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Rear Wheel Drive Experience


mrak
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Lexus will be avaliable in my country in few months. While I was looking at avensis diesel, now I see that finaly there is a lexus diesel (is220d) and this might be interesting buy.

But, one feature I am realy concerned about is rear wheel drive; I had oportunity to drive bmw320d few months back and while it has great engine, I could not but not to notice differences between cars with front wheel drive (all of my cars so far had front wheel drive) and rear wheel drive (like in bmw or lexus).

Can someone explain me pro and con of rear wheel drive compared to front wheel drive. Specialy on wet or snowy roads?

Also, it would be interesting to hear comparison between avensis and lexus is220d; this two cars can be equiped with completely the same engine, almost the same equipment.

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Lexus will be avaliable in my country in few months. While I was looking at avensis diesel, now I see that finaly there is a lexus diesel (is220d) and this might be interesting buy.

But, one feature I am realy concerned about is rear wheel drive; I had oportunity to drive bmw320d few months back and while it has great engine, I could not but not to notice differences between cars with front wheel drive (all of my cars so far had front wheel drive) and rear wheel drive (like in bmw or lexus).

Can someone explain me pro and con of rear wheel drive compared to front wheel drive. Specialy on wet or snowy roads?

Also, it would be interesting to hear comparison between avensis and lexus is220d; this two cars can be equiped with completely the same engine, almost the same equipment.

maybe i can help a little.

I have owned FWD drive cars all my life, mostly Hondas being the CTR, Honda Accord type R and finally the piece de resitance my DC5 which had 300bhp going through the front wheels with only LSD to keep it in a (semi) stright line! neither the CTR or ATR had slip dif. FWD drive is great, however, the problem being its pulling the car and trying to turn the car through the same wheels. The problem here is that they can suffer from horrendus understeer, wheel spin and wheel lift which while fun in dry conditions can be flipping scary in the wet/snow. My DC5 had to be driven totally different in wet/greasy conditions. It was once said that the maximum amount of power that should be put out through the front wheels was approx 220bhp.

Rear wheel drive i have experienced in my fathers range of BMWS. The differnce here is that the car is being pushed by the rears and steered through the front, therefore theoretically it becomes more of a stable platform to drive on. The disadvantage though can be weight transfer. IF through mid corner a foot is let off the accelerator the car can oversteer which for the novice is damn right scary but for the more experienced is a hoot :winky: The advantge of RWD is also displayed in wet and snoew conditions as well because its pushing the car not pulling and therefore traction is alot more stable and readily avliable becuase of the weight of the engine at the front . Also theoretically there is no limitation of power that can be put through RWD.

So as you cane see there are pros and cons in both, the pureists amongst us though swear on RWD.

HTH

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Rear wheel drive cars are usualy associated with exec or prestige cars. Its a drivers preference as to which they like best.

IMO I prefere rear wheel drives. I look upon it as; The Rear wheel drives the car and leaves the front wheels to do the steering. Just have to be a little mre careful in wet/icy conditions.

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Now don't get this the wrong way... :blush: :D

FWD is a secure choise for a novice / "sunday driver" because of it's stability, but may be pain in the a*se on slippery surfaces because of the heavy understeer.

RWD may be scary to a novice when it's slippery, but it's great deal of fun for a skilled driver. There's no understeer, and corners can be "drifted"... :winky: :whistling::lol:

I live in Finland where there is snow on the ground for almost half of the year, and I LOVE RWD in the winter! :D

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Rear wheel drive cars are usualy associated with exec or prestige cars. Its a drivers preference as to which they like best.

Well, it seems that only cars on the market which use rear wheel drive are german cars (bmw, mercedes) and for them, frankly, you are not sure if they are using rwd because it is better or because they are the last ones using rwd.

My experience is limited to just two times I drove rwd cars; once I drove old bmw320 (gas engine) on dry road (few hundred km trip) and it was a great ride but when driving with high speed I had constat feeling that car is going to start flying any minute.

My recent experience was with bmw320d (from croatia to switzerland and back), and in one pretty wide curve in Austria (in a slightly icy condition) car skidded for a second, and I have never experienced anything similar with front wheel drive.

My original choice was avensis (diesel), but I see that lexus 220d is just little more expensive so I am trying to understand difference between the two cars and rear wheel drive looks like most important one.

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Well, it seems that only cars on the market which use rear wheel drive are german cars

...and almost all the American cars. Plus japanese sport cars, like 350Z, some Skylines, 180SX, 200SX, 300ZX, Silvia, G35, MR2, NSX, MKIV Supra, new Supra (not out yet). And of course... all LEXUS models! :D

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Rear wheel drive cars are usualy associated with exec or prestige cars. Its a drivers preference as to which they like best.

Well, it seems that only cars on the market which use rear wheel drive are german cars (bmw, mercedes) and for them, frankly, you are not sure if they are using rwd because it is better or because they are the last ones using rwd.

My experience is limited to just two times I drove rwd cars; once I drove old bmw320 (gas engine) on dry road (few hundred km trip) and it was a great ride but when driving with high speed I had constat feeling that car is going to start flying any minute.

My recent experience was with bmw320d (from croatia to switzerland and back), and in one pretty wide curve in Austria (in a slightly icy condition) car skidded for a second, and I have never experienced anything similar with front wheel drive.

My original choice was avensis (diesel), but I see that lexus 220d is just little more expensive so I am trying to understand difference between the two cars and rear wheel drive looks like most important one.

I was merely stating that prestige manufactures use rear wheel drive setups! You can acheive a better smoother ride.

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Ignoring the handling characteristics of FWD vs RWD - and be honest who is good enough here to notice??? Not me certainly :D

However, I would ask only one question - if you live where you get a fair bit of snow be aware that RWD cars can be a real handful. My GS gets scared at the first sign of snow. I would go for a FWD or 4WD if I lived in snowy areas else pick whatever car you like best whether it be FWD, RWD or 4WD.

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Ignoring the handling characteristics of FWD vs RWD - and be honest who is good enough here to notice???  Not me certainly  :D

However, I would ask only one question - if you live where you get a fair bit of snow be aware that RWD cars can be a real handful.  My GS gets scared at the first sign of snow.  I would go for a FWD or 4WD if I lived in snowy areas else pick whatever car you like best whether it be FWD, RWD or 4WD.

we have few days of snow per year and fair amount of rain; so I would not say that this is critical but there is no point in killing myself :)

in any case lexus will be avaliable from june (just in time to replace my aging P406)

p.s. while I would not rate myself as sports driver, it would be also wrong to say that with 30+k km per year in last 15 years I am a rookie; probably fwd needs some adjusting in driving behaviour

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Ignoring the handling characteristics of FWD vs RWD - and be honest who is good enough here to notice???  Not me certainly  :D

However, I would ask only one question - if you live where you get a fair bit of snow be aware that RWD cars can be a real handful.  My GS gets scared at the first sign of snow.  I would go for a FWD or 4WD if I lived in snowy areas else pick whatever car you like best whether it be FWD, RWD or 4WD.

we have few days of snow per year and fair amount of rain; so I would not say that this is critical but there is no point in killing myself :)

in any case lexus will be avaliable from june (just in time to replace my aging P406)

p.s. while I would not rate myself as sports driver, it would be also wrong to say that with 30+k km per year in last 15 years I am a rookie; probably fwd needs some adjusting in driving behaviour

Don't worry, the Lexus IS200 was the first RWD car I drove myself after a lifetime of weak FWD fiat's with half the power. The TRC holds back alot of the power, just be a little careful when it snows but it's still easy to correct :)

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I totally agree with Rillo.

Look at the weather conditions as well as driving preference, otherwise it'll end up being just a weekend/summer car. Try taking it out for a test drive during a snowy/rainy day to see how you like it, it's the only way you'll ever find out.

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well, in 2005 we had just two days of real snow on the road; so I guess it is not that much

it is just now a question on comparing avensis and is220d

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well, in 2005 we had just two days of real snow on the road; so I guess it is not that much

it is just now a question on comparing avensis and is220d

Just remember, there are a great selection of airbags in the Lexus if you do have the back kick out while drifting around corners :lol: :D

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Front wheeldrive is a clever marketing ploy by the major car manufactures, claiming better handling, lower fuel consumption, better weight distribution & more interior leg room, the truth of the matter being it is cheaper & quicker to manufacture & assemble fwd cars, therefore increasing the profit margin on every vehicle.

Low volume high quality executive/luxury cars are rwd 99% of the time allowing greater power to be used without the effects of "Torque steer " etc coming into play.

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But the best configuration of them all is mid-engine plus rwd to give an almost perfect weight balance front-rear

RWD generally gives better weight distribution and the ability to put more power through the driving wheels without the effects of torque steer.

The benefits of FWD are cheaper manufacture, better packaging, giving more cabin room, and the fact that as the weight of the engine is over the driving wheels, better traction in snowy, muddy conditions. In fact, equipped with a decent set of winter tyres a FWD car can go most places a 4WD soft roader can go.

Contrary to comments above, most ordinary cars of US manufacture are FWD as buyers in States likely to experience snow in wintertime prefer them.

During the recent snow my Lexus struggled compared to the wife's Audi, as did the other RWD Jaguars, BMWs and Mercs I saw. I still wouldn't swop back to FWD for the other 360 snow free days though.

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This IS my first RWD experience, and it feels great. When i compare, the IS road handling is much better than the 3 FWD vehicles I owned. I must admit the heavy cornering on wet road (there isn't any snow in the caribbean) without the TRC is scary for me. :crying:

trinilex............. :driving:

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this is my first rwd and although i have only had the car 5 months i will never go back to fwd as its just to much fun drifting round corners and roundabouts sideways with the look other drivers give u when they see a lexus coming round the roundabouts sideways with the tyres smokeing

HAS TO BE RWD

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this is my first rwd and although i have only had the car 5 months i will never go back to fwd as its just to much fun drifting round corners and roundabouts sideways with the look other drivers give u when they see a lexus coming round the roundabouts sideways with the tyres smokeing

HAS TO BE RWD

What is it about drifting - is it a fast way of cornering, or is it just for show? :question:

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Both daniel plus its show of the drivers skill without losing it as most ppl dont know how to 'drift' as they immediately try to correct it and then resume cleaning their pants lol!

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Both daniel plus its show of the drivers skill without losing it as most ppl dont know how to 'drift' as they immediately try to correct it and then resume cleaning their pants lol!

I beg to differ; drifting is purely about show and not speed. Any racing driver will tell you that speed through corners is about getting the right line, the correct entry speed and the correct exit speed. You don't see Formula 1 cars or Touring cars drifting.

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