Date registered: Dec 1998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Re: Please explain!
After all that has been said let me add my two cents. You can make a very fast FWD or AWD cars, the Acura Integra/RSX or the Nissan Skyline for example. It's just harder to do this well, harder than it is to make a rear wheel drive car. As has already been mentioned, the front to rear weight shift under hard acceleration gives a natural traction advantage to RWD cars, though this can be virtually eliminated through chassis setup (stiffen the rear and soften the front to counteract the weight shift), and by the fact that FWD cars have a front end weight bias. However this latter fact is another problem for FWD cars, namely weight distribution issues. Since FWD cars tend to have all the heavy mechanical mass up front, it's harder to achieve the ideal 50/50 front/rear weight balance, though not impossible. Somebody said torque steer was a tendency of FWD cars, but that's not always the case and powerful RWD cars will positively slide sideways under hard acceleration. I've seen Corvettes kick the backend 3 feet sideways off the line.<br>
A bigger issue is driving style. FWD usually exhibit a tendency to oversteer, exacerbated by the fact that the direction the car will go when cornering is not intuitive for many drivers, esp. those comfortable with RWD cars. RWD cars tend to understeer, and will usually go where the nose is pointed if you step on it hard, as opposed to FWD which goes where the front wheels are pointed. This is a big plus since when you're cornering hard you can kick the back end out and rotate the car until you see where you want to go, then punch it. You don't have to worry about front tire position/angle nearly as much, or as early,as you would have to in a FWD car.<br>
In the end, a well designed FWD car can achieve performance on par with an equally well designed RWD car, you'll maybe have to pay a little more for it. That aside most drivers with an interest in performance still prefer RWD.