Do You Actually Want AWD Or Will Winter Tires And FWD/RWD Suffice?


Lastly, we are able to put an finish to the good debate over whether or not you completely want all-wheel drive (AWD) for winter driving or if front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive RWD) with winter tires can be ample on your winter driving wants.

Go away it to the oldsters at Engineering Defined to place an finish to this debate with info backed by science, arithmetic, and extra. However earlier than we get into explaining which setup is required on your driving wants, allow us to first check out the visible variations between summer season and winter tires.

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Except for each being a automotive tire, there’s little resemblance between the 2. The winter tires have all types of tread blocks of differing shapes and sizes, in addition to zig-zag cuts on these blocks to assist with traction within the snow. Moreover, whereas the summer season tire has lengthy steady grooves to assist defend towards hydroplaning, the winter tire forgoes many of the grooves and lengthy tread blocks in favor of extra particular person blocks with extra in-between spacing. There are extra variations, together with the stiffness of the tread blocks and the hardness of the rubber, that are defined intimately within the video.

Shifting on to a few of the precise take a look at outcomes. Beneath are the outcomes for summer season, all-season, and winter tires when it comes to acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour on snow-covered flat floor for RWD, FWD, and AWD autos outfitted with every of the three various kinds of examined tires.

The massive takeaway right here is that an AWD automotive with summer season tires is far slower than a RWD with winter tires, so AWD alone isn’t ample within the snow. You’d have to at the very least match it with all-season tires. All the autos fitted with summer season tires carried out very poorly on this take a look at, which ought to let you know that summer season tires and snow do not combine.

The winner within the 0 to 60 MPH take a look at on flat, snowy roads is AWD with winter tires, as you’d most likely anticipate, however each FWD and RWD with winter tires carried out acceptably. With all-season tires, AWD carried out nicely, however each FWD and RWD have been subpar. 

Extra parameters are defined within the video, which you need to watch in its entirety. Nevertheless, the conclusion is as follows:

So, in case your neck of the woods sees snow, however is not hilly, then AWD, FWD, and even RWD with winter tires ought to suffice. If it is snowy and hilly the place you reside, then AWD with winter tires is your solely selection. If there is not any snow by you, then all choices are open.

That is the grand conclusion introduced within the video, however there are quite a few smaller particulars defined, so we strongly urge you to look at all of it. Moreover, Engineering Defined touches on the distinctive challenges that tires and electrical automobiles face, stating: 

“However what about electrical automobiles? Winter tires pose a novel problem to electrical automobiles, as they’re usually louder, which is extra noticeable in EVs. Winter tires additionally are likely to have increased rolling resistance, which reduces your vary in an EV. Lastly, winter tires use softer compounds, which means extra put on when utilized by a heavy EV.”

At a later level within the video, the dialogue focuses on a Hankook winter tire known as iON i*cept that is designed particularly for EVs. It is value a watch in case you are on the lookout for an EV-specific winter tire.


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