The Expert’s Guide To Front-, Rear- And All-Wheel Drive Cars’ Handling

If you’re into quick lap times and having fun behind the wheel of your car, knowing the difference between front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can be crucial.

On this latest episode of The Racing Line, Randy Pobst sets out to prove which of these three drivetrains is best suited for a sporty lifestyle, whether on or off the track.

He starts off with the most popular for the track, which is RWD. In order to demonstrate how rear-wheel drive cars behave, Pobst uses a Mazda MX-5, which helps him explain not just oversteer but also how you should attack a corner, when to brake and when to get back on the throttle in a RWD car.

The front-wheel drive car of choice here was a Ford Focus ST, which, predictably, oversteers a lot when pushed. Furthermore, it can also bother the driver with torque steer and wear down its tires faster than any of the other two cars.

Finally, the all-wheel drive Subaru WRX STI allows you to get on the power faster and exit a corner quicker than you would in any of the other two cars. However, an AWD system also adds weight, which “makes the car slower and puts added wear on the components.”

VIDEO

  • Jon

    I think you meant understeers a lot in regards to the Ford.

  • Andrewthecarguy

    Awesome explanation. Wish he could’ve explained the difference between AWD and 4WD while he was at it.

    • Jay

      4WD on a track?

      • Andrewthecarguy

        No…just the difference between 4WD and AWD.

        • Jay

          It just wasn’t necessary in this video, there are other videos all across youtube explaning that

  • SPENT MORE TIME GETTING IN AND OUT OF EACH CAR.

  • Six_Tymes

    Thanks Randy, fun video, good for people who don’t know already.

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