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AWD vs. RWD

  #1  
Old 03-05-2008, 05:58 AM
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Default AWD vs. RWD

I'm looking ata new car if I get this job that I'm interviewing for. It would mean155 miles of freeway driving daily in all sorts of weather conditions in Michigan.

I'm curious in this situation if AWD or RWD (or FWD) would have the most advantages or disadvantages?

I'm posting here becauseI'm consideringthe S80 V8, which is AWD, among other vehicles.

Thoughts?
 
  #2  
Old 03-05-2008, 11:55 AM
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Default RE: AWD vs. RWD

Well from my experience back home in trindad, where its hot all year and we never ever have weather under 75 degrees...

We have a 4wd (awd) mitubishi SUV, 2 fwd nissans, a fwd honda and a rwd acura

In heavy rain or thunderstorm kind of weather, i have always found that the awd makes a HUGE difference in terms of grip.. When one wheel begins to lose it, it will just reassign power to the others to compensate.. For snow and slippery roads, this will make a HUGE difference I belive..

FWD VS RWD... my 02 s80 is fwd and the closest car i can compare it to is my dads 98 Acura RL RWD.... similar power and size for each... Anyway, its generally agreed that for large cars rwd is the better option, reason being that the front wheels only have to steer the car while the rear wheels handle the power... As a result, if you really push it into corners , a front wheel drive car tends to understeer (not turn into the corner as shraply as you would want) wheras a rwd may oversteer(the front turns in fine but the back kicks out).... Of course thats just when really thrashing the car.... in a normal use situation fwd or rwd really doesnt make much of a difference.. most people just say that 250horsepower or so is the practical limit to front wheel drive which is why i assume there is a fair amount of torque steer on the 99-03 s80 T6's... nearly 270 horses going to the front wheels...

Anyway, my verdict is, test drive the two, and then make your decision but awd is always the safer more practical option, especially for what you described as all weather driving..
 
  #3  
Old 03-05-2008, 01:07 PM
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Default RE: AWD vs. RWD

Thanks! Good info to consider.

I didn't know about the 250 hp being the practical limit for FWD. I wonder if this could be why my other car, an '02 Pontiac GTP supercharged was only rated for260 hp?


I'maware of the added grip of AWD as you described of course, but also curious if there's a trade-off foronly RWD or FWD for increased gas mileage? This particular winter being an exception, most of the time I wouldn'tbe driving in snow.
 
  #4  
Old 03-05-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: AWD vs. RWD

Generally speaking, i cant speak for a car that was designed to be AWD... but on the mitsubishi suv, the gas mileage does suffer with you select 4wd, especially if you lock the centre differential...
Honestly, i think the drawbacks are mionor compared to the gains and il really reccomend going the awd route...

The 250 horsepower thing is just the opinion of some but i understand where they are coming from, let the front steer, let the back drive.

honestly, regards the pontiac, its that american engines are usually down on power due to having lower compression ratios and so on... as a result, they normally use larger engine displacement to make up for shortfalls in outright power.. eg. a chevy 3.4l put out about 180 horses while the 2.9 s80 (non turbo) puts out 195 or so... foriegn companies just seem alot better at tuning engines... dont speak for use of turbos... superchargers take away power to spool them up, but then they ush on the power once they get going, since turbos use waste gasses to power them, they dont have to detract to lead to a gain.. so that could also be an explanation of the power difference...
anyway, off the topic, so the bottom line is, try the awd and give it a nice thrashing, see what you think, it jsut corners amazingly...
 
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