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For my next car I am considering the IS300M and the CL-S(new 6-speed). I have read all the dicussion on the differences between these 2 cars (in multiple forums), but I am not familiar enough about the difference between RWD and FWD. What is the advantage of having one over the other?
I understand that FWD is better in bad weather, but I also understand that RWD handles better. What I don't understand is why?
Any info would be appreciated to help educate me.
Thanks in advance- PNC
 

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Its not really which one handles better, but how a driver can drive the car. IMHO, the RWD cars have a better feel to them.

FWD cars just have all of their weight over the wheels and 'pull' the car around turns. So you have much less of a chance to get the rear end to swing out on you.

Again IMHO, look at how many high end cars are front wheel drive.
 

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Originally posted by PhatNastyCat:
For my next car I am considering the IS300M and the CL-S(new 6-speed). I have read all the dicussion on the differences between these 2 cars (in multiple forums), but I am not familiar enough about the difference between RWD and FWD. What is the advantage of having one over the other?
I understand that FWD is better in bad weather, but I also understand that RWD handles better. What I don't understand is why?
Any info would be appreciated to help educate me.
Thanks in advance- PNC
**sound of can of worms being opened**


 

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One of the main differences is that FWD cars are more likely to "push" through the corner and understeer more than a RWD car due to the balance of power and weight.

When you are going into a corner with a RWD car, the power comming from the rear wheels is more likely to let the car "drift" into the corner while the front wheels are directing you.

On a RWD, the weight is shifted towards the rear and gives ultimate traction to the rear tires, where as when you accelerate in a FWD, your weight is removed from the power wheels, thus limiting traction.

With FWD, your axles are big peices of rotational mass, basically giving a lot of inertia along with the tranny attached all up front which makes everything kind of work harder.

It's hard for me to explain well. Can someone else describe it better? Physics was never my strong point.
 

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it all boils down to weight transfer. fwd cars have weight over the wheels in bad weather, because you can't "get it" . in dry weather, traction is great, and weight transfer is at its highest, twoards the rear of the car. try getting on a fwd car going up a hill, and then on a flat area, notice how (if it isn't a civic or something) it spins much easier up the hill? thats due to weight transfer. if your car is not powerful enough to break the wheels loose on a regular basis, try it in the rain.
 

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I'll take a crack at this.
In driving school they talk about how your tires only have 100% capacity - split between turning, accelerating, and braking. If you're braking or accelerating, your tires can't turn as well (50% braking, 50% turning for example). In a FWD car, the front tires are forced to put power down to the pavement and turn the car at the same time, so often it can't do both. If it can't put the power down in a turn, the wheels spin and you understeer. If it can't turn while putting power down, you understeer.
RWD gives you much better control because the tasks are divided between front and rear tires, and you can steer the car with the throttle. Plus oversteer is fun, understeer is unpleasant, but is safer.

None of this matters if you don't drive the car hard, you'll never exceed your tires' grip limit.
 

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Lets say you had 2 cars. Assuming that the cars are identical and the only difference between the 2 cars fwd and rwd (lets say they put the same amount of power to the ground to make it easy)... Who would be faster around a track?

Ive had some friends say that the fwd would be faster through the corners. What do you guys think?

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: Black_IS300 ]
 

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That's an easy one, the RWD would be faster. Because at the track you want to maximize your tires' grip, and with FWD, you can't do that.
I just got back from the track - and my instructor says you want to be full on the gas after you hit the apex. If you're still turning and you get full on the gas in a FWD car, you'll spin tires and understeer wide of the proper line, plus you won't get full power. A RWD car might oversteer a little, but you'll stay on your racing line.

The RWD mechanism balances the car better - by adding weight to the rear. So there aren't really any RWD cars that are front heavy, just as there aren't FWD cars that are 50/50 balanced.

Originally posted by Black_IS300:
Lets say you had 2 cars. Assuming that the cars are identical and the only difference between the 2 cars fwd and rwd (lets say they put the same amount of power to the ground to make it easy)... Who would be faster around a track?

Ive had some friends say that the fwd would be faster through the corners. What do you guys think?

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: Black_IS300 ]
 

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Quite simple. If FWD was faster at the track on identical cars then why would all professional motorsports use RWD???!!! I am speaking of NASCAR, INDY, CART, NHRA, etc...... They would have adapted FWD long ago if its was the advantage. Just another outlook on it with out the technical mumbo-jumbo.
 

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Originally posted by ckolsen:
I'll take a crack at this.
In driving school they talk about how your tires only have 100% capacity - split between turning, accelerating, and braking. If you're braking or accelerating, your tires can't turn as well (50% braking, 50% turning for example). In a FWD car, the front tires are forced to put power down to the pavement and turn the car at the same time, so often it can't do both.
That's a great way to put it; it's exactly what I had learned via research.
 

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I always figured there must be some advantage to RWD...not many police cruisers are FWD...
I've never owned a FWD, so can't really compare them.
 

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FWD's definitely aren't as much fun when you want the rear to tuck out and maintain speed. It's more involved in an FWD when you wanna do that, you gotta yank the hand break up quickly SEVERAL times to break the rear from the road during a turn.

And it doesn't give that real drift sensation in which if you push the accelerator the rear continues to turn and you continue to drift.

Either the tires will catch the ground in a split second later, or you'll have to pull the E-Brake again to keep it sliding. But it's alright, too bad I have one of those ghetto foot e-brakes on my car so I wouldn't have a chance to do all that stuff too easily. :p
 

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I've got some really bizarre examples that might make you think...

I've owned (and raced) two Integra Type R's (of course FWD). If you haven't driven one, this car will absolutely amaze you. Especially when set up a bit, Type R's are extremely neutral and have virtually none of the typical FWD drawbacks (i.e. understeer). Heck, with a different setup, you can make one oversteer pretty good. An example of an awesome handling FWD car.

I've also owned (and raced) two Honda S2000's (RWD with a perfect 50/50 weight distribution). Here's an example of a real handful of a RWD. A real pain, very twitchy, oversteers like there's no tomorrow, even with many modifications. While it's an example of an amazing piece of machinery, it handles MUCH worse than my Type R's did.

With the S2000, we also have a base model Miata (RWD). On crappy stock tires, absolutely bone stock suspension, the Miata can take onramps 20mph faster in some cases than my SCCA Solo II Stock class modified S2000 on awesome street tires.

Just wanted to point out that there are good FWD and bad ones, good RWD and bad... in general, most FWD cars are econoboxes, therefore they're set up for the mindless masses that can't drive their way out of a paper bag, so manufacturers set them up to push... less trouble for the driver...
 

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Banannie, haven't seen you here in a while.
One of my friends brought his Type R to Pocono raceway last weekend, and we were both in the student group so I was behind him a couple laps, and that's a great car - little body roll, and very tough for me to keep up with, though we were even on the banked oval portion. We finished with identical best lap times, but he was faster in practice.
 

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yeah, I've been gone a while... I'd sold my IS last September (the auto-magic tranny drove me nuts) but I'm considering a manual, so I'm back lurking again...


Actually, I did take my IS out on course once on street tires with just an alignment - I was damn impressed! No, it's not as nimble as the ITR for autocrossing simply due to its higher weight, but it surely can hold its own. A couple of national level drivers have tossed theirs around just for fun in the San Fran area and done very well... of course, theirs weren't 100% stock and were on race tires...

and PNC - get the IS in a manual, even though I am totally a Honda gal, the IS is a better handling car...
 

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example in point watch an speedvision sponsored race and watch the leitzinger(sp) bmws and the realtime typeRs battle it out...the R's are extremely underpowered and are fwd and win the majority of the time...another case in point...i was at a road coarse and watched 2 R's cremate the feild including two miatas and othe rwd cars with similar power...the miata and the r have been going at it for years...and the new miata is the first that can stand with the r in stock trim...hope this makes a point to you guys...a fwd car fallows the front wheels with perfection...the drive wheels contact well and steer at the same time in a fwd car...in a rwd car the rear end tails while trying to apply power...if the drive wheels spin or slide you lose speed...period...if a fwd car does the same you relese throttle and pull her back in...rwd you have to steer out of it to keep momentum...ill see what you boys have to say form here...but for now ill keep my ff car untill i see proof of similar powered fr cars competing with them...
 

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If you compare Type-R to any RWD car of it's range, type-R wins FOR SURE, because it's designed to be a FWD CAR WITH RWD/4WD HANDLING. Plus the weight in type-r is way less then normal RWD car...

Let's take the fact: which wheel does F1 drives in? which wheel does Porsche and Fararii (sp) drives in? (okok... Porsche does have 4wd cars.. but never FWD
) Look, for FWD, the front axle takes care for steering AND powering... which is a lot of work, and the rear axle does nothing... well except hand break. But for RWD, the front axle only does its job: steering, and the powering job goes to the rear axle. The job is done by the axles that does the job best.

People who thinks that FWD is faster BECAUSE THEY AREN'T AFARID. If you turn into a turn too quickly, FWD car will understeer, which will be solved by simply lefting the feet off the gas. But a RWD will oversteer and you'll have to correct it using BOTH you feet and hand (count-steer, or what ever you called it), and if you didn't do it good enough... BAM... Therefore people feel "safe" to go into a turn more quickly on a FWD then a RWD, which make people thinks FWD is faster. (Fact: in a corner, if both a FWD car and a RWD car is driven by the same profectional and timed, RWD is faster)

In my option, FWD is a great design... for beginner. People who wants to have the feeling of turning a turn, go for FWD. But if you really want to MASTER driving, go with RWD.

RWD DOES have it's weakness... winter. But, as one of my dealer said to me before, what people back in the old winters do when no one know what ABS stands for? Well... drive safely. A car will never be unsafe... unless the driver is.

Just my opintion above


[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: 2JZ-GE ]

[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: 2JZ-GE ]
 

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i suppose my thinking is terrible...as your education...i just stated what i was saying about the realtime rs and the leitzinger ms ...proving ground ya know...put a similar weight ff car and a fr car and the same driver and the ff car will win...drifting is different so im not gettin into that...but just look at the results...and the accords in european touring...they win all the time versus rear wheels monsters...get over muscle car technology and see whats comin...who cares anyway cus 4wd is the best by far...as lambo mitsu and nissan already know
 

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For the 4wd part, i totally agree with you.

But i just don't understand, if FWD is really that great, why didn't all cars goes to FWD? OK... even the greatest FWD factory: Honda (i think... since type-r is always mantioned...)has to make it's best cars in RWD (S2000, NSX). For toyota... AE86(do anyone still drive one today? but it's almost the best japannese car before), Supra, and of cause our Altezza/IS2/300.

In terms of phyics, RWD have a better disterbution on weight (see those BMW? all 50/50, even our Altezza is 50/50). Why they can do that? one simply thing: seperating the job. but 50/50 is not enough, and the weight have to be as close to the centre as possible. Imagine you're holding a stick, and have weight both ends. Turn it. Now... put the weight near, but not at, and middle, and turn it again... see the different? FWD can't do this... because FWD engine has to be either in front or on the front axle... of cause you can make it after the front axle, like IS300... but where to put the gear box? Phycially... RWD is better than FWD

For the speed thing... Honda have something call "V-TEC"... you just can't win V-tec...even VVT-i and BMW's version (forgot what it's called) can't come close. Therefore V-tec engine is faster than NA engine, not FWD faster than RWD. Fact? try a match between Civic (without v-tec) and AE86 (i forgot the spec of AE86... but i think it's 100 something HP... which is very close to civic...) ,or any other RWD NA car with close HP, and see.

I'm not trying to say that FWD is bad... but since the topic is about FWD/RWD... i'm just giving my opintion, as always


[ June 13, 2001: Message edited by: 2JZ-GE ]
 
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