View Full Version : The big, scary question: What do I need RWD for?

02-11-03, 08:41 AM
Okay. So... I'd like to know.. What do I need front wheel drive for? This thread is intended for the people who hear so many different things they don't know what to think. I, for one, don't need rear wheel drive.. But maybe you think I do.. If so, why?


Chuck C
02-11-03, 09:04 AM
Is there snow in Lindenhurst? If so, who wants to gets stuck in the snow with a RWD car?!

02-11-03, 09:14 AM
I was gonna say the same thing Sal...I used to have a place in Colorado and when it snows FWD is a lifesaver!

02-11-03, 09:37 AM
It's snows here a lot during the Winter.. We've had a few snow storms already this year.. For me, I don't think FWD is so bad.. If I were down south, however, I'd probably opt for RWD. But what about the rain? Is FWD better in rain? I would imagine so.. Or no?

02-11-03, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by Sal Collaziano
It's snows here a lot during the Winter.. We've had a few snow storms already this year.. For me, I don't think FWD is so bad.. If I were down south, however, I'd probably opt for RWD. But what about the rain? Is FWD better in rain? I would imagine so.. Or no?

I think after driving in chicago for many years rain really isnt a factor for me here in FL, although there are alot of florida drivers that drive in the rain as if it were snow, i shudder to think what would happen if it did snow down here. Overall i think rwd is preferable, but if you live in the north i would go fwd, lets also keep in mind that the Seville and Deville are probably the best engineered fwd cars ever made imo

02-11-03, 11:09 AM
I wouldn't have anything other than FWD in the snow. I live in Iowa and it sometimes snows. However this year I have only seen 3 snow falls that accumulated to anything over an inch.

02-11-03, 11:18 AM
RWD cars usually handle and corner better. FWD tends to "plow" through turns. Also, the steering feels a little heavier to me on a FWD car.

Another thing, I think you tend to lose a few HP to the wheels on a FWD car, but the drive shaft and differential on a RWD car is more efficient in transferring the energy from the engine to the wheels.

I used to read the riceboy arguments about how their little civics and integras might lose to a Mustang on a straightaway, but in an autocross the imports with the modified suspensions would win. It got me to thinking, of ALL the miles we drive, we probably spend less than .001% of them in hard cornering.

02-11-03, 11:19 AM
It all depends on HOW you drive. For truely inspiring road driving, you MUST have RWD. To dive into an apex, brake late, crank the wheel and punch the pedal and FEEL that torque launch you out of the turn, or to feel the ass end just easing out as you approach the limits of traction on a high-speed sweeper with the pedal down is what it's all about. The ability to occassionally force some over-steer for fun or just to get turned around in a tight area, or just play in a parking lot doing donuts is also only something you can do with RWD.
If I often needed to drive in weather that my RWD with snows and weight in the trunk can't handle, I'd have a 4WD. Oh wait, I DO have a 4WD. Duh ;)
No, sorry, FWD is for commuters not ROAD CARS.

02-11-03, 11:43 AM
I've actually heard that the FWD cars lose less horsepower to the wheels than RWD cars... Less distance to travel.. That's what I've heard - not a fact...

So RWD cars handle better. Okay, that's good to know.. Ideally, I'd love to have one all-out sports car (potentially the Vette that I have) and a great performing luxury car... If I stay here in New York, I'll probably just stick with FWD until I can't get it in a new Caddy anymore...

02-11-03, 11:58 AM
I dunno, Sal. Maybe the power loss is just on Honda FWD vehicles. Maybe GM is better at it. I don't have any facts to prove either way.

I do know that my Prelude produces 200HP at the flywheel stock, but only about 145-150 actually gets to the wheels (75%). The RWD S2000 on the other hand produced 240HP at the flywheel, and gets almost 210 to the wheels. That's about 12.5% more efficient than the FWD Prelude.

02-11-03, 12:51 PM
FWD does loose more power as I recall because of the change in direction in driveline rotation within the transaxle.

02-11-03, 01:00 PM
rwd - better handling characteristics, better launch, drift, burnouts.

02-11-03, 01:26 PM
Okay. I'll assume the FWD loses more horsepower than. I believed what I heard because it seemed my FWD ETC couldn't have lost much horsepower - it was so damn strong...

Dead Sled
02-11-03, 07:58 PM
I'd go for AWD. my preferance is for RWD I just like the driving feel. True a FWD may be better in snow but a RWD is more fun in snow, if you know how to drive. FWD will pull you through a corner tighter while the RWD pushes. But a FWD can't drift around a corner. Ive driven about everyting. but keep comming back to RWD. Just imagine how fast a FWD drag car could be if it was in reverse and had weight transfer in the needed direction.

02-11-03, 11:33 PM
fwd cars have lower limitation than rwd in handling certain amounts of power.
FWD will understeer when pushed hard which causes you to slow down unlike rwd where you can actually overaccelerate and let the rear slide out a little and come out of the turn quicker.

02-12-03, 03:43 PM
To me, it depends on the application. If in snow, i would go FWD, if i didnt have 4WD. There are much more RWD people stuck in snow than FWD. But as far as driving on snow, it doesnt make too much difference.

Other than that, RWD all the way. You cant do GOOD donuts in FWD.