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Pros and Cons of Rear Wheel Drive

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The rear-wheel-drive, RWD cars have the engine at the front and establish a connection with the driveshaft which in turn sends power to the rear wheel. RWD has a balanced performance and can easily accelerate in dry areas. The RWD cars have high-performance and increased horsepower. Consider the following pros and cons before buying an RWD car.



1. Balance: The car’s weight is distributed evenly on all four tires. No tire with more load than the other. There are four patches of rubber on each tire to increase grip.

2. Easy maintenance: There are no expensive repairs and maintenance required as compared to the FWD. RWD cars fitted with a solid axle can withstand a lot of abuse and require inexpensive repairs.

3. Increased acceleration: During acceleration, the weight shifts to the rear wheel from a stop putting a lot of weight on the rear. The weight on the rear increases the traction of tires and leads to faster acceleration.

4. High performance: Sports cars and heavy-duty trucks use the rear-wheel-drive for better handling of the vehicle. It can handle hi-octane driving situations better than the front wheel.

5. Predictable: It is easy to predict the steering during low tractions periods. The wheels can maintain traction and the latter also affects the motion of the car.

6. Better handling: In dry areas, you can apply accelerating force to the rear wheels. This increases the downforce and enables the wheels to easily accelerate and curve than the front wheels.

7. Protection: The engine position at the front of the vehicle act as a protective barrier to the occupants when the vehicle is involved in a direct collision.

8. Eliminates torque steer: In RWD, there is no torque steering wheel problem since the steering gear is not directly connected to the engine. In heavy acceleration, the car will not be pulled to one side.

9. Durable: Vehicles fitted with RWD are more strong and durable. Most heavy-duty vehicles, luxury and racing car models use the rear wheel.

10. Towing: They have better towing and braking since the load is pulled closer to the point where the vehicle articulates so as to assist in steering.



1. Poor traction control: RWD vehicles cannot withstand harsh weather conditions or rough roads. It cannot drive on snowy roads, slippery or rough roads.

2. Increased weight: The weight of the rear-wheel vehicle is much more than that of a front-wheel vehicle. The driveshaft that connects the engine with the drive axle increases the weight of the vehicle.

3. Increased cost: The cost of the rear wheel is slightly more than the cost of front-wheel vehicles due to the extra features added in building a rear wheel.

4. Reduced inner space: The transmission tunnel occupy a lot of space between the driver seat and the front passenger seat. There is also less space on the trunk.

5. Oversteering: When the vehicle is racing or under heavy acceleration, there may be the occurrence of oversteering and fishtailing as the wheel spin.

6. Reduced steering ability: when the car is accelerating, there may be reduced steering ability since the engine is packaged outside the wheelbase and opposite the wheels which are responsible for steering.

7Drivetrain elasticity: Cars with stretched wheelbase should have an extended driveshaft and this adds to the elasticity of the drivetrain.

8. Loss of efficiency: RWD has a slight loss in the efficiency of the drivetrain. The efficiency losses depend on the vehicle transmission.

9. Difficult to master: Sometimes it is difficult for rear-wheel drivers to handle some of its features thus creating less intuition.

10. Center of gravity: In a rear wheel, the center of gravity is shifted at the rear when the vehicle is heavily loaded causing biased weight distribution and unpredictable car handling behavior especially when driven by an inexperienced driver.

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