FWD , AWD, 4WD, Or RWD?!
What Is The Difference!!!
You are a good driver but you still lack a knowledge of what the f*** is it the difference between 4WD and AWD mean?!
It’s sad, funny and strange how so many people confuse the all wheel drive and the four-wheel drive.
Do not desperate, as those marketing terms are a little bit confusing even for the manufacturers.
The terms usage is different in different countries.
For instance, British people use the terms 4WD and AWD interchangeably while in U.S. those terms stand for quite different systems.
Without universally specified terms, people find it harder and harder to distinguish what WD means regarding their vehicle.
For the vehicularly illiterate among you, there are basically four types of drivetrain layouts that harness the power from your car’s engine and transfer it to your tires:
FWD, AWD, 4WD, and RWD.
Each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
It’s by far the oldest, most tried and true and the most beloved type of drive for real drivers.
This drive type, has the rear wheels do all the pushing, leaving the front wheels to do the turning.
Tires only have a limited amount of traction, so letting the rear tires focus purely on acceleration.
The front tires focus purely on turning allows for the most efficient use of both sets.
Its only drawback is getting stuck in snow without much weight in back to push on the tires for added traction, but all in all the RWD is the real king.
Front-wheel drive (FWD)
FWD is one of the commonest drivetrain layout. You are wondering why?!
With the exception of braking, the rear tires are mostly along for the ride in a FWD vehicle, while the fronts do almost everything.
In cars with lots of power, the wheels are sometimes pulled to the left or right by the sheer torque of the engine.
This is something called torque steer, and if you floor your car and pay very close attention to the steering wheel, there’s a good chance you’ll feel it in your car.
Sure, with modern engineering, some FWD vehicles are quite good.
When compared with RWD, FWD provides you with better performances on snowy weather conditions.
The weight of the engine pushes down on the wheels.
But in normal conditions it’s still a compromised set-up from a physics standpoint.
Its popularity is a result of being cheap and far easier for the manufacturer.
Manufacturer simply assemble a FWD engine/transmission combo and load it into a car on the assembly line.
Whereas the other drivetrains require a special tunnel running through the center of the car.
Moreover, this drive is fuel economical.
All-wheel drive (AWD)
The term AWD is not so easily distinguishing from the 4WD.
In some countries the terms are both used interchangeably.
Although both drive types got a power on all four wheels there is still a great difference between them.
The difference is that AWD uses a specialized mechanism in the center of the car that distributes the power to both the front and rear.
Sometimes equally and sometimes biased towards one end or the other.
This provides you with better acceleration ,and when you’re driving in conditions like ice or dirt.
You can also get sideways for really long periods of a time — and that’s ridiculously fun, as long as you’re not hitting anything.
One of the greatest error is the universal misconception that 4WD or AWD are better in snowy weather conditions.
Let us immediately tell you that 4WD and AWD provide you with a false security when accelerating.
Neither 4WD Nor AWD are any better at stopping or turning in snow and ice than RWD or FWD.
Four-wheel drive (4WD)
This drive type is most characteristic when driving Land Rover, Land Cruiser or Jeep.
You have the option of putting your vehicle in two-wheel drive mode (2H) similar to RWD.
Or you can simply put in 4H which means that all the wheels are operating a little differently from each other — much like AWD.
But, 4H is different from AWD because of the 4L- four low mood.
This is the mood in which all four wheels are locked together and will spin at the same rate at all times.
And, if you get stuck in mud or very deep snow this is the right option for you.
There’s no adjusting, just the pure pulling power of all four tires working in unison.