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Front wheel drive thread....
Being an avid FWD enthusiast, I GOTTA jump in on this one.
Up until about 5 years ago, I was a dyed-in-the-wool RWD believer. If it
wasn't rear-drive, it wasn't sqat, and it certainly was no sports car.
After my first snowy winter in Pennsylvania, (I just moved here from SoCal)
I was sold on FWD. I Drove my father-in-law's diesel rabbit around in the
powdery white stuff. I didn't quite understand the physics of FWD, but it
was nice to not have to worry so much about the car swapping ends, as RWD
does. Later, I bought a Scirocco, and some rally videos. (WRC stuff). I saw
these guys in little FWD Renaults blazing through corners in perfect
four-wheel drifts. "How in the HELL do they do that?" I knew it had
something to do with coming into the corner and transferring weight.
Fast forward 4 years. I am working in a small shop that builds PRO rally
cars. (this is where I plug Bert Arano, a.k.a. Union 7 rallysport, in West
Chester, PA) Bert takes me out to a snowy parking lot, an L-shaped one of
the two football field variety. He gets into my car, and drives around the
lot, apexing the corner of the lot at about 30 mph before the front end
starts to wash. Then we go around the corner HIS way. I felt like Colin's
co-driver, sitting in the passenger seat as my little Scirocco powered
throught the corner at 50 in a perfect four-wheel drift.
Left foot braking. The answer for all front-wheel drive problems. (well,
except straight line acceleration, maybe)
It took me a while (a good 6-8 months of practicing in rain and snow) to
really get the hang of it, but it is second nature to me now. I almost gave
up a few times, coming into work ranting about buying a BMW or something.
But I've got it DOWN. Put the car where? got it.
It seems so many people never learn to REALLY drive a FWD car. A certain
finesse is required (as in RWD) to make the most of FWD handling traits.
As I recall, Dodge kicked major butt in the Supertouring championship. In a
FWD car. BMW never had a chance. Take a look at that Alfa Romeo on the new
Racecar Engineering.....300 hp!! FWD!
Yes, rear drive has its advantages. (drag racing) But even then, Look at
these little 10 second Hondas !! FWD!! Drag racing!!
As far as Im concerned, RWD is just about obsolete for all but
track-pounding mega-horsepower cars.
Its all about power-to-weight, and weight transfer. Weight transfer is
drastically altered by suspension modifications.
And as far as torque-steer goes, thats a design flaw of steering
geometry/alignment and/or unequal length halfshafts. Easily fixed. Some
cars are worse than others.
NOW, 4WD vs FWD.......That's a different thread. And a different ball
P.S. Sorry for the non-existent Audi content, but hey, a good amount of
Audis are FWD. : )