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Front wheel drive or rear wheel drive

Front wheel drive or rear wheel drive

Posted On 24 Aug, 2018

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The automobiles with front or rear transmission have both advantages and disadvantages. There are models with propulsion of the four wheels (4 x 4), but they are not so widespread.

Front transmission

The most common type of transmission available on the market is the front wheel drive. With it, the connection between the gearbox and the engine is located at the front and all the power is transmitted to the front wheels. In that way, the car does not need a cardan shaft that passes through the center. Vehicles with front wheel drive are particularly more reliable in the winter, as they have better traction on a snowy road because the weight of the engine is on the front wheels. The fuel consumption is lower, and the repair is cheaper. High pressure on the front wheels also affects the manoeuvrability of the vehicle. The radius of the turn is larger, and the acceleration is worse. There is also the so-called "understeer", i.e. turning the steering wheel, but the car does not turn the way it is supposed to be because of the greater momentum at the front at high speed. In this way, the front wheels are hampered and imply a larger radius in the turns.

Rear transmission

In the case of rear wheel drive, the engine is located again in front, but the rear transmission has a cardan shaft and a differential. This type of drive is mainly used in sports cars and luxury cars. The weight is distributed (for example, in some cars the transmission is at the back) and thus the front wheels are not as busy as the front transmission, and the engine is not troubled to such an extent. The power is controlled well because the differential is located in the middle. Cars have a small turning radius, they are more manoeuvrable and accelerate better. The lesser load on the rear wheels leads to loss of traction on wet areas. Here we can see the so-called "oversteer" and is very easy to lose control of the car. You will surely feel it when doing a car test drive. Front transmission vehicles have more mechanical details and more weight. This way the fuel consumption increases. The prices are higher, and the space in the cabin and in the trunk decreases.

4WD or 4x4 is used in heavy and powerful SUVs that require maximum thrust. The power is divided equally between the two axes. Bear in mind that the power somewhat diminishes over time especially in used cars. The vehicles accelerate easily, and the pavement is not a problem, even in off-road mode. There is a loss of power due to the weight and increased fuel consumption. The all-wheel drive (AWD) system rotates all wheels, but only in a certain situation like a slippery road or difficult terrain. It takes best of both worlds.

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