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Old 02-27-2003, 10:49 AM
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As I live in a mountainous region that sees a decent amount of snow and ice, let me weigh in:

FWD's bad weather advantages are most evident in low-speed driving, particularly if the road is hilly and has a prominent "crown". For those who don't know, the crown of a road is the curvature of the road surface if the road was viewed as a cross section. While a high crown is great for promoting water drainage away from the center of the road towards the curb, it is equally effective in allowing gravity to drift a car towards the curb when its drive wheels spin. In a rear-drive car, the rearend slides toward the curb (or parked cars). This process can only be corrected by reducing power, which may mean stopping on an icy hill, with little prospect of resuming forward motion absent reversing down the hill and trying again. On a front-drive car, a driver can correct for this curbward drift by steering the drive wheels to the left slightly while continuing to apply power. Momentum is preserved, and the car makes it to the top of the hill.

Highway driving in snow, front-drive may provide a slight advantage to an inexperienced driver, as an overapplication of power in a rear-drive vehicle may lead to fishtailing, whereas the same situation in a front-drive car may lead to a slight degree of easily-correctable understeer.

My teenage winters were spent driving a V8 Firebird on hilly, icy roads. RWD trial by fire.
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