Nowadays, most high-end cars and crossovers offer all-wheel drive (AWD) either standard or as an option. AWD systems are especially helpful in rapidly changing conditions or when driving on a road with intermittent snow and ice. Rally racers like AWD because it helps their over-powered cars accelerate on gravel and dirt paths. Subaru and Audi have heralded the advantages of delivering power to all four corners with their respective Symmetrical and quattro all-wheel drive systems for decades. On the market today are a number of cars and crossovers across different price ranges with available full-time AWD.
As the name implies, all-wheel drive feeds power to each corner. Depending on the system design, AWD can provide maximum forward traction during acceleration. Most AWD systems deliver power primarily to one set of wheels, front or rear. When slippage is detected at one axle, power is diverted to the other axle, in hopes of finding more traction there.
Not all AWD systems are equal. Subaru’s AWD system always directs at least 20 percent of the engine’s power to the rear, and it can direct a larger amount rearward if needed. Many other systems fitted to front-wheel-drive vehicles operate with 100 percent of the power normally going to the front wheels; the rear wheels then only receive power only when the front wheels start slipping.
Technology has been helping us move forward and there are more advanced AWD systems on the horizon. These torque-vectoring differentials are advanced versions of the current systems that cause one or more tires to turn faster or slower. The goal of these systems is to harness the grip all four tires have to offer.
Watch the segment below as Roman uncovers the top 5 new all-wheel drive cars and crossovers in this TFLcar video.