Comparison: Two Wheel Drive vs All Wheel Drive vs Four Wheel Drive

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With India moving towards advanced motoring, manufacturers are getting ready to offer a robust system of automobiles. Many have taken to travelling not just to move from one place to another, but for pleasure and sporting purpose as well.

One of the features on a four wheeler is how the power of the motor are sent to the wheels. A vehicle can be of two wheel drive, all wheel drive or a four-wheel drive. Let us find out the differences of these three.

Front-wheel Drive or FWD

The passenger vehicles dominate with this type of system of front-wheel drive. The power from the engine is sent to the front wheel. This system is cost effective and space efficient compared to the rear wheel drive.

As a matter of fact, most of the SUVs are equipped with the front wheel drive with additional components which sends additional power to the rear wheels as and when required.

The FWD (Front Wheel Drive) has the advantage of better traction, especially when climbing because the engine weight stands right above the wheels.

Rear Wheel Drive or RWD

This system is the opposite of the FWD, the power is sent to the rear wheels of the vehicle. The RWD is found mostly in SUVs and pickups, also found in some of the luxury cars. The performance is enhanced when there are heavy or bulky loads.

Also Read: Best SUVs In India

Since the front wheels don't have the additional duty of driving except for steering, the suspension can be boosted for better handling. However, the RWD has lesser traction on wet or slippery roads. Many of the luxury car manufacturers nowadays have moved to AWD (All Wheel Drive) system.

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All Wheel Drive or AWD

Here, the power is sent to all four corners of the wheels and it helps in forward traction during acceleration. Usually, AWD type of system is primarily sent to the front or the rear wheels, however, if there is a situation where one of the axles is slipping, then power is sent to the other axle.

This AWD system is efficient when there is a change in the terrain condition, that is when you are either on-road or off-road. The AWD is best suited for car-based SUVs.

Four Wheel Drive

The 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) is for serious off-roading conditions, when you take your vehicle over boulders, countering steep hills with loose gravel, driving into deep waters, and low traction surfaces.

Some of the 4WD come with differentials, this allows the left and right wheels, and front and rear axles to turn at different speeds which give maximum traction.

In the recent times, 4WD come as full time engaged or automatic, which changes between 2WD and 4WD automatically, and part-time where the driver will select manually between 2WD and 4WD.

Story first published: Monday, July 11, 2016, 17:24 [IST]
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