Buying new A4,330i, G35, CTS, C320

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The sudden

Nothing further from the truth. I happened to be driving calmly at some 50 Km/h in a residential area. I was paying attention, as I always do when I'm driving. It was a perfectly straight dry stretch and excellent weather conditions. Neither me nor my passenger saw anything. We just only heard and felt the smash, then by looking in the mirror I could see what looked like a big stone in the middle of the lane behind me. It was a dead antelope, which had just jumped over a 1.5m deep ditch and into the road from behind a hedge. The animal happened to land in front of my bumper, so that it was impossible to see it. Now, even if you're driving at a low speed an obstacle might suddenly appear in front of you, and assuming you'd seen it, you would emergency-brake, wouldn't you?
The possibility of a sudden obstacle in the middle of the roadway, however remote, is never to be neglected.
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IOW, the animal didn't just "appear" in the middle of the road. It came from *somewhere.* Bad luck for you, yes. And not much to be done about it. But if you knew it was possible, you might have slowed down at that spot, and the antelope would have not been there right at the time your bumper got there.
There is a stretch of road near Crater Lake National Park. The woods come right up to the road, or very close. In the summer and fall, the deer are quite active along this stretch. Nobody in their right mind drives this at the posted 55mph. It's straight, and with excellent sightlines for cars, but not for wild animals. I don't recall seeing anyone drive over 35mph there. Even that is pretty fast for that section of road, and only because of deer.
You example in no way illustrates the "blind bend" you postulate.

Yes, if it's so vanishingly remote as to be absurdly unlikely, then you can do nothing but neglect it. Like a meteorite landing right in front of you.
On a blind bend, stuff doesn't just magically appear, and that goes for other roadways as well. I stand by my original statement, because anything else is a violation of the laws of physics.
I notice that you abandoned your other (incorrect) arguments. Wise choice. -- Jonesy
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Your argument is totally ridiculous as my speed was lower than the average speed you'd have been driving at.

Did you realize the difference between 50 km/h and 55mph?

If this can happen to you on a straight, then the chances of more complications arising from sth similar on a bend are also bigger.

I've been to physics college, so don't try to lecture me on that, but the sole fact you're refusing to accept the obvious doesn't make you immune to the basic principle that states that enthropy is always on the increase, i.e. things tend to chaos by nature, which means, wake up Jonesey, we live in a real world, not in perfect dreamland, as you're assuming. Now, the possibility of getting an unexpected obstacle in your way and having to brake as fast as you can is very real, and that's final. Only when you've hit sth. will you realise what I'm saying.

Which is the same reason I haven't provided a reply to the rest of your claims, because if you care to read my previous post carefully, you'll see you the suggestions you made were totally unreal and I was never proven wrong.
Yours,
JP
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LOL. Look up the word "irony."
You have no idea what speed I might choose for any road. Arguing that somehow you'd "know" what speed I'd choose *is* quite ridiculous.

I'm guessing that you didn't even bother to read what I wrote. Here's a hint: your speed was about 5mph less than the speed at which most folks travel on the road I described.

You have no idea what you're talking about. By definition, if you don't outdrive your sightlines, you don't travel very fast coming into a blind bend. That is the only way you can stop in time in the case of an obstacle that you can't see at first. Only an imbecile would argue otherwise.
Your straight stretch has nothing to do with blind bends and cornering.

It seems your previous lectures were no very helpful in this case. Matter does not spring from nothingness in the blink of an eye. Well, discounting electron/positron pairs from certain gamma rays...

LOL. Considering how much correct information you've imparted in this thread, I'll ignore this puerile jibe.

Just because *you* say so doesn't mean anything. Funny, in all this time I've been driving, I've never seen anything magically appear in the middle of the road. What's more, I've never run into anything on the public roadway. After nearly thirty years of driving in rural, wood areas, and in dense urban areas with brain-dead American SUV drivers, I seem to never get wrinkled sheet metal. How is that possible, in your weird world where stuff appears out of thin air, right in the middle of the road?

Since I always give myself an escape route or sufficient stopping distance, I expect my perfect driving record to continue. (Well, aside from some speeding tickets, but that's life in underposted USA.)

Except you *were* proven wrong, in the absence of outside sources to back up your claims. Just because *you* say something doesn't mean it's true. If you have some links to prove your points, I'd love to see them. I sure haven't found anything that supports your contentions. I've found plenty that support mine. Go ahead, provide links. Otherwise, you're just some kid being peevish on USENET. -- Jonesy
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Since my speed was in your words about 8 km/h less than the speed at which most folks drive - and that obviously includes you as the perfect example of Mr Right - my point is now perfectly proven. I was driving more slowly than you'd have been. Thank you for your "source"! LOL. Of course, since you belong to the realm of what happens in a figment of your imagination, you will also argue against the most common of senses and logic. If you do, I'll just think you're even being more childish than you've been up to now.

Once more, if you bother to read all of our threads anyone in their right minds would understand what I'm saying and how that can happen.

If it's really true that you've been driving for 30 years, which I don't doubt, you'll have realised there's always going to be that new unfamiliar situation on the road which migh catch you out-of-balance. If you've never hit anything whatsoever in all those 30 years you must have driven very little if at all or then I'm sorry, I don't buy you on that one. However, being that you're so perfect and all that then you might as well want to buy the next lottery ticket and according to your sense of logic be a millionaire on draw day - as that sounds more probable to me! LOL!

Matter does not need to spring from nothingness, it springs from where you least expected it, and that's as real as it can get. I've got a friend whose windscreen hit a magpie when driving on the autobahn at around 200, and matter was very real to the glass - i.e. he was only lucky not to be carrying a passenger, which is the side the animal hit.

You'd rather hope, not expect as this is something only God and apparently you can predict, dear Mr Nowitatall. By the way I've got a perfectly clean speeding record myself.

Now, with all due respect, I have more important matters to attend, but I do hope you are really lucky enough not to ever hit anything.
Yours,
JP Roberts
End of thread. Period
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Obviously you have no idea what your are talking about. Either that, or you are very confused. Is the stretch of road you are blathering on about near Crater Lake National Park in Oregon State? No?
Try reading something before you type - it makes you look like you actually engaged your brain.

[snipped nonsensical commentary]
Ah, yes - the ad hominem logical fallacy. When you can't refute the argument, attack the person.

Did you know that you are responding to your own words? Are you now arging with yourself?
"Anyone in their right minds [sic]" would not confuse trail-braking with using a handbrake. Your credibility is low.

Of course. That's why you're not driving at the limit of adhesion on an unfamiliar public road. Since that would be a prudent thing, then the discussion about how the car is set up for performance at the limit is mostly meaningless, because you are not even approaching the limit, and have plenty of reserve to deal with these magically appearing animals, or couches or whatever materializes out of thin air.

You *are* sorry, but again, you have no idea how much I've driven. Hundreds of thousands of kilometers, all over the western U.S. Heck, to traverse the state in which I live, I have to drive over 1000km (round-trip). I do it twice a month. That includes wooded areas, open rural roads, and dense-traffic urban roads.

Well, considering your comments up to now, I can't imagine you being right on this, either.

That's the funny thing about defensive driving - you look at your situation and say "what if?" Then you drive like that "if" is going to happen. Kids jump out from between cars, dogs run out into the street, deer grazing along the side of the road decide that the other side has better forage. Driving on the public roadway is an exercise in concentration and focus - and barring really weird fall-from-the-sky stuff, you *can* drive around your entire life and not hit anything.

And no amount of suspension settings are going to prevent that. Or a rock falling from the sky, or some other event that's just plain bad luck. But you don't drive flat out around a blind bend - that's just stupid.

Good for you. I don't drive as though my life is in another's hands - I drive as though it's in *my* hands. And take appropriate action. This mysterious power that places all sorts of obstacles in your path must not like you much. I can see why, with your name-calling and other uncivil behavior. I suppose I could chalk it up to lack of a proper upbringing.

Luck has very little to do with it. If you wish to believe that life revolves around chance, that's fine with me. But I don't buy it. But why are you responding to your own words? And if you wanted to argue with yourself, why involve me or alt.autos.audi?

Sure. Your universal declaration is binding on everyone. LOL. -- Jonesy
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The 944 was a great car, but this opinion doesn't place you well among automotive enthusiasts.

And I agree. My point was that FWD retains a traction advantage over RWD in inclimate weather. I'm not sure how many times I'll have to repeat that until it sinks in.

I never claimed that FWD was superior overall to RWD. Now you're pulling strawman arguments, please don't twist my posts. I claimed that FWD is superior in bad weather. Bad weather, bad weather, bad weather. Get it?

No I didn't, that was someone else. But it is true that rear engined cars maintain the same traction advantages that FWD cars do by placing the engine's weight over the drive wheels.

There have been some fantastic FWD sports cars throughout time. In the late 80s and early 90s, Lotus even produced a FWD car, the sucessor to the Elan. It's still regarded as being one of the most balanced cars in the world, and very fun to drive. Or is Lotus no longer a high performance auto maker?

Moving the engine to the back such as Porsche does with the Carrera makes for traction benefits. It also forces the engineers to have out a battle with physics and weight distribution that results in a car which isn't very friendly to newcomers. Making a car FWD increases it's traction as well, but it also weight-biases the car to the front end and prounounces understeer. However, many RWD cars such as everything in BMW's lineup are tuned to understeer *anyway* because it's safer with most driver's.

Untrue. The only benefit I've claimed that FWD cars have over RWD cars is that it's easier for them to find traction with all the drivetrain weight over the drive wheels. Since rear-engine, rear-drive cars also place the drivetrain weight over the drive wheels, they benefit from the same traction advantages.

It was, you are, apparently.

IT MAKES FOR BETTER TRACTION ON SLIPPERY ROADS WHICH OCCUR DURING INCLIMATE WEATHER. READ IT CAREFULLY!

Please reference exactly what princinple of physics we are reversing and back it with sources. Placing weight over a vehicle's drive wheels aids it in maintaining traction on slippery roads. READ IT CAREFULLY!

Anything that makes a road slippery would qualify.

Oh really? So you're saying that a car behaves the same way in rain and snow as it does on dry pavement? What level of reality-alteration do you need to be set at for this to be true?

I can't even begin to guess why it is your Olds is such a shitpile. It's beyond my ESP, I'm sorry. But your antecdotes don't change the things the automotive press and public as well as engineers have known for decades.

It doesn't work that way. Changing road conditions throw that logic off into the sunset, never to return.

If you honestly believe that your car can make and maintain grip with the road just as easily in wet weather as it does in dry weather, you're not the kind of driver I ever want to be near on a rainy day, you'll probably kill someone.

Have you ever been ice skating? Ever tried walking onto an ice rink in normal shoes? If you have, you'd know damn well it's a lot harder to walk on ice than it is on pavement. Ever done a burnout? It occurs when the tires on the drivewheels can no longer maintain grip with the road because of the excessive power being sent to them all at once. As the surface of the road gets wetter, slippier, etc...it becomes harder and harder for the tires to maintain grip as the engine is forcing them along. Adding weight over the drive wheels helps the tires do their jobs, and helps keep you and your car on the road. Are you getting this yet?
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Steve Grauman wrote:
<multiple snips throughout>

I never claimed to have good taste. And I honestly couldn't care less about my standing among "automotive enthusiasts" if they're that petty.

The repetition is really helping. Please do a lot more of it. Or, alternately, describe this "traction advantage" that FWD has over RWD. (And please describe it in a little more detail than "better.") Because it would seem to me that applying additional loads to a given tire, and along more axes, reduces that tire's likelihood of sticking to the road. In a FWD car, the front tires have way more duties to perform than do the rears. In a RWD car, these duties are more evenly distributed. FWD is therefore more likely to lose traction at the front wheels under lateral acceleration in any condition where the issue of driven wheels comes into play. (IOW, if you're rolling in neutral, then the issue of which wheels are driven is moot.) This is the reason why performance automakers don't use FWD. This is the reason why RWD cars are less likely to lose lateral grip in *any* weather condition. It is also the very reason for the understeer that you initially hyped as being such a benefit. The reason FWD cars understeer so readily is tied directly to the reason why they lose grip so easily. (Yes, there are other factors that determine whether a car tends to over- or understeer. But I don't think anyone -- not even you -- will deny that FWD, all by itself, is a huge contributor to understeer.)
Is the "traction advantage" that you claim simply an advantage in maintaining forward motion? Or does it apply to controlling the car in a slide? Because I thought we were talking about the latter (something about pulling the car through a skid IIRC), and you seem now to be talking about the former.
And if you're supporting a trade-off of grip in favor of a tendency to understeer, you should have said so. But I don't think you're saying so, since you're saying the opposite:

Oh, I did read it carefully. So does placing weight over a vehicle's drive wheels aid it in maintaining traction on *un*slippery roads, as well? If not, why not? And if so, then why is weather condition a part of this discussion?

Didn't you just accuse *me* of using a straw man argument? (You did. And I think you were wrong. But I snipped it rather than refute it. I'm just a helluva guy.) At least *I've* yet to resort to ad hominem, which you've employed several times now. I'm not trying to insult you by disagreeing with you. You and I simply have different opinions on this matter and, apparently, seem intent on trying to resolve those differences. Though at this point, that conclusion seems unlikely. I've taken the unpopular side of enough arguments -- both online and in the real world -- about various topics to be well used to the hurling of insults by my opponents. People arguing popularly-supported positions seem more emboldened to the use of insults.
Getting back to the discussion at hand:
The popularly-accepted notion that FWD is better than RWD in slippery conditions -- powerfully propagandized by GM and others in the 80's to push acceptance of their new fleet of FWD vehicles -- is one that I don't believe holds water. Interestingly, as automakers strive to improve the handling of their cars today, they're switching back to RWD. (Chrysler's new 300C and its cousin over at Dodge, as an example.) And they're going through a lot of trouble to convince the public that FWD isn't really all that much better than RWD. Interesting how the thing that's "best" seems always to be the thing that's currently for sale...
I don't believe what you attribute to me in your straw man above, as evidenced by the fact that I never wrote it. What I *did* write was two-fold:
First: A car's fundamental handling behavior remains the same regardless of road conditions. If car "F" loses grip before car "R" on a dry road, then car "F" will also lose grip before car "R" when that same road is wet or snow-covered, and with all other things being equal.
Second: The behavior a car exhibits as traction is lost remains the same whether the car is on a dry road or a snowy one. What car "F" does when it loses grip on a dry road is identical to what car "F" does when it loses grip on a snowy road -- again, with all other things equal.
In each case, the argument is based on the fact -- uncontested so far by you -- that the physical laws that define a car's behavior at and beyond the limit of 100% tire adhesion do not change with varying road conditions. The only thing that changes is the speed at which the friction between a car's tires and the road surface they are contacting is no longer able to fend off a slide. Less friction means less speed is required to induce a loss of grip.
I did *not* write that this loss of grip occurs at the same speeds in both circumstances, just that the laws of physics that define which car loses grip first do not change with the weather. The car that's more likely to lose grip in the dry is also more likely to lose grip in the wet or in the snow, if all other variables are equal. Since you seem willing to concede that RWD cars are better handlers in the dry, I don't understand why you claim that they're inferior handlers in the wet or in the snow. This insistence seems to imply that the car that handles well in the dry doesn't also handle well in the snow. Which in turn requires that the physics defining a car's handling characteristics change with the weather. But when I pointed out that your argument requires this assumption, you neither corrected nor refuted me. You insulted me.
The arguments you've presented thus far to defend your claim that FWD offers superior handling to RWD are as follows:
First, that placing the engine over the drive wheels provides improved "traction" due to the increased weight. But this is easily disproved in any case where lateral forces are involved (IOW, a corner or a skid). And I wouldn't have jumped into this argument if I believed that you were only talking about the ability to keep a car moving forward, because that doesn't really affect whether a car is *safe* at all, which is what started this whole (seriously OT) thread.
Second, that automotive journalists and engineers agree with you. Even if you had provided evidence to back this up, it would still only be arguing from authority -- another fallacy.
Third, that I'll be made to believe your assertion if I just read it carefully enough and enough times.
So far you have conceded that RWD cars are generally better handlers on dry pavement than are FWD cars. You've conceded that the laws of physics don't change just because the road got slippery. Yet you maintain that FWD cars are generally better handlers in the snow than RWD cars. So what caused these cars' handling characteristics to change so dramatically (relative to one another) when the road got slippery?
I suppose there is one link in the above logical chain that I assumed and that you might want to contest: That the laws of physics define a car's handling.
- Greg Reed
--
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Greg Reed wrote: <cut>

Let's take a simple example, and later I will give you a little practical test you can do (and whichs results you should know without doing it).
Car's front tyres point where you want to go. Whether there is grip, or there isn't, they always point to that direction, and when they spinn, they give car normal acceleration to the center of the circle. It doesn't matter whether they have full grip on the road, or not, it'll go to that direction, as the tyres keep spinning and accelerating the car. The backtyres on the other hand have full grip all the time in FWD cars, since they're not accelerating, and are just passively following the car, giving it better side-wise-grip.
On the other hand, with RWD car, we have front tyres, which do have full-grip. So, we can point to any direction we want, but where do we get the sidegrip? Goash, we don't have it when you accelerate the car, since backwheels lose their grip -> car loses it's side-wise-grip. Now we would need to get back this grip to actually GO somewhere, sliding won't make our car go where we wanted, and it won't make the car go faster.
How did you plan to get more grip to backwheels with RWD, when there's less weight & spinning takes away all the grip? You planned to drive forward with front tyres only? Won't work.
And why are backwheels so important? And you don't believe they are? Take your handbrake and pull. What happens to the car? Does it spin? Oh yes. If you lock the front tyres however, what happens? Car goes straight forward, it won't spin.
Easier, change old-used-tires to your backwheels and brand new ones to front. Push brakes, your car will again go sidewise. Is this the behaviour you wanted? Now you can't go forward, nor can you accelerate the car, since the tyres can spin to whatever direction, and they don't give you acceleration to the direction you wanted. If backtyres pull to the right and you want to straight forward, you have a nice problem.
This added to the fact that RWD cars have much less weight on the spinning wheels, which makes them spinn empty on ice, makes them awful winter cars, you just get stuck everywhere. If you push more gas, your car starts to shake and tries to go sidefirst. I'm sure the guy next to you likes it, when you kick his car with your backside.
Don't fight the physics, try it. Even an FWD car can oversteer if needed, just put shitty tyres to the back. And please explain, how do you fight against the laws of physics, if you say RWD car is better at winter, when there's little friction. My RWD car just gets stuck every winter to few hills, I can't do anything.
- Yak
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Michael Burman wrote:
<snip my stuff>

This would all make perfectly good sense. Except that one of your premises isn't quite right:
You wrote "when they spinn [sic], they give car normal acceleration to the center of the circle." They don't.
The reason that the tail end of a car does the things you describe when yanking the emergency brake is also the reason why FWD cars are less adept at driving and steering at the same time: When a wheel's speed isn't the same as the surface over which it's traveling -- when it stops rolling -- it loses the ability to control lateral acceleration (that is, to prevent a sideways slide). In your example, applying the parking brake causes the rear wheels to be going more slowly than the road, thereby causing the rear of the car to lose lateral stability. But the exact same rules apply to the front wheels of a FWD car. When you press the accelerator (or lift off for engine braking) on a sufficiently slippery surface, the front wheels' speed will no longer match that of the road, thereby losing the ability to control lateral acceleration. The result? The front end of the car keeps going in the direction of its momentum, unaffected by the position of the steering wheel. Also called "understeer."
The front wheels "point where you want to go" in RWD cars as well as FWD ones. In FWD cars, they are additionally responsible for affecting forward motion. Whenever lateral forces are being applied to the front tires (as when turning), any application of the throttle increases the likelihood of these tires breaking free and therefore losing their lateral grip. In a RWD car, however, the front tires never have to do anything except "point where you want to go," leaving all accelerative functions to the other axle at the back end of the car. Therefore, when applying throttle in a curve, the front tires won't lose their lateral grip until the *speed* of the car (as accelerated by the rear tires) finally exceeds their lateral grip capability. The action of applying or lifting throttle won't, in and of itself, contribute to the front tires losing lateral grip as is the case with FWD. So while the back of a RWD car might step out under acceleration, at least the front tires will still be assuring that the car is going in the direction the driver wants it to go -- or at least will be doing a better job of it than those of a FWD car. Whatever advantage a FWD car might gain over RWD due to having more vehicle weight over its drive wheels is *more* than lost as a result of this overtaxing of the tires on the front of the car when it's driven at the limit of adhesion.
And when a RWD car is understeering (as they are often designed to do), at least the front wheels are devoting all of their available grip to controlling lateral acceleration -- that is, to trying not to understeer. When a FWD car is understeering, if the driver is applying (or lifting) throttle, the front wheels have just traded in some of their available grip to be used for acceleration or deceleration, leaving less grip available for controlling lateral acceleration. Ergo, less vehicle control.
Now that the theory is out of the way, let's do another experiment -- one far more like real-world driving than yanking on the parking brake. Try entering a snowy curve with your FWD at a speed that can be just barely mana ged -- the speed at which any *additional* speed would result in a loss of lateral grip. Now add power. The car stops turning in toward the center of the circle and starts understeering right into that guard rail. And if you instead *lift* the throttle too much or too quickly, you'll get the exact result from loss of grip due to engine braking.
Now try entering that same curve with just a bit too much speed -- so that a slide is inevitable. Now it doesn't matter *what* you do, you're going to hit the guard rail.
Now let's try the same hypothetical experiment with a RWD. Enter the corner just below the skid threshold and apply power. Rear wheels come out from behind you (a little bit). Correct with a bit of opposite lock, and you're still heading in nominally the direction you want to head. The front wheels never stopped rolling. You've missed the guard rail.
Next we enter that same curve with just a bit too much speed. The car begins to slide -- butt end out. A bit of opposite lock on the wheel, and you're still heading in nominally the direction you want to head -- albeit with a bit more butt sticking out than in the first example. And since all of the front tires' grip is being devoted to keeping the car going in the direction they're pointed (they're not trying to accelerate or decelerate the car), you have a better chance of still missing the guard rail.
I really do believe that the *only* advantage of FWD is that it presents its driver with a less-intimidating dance when grip is lost than does RWD. But when it comes right down to it, *I* can go faster through any given curve with RWD than FWD. And if the limit at which I can take that corner is faster in the RWD car, then it stands to reason that for any given speed, the RWD car is farther from the limit, and therefore, farther from being out of control. (And a car that is sliding *isn't* necessarily out of control.)
- Greg Reed
--
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Except in snow or ice or rain-- you failed to mention that numerous tests have proven that the safe limit for handling (at the limit of adhesion and traction) is at significantly HIGHER speeds in inclimate conditions with FWD vs. RWD... Your arguments are well taken for dry, clean, oil-free pavement; however, when poor conditions are present, you need the additional weight of the drivetrain over the drive wheels to ensure traction at higher speeds.

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Michael Burman wrote:

And none to FWD, either. If, in order to get the front tires to match the lateral adhesion capabilities of those on a RWD car, you have to press the clutch, then the car becomes *no* wheel drive. If throttle is applied during cornering, lateral adhesion capability is lost -- or at least diminished.

But the back wheels don't determine which direction the car is going to travel. If the front tires have grip, the car will travel in the direction of the front wheels. If the front tires have lost grip, the car will keep going in its present direction due to momentum. It's more important to retain lateral grip capability in the front wheels than the rear, because the fronts do all the, you know, steering.

Are you now saying that otherwise identical FWD and RWD cars handle differently when both cars have the clutch pressed? Because that's just silly. Or are you saying that understeer is easier for a novice driver to correct than oversteer? No, that can't be it, because you write "I know fixing RWD is easier than FWD's slide" in another paragraph below. And besides, this is a completely different assertion than you originally made (and repeated as recently as the post to which I'm now replying). That assertion was that FWD has an advantage *under acceleration* due to a combination of weight over the front wheels and the tires pulling the car in the direction you want it to go. It is this assertion that I am attempting to refute. (And I suspect that I'm confusing your writing with that of Steve Grauman right now.)

Not my experience, and the analysis (which I detailed in my last post) doesn't back it up. And which is the proper reaction to experiencing understeer in a FWD car? Because here you seem to imply that applying additional throttle is the correct response. But elsewhere in this post, you imply that lifting is the correct response. And still elsewhere you write that pressing the clutch (which is neither lifting nor accelerating) is beneficial, though you don't seem to be implying that this is the desired action but just one possible action.
It's my experience that lifting gives the best chance of stopping understeer in a FWD car. My guess as to the theory behind this is the weight transfer back up to the front wheels combined with a return to "rolling" of the front wheels (as opposed to spinning in the forward direction) which allows more lateral grip. Again, this seems to counter the common "FWD pulls in the direction you want to go" assertion.

Not wanting to be a pinhead here, but I had to read this paragraph a couple of times to ascertain just what it was trying to tell me. So you're saying that a RWD car loses grip at the rear sooner than a FWD car loses grip at the front? And you're saying that the reason for this is the additional weight over the front wheels of the FWD car? If I got the meaning of this paragraph wrong, please accept my apologies for wasting your time.
This assertion is a red herring. There are lots of things that can affect which end of the car steps out of bounds first, as detailed by somebody else in this very thread (suspension settings, tire pressures...), and even by you (placing bald tires on the rear of the car). In order for any comparison between FWD and RWD layouts *on their own merits* to be valid, all other factors must be equal. IOW, both of our hypothetical cars (one FWD and the other RWD) have to have, among many other things, the same weight distribution -- more at the front and less at the rear. The weight advantage as it relates to the car's ability to make traction with the road at the front wheels is identical between the two cars. Likewise, the weight *dis*advantage as it relates to the car's ability to make traction with the road at the rear wheels is identical between the two cars. So in any given curve, both cars are exactly as likely to lose grip at either axle under neutral throttle (clutch pressed). The only differences that are relevant to a comparison of FWD to RWD are those pertaining to what happens when you release the clutch and either apply or lift the throttle. If you toss anything else into the comparison, then you're no longer just comparing FWD to RWD.

I don't think RWD *does* lose grip before FWD, when you make everything else equal between the two hypothetical cars that are being compared. I was comparing cars that are equal in every way except their drivetrain layouts. They both therefore have *the same* grip available to them. I was then contrasting the differences between them on throttle application. And if you're arguing that a FWD car with more grip will go through a corner faster (and safer) than a RWD car with less grip, you're not likely to get an argument out of anybody here, and certainly not out of me. But then you'd no longer be comparing the relative advantages of the two drivetrain layouts. You might just as well put snow tires on your FWD car and baldies on the RWD car to help prove your point. So perhaps you should remind us how you managed to get more grip with FWD than RWD? (And if you write that it's because the FWD car has its engine over the drive wheels, I'll assume that you either didn't bother to read this post or that you don't have an answer.)
- Greg Reed
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Greg Reed wrote:

Nope, backwheels determine if you have any sidegrip left. If it's lost, the front tyres may point to any direction they want, the car itself might be going to other direction (rear becomes front).

Nope, they're the same, except that FWD car is differently balanced and front wheels have more grip again. I'm pointing that your disadvantage is easily taken out by this clutch. If your back is not pointing where rest of the car is, going with the clutch will not help endlessly, instead the car will still have to fix it before going straight.

I don't know about novice drivers, most likely isn't. Not every novice driver know how to fix RWD either. I can't remember saying I was that novice driver, and pointing to RWD/FWD.

I haven't said it's the only and correct response. It's a possibility.

I haven't said lifting is a right choice, don't quote me with that. I've said clutch is a nice answer in this case.

As it might do with the oversteering aswell.

Having less weight on the front means you will have less grip on the frontwheels. And you need to have more weight on the rearwheels with RWD, otherwise the car won't even go forward. Now you have this problem, you need weight to the back, but you would need more weight to the front.
FWD car doesn't have this problem, since it's rear doesn't need that much weight, and it's front does have all the weight, which means more grip to the frontwheels. And this is, as you said, important. Again, if you going to the clutch, your rearwheels get the grip, you have less grip on the front. A problem.

Can't work, try accelerating with RWD when your rear is light. The car will just spinn empty. Try this on a hill, you'll again run into the problem. So the weight distribution must be in the back with RWD, otherwise you'll just ruin your case.

As said, having more weight in the front helps you with getting going and with your words, having more grip on the front. RWD can't get these two, it has to lose front-weight to get weight balance to back. You just can't create an RWD car with weight on the front, it won't work.

Well, if you seriously want this comparision, try some old RWD car with weight balance on the front. You'll soon notice how funny RWD becomes with snow.

Then your saying that RWD can keep up with the grip without weight on the wheels? Funny, why doesn't this work? RWD needs to use some weight to get more grip to rearwheels, FWD doesn't need this.

And again, they don't. Or then the car is so bad, it's impossible to drive with either FWD or RWD, having no weight to right place.

No of course not, we don't need no arguments here. We know that more grip means faster through the corner. Now we get to the point, FWD cars have more grip than RWD, which makes them better winter-cars, since there isn't enough available grip.

I hope you read this time, I have the weight on your favourite frontwheels. You don't with the RWD.

You seem to be ignoring the lovely weight distribution point, and hoping we build a car that has identical weight distribution, only having difference with RWD/FWD. And saying so, you completelly forgot, why FWD was the better way, and what has been told in you thread.
- Yak
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Michael Burman wrote:

So you're trying to say that a car's direction is better controlled when the front wheels are slipping and the rears have grip than the other way around? Did you read my last post? I'll say it all again, just so that those who are trying to ignore this discussion can have a new reason to beat their heads against a wall:
When a FWD car's front wheels lose grip, the car has no choice but to continue traveling in the direction of its momentum. The lateral grip the rears have is of no use, because the car is no longer turning. When a RWD car's rear wheels lose grip, the car's direction can still be controlled by the fronts. The rear will swing around (a little or a lot, depending on how badly you've exceeded their capability), but the front can still be pointed in the direction you want the vehicle to go. In what way is a FWD car's nose slide superior to a RWD car's tail wag in controlling a car's motion through a curve?
You keep saying that the "backwheels determine if you have any sidegrip left." This is half true: The back wheels determine if you have any sidegrip left *at the rear of the car.* The *front* wheels determine if you have any sidegrip left *at the front of the car.* When you lose "sidegrip" at the wheels that are responsible for steering, you can no longer steer. When you lose "sidegrip" at the rear wheels, all you lose is the butt end of the car. The wheels that steer are still steering, and as long as the rear end of the car remains attached to the front, it will follow.
If you disagree with the above, *PLEASE*, for the love of God, explain exactly what is happening at each axle's wheels as grip is lost. The statement "backwheels determine if you have any sidegrip left" to the exclusion of the "sidegrip" of the other half of the vehicle's wheels (that is, those at the *front* of the car that do all the, you know, steering) is itself a conclusion, and needs to be justified before it can be used as a premise for another argument (such as "FWD is superior to RWD in a curve," for example). Again, once the car has stopped turning and is plowing straight ahead despite the desires of its driver, the "sidegrip" of the rear wheels becomes rather a moot point.

Our hypothetical RWD car also has its engine in front, and therefore has the exact same front axle weight bias as our hypothetical FWD car, and therefore shares the same benefit of added grip at the wheels that steer. But the RWD car lacks the disadvantage of having to also drive with those steering wheels. And I've explained in excruciating detail exactly why driving with the front wheels is a disadvantage in a curve.

You're arguing relative ability in straight-line acceleration and not cornering performance. See below.

You're arguing the virtues of weight distribution and not of drivetrain layout.

You're arguing relative ability in straight-line acceleration and not cornering performance. See below.

You're saying that there aren't any RWD cars with their engine in the front? As I tried to explain before, any discussion of the relative virtues of FWD vs. RWD must assume that all other factors are equal. This includes, among many other things, weight distribution. In order for this discussion to have any meaning at all, both cars' weight distribution must be equal.

You're arguing relative ability in straight-line acceleration and not cornering performance. See below.

Read again what you just wrote. You agree that both cars have the same amount of grip and then immediately follow it with "FWD cars have more grip." Where does this extra grip in the FWD car come from? And don't you dare write that it comes from the additional weight over the front axle, because our hypothetical RWD car has *exactly* the same amount of weight over its front wheels as does the FWD car. The *only* difference is which axle is driven.

Sure I do. More weight over the front wheels. Same amount in our RWD car as in our FWD car. Got it. No problem. Now let's talk about what each car does with this available *and equal* amount of grip at its front wheels. (Actually, why don't *you* talk about it. I've been through it several times now.)

No, actually I'm *conceding* a front weight bias. And I even said so. *You're* the one who tried to make the weight distributions unequal between our two hypothetical cars. For *any* given distribution of weight, a RWD car's cornering ability will be equal to or better than that of an otherwise identical a FWD. (I had to toss in the "equal to" because under zero acceleration, the two are identical.) As I've already explained a couple of times.
What exactly are we talking about here as far as superiority goes? Because *I* thought we were talking about which car can best handle a curve or correct a skid, which is paramount to vehicle safety on slippery roads. You seem now to be talking about which car can best accelerate in a straight line. RWD excels at the former, while FWD excels at the latter -- at least, it does when the roads are sufficiently slippery.
Straight-line acceleration is one instance where I'll concede that FWD and RWD handle differently as road conditions deteriorate, and where FWD is therefore superior to RWD. A RWD car relies on its weight shifting to the rear under acceleration in order to retain grip. The slicker the road is, the less acceleration is possible, therefore the less weight transfer, therefore less grip at the rear of the car. Because this weight shift is absent when accelerating slowly on a slippery road, the FWD will out-accelerate RWD in a straight line. So if your only argument is that FWD will accelerate better than RWD -- in the snow and in a straight line -- then we can end this discussion here and now.
But if we're discussing which car can better handle a curve or correct a skid (which, I'm pretty sure, is more important to safety than straight-line acceleration), then we are still at odds. And nothing in the above post supports FWD's superiority in a curve.
- Greg Reed
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We need to collectively ignore any idiot that doesn't understand established FACTS that FWD offers better directional stability, greater control, safety, with better maximum safe handling speeds (all things else being equal) to RWD counterparts in INCLIMATE weather, i.e. snow, ice, and rain. We're not talking about in DRY, pristine conditions here.... or maybe the scandanavians are just retarded for making the world's safest vehicles like the Volvo and Saab that predominately operate in ice and snow all FWD?!?!?
Some people need to wake up to the reality of proven facts...

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Jay Jones wrote:

I'm sorry. I missed where these facts were established.

I also missed where somebody explained why one layout corners better in the dry while the other corners better in the snow.

Wow. I hadn't considered that. Of course, most of that built-in safety is from things like crashworthy body structures and cutting edge safety systems like seatbelts and ABS. So I wonder why it is that these automakers use predominantly FWD. Because so far nobody's given me a good reason.

If I'm on such shaky ground, why can no one refute my arguments? I may well be an idiot, and I may well be wrong. But you've yet to prove either of these things. And I'm growing tired of statements along the lines of "everybody knows that FWD is better" being passed off as supporting arguments. The fact that lots of people believe something is not proof of its validity. Lots of people once believed the earth was both flat and at the center of the universe (though perhaps not at the same time). They turned out to be a little off there. And they were just as angry about having their beliefs deposed as you seem to be. Point being, argue your position, not your popularity. I hold minority positions on *lots* of topics, pretty much all of which are of a lot higher importance than this one. I've heard the "millions of people can't be wrong" argument many times before. Truth is, millions of people *can* be wrong. As could I, but nobody's proven that yet.
There's really little point in having discussions with people who are *just sure* that their position is correct and that any arguments to the contrary must therefore be flawed. I don't believe I'm one of those people. I've presented rational arguments to support my position. There have been several rational arguments in favor of FWD, but last I checked, I'd hit those volleys back over to the other side of the court. Of course, I'm not done catching up on my messages yet, either. But only when I'm unable to return the volley will claims to my stupidity carry any weight. No, actually that still wouldn't earn me the title of "stupid." That would only come if I failed to return the volley but still refused to concede error.
I've been absolutely cordial in this discussion. I know from experience that people get ornery when their beliefs are questioned. And when they find themselves unable to defend those beliefs, they get downright angry. And then the insults start to fly. I've seen it over and over again. But I've learned to ignore it. Calling me an idiot won't change the fact that I've presented very good explanations of why RWD cars corner better than FWD cars. Calling me an idiot won't change the fact that the arguments in favor of FWD have all, thus far, been returned to their authors for correction. So which one of us needs to "wake up to the reality of proven facts" and which is mired in a bog of myth and lore?
To be honest, the lack of productive discussion on this topic is really starting to make me wonder why I'm still bothering.
- Greg Reed
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Further debate with this moron is pointless... if he won't listen to a mechanical engineer, ignores published articles from a variety of sources online and what has become common knowledge to anyone with an IQ over 15, we should all collectively ignore him...
If he wants to rant on and prove his stupidity, maybe he should write emails to Saab and Volvo so they can explain to him that in the poor weather conditions they experience up there, it is necessary to go to FWD since it has been proven to be superior in inclimate conditions to RWD. (PERIOD) -- there is no discussion since this is a proven fact

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Jay Jones wrote:

My dearest Jay,
It can't be called a "proven fact" until it's been actually -- you know -- proven. And unless you're prepared to actually prove it yourself, you have no right to question my skepticism of it. So far, only one participant (other than myself) in this discussion has even attempted to prove this claim. And that participant isn't you.
Goodbye, Jay. We're done.
- Greg Reed
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when has it been proven that FWD is better in inclimate weather?? or is just cheaper to produce more cheaply.
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Cheaper to produce more cheaply? That's an interesting approach....
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