[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Fwd: [R] Left foot braking and 4wd]

   > Yeah, everyuone thinks that FWD has this superior traction (pulling
   > ability in this case) in low cf situations.  I think this comes from the
   > fact that while the wheels will spin like crazy, the car doesnt really do
   > any funny things while thats happening, so from the driver's perspective,
   > it may seem like it is pulling better...well, because its pulling....

   Actually, I think this perception comes from people's experience with front
   heavy RWD(such as Camaros and pickups) cars that truly do suck in slippery
   conditions.  Also, RWD cars lose traction in much more dramatic and scary
   than FWD cars.

   I've actually found a Miata(with torsen, snows and a nice 50/50 weight
   distribution) to be excellent in the snow assuming it's not too deep.

Bear in mind -- to a first-order approximation -- that the typical FWD
car has 60-plus percent of the cars weight sitting on the drive wheels
(i.e., the front wheels), while the typical RWD cas has 40-minus
percent of its weight sitting on the drive wheels. This alone gives
the FWD car a tremendous advantage in low-traction conditions. Couple
that with the drive wheels also being aimable gives the FWD car an
overwhleming advantage in *low-traction* conditions, all other things
being equal (e.g., tires, weight, driver [in]competence). In
high-traction conditions, just the opposite may apply -- acceleration
"shifts weight" to the rear wheels, with the ultimate extreme of
lifting the front wheels completely off the ground [granted, no car
*I* have ever owned, or even driven...]; added with allowing the
aiming wheels to put 100% of their traction to turning the car while
the drive wheels can put 100% of their traction to acceleration [and
yes, "turning" the car at constant velocity is also "acceleration", so
in this case we have the RWD putting 4 tires*100% into acceleration,
while the FWD can only put 2*100% into the same acceleration, with the
back two tires just going along to hold the muffler off the