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Advantages of Front Wheel Drive-

1. Interior space: Since the powertrain is a single unit contained in the engine compartment of
the vehicle, there is no need to devote interior space for a driveshaft tunnel or
rear differential, increasing the volume available for passengers and cargo.
2. Cost: Fewer components overall
3. Weight: Fewer components mean lower weight
4. Fuel economy: Lower weight means better gasoline mileage
5. Improved drivetrain efficiency: the direct connection between engine and transaxle reduce
the mass and mechanical inertia of the drivetrain compared to a rear-wheel drive vehicle with
a similar engine and transmission, allowing greater fuel economy.
6. Assembly efficiency: the powertrain can be often be assembled and installed as a unit, which
allows more efficient production.
7. Slippery-surface traction: placing the mass of the drivetrain over the driven wheels
improves traction on wet, snowy, or icy surfaces. Although heavy cargo can be beneficial for
traction on rear-wheel drive pickup trucks.
8. Predictable handling characteristics: front-wheel drive cars, with a front weight bias, tend
to understeer at the limit, which is commonly believed to be easier for average drivers to
correct than terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in fishtailing or a spin.
9. Better crosswind stability.
10. Tactile feedback via the steering wheel informing driver if a wheel is slipping.
11. Front wheel drive allows the use of left-foot braking as a driving technique.

Diadvantages of Front Wheel Drive-

1. The center of gravity of the vehicle is typically farther forward than a comparable rear-wheel
drive layout. In front wheel drive cars, the front axle typically supports around 2/3rd of the
weight of the car (quite far off the "ideal" 50/50 weight distribution). This is a contributing
factor in the tendency of front wheel drive cars to understeer.
2. Torque steer can be a problem on front wheel drive cars with higher torque engines ( >
210 Nm ) and transverse layout. This is the name given to the tendency for some front
wheel drive cars to pull to the left or right under hard acceleration. It is a result of the offset
between the point about which the wheel steers (which falls at a point which is aligned with
the points at which the wheel is connected to the steering mechanisms) and the centroid of
its contact patch. The tractive force acts through the centroid of the contact patch, and the
offset of the steering point means that a turning moment about the axis of steering is
generated. In an ideal situation, the left and right wheels would generate equal and opposite
moments, cancelling each other out, however in reality this is less likely to happen. Torque
steer is often incorrectly attributed to differing rates of twist along the lengths of unequal
front drive shafts. However, Center-point steering geometry can be incorporated in the
design to avoid torque steer. This is how the powerful Citroen SM front-wheel drive car
avoided the problem.
3. Lack of weight shifting will limit the acceleration of a front wheel drive vehicle. In a rear
wheel drive car the weight shifts back during acceleration giving more traction to the driving
wheels. This is the main reason why nearly all racing cars are rear wheel drive. However,
since front wheel cars have the weight of the engine over the driving wheels the problem
only applies in extreme conditions.
4. In some towing situations front wheel drive cars can be at a traction disadvantage since there
will be less weight on the driving wheels. Because of this, the weight that the vehicle is rated
to safely tow is likely to be less than that of a rear wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicle of
the same size and power.
5. Due to geometry and packaging constraints, the CV joints (constant-velocity joints) attached
to the wheel hub have a tendency to wear out much earlier than their rear wheel
drive counterparts. The significantly shorter drive axles on a front wheel drive car causes the
joint to flex through a much wider degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and
angles of steering, while the CV joints of a rear wheel drive car regularly see angles and
wear of less than half that of front wheel drive vehicles.
6. The driveshafts may limit the amount by which the front wheels can turn, thus it may
increase the turning circle of a front wheel drive car compared to a rear wheel drive one with
the same wheelbase.
7. In low traction conditions (ie: ice or gravel) the front (Drive) Wheels lose traction first
making steering ineffective.
Advantages of Rear Wheel Drive-

1. Better handling in dry conditions - accelerating force is applied to the rear wheels, on which

the down force increases, due to load transfer in acceleration, making the rear tires better

able to take simultaneous acceleration and curving than the front tires.

2. More predictable steering in low traction conditions (ie: ice or gravel) because the steering

wheels maintain traction and the ability to affect the motion of the vehicle even if the drive

wheels are slipping.

3. Less costly and easier maintenance - Rear wheel drive is mechanically simpler and typically

does not involve packing as many parts into as small a space as does front wheel drive, thus

requiring less disassembly or specialized tools in order to replace parts.

4. No torque steer.

5. Even weight distribution - The division of weight between the front and rear wheels has a

significant impact on a car's handling, and it is much easier to get a 50/50 weight distribution

in a rear wheel drive car than in a front wheel drive car, as more of the engine can lie

between the front and rear wheels (in the case of a mid engine layout, the entire engine), and

the transmission is moved much farther back.

6. Steering radius - As no complicated drive shaft joints are required at the front wheels, it is

possible to turn them further than would be possible using front wheel drive, resulting in a

smaller steering radius.

7. Towing - Rear wheel drive puts the wheels which are pulling the load closer to the point

where a trailer articulates, helping steering, especially for large loads.

8. Weight transfer during acceleration. (During heavy acceleration, the front end rises, and

more weight is placed on the rear, or driving wheels).

9. Drifting - Drifting is a controlled skid, where the rear wheels break free from the pavement

as they spin, allowing the rear end of the car to move freely left and right. This is of course
easier to do on slippery surfaces. Severe damage and wear to tires and mechanical
components can result from drifting on dry asphalt. Drifting can be used to help in cornering

quickly, or in turning the car around in a very small space. Many enthusiasts make a sport of

drifting, and will drift just for the sake of drifting. Drifting requires a great deal of skill, and

is not recommended for most drivers. It should be mentioned that front wheel drive and four

wheel drive cars may also drift, but only with much more difficulty. When front wheel drive

cars drift, the driver usually pulls on the emergency brake in order for the back wheels to

stop and thus skid. This technique is also used for 'long' drifts, where the turn is

accomplished by pulling the e-brake while turning the steering wheel to the direction the
driver desires. With drifting, there is also the importance of 'counter-steering' - where while

temporarily out of control, the driver regains it by turning the wheel in the opposite direction

and thus preparing for the next turn or straight-away.

Diadvantages of Rear Wheel Drive-


1. More difficult to master - While the handling characteristics of rear-wheel drive may be

more fun for some drivers, for others having rear wheel drive is less intuitive. The unique

driving dynamics of rear wheel drive typically do not create a problem when used on

vehicles that also offer electronic stability control and traction control.

2. Decreased interior space - This isn't an issue in a vehicle with a ladder frame like a pickup

truck, where the space used by the drive line is unusable for passengers or cargo. But in a

passenger car, rear wheel drive means: Less front leg room (the transmission tunnel takes up

a lot of space between the driver and front passenger), less leg room for center rear

passengers (due to the tunnel needed for the drive shaft), and sometimes less trunk space

(since there is also more hardware that must be placed underneath the trunk).

3. Increased weight - The drive shaft, which connects the engine at the front to the drive axle in

the back, adds weight. There is extra sheet metal to form the transmission tunnel. A rear

wheel drive car will weigh slightly more than a comparable front wheel drive car, but less
than four wheel drive.
4. Higher purchase price - Due to the added cost of materials, rear wheel drive is typically

slightly more expensive to purchase than a comparable front wheel drive vehicle. This might

also be explained by production volumes, however. Rear drive is typically the platform for

luxury performance vehicles, which makes read drive appear to be more expensive. In

reality, even luxury performance front drive vehicles are more expensive than average.

5. More difficult handling on low grip surfaces (wet road, ice, snow, gravel...) as the car is

pushed rather than pulled. In modern rear drive cars, this disadvantage is offset by electronic
stability control and traction control.