With the arrival of winter, thus the snow and icy pavement, many drivers will probably find problems with their cars, but there are those that will not even feel this change. You guessed who they are, right? Yes, the owners of AWD, regardless of whether it is an SUV, sedan or sports car. Keep in mind that the snow and ice are an extremely dangerous phenomenon on the road if you are behind the wheel. That is why you need to know how to drive in snow and ice. It is important to be very careful, cautious and react on time. You need to be quick and have a fast reaction. The steering wheel should always be held relaxed and gently so that you can respond quickly when you run into problem.
Well, we should highlight the benefits of the AWD (All – Wheel – Drive) right at the beginning. It actually combines front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive which brings many benefits. Imagine, for example, when a car brakes with only two wheels instead of four.
It is quite obvious that an equal power can quickly and efficiently be transferred to the four, rather than two axles. In addition, there are people who say that these cars are much safer because the load is divided longitudinally to all four tires. But that’s not all. When the surface is wet, covered with snow or ice; the car that have an AWD offer significantly better performance, compared to other cars. The system provides increased driving stability, excellent movement of the vehicle and excellent stability when it comes to experiencing problems. It is worth mentioning that the AWD enables the vehicle to reach a greater speed in curves, which also provides additional safety and driving pleasure.
The History of AWD Cars
Although the first car with AWD was Jensen FF 1966, this type of drive became world famous only 15 years after the appearance of the legendary Audi S1. At the time the AWD was reserved only for tractors, nobody expected that this sports coupe, powered turbo engine, could achieve such success. The first generation of Quattro had a manual differential lock and later it began to use a mechanical self-locking differential that was depending on the need to regulate the power between the front and rear axles. For example, in one of the most luxurious and safest sedans – VW Phaeton the differential is designed to drive power during normal operation which is distributed to the front and rear axle in 50:50 ratio.
Every major car enthusiast will tell you a simple statement: never ride if you have not tried a car with AWD. The beauty of this drive is the fact that driving with this type of car always gives you excitement, but in a positive way. Either way, most of the cars with AWD are described as dangerous.
Do You Really Need AWD in the Snow?
Although the driver should have in mind that there are a variety of electronic aids such as traction control and even mechanical aids such as LSD differential, and somehow, no matter how ridiculous it may sound, with AWD one can easily lose control, of course, if we talk about aggressive or sporty driving.
It is true that AWD is exciting and interesting, but that doesn’t make you a good driver. And it doesn’t mean that you will be completely safe and protected on the road. You still need to be a good and responsible driver. There are experts who say that you do not really need a car with AWD in winter because most of them are even more dangerous. But all of them agree that everything depends on the skills and the experience of the driver. You must also care about the safety features of your car when driving in winter. ABS is very helpful to protect your car from skidding in icy road. Check the ABS system, tire grip, windshield blades, and steering control regularly before driving on icy road.
Now, a small returns to the past. When the model S1 met the certification requirements of the rally car group B, people were really thrilled about that, and after that people began to drive cars that offer a different experience. At first, this system was used for racing cars and SUVs, and Limousines. What is the reason that people don’t by cars with AWD? The reason is simple – the price. But those who can afford such cars say that they know exactly why they bought them and what a driver can expect from them.
Even though manufacturers use their names as: “quattro” (Audi), “4Motion” (VW), “4Matic” (Mercedes), “xDrive” (BMW) and so on. AWD is actually a driving with all four wheels which is why people usually call it “4×4” or “4WD”, an abbreviation of “All Wheel Drive”. However, driving on all four wheels can be permanent or temporary, so people use the generally accepted name “All Wheel Drive (AWD)” for permanent transmission systems, and “Four Wheel Drive” for systems with intermittent power transmission on all four wheels.