Types of drive in passenger cars - basics & differences

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There are different drive types in cars, we have taken a closer look at the basics and the differences. A few details in advance: The power generated by the motor vehicle engine has to be transferred to the wheels and thus to the road be transmitted. A distinction is made here between the following drive concepts: Front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and All wheel drive! The manufacturers define series-specifically whether a vehicle has front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. There is therefore an individual choice usually not. In addition, there is often the option of using a all wheel drive to use. Occasionally the latter is also available in small cars!

Front Wheel Drive (FWD)

  • The most common drive variant for passenger cars is the front-wheel drive. The advantages of this are obvious. The drive paths from the engine, which is usually installed in the front of the vehicle, to the drive shaft of the front axle are short. This saves costs because fewer components must be installed than in a vehicle with all-wheel or rear-wheel drive. In curves, vehicles with a front-wheel drive usually tend to Understeer. Through the intervention of the electronic auxiliary programs, such as ESP, the driving dynamics processes ("driving dynamics weak points") are intercepted more and more.

Front engine front wheel drive FWD

Rear Wheel Drive (RWD)

  • In a vehicle with rear-wheel drive, the power is transmitted from the front engine via a so-called propeller shaft on the drive components of the rear axle. This results in some advantages in terms of driving dynamics compared to front-wheel drive. The steering and drive axles are separate, which has advantages when cornering. Still, rear-wheel-drive vehicles tend to overturn on corners overdrive. The rear breaks out more easily. The rear propshaft also adds cost to rear wheel drive vehicles. That is why the drive model is more likely to be installed in higher-class vehicles. A rear-wheel drive is also rather unsuitable for small cars, since the cardan tunnel takes up space in the passenger cell.

Worth knowing: Incorrectly, the term rear-wheel drive is often used as a synonym for rear-wheel drive. However, these two drive models differ. While with a rear-wheel drive, as described above, the engine in the front of the vehicle is installed, with a rear-wheel drive is the motor above the driving rear axle installed. The trunk is then correspondingly smaller or is instead located in the front of the vehicle (Porsche 911).

Front engine rear wheel drive RWD

All Wheel Drive (AWD)

  • The all wheel drive the power of the engine, as the name suggests, on all wheels of the vehicle, and thus to both axes. Depending on the vehicle electronics installed, the wheels or axles can be driven individually and even at different speeds. The advantage is that the force can be transmitted evenly and load-oriented. The driving dynamics properties are optimized in this way. This leads to increased driving comfort and increased driving safety. In the meantime, however, all-wheel drive is no longer a privilege of off-road or luxury vehicles. It is now also offered in mid-range vehicles and small cars for an additional charge.

Four Wheel Drive 4WD Retrofit E1577080982468

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