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      07-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #1
Noor
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RWD Drivers

I have been a proud owner of 2002 VW PASSAT V6 for 10 years and obviously its a FWD, I have been occasionally driving RWDs but never as a permanent daily car. i'm buying a 328i F30, I would like you to walk me through the difference driving experience between FWD and RWD and is a the F30 considered an ordinary RWD or its different! Pros and Cons
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      07-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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i haven't noticed a different to be honest. i had a 2000 passat v6 before this.

can't wait to try it in the snow though.
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      07-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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I came from an Acura RSX Type-S. I loved that little car, but to me, the biggest problem that it had was that it was FWD. The weight balance of the car is way off, like 65% on the front axle, it has an open differential, and relatively powerful engine at over 200hp. All this means that it was extremely easy to get wheelspin, specially when it was wet, and if you accelerated hard with some angle on the steering wheel then you had to fight against the torque steer (steering wheel pulls in and car wants to oversteer).

These problems are non-existent on a RWD car. When you accelerate the weight of the car shifts to the rear axle, helping your grip instead of reducing it, and the steering is unaffected.

Car makers use FWD because it reduces cost, simplifies the design and allows for more flexibility when designing cabin space and whatnot, but for performance RWD is the way to go (ignoring AWD).
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      07-06-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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RWD = no torque steer.
FWD = torque steer in almost every car, especially if it has decent power.

In FWD, the front wheels both transfer power to the road; and steer the car. When enough throttle/power is applied, the steering system is influenced. The car may tend to pull in one direction or another. The driver must be alert to keep the car pointed where it is desired. In a bad case scenario (i.e. a car with a lot of torque steer) the driver is often fighting the wheel when under power to keep the car going in the right direction.

In a RWD car, there is no torque steer. The rear wheels have one major job which is transmitting power. The front wheels steer. There is no conflict between the two.

Many newer FWD designs do much to mitigate torque steer. But, with enough power, it always exists to some extent.
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      07-06-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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Once you've tasted the RWD, i mean fully taste it more than the occasional drive,
you will not want to go back to FWD.... unless you dont care about torque steer...


for me, i would rather savor the pleasure of driving, rather than fight with the steering wheel every so often at the red light or in corners...

Drifting is a more fun way of playing with the steering wheel... something that FWDs dont understand...
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      07-06-2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
Once you've tasted the RWD, i mean fully taste it more than the occasional drive,
you will not want to go back to FWD.... unless you dont care about torque steer...


for me, i would rather savor the pleasure of driving, rather than fight with the steering wheel every so often at the red light or in corners...

Drifting is a more fun way of playing with the steering wheel... something that FWDs dont understand...
have you tried drifting? everyone seems to complain about steering, but since i don't drive my car hard or crazy i feel no difference. to me, i don't feel a difference in fwd versus rwd, but i haven't done anything to feel it. too scared something might happen.
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      07-06-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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there is a difference. You don't need to drift to feel it.

Any FWD car w/ any power will exhibit torque steer to some degree. Very annoying.
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      07-06-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtrey View Post
there is a difference. You don't need to drift to feel it.

Any FWD car w/ any power will exhibit torque steer to some degree. Very annoying.
YES YES AND YES...

remember those cheap radio control/ remote wire cars that can only go straight or turn right ...

... in a FWD, with sudden acceleration, you suddenly get the pull to the right...
i just can't get used to it... can't stand it, very annoying...
steering goes right, you over-correct it to the left, and then you have to readjust back to the right, centering it out...
I keep on forgetting every single time i drive my gf's car...

With my car:
i can use to the fact that my RWD slip its tail out on slightly wet road or loose gravel... and that's all !
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      07-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcl0328 View Post
have you tried drifting? everyone seems to complain about steering, but since i don't drive my car hard or crazy i feel no difference. to me, i don't feel a difference in fwd versus rwd, but i haven't done anything to feel it. too scared something might happen.
FWD is better for non-spiritated drivers since you probably wont face torque steer or want to take slight drifts around the corner. It works much better in bad weather and arguably is easier to control when things go really bad.

RWD is better for people who push the car to get the last ounce of power is has. It gets tricky in even slight bad weather... I also feel you need a little more driving skill to prevent a spin when it goes really bad. Having the skill to push the car to the limit and save it from spinning is appealing to many including me.

AWD is arguably the best compromise. You get excellent grip in bad weather and if you have a rear biased AWD system .. you get the RWD character. It is however less 'fun' because you have to go really fast to induce a 4 wheel drift ... whereas its pretty easy with a RWD car even at lower speeds.
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      07-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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great summary achopra!
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      07-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #11
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If one drives the car at around 5/10ths (i.e. commuting or casual driving), you'll probably never notice the difference between FWD, AWD, and RWD. If you push the car toward 7 or 8/10ths, then you'll notice it. I would add that it's not just about torque steer or drifting; there is a different sensation in taking a line in a RWD car and being "pushed" through it instead of pulled. Furthermore, I find it easier to adjust the driver's line using the throttle with a RWD car.
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      07-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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Here is what you do, get rolling, put the car in Sport + in 1st gear. floor it and as your loosing traction just turn the steering a bit. From here just keep the steering at a good angle keeping the car sideways as you drive down the street.
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      07-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMM_OMG View Post
...I would add that it's not just about torque steer or drifting; there is a different sensation in taking a line in a RWD car and being "pushed" through it instead of pulled...
+1
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      07-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ric124 View Post
Here is what you do, get rolling, put the car in Sport + in 1st gear. floor it and as your loosing traction just turn the steering a bit. From here just keep the steering at a good angle keeping the car sideways as you drive down the street.
i'll have to try this.
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      07-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achopra
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcl0328 View Post
have you tried drifting? everyone seems to complain about steering, but since i don't drive my car hard or crazy i feel no difference. to me, i don't feel a difference in fwd versus rwd, but i haven't done anything to feel it. too scared something might happen.
FWD is better for non-spiritated drivers since you probably wont face torque steer or want to take slight drifts around the corner. It works much better in bad weather and arguably is easier to control when things go really bad.

RWD is better for people who push the car to get the last ounce of power is has. It gets tricky in even slight bad weather... I also feel you need a little more driving skill to prevent a spin when it goes really bad. Having the skill to push the car to the limit and save it from spinning is appealing to many including me.

AWD is arguably the best compromise. You get excellent grip in bad weather and if you have a rear biased AWD system .. you get the RWD character. It is however less 'fun' because you have to go really fast to induce a 4 wheel drift ... whereas its pretty easy with a RWD car even at lower speeds.
I must disagree with the FWD comments completely. I actually see no benefit to a FWD car at all from the drivers perspective, the only reason for their being is for cost and manufacturers convenience.

In bad weather it is extremely easy to get wheelspin and loss of traction under acceleration with a FWD car. Cant see how anyone would ever prefer that.
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      07-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #16
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stupid Android app doesnt know how to quote...
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      07-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30_Vincent View Post
I must disagree with the FWD comments completely. I actually see no benefit to a FWD car at all from the drivers perspective, the only reason for their being is for cost and manufacturers convenience.

In bad weather it is extremely easy to get wheelspin and loss of traction under acceleration with a FWD car. Cant see how anyone would ever prefer that.
Not sure where you are getting this. It's much easier to get wheelspin in a RWD car under acceleration in poor weather conditions than a FWD car. the reason FWD have greater traction is the added weight over the drive wheels. It's the same reason pickup truck owners add sandbags to the bed in the winter.
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      07-06-2012, 07:52 PM   #18
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Pros: everything
Cons: none

Rear wheel drive (also called right wheel drive) means better steering feel and no torque-steer. It also means when you exceed the limit, especially in a BMW, you get manageable oversteer instead of understeer, which kills everything. My friend said it best when he said you get behind a shopping cart and push it, you don't stand in front and pull it.

In daily driving, you won't notice much, but I wouldn't trade RWD for anything else
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      07-06-2012, 11:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noor View Post
I have been a proud owner of 2002 VW PASSAT V6 for 10 years and obviously its a FWD, I have been occasionally driving RWDs but never as a permanent daily car. i'm buying a 328i F30, I would like you to walk me through the difference driving experience between FWD and RWD and is a the F30 considered an ordinary RWD or its different! Pros and Cons
The one thing you'll most likely feel is how the F30 steers.
The rear wheels provide the drive/push to move the car, and the front wheels provide the direction of where the car will go.

When you go around a turn you won't feel any "tug" at the steering wheel, especially when going around a turn under power and the road surface is bumpy. In that scenario with FWD you feel the tires pulling while they are also steering. At the steering wheel you feel the tugging of the power, and the tug of the tires bouncing over the bumps.
With RWD, it's a much smoother operation. You may feel the bumps as the front tires go over them, but no tug.

On hard acceleration the steering wheel and front of the car remain straight. You won't feel the front drive wheels pulling the car left or/then right, as happens with FWD.

Yes, the F30 is a traditional RWD setup. But, it has all the modern traction and stability controls that decades old RWD didn't have.
Most modern FWD, RWD, and AWD have traction and stability controls.

Here's an example of the difference between RWD and FWD.
RWD, if you take a 90 degree turn from a stop light, and you give it too much throttle, the rear end may want to step out/swing wide. With traction control, the sensors will first detect the wheel spin and take over the throttle by cutting power. If the rear continues to swing wide/over steer, stability control uses yaw sensors, which will tell the ECU that this needs correction.
The ECU can take over throttle and control the brakes individually to bring the rear back in line.
With the system fully on, all you'll feel is a slight sway in the rear, and a cut in power, once back in line, control is all yours again. It happens very quickly, and works very well.

With no traction or stability control, in the above scenario, and a lack of RWD driving experience, you may likely end up spinning your car around, especially on wet pavement.
In that same scenario with FWD, with traction and stability on, the most that would happen is that the front tires will try to spin and traction control will cut throttle to stop them from spinning. But, your rear end is not nearly as likely to swing around. With FWD the rear tires are passive under power, thus they can't continue to push the rear wider and wider.
You'll just feel a cut in power.

With FWD, if you turn traction and stability off, in that scenario more likely your front tires will spin, the rear will stay in line/follow the front, but if you continue to push the throttle, the front tires will spin and begin to slip causing the front to push wide, create a wider turning arc/under steer.
It's safer as you're not likely to spin your car around, but you may end up facing on coming traffic.

For novice drivers, and/or those who don't want to have to control these things, traction and stability controls should be left ON, all the time.

If you're new to RWD, or don't have much experience with it, then leave the traction and stability controls on all the time.
If you want to feel what RWD really feels like, and what it can do (good and bad) with no assistance, take your car to an empty parking lot and test out things with traction and stability in different modes.

Consult your manual for an explanation of traction and stability controls, and how to change them.
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      07-07-2012, 12:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30_Vincent View Post
stupid Android app doesnt know how to quote...
think its the app in general. happens on iphone as well.
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