back! Of course 4wd is better, but fuel consumption
is the big problem. As for getting stuck in winter it wouldn´t happened with a Citroën DS, 5 heights are availble, the highest with no suspension, but if you get stuck just race it and you get out the snow or mud and
the reverse...
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Superfly
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 4:38 am

Rear - wheel drive all the way!

Cfalk explained it pretty well.
Front wheel drive handling is so docile. Front drive cars just can't take a beating like the rear-drive cars. More power can be transfered to the rear much better also. That's why all performance cars are rear-wheel drive.
Every front drive car I've owned gave me problems. All of my rear-drive cars handled like tanks. They truly feel invinsible.

Cfalk:
Are you sure the Ford Tarus was the most powerful Front drive car then?
I know the Cadillac Eldorado has been front-drive since 1967 and always used V8s. In fact almost the entire Cadillac line up was front drive in 1986 when the Taurus came out.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Alessandro
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 4:58 am

Citroën SM was the quickest FWD in the 1970ies....
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cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 5:07 am

The Taurus SHO had this suped-up Yamaha V-6, and if I recall a supercharger. It was something like 250 or 300 HP in a front-wheel drive frame. You might notice that you don't see any on the road any more, because they have by now all been wrecked (most of them by torque steer, probably).

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Superfly
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 5:12 am

Cfalk:
Your right! Even here in California whare cars last forever, you don't see those around. I do see them in junk yards. There either wrecked or had an engine problem early in it's life.
Bring back the Concorde
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 6:09 am

RWD...the best sports cars IMO are RWD...
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 6:31 am

Hey guys....

Well I think there are merits to both.

I'm just now discovering what I think is a very cool car, it's a Volkswagen Corrado. It has VW's 175 horsepower VR6 motor, in a front drive layout, but in a package that weights about 2500 pounds at most. It's a pretty sweet machine. Nice performance, I think the 0-60 run takes about 6.5, nothing earth-shattering, but the car is pretty cool looking IMO. I wouldn't mind getting one sooner or later.

Front wheel drive gives you better handling in inclement weather, better fuel consumption, and prolongs engine life.

But if you're a true enthusiast, RWD is the only way to go. Cfalk already mentioned oversteer and how much better suited RWD layouts are to the true driving enthusiast. In fact, I prefer the mid/rear engine, rear drive layout employed by Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari. The world's finest automobiles come from Germany and Italy.

I've driven some cars with pretty powerful engines driving the front wheels and been surprised by the lack of torque steer. One particularly surprising one was the Acura 3.2CL type S, with about 260 horses driving the fronts in a transverse layout. Almost no torque steer!

Another one was a car my friend had, a '97 or so Acura Legend LS, which had a similar V-6 of about 220 hp, front drive, but it was longitudinally mounted! So the driveshafts were of nearly equal length, also eliminating most torque steering tendencies. I had a really cool cutaway drawing of this engine/transmission unit, but I doubt I could find it now. I'll look on the internet.

I'd like to take some of these new Cadillacs for a spin. Those Eldorado ETC models and Seville STS have like 315 hp V-8's driving the fronts, mounted transversely. I'm sure they have some pretty scary tendencies. I heard somewhere that Caddy was gonna go back to RWD for those models? Anybody know anything about that?
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
AC_A340
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 7:33 am

I've had better luck with FrontWD in winter so I prefer that. The other nice thing about FrontWD is that if the back end goes into a skid, it's easier to recover. But RWD is much more fun on snow and ice Big grin
 
Staffan
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 8:20 am

RWD for me!

Staffan
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 9:43 am

Lamborghini makes them only in 4WD now I think(since the Diablo facelift, but the original Diablo was RWD...
Porsche 996Turbo is 4WD as is the Carrera 4.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
DeltaSFO
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 9:57 am

Aerorobnz....

The Lamborghini Diablo SV is currently available and is RWD. The Diablo VT, which I believe has been discontinued, was AWD.
It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
 
NKP S2
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 2:39 pm

Rear wheel drive. It's so nice when you go sideways powershifting second and barking the tires hitting third.
 
Superfly
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Fri Nov 16, 2001 3:11 pm

I wish that all manufactures make more rear-drive cars. I'd like to see an economy sedan (less than $15K) that is rear wheel drive. rear drive is simply the best.
Just look at all high-end, sport & luxury cars as well as commercial/industrial cars like police, taxi, limos and utility like ambulance, coroner and fire dept. vehicles. They are almost all rear wheel drive.
Why?
Because thay can take a beating and are the most reliable in intense situations. That speaks volumes for rear-drive cars.
Police and Taxis experments with a few front drive cars but most cops and cab drivers will tell you that they prefer rear wheel drive cars.

I hope that rear drive cars makes a return in more affordable cars.
So far the cheapest are the base-line Mustang and Camero ($20K).
Bring back the Concorde
 
USAir_757
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sat Nov 17, 2001 2:19 pm

Rear wheel drive is the way to go. If you live in snow conditions, stick 200 lbs worth of play sand above the rear axle in the trunk or cargo section(if it's a wagon). If you want to have fun, it speaks for itself. My dad used to take me up to the school parking lot when it was empty and he would do donuts like crazy. At that time our RWD car was an '87 Volvo 245DL.
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Starship
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sat Nov 17, 2001 10:49 pm

These three 1980s cars are all being driven into a bend at high speed. The conditions are very wet and slippery! The rear wheel drives all spin out, while the front wheel drive car stays dead on track. (Pre Traction Control days) I happen to own a Citroën Turbo similar to the one in the bottom pic. I don't neccessary imply that I believe that is the best car out of this trio, but I believe front wheel drive is inherently safer when inexperienced drivers get themselves into trouble.

BMW 528i

Rover Vitesse

Citroën CX GTi Turbo

(Photos from British CAR Magazine)

Some arguments given for or against the merits of one over the other does not necessarily mean that a particular type should be tarred with the same brush.

Cfalk believes FWD drives like a pig. Bull say I. He had a near mishap in a Taurus, blamed on torque steer. My Citroën pumps out 290 Nm of torque - almost the same as a BMW 330i. I have yet to find torque steer to be a problem in my front wheel drive car.

Top end F & RWD cars now all come with traction control - which is fine, if you are able and willing to pay for it. Unfortunately for now, I am not in that league, so I will stick to driving my used front wheel drive cars and if I replace any of them, I will have no hesitation in buying another.
Behind every "no" is a "yes"
 
cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sat Nov 17, 2001 11:30 pm

Starship,

talk about a rigged test. The Citroen obviously is being driven much slower, and the drivers of the two other cars were oviously either incompetant drivers or were used to driving FWD cars. Even I could do better.

Tell me this. if FWD is so superior, when was the last time you saw a FWD car in any kind of race where contestants are free to create their own designs. Even the snow and ice races that they do in France and elsewhere the RWD cars are hard to beat.

Learn to drive properly, and get a RWD car.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Starship
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sun Nov 18, 2001 2:08 am

Charles,

I promise you there is nothing rigged about the road test. The cars were all driven at the same speed into the bend.

The captions to the pictures were as follows:

BMW: It's smooth, punchy, flexible. Oversteer is easily controlled.

Rover: Torquey engine and slick gearbox make it a true driver's car. On limit handling can't quite match BMW, however.

Citroën: Turbo engine hasn't quite the stuff of Rover or BMW, but CX is still a fast car. Handling is fail safe FWD, with understeer at limit. Stability is excellent.

As for the second paragraph in your last post - WHOA! -
you are not camparing apples with apples. We are talking FWD for passenger cars here - not racing cars. I could argue that all Formula 1 cars have REAR MOUNTED ENGINES and when last did you see a regular high volume production car with a rear mounted engine?

One could argue that Formula 1 and no doubt other classes of racing vehicle use wish-bone type suspension, which is certainly not common on production vehicles. Wish bone suspension has been used by Honda and others in the past, but it is expensive to manufacture and while cost is a big issue in vehicle production, a car ends up being a compromise between technology and cost.

As for your last paragraph - well that's just a plain insult. FYI I have owned a Rover SD1 V8, similar to the one in the pics above, as well as various other RWD cars. I own two rear wheel drive cars as of this moment. They have REAR ENGINES too, which is where an engine should be located! I also have at least 1 million km driving experience and have licences to drive everything up to a 10 ton truck. I also have a military licence to drive an armoured vehicle. Need I say more?

Well, just to proove that FWD is superior in the case of regular production 4 door passenger saloons, here are some pics from a reputable German magazine prooving that a FWD Citroën CX is the only car in this batch that can keep its line through a bend......... this time in the dry.

Behind every "no" is a "yes"
 
cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sun Nov 18, 2001 3:40 am

While those pictures SEEM to show to the untrained eye to show the RWD cars out of control, that can be the fastest way around a courner, especially on narrow tires. The BMW in your first post shows someone who over did it. You steer the car with your application of power - the steering wheel only starts the turn, the power controls the middle and end of the turn. The best training for this kind of driving is on packed snow.

Granted, for the average joe who does not push a car hard, FWD is safer because of heavy understeer. Oversteer is great for an experienced driver, but deadly for the amateur if he tries to go fast (if you've had a couple of rear-engined cars, I expect you know this)

Sorry if I insulted you. Just rather passionate about this.

By the way, you and I have roughly the same drivers' past, except my heavy-rig licence expired years ago. I used to drive M113s in the army and once took a Swiss Type-68 tank for a spin.



Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
FordLover
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Sun Nov 18, 2001 11:18 am

I vote for RWD, just because I'm a traditionalist. I learned to drive that way, so if you can't properly handle a RWD car, you're inferior (just kidding). I've learned to accept FWD as a neccessity, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. By the way, the Taurus SHO was not supercharged, and had a rated output of 220 hp as I recall, and they were a blast to drive. My buddy at work has a brand new Grand Prix GTP (Supercharger, 240hp), and it doesn't have much of a torque-steer problem. But nothing beats the feeling of swinging the tail of my T-bird around corners (I really miss driving that car)!
 
Alessandro
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Mon Nov 19, 2001 12:27 am

Dear Starship!
Nice pics of a serie 1 Cx, well its not only about RWD or
FWD when it comes to road worthiness, worn tires, worn suspension (in the Cx case, empty spheres!) will
make the car under preform.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
Starship
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 4:36 am

Even when it's cheap and nasty and running on the narrowest of tyres, front wheel drive just keeps it glued to the road!!!


Behind every "no" is a "yes"
 
cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 5:04 am

I used to drive one of those! What kept it glued to the road was a profound lack of power and a suspension that would let you lean about 40 degrees. You could not tip that thing over by driving, but you COULD tip it over by getting out and lifting it (maybe with the help of a friend if you were a weakling.)

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
N312RC
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 5:31 am

Well, living in Michigan, where we get alot of snow during the winter, a Front Wheel drive car is a MUST! Rear wheel drive cars just cant get any traction in 5 inches of snow (unless you load your trunk with bags of cement mix). Front Wheel Drive all the way, or All Wheel Drive.
N/A
 
Starship
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 5:37 am

well maybe if you try really hard, you could tip a 2CV over by driving flat out into a bend, swing the wheel onto full lock.......



then again, maybe not?
Behind every "no" is a "yes"
 
Superfly
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 5:38 am

N312RC:
Just load one of these up with bricks in the back and your all set! Big grin

Bring back the Concorde
 
cfalk
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 6:15 am

Starship,

Trust me, you can't tip it over. I TRIED!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Rear- Or Frontwheel Drive?

Tue Nov 20, 2001 7:21 am

Nothing beat 2CV Sahara, 50 degrees sand dunes, no worries. One engine in the front and one in the back,
thats 4wd...

[img]http://www.geocities.com/Paris/9896/sahara1.jpg[/img]
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