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Discussion Starter #1
Why are all sub-$30,000 sedans and compacts wrong-wheel drive?

Why is it that the '6 market (i.e. the '6 and it's competitors) are all FWD? Cars such as the Accord, Passat, and (of course) the '6 stress their performance, so why aren't any of them RWD? Is the market so brainwashed to FWD? Is it cost? Manufacturing?
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

It's demand.

The mass-market prefers FWD for safety reasons. With modern TCS/DSC etc the advantage isn't so big for the FWD, but it's still safer.

At least that's my two cents.:sarc
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

Higher assembly and production costs, more parts to have problems with, and it used to be that u'd have to deal with having less interior room available.
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

It's still an advantage to have the engine's weight above the driving wheels. That's an important issue regarding grip and safety.
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

The reasons are mostly economic and practical. You have inherently fewer drivetrain losses, which means you can have increased fuel economy. You have reduced manufacturing costs, with fewer drivetrain parts. For the consumer, you can be rid of the annoying transaxle "hump" in the center of the car, thus allowing for a true 5 passenger vehicle. As previously mentioned, FWD has some advantages in the grip department in most situations (ie other than accelerating). Also, I don't know about other countries, but here in the US most people don't have the driving skills to handle a RWD vehicle safely in adverse conditions. The incidence of spinout type accidents has been greatly reduced with the advent of FWD. Of course the incidence of FWD pig understeer plowing off the road type accidents has gone up. I guess it's better to plow off the road than to spin off the road. :sarc Anyway in my opinion AWD should be offered as an option on all cars. Although it incurs weight and drivetrain loss penalties, it offers the highest margin of safety in adverse conditions. Also you can drive the **** out of it whenever you want, and it grips like nothing else. :D
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

QUOTE
Originally posted by kenoka


            The reasons are mostly economic and practical.  You have inherently fewer drivetrain losses, which means you can have increased fuel economy.  You have reduced manufacturing costs, with fewer drivetrain parts.  For the consumer, you can be rid of the annoying transaxle "hump" in the center of the car, thus allowing for a true 5 passenger vehicle.  As previously mentioned, FWD has some advantages in the grip department in most situations (ie other than accelerating).  Also, I don't know about other countries, but here in the US most people don't have the driving skills to handle a RWD vehicle safely in adverse conditions.  The incidence of spinout type accidents has been greatly reduced with the advent of FWD.  Of course the incidence of FWD pig understeer plowing off the road type accidents has gone up.  I guess it's better to plow off the road than to spin off the road.  :sarc  Anyway in my opinion AWD should be offered as an option on all cars.  Although it incurs weight and drivetrain loss penalties, it offers the highest margin of safety in adverse conditions.  Also you can drive the **** out of it whenever you want, and it grips like nothing else.  :D  [/b]
Excellent information, just as in your Subaru post.

I also agree that ALL cars should come with AWD, at least as an option (that is, except for sports cars). But my guess is that it would drive the price up too much.

But then again, my current DSC is pretty damn impressive, except for the annoying and unsafe instances where it drops my engine power. I would love to see a system like this on a sportier car - once you know how to manipulate it, it can be fun.
 

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Replying to Topic 'the wheel that drives the market'

The story behind RWD is historical. In the beginning of the car era, technology didn't allow for very good solutions where you had the drive AND steering in the same wheel-pair. You got so big turning radies that if you started turning in Virginia, you'd be in Oklahoma before the car's nose acually started to point in the opposite direction...

That's why they put the drive on the rear and the steering on the front wheels.

However, as material strenght and engineering capabilities increased, FWD took place on the arena. And it had all the above mentioned advantages, thus it became a de facto standard.

However, RWD still had its fans. A RWD car is usually more fun to drive! (At least when you want to play around...)

Anyway, as Kenoka points out, AWD is to prefer in many ways. It gives the car superior handling, superior grip and a sense of power that is unmatchable by a 2WD car.
 
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