Thread: Advantages/Disadvantages of a FR/FF car

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  1. #1 Advantages/Disadvantages of a FR/FF car 
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    Front-wheel drive types






    A front-engine design, front-wheel drive layout places both the engineFR layout, the FF layout eliminates the need for a central tunnel or a higher chassis clearance to accommodate a driveshaft providing power to the rear wheels. Like the RR and RMR layouts, it places the heavy engine over the drive wheels which aids traction. As the steered wheels are also the driven wheels, FF cars are generally considered superior to FR cars in conditions such as snow, mud or wet tarmac. However, powerful cars rarely use the FF layout because weight transference under acceleration unloads the front wheels and sharply reduces their grip, effectively putting a cap on the amount of torque which could realistically be utilized. Electronic traction control can avoid wheelspin but largely negates the benefit of extra torque/power. and driven wheels at the front of the vehicle. This layout is typically chosen for its compact packaging: that is, it takes up very little space, allowing the rest of the vehicle to be designed more flexibly. In contrast with the

    Characteristics

    Front wheel drive gives more interior space since the powertrain is a single unit contained in the engine compartment of the vehicle and there is no need to devote interior space for a driveshaft tunnel or rear differential, increasing the volume available for passengers and cargo. There are some exceptions to this as rear engine designs do not take away interior space. (See Porsche 911, and Volkswagen Beetle) It also has fewer components overall and thus lower weight. The direct connection between engine and transaxle reduces the mass and mechanical inertia of the drivetrain compared to a rear-wheel drive vehicle with a similar engine and transmission, allowing greater fuel economy. In front wheel drive cars the mass of the drivetrain is placed over the driven wheels and thus moves the centre of gravity farther forward than a comparable rear-wheel drive layout, improving traction and directional stability on wet, snowy, or icy surfaces. Front-wheel drive cars, with a front weight bias, tend to understeer at the limit, which according to for instance Saab engineer Gunnar Larsson is easier since it makes instinct correct in avoiding terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in fishtailing or a spin.
    According to a sales brochure for the 1989 Lotus Elan, the ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that "for a given vehicle weight, power and tire size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road." However, this may only apply for cars with moderate power-to-weight ratio. According to road test with two Dodge Daytonas, one FWD and one RWD, the road layout is also important for what configuration is the fastest.
    In a front wheel drive car it is easier to correct trailing-throttle or trailing-brake oversteer.
    Some front wheel drive cars may exhibit torque steer. Torque steer can be addressed by using a longitudal layout, equal-length drive shafts, half shafts, a multilink suspension or centre-point steering geometry.
    The lack of weight shifting limits the acceleration of a front-wheel drive vehicle. During heavy acceleration, weight is shifted to the back, improving traction at the rear wheels at the expense of the front driving wheels; consequently, most racing cars are rear-wheel drive for acceleration. However, since front-wheel drive cars have the weight of the engine over the driving wheels, the problem only applies in extreme conditions. The weight shifting and weight distribution of rear wheel drive cars make them more likely to oversteer and the related problem of fishtailing. On snow, ice, and sand, rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage to front or all-wheel drive vehicles which have greater weight over the driven wheels. Rear wheel drive cars with rear engine or mid engine configuration retain traction over the driven wheels, although fishtailing remains an issue. Some rear engine cars (e.g. Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced steering ability under heavy acceleration, since the engine is outside the wheelbase and at the opposite end of the car from the wheels doing the steering. A rear wheel drive car's center of gravity is shifted rearward when heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause unpredictable handling behavior.
    On FR cars, the long driveshaft adds to drivetrain elasticity.

    Advantages


    • Interior space: Since the powertrain is a single unit contained in the engine compartment of the vehicle, there is no need to devote interior space for a driveshaft tunnel or rear differential, increasing the volume available for passengers and cargo.
      • Instead, the tunnel may be used to route the exhaust system pipes.

    • Cost: Fewer components overall.
    • Weight: Fewer components usually means lower weight.
    • Improved fuel efficiency due to less weight.
    • Improved drivetrain efficiency: the direct connection between engine and transaxle reduce the mass and mechanical inertia of the drivetrain compared to a rear-wheel drive vehicle with a similar engine and transmission, allowing greater fuel economy.
    • Assembly efficiency: the powertrain can often be assembled and installed as a unit, which allows more efficient production.
    • Placing the mass of the drivetrain over the driven wheels moves the centre of gravity farther forward than a comparable rear-wheel drive layout, improving traction and directional stability on wet, snowy, or icy surfaces.
    • Predictable handling characteristics: front-wheel drive cars, with a front weight bias, tend to understeer at the limit, which (according to e.g. SAAB engineer Gunnar Larsson) is easier since it makes instinct correct in avoiding terminal oversteer, and less prone to result in fishtailing or a spin.
    • The driver can control the movement of the car even while skidding by steering, throttling and pulling the hand brake (given that the hand brake operates the rear wheels as in most cases, with early Saabs being an exception).
    • According to a sales brochure for the 1989 Lotus Elan, the ride and handling engineers at Lotus found that "for a given vehicle weight, power and tire size, a front wheel drive car was always faster over a given section of road." However, this may only apply for cars with moderate power-to-weight ratio. According to road test with two Dodge Daytonas, one FWD and one RWD, the road layout is also important for what configuration is the fastest.
    • It is easier to correct trailing-throttle or trailing-brake oversteer.
    • The wheelbase can be extended without building a longer driveshaft (as with rear wheel driven cars).


    Disadvantages


    • Torque steer is the tendency for some front-wheel drive cars to pull to the left or right under hard acceleration. It is a result of the offset between the point about which the wheel steers (which falls at a point which is aligned with the points at which the wheel is connected to the steering mechanisms) and the centroid of its contact patch. The tractive force acts through the centroid of the contact patch, and the offset of the steering point means that a turning moment about the axis of steering is generated. In an ideal situation, the left and right wheels would generate equal and opposite moments, canceling each other out, however in reality this is less likely to happen. Torque steer can be addressed by using a longitudinal layout, equal length drive shafts, half shafts, a multilink suspension or centre-point steering geometry.
    • Lack of weight shifting will limit the acceleration of a front-wheel drive vehicle. In a vehicle, the weight shifts back during acceleration, giving more traction to the rear wheels. This is one of the main reasons why nearly all racing cars are rear-wheel drive. However, since front-wheel drive cars have the weight of the engine over the driving wheels, the problem only applies in extreme conditions.
    • In some towing situations, front-wheel drive cars can be at a traction disadvantage since there will be less weight on the driving wheels. Because of this, the weight that the vehicle is rated to safely tow is likely to be less than that of a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle of the same size and power.
    • Traction can be reduced while attempting to climb a slope in slippery conditions such as snow or ice covered roadways.
    • Due to geometry and packaging constraints, the CV joints (constant-velocity joints) attached to the wheel hub have a tendency to wear out much earlier than the universal joints typically used in their rear-wheel drive counterparts (although rear-wheel drive vehicles with independent rear suspension also employ CV joints and half-shafts). The significantly shorter drive axles on a front-wheel drive car causes the joint to flex through a much wider degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and angles of steering, while the CV joints of a rear wheel drive car regularly see angles and wear of less than half that of front wheel drive vehicles.
    • They cannot compete in the sport of drifting due to the need of RWD to push rear of the vehicle in a circle. This is not necessarily an issue to most car manufacturers.
    • The drive shafts may limit the amount by which the front wheels can turn, thus it may increase the turning circle of a front-wheel drive car compared to a rear-wheel drive one with the same wheelbase.


    Rear wheel drive layouts






    Rear-wheel drive (RWD) typically places the engine in the front of the vehicle and the driven wheels are located at the rear, a configuration known as Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive (FR). The front mid-engine, rear mid-engine and rear engine layouts are also used. This was the traditional automobile layout for most of the 20th century.[17] Rear-wheel drive is used almost universally for driving motorcycles, whether by driveshaft, chain, or belt.

    Characteristics

    The vast majority of rear wheel drive vehicles use a longitudinally-mounted engine in the front of the vehicle, driving the rear wheels via a driveshaftdifferential between the rear axles. Some FR layout vehicles place the transmission at the rear, though most attach it to the engine at the front. linked via a
    The FR layout is often chosen for its simple design and good handling characteristics. Placing the drive wheels at the rear allows ample room for the transmission in the center of the vehicle and avoids the mechanical complexities associated with transmitting power to the front wheels. For performance-oriented vehicles, the FR layout is more suitable than front-wheel drive designs, especially with engines that exceed 200 horsepower. This is because weight transfers to the rear of the vehicle during acceleration, which loads the rear wheels and increases their grip. Another advantage of the FR layout is relatively easy access to the engine compartment, as result of the longitudinal orientation of the drivetrain, as compared to the FF layout (front-engine, front-wheel drive).

    Advantages


    • Even weight distribution - The layout of a rear wheel drive car is much closer to an even fore and aft weight distribution than a front wheel drive car, as more of the engine can lie between the front and rear wheels (in the case of a mid engine layout, the entire engine), and the transmission is moved much farther back.
    • Weight transfer during acceleration - During heavy acceleration, weight is placed on the rear, or driving wheels, which improves traction.
    • No torque steer (unless it's an all wheel steer with an offset differential).
    • Steering radius - As no complicated drive shaft joints are required at the front wheels, it is possible to turn them further than would be possible using front wheel drive, resulting in a smaller steering radius for a given wheelbase.
    • Better handling in dry conditions - the more even weight distribution and weight transfer improve the handling of the car. The front and rear tires are placed under more even loads, which allows for more grip while cornering.
    • Better braking - the more even weight distribution helps prevent lockup from wheels becoming unloaded under heavy braking.
    • Towing - Rear wheel drive puts the wheels which are pulling the load closer to the point where a trailer articulates, helping steering, especially for large loads.
    • Serviceability - Drivetrain components on a rear-wheel drive vehicle are modular and do not involve packing as many parts into as small a space as does front wheel drive, thus requiring less disassembly or specialized tools in order to service the vehicle.[citation needed]
    • Robustness - due to geometry and packaging constraints, the universal joints attached to the wheel hub have a tendency to wear out much later than the CV joints typically used in front-wheel drive counterparts. The significantly shorter drive axles on a front-wheel drive car causes the joint to flex through a much wider degree of motion, compounded by additional stress and angles of steering, while the CV joints of a rear wheel drive car regularly see angles and wear of less than half that of front wheel drive vehicles.


    Disadvantages


    • Under heavy acceleration oversteer and fishtailing may occur.
    • On snow, ice and sand, rear-wheel drive loses its traction advantage to front or all-wheel drive vehicles which have greater weight on the driven wheels. Rear wheel drive cars with rear engine or mid enginefishtailing remains an issue. configuration do not suffer from this, although
    • Some rear engine cars (e.g. Porsche 911) can suffer from reduced steering ability under heavy acceleration, because the engine is outside the wheelbase and at the opposite end of the car from the wheels doing the steering although the engine weight over the rear wheels provides outstanding traction and grip during acceleration.
    • Decreased interior space - Though individual designs vary greatly, rear wheel drive vehicles may have: Less front leg room as the transmission tunnel takes up a space between the driver and front passenger, less leg room for center rear passengers (due to the tunnel needed for the drive shaft), and sometimes less trunk space (since there is also more hardware that must be placed underneath the trunk). Rear engine designs (such as the Porsche 911 and Volkswagen Beetle) do not inherently take away interior space.
    • Increased weight - The components of a rear wheel drive vehicle's power train are less complex, but they are larger. The driveshaft adds weight. There is extra sheet metal to form the transmission tunnel. There is a rear axle or rear half-shafts, which are typically longer than those in a front-wheel drive car. A rear wheel drive car will weigh slightly more than a comparable front wheel drive car (but less than four wheel drive).
    • Improper weight distribution when loaded - A rear wheel drive car's center of gravity is shifted rearward when heavily loaded with passengers or cargo, which may cause unpredictable handling behavior.
    • Higher initial purchase price - Modern rear wheel drive vehicles are typically slightly more expensive to purchase than comparable front wheel drive vehicles. Although the complex assembly (the powertrainproduction volumes and the fact that the majority of rear-wheel cars are in the sports/performance/luxury categories. Few modern "family" sedans have rear-wheel drive, so a cost comparison is not necessarily possible. is not one compact unit) and added cost of materials, this cost difference is more probably explained by
    • The possibility of a slight loss in the mechanical efficiency of the drivetrain (approximately 17% coastdown losses between engine flywheel and road wheels compared to 15% for front wheel drive - however these losses are highly dependent on the individual transmission). Cars with rear engine or mid engine configuration and a transverse engine layout do not suffer from this.
    • The long driveshaft (on front engine cars) adds to drivetrain elasticity. The driveshaft must also be extended for cars with a stretched wheelbase (e.g. limousines, minivans).


    Must give wikipedia credit for this one also I posted this here since I didn't find anything on 240atlanta pertaining to the differences between FF and FR
    Last edited by Daniel Q; 01-09-2009 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    lulz
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteknightsS13 View Post
    lulz
    at what? It might be some helpful information to someone
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    That it might.

    Good post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~The_Duke~ View Post
    That it might.

    Good post.

    Thanks
    -Danial
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    good read...maybe they shouldn't mention the Porsche 911 in the negatives seeing as how it is not an FR car and the article is supposed to be about FR vs FF
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    nice info. U just have to be careful with getting stuff off wiki. There is as much wrong stuff as right stuff on there. good post though
    I'd rather push my Toyota.... Than own a Nissan!!




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