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Old 9th May 2005, 13:26   #1
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Default Front Wheel Drive v/s Rear Wheel Drive

Hiya all
Here are the questions.

Why are all the modern everday use cars always manufactured as front wheel drives

WHat advantages do the auto manufactures get from FWD cars

What are the advantages/disagvanted between FWD & RWD cars
in all respects
(handling/maint/design etc etc)

Why dont we get any RWD cars here!!!!

Fire away with the views
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Old 9th May 2005, 14:42   #2
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Basic Physics says that the more the number of energy conversions.. more is the loss.

A front engined car driving the rear wheels leads to more loss in power... as compared to driving the front wheels.


This is my understanding of it... guess the experts will be able to explain better.

P.S: U do have rear wheel driven cars in India... but these are generally SUVs etc... eg Gypsy, Safari etc.
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Old 9th May 2005, 16:18   #3
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Quote:
Why are all the modern everday use cars always manufactured as front wheel drives
There are many reasons for this :

1. It's cheaper to make a FWD car.

2. Safety officials feel FWD cars are easier for normal people to control as they don't oversteer (sending the car into a spin). Easy to drive, diff to master.

3. FWD cars also have the upper hand when driven in snow.

Quote:
What are the advantages/disagvanted between FWD & RWD cars
in all respects
RWD CARS

Advantages :

1.It's easier to for a RWD car to turn into corners since the power comes from the rear wheels.

2.RWD cars are easier to launch since weight gets transferred to the rear wheels giving the driving wheels much more grip than a FWD car would have got.

3. Since the driving wheels are at the rear, front wheels can concentrate on turning the car. It's much more balanced.

Disadvantages :
1. Higher building costs.

2. More loss of power.

3. Diff to control in slippery condiditons

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 9th May 2005 at 16:23.
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Old 9th May 2005, 16:37   #4
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To add to Shan's points

1. In many RWD cars, the differential shaft intrudes into the passenger cabin at the rear thereby hindering leg space for the middle passenger

2. The unsprung wieght acting on the rear axle is more in a RWD there by making ride a bit bumpy than in a similar confiuration FWD car. But this is usually taken care by altering the suspension settings but just for argument's sake.

3. Powerful cars prefer RWD because they do not have torque steer - where the steering pulls to one side while accelerating hard. But this is taken car of in the forrester by using equal length drive shafts.

4. Better mass distribution when a front/mid engined RWD configuration is used.
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Old 9th May 2005, 18:29   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuderia
P.S: U do have rear wheel driven cars in India... but these are generally SUVs etc... eg Gypsy, Safari etc.
Also the Premier Padminis & teh Ambassador (its still available)

If Iam not wrong then Even the mercs are RWD atleast the older ones were. Correct me if iam wrong
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Old 9th May 2005, 18:42   #6
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Let's look at front wheel drive first, as it is most common.

Reduced cost:
that is often the reason manufacturers design and build the way they do....FWDs are cheaper to manufacture and install than RWD systems....there is no driveshaft or rear axle housing to build....the transmission and differential are located in one housing and less parts are needed...

Reduced weight:
....lowering the weight improves acceleration, braking, and fuel economy...

bettert traction:
by having the weight of the engine and transaxle over the drive wheels.....this is a big advantage on slippery roads..especially why front wheel runners are preferred in snowy conditions than rear wheel drivers.

now for RWDs

Better Road Holding:
the better weight balance of rear wheel drive allows the car to handle better...... the more even weight allows the car to drive neutrally through a corner.... this means both the front and rear of the car have near equal loads acting upon them...

no Torque Steer:
RWDs do not have this problem since the engine is not connected to the steering gear.

Better Ride and Feel:
..the light front end of the car allows it to turn in to a corner easier. /.the car feels more nimble and controllable. Since the front is not so heavy it is not burdened by needing strong springs to keep it under control.....this allows the suspension to be set up softer while maintaining good control ability....

Better Ultimate Ability:..
\purpose built race cars are almost always rear wheel drive. In production based racing series FWD cars are given a performance advantage to make them equal to RWD cars.

------------------
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Old 9th May 2005, 19:12   #7
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Revvhead, In addition to what all have outlined :

RWD Rocks. FWD Sucks.

GTO
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Old 9th May 2005, 19:18   #8
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You betchya !!!
and the amby is rear wheel drive ...so was the FIAT padmini ..
Front wheel driver is rather new ....
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Old 10th May 2005, 13:04   #9
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One point that made FWD more famous with the drivers worldwide was better control of the car during braking and turning. A FWD car will handle better round a turn than a RWD.

The primary reason for manufacturers to shift to fwd was cost and lower weight of the cars.

But guys a RWD is way way better than the FWD for the power minded guys like us ( Other than AWD that is )
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Old 10th May 2005, 13:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Revvhead, In addition to what all have outlined :

RWD Rocks. FWD Sucks.

GTO
Wholeheartedly and absolutely.

Drifter
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Old 10th May 2005, 14:40   #11
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well, what can i say that GTO, psycho, and shan hasn't already said.... i have mentioned this a quadzillion times before and elsewhere... I LOVE REAR WHEEL DRIVE CARS : period...!!!

i also love four wheel drives and all-wheel drives..... and since you can't help but live with 'em, i prefer front wheel drives, too; as the last option...!!!

basically, this simple statement should sum everything up: do you, or anybody else, know of any 550 BHP+, 330 kmph+ car that is front wheel drive??? also, if you look at the titles of the "world's fastest cars", you shall find that none of them are front wheel drive....

basically, a FWD (front wheel drive) car is manufactured because of reasons such as;
1) cost- since there's no seperate differential, transmission shaft, axle housing, etc., FWD's are more cost effective.
2) space- as there are less mechanical parts to be bolted together, it frees up more space.
3) slightly more fuel efficient- since there are lesser mechanical linkages, lesser power is lost. also, as the weight is considerably reduced, less power is required to keep the car moving.
4) better low-speed handling.

highly- powerful cars are RWD (rear wheel drive), 4WD or AWD (all-wheel drive; different from the conventional four wheel drive, because AWD is full-time, as compared to 4WD, and the differentials and gears are different, because the power transmission to all four wheels are permanent, or full-time.) because;
1) the distribution of power is even.
2) no torque steer.
3) better high-speed handling, as the driven wheels are not steered; in AWD, most of the power is transferred to the rear wheels while cornering.
4) better weight distribution. hence better overall vehicle dynamics.
5) RWDs are better handlers than FWDs- but only for those in the know.
6) more predictable vehicle dynamics under speed.

and finally, like someone wise said.....RWD rocks..!!!! FWD sucks..!!!

and techno, ALL mercedes benzes are rear wheel drive cars; so are bmws, ferraris, lambos,etc. and in the indian range, the current crop of RWDs are- ambys, contys, HM trekkers, the old tempo traxxes, sumos, safaris, all the mahindras, endeavours,sierras, estates (both now extinct),gypsys,etc. and lastly, believe it or not, the first indian electric car, maini reva!!

p.s- i love ALL machines, so i like FWDs; but compared to a RWD, FWD sucks..!!
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Old 10th May 2005, 14:50   #12
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hey thanks people,
knew some of the stuff,
but thought i would get all the big heap experts to pitch in

yeah, i used to have fun controlling the rear end of our fiat & amby when speeding around curves and sharp turn.
Was just waesome be feel the slight slide and hold it and drift, or catch it if it got too much!!!
Just so miss that now
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Old 10th May 2005, 23:53   #13
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ohh further more..versa and the omni are also RWD's..
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Old 11th May 2005, 11:19   #14
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FWD
Reduction in cost
Better Average
And most prefered than RWD otherwise everybody will be spinning their way to home.

P.S. RWD Rocks!!!
And currently im driving a RWD car ........ Maruti Van (OMNI) lolll
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Old 28th October 2005, 01:47   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuderia

P.S: U do have rear wheel driven cars in India... but these are generally SUVs etc... eg Gypsy, Safari etc.

Hey you forgot the Maruti van.....
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