The car drivetrain although it is something that will not be taken into consideration when someone bought a car. Unlike the car price, brand, comfortability the drivetrain is also one of the most important thing that will determine the car performance and handling efficiency. In the car, they are basically 3 type of drivetrain available and today we will look at the pros and cons of each drivetrain.
The first and most common drive train that is used in most of the car is the Front Wheel Drive (FWD). This is the drive layout where the driving wheel is implement in the front wheel. The setting of this type can be implement in the front engine and also rear mid-engine. When the front engine the drive train can be called as Front Engine, Front Wheel Drive(FF) and when in the rear middle it will be called as Front Wheel Drive, Rear Engine(FR). The FF is considered to be superior than the FR in the condition such as wet as this will improve the grip in this type of situation.
The pros of FWD is the it will reduce the weight of the car as they are less mechanical component for this type of drive layout hence at the sometime improve the fuel efficiency of the car. Since this layout also requires less mechanical component it was one of the easiest to be fixed in the car as this is one the reason on why most of the car today implement this drive layout. At the sometime this layout reduced the mechanical resistance for a car hence improve the drive train efficiency. In total this is one the simplest drivetrain to be fixed in car.
However, they are cons for this FWD. Due to making the front wheel as the driving wheel this will cause the front tyre to works more hence causing wear and tear faster on the front tyre. The steering feel for this type is more numbed due to added weight in the driver front wheel. This type of drive train also does not make a proper distribution of the car braking power as in this layout it is more focused on the front wheel but this can be countered with fixed brake drum in the rear wheel also. Most of the car is implemented with this type of drive train such as Ford, Honda , Toyota , Nissan, Mercedez Benz, Audi and many more.
The next drivetrain is the Real Wheel Drive (RWD). Some like the FWD the engine can be mounted in the front or rear middle. This layout has a simple design and the car that have this type of drive train will have good handling characteristic. Since the drive wheel is the rear wheel it will allow an ample of room for the car transmission in the centre of the vehicle and at the sometime avoid any mechanical complexities associated with transmitting the car power to the front wheel.
This type of drive train is suitable for the performance oriented vehicle that have an engine power exceeding 200 horsepower. This is due to the nature of the design that will transfer the weight to the rear of vehicle as a result will increase the grip of the car during a heavy acceleration. This is one the reason why on many sports car like Porshe, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Buggati , Pagani Zonda and many more had fixed RWD as their drive train layout.
The cons of this drive train is it can evenly distribute the weight of the car even if the engine is implemented in the front or rear and as the result it will improve the traction of this car, provides better handling and provide greater steering feel for the drivers. On this drive train layout too as the front wheel is not affected with any complexity of the engine and transmission it will provide better tyre grip on the road surface. Due to increase of handling and performance efficiency, this is the standard layout for many of the sports car.
Like FWD, they are some cons on this drive train too. The weight distribution can be severely affected if they also a maximum load of passenger or cargo in the rear and this can cause an unpredictable behaviour for this type car. Although this type of drive train layout can improve the steering feeling it can affect the steering abilities under a heavy acceleration as the engine is outside of wheelbase but in current modern car this type of situation can be considered as rare although when it can happen it can cause a devastating effect for the drivers. Type of car that uses this type drivetrain is the most of BMW 3 Series, Porsche, Buggati, Lamborghini, and many more.
The next is the famous 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) or All Wheel Drive (AWD). It can be said as a combination of the both of FWD and RWD where in this type of layout it is capable for provide power to all wheel simultaneously. Audi is one the sedan car that have this type of drive layout if it had the Quattro badge.
The advantages of the 4WD is it can improve the traction of the car by double compare to FWD and RWD as it can provide a sufficient power and superb acceleration. The handling characteristics also improve by double as all wheel have the simultaneous power compare to the FWD and RWD. In some 4WD, the drivers can set the car to FWD or RWD and this can provide drivers a choice that is not provided in the FWD and RWD.
The disadvantages of this type of drive train is although it provides great acceleration it is one of the most expensive to be implemented as require more machinery and complex transmission system. Due to this also it will increase the power train mass, rotational resistance and also can affect the transmission power loses. They not many sedans that had this type of drivetrain except for Audi with Quattro badge and most of this type drivetrain can be found in the pickup truck like Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton and many more.
Although the drive train have they cons, many of car manufacturer had worked tirelessly though the decade to reduce the cons of each drive train and provide the best of experience possible when we are driving our car. Although the drive train will not be something that is considered when buying a car, it one of the contributor for our handling, efficiency, and traction for the car.