September 29, 2023
Image for article titled These Are Jalopnik's Ideal Winter Vehicles

Photograph: Steve DaSilva

This slideshow’s subheading poses a query: Entrance-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive? Effectively, reader, I’m right here to inform you that each are flawed. Rear-wheel-drive is the superior structure for winter driving, and I can show it with expertise.

The silver FR-S you see right here was my very own automotive, the one which carried me via the lake-effect snow of a number of Western New York winters. It was my grocery getter, my furnishings hauler — hell, I moved in it. With an excellent set of snow tires on the manufacturing facility wheels, I by no means discovered myself wanting extra — or totally different — pushed wheels. So why not?

Effectively, for starters, the Toyobaru twins have as many pushed wheels as your common AWD car. This sounds absurd, I do know, but it surely’s true. Take, as an illustration, the BRZ’s greater Subaru siblings. Regardless of the full-time-AWD structure, these automobiles use open differentials within the entrance and the rear. In a low-traction state of affairs — say, an icy highway — all of your energy will go to the entrance and rear wheels with the least grip. The Toyobarus use a limited-slip rear differential, which means they ship energy to each rear wheels on a regular basis. That’s two pushed wheels in opposition to two.

Now, earlier than you say it, I’ll admit that loads of front-wheel-drive automobiles have limited-slip differentials. The Civic Si, Sort R, and Acura Integra all drive two wheels always. However asking your wheels to make use of their restricted traction for each acceleration and steering — to not point out the vast majority of your braking — is a recipe for slippage. Ship your energy to the rear, and let your entrance wheels deal with the steering.

However I’ve solely bought you on rear-wheel-drive to date. Why these two automobiles particularly? Effectively, for starters, they’re comparatively low-cost. RWD has turn out to be one thing of a luxurious exclusivity lately, from manufacturers like Mercedes and Lexus, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get your fingers on an affordable Toyobaru. Past that, they’re straightforward to repair — letting your internal Takumi Fujiwara out carries decrease dangers when you’ll be able to cheaply change a damaged wheel. Most of all, although, these automobiles are balanced, predictable, and communicative.

If you happen to slide out on a snowy highway in a Toyobaru, you’ll know precisely what’s taking place. The steering wheel lets you understand precisely how little impact your actions are having on the course of the automotive, and the responsive engine tells you when your rear wheels aren’t placing the ability down. Begin to slip, and the automotive is extremely straightforward to manage whereas sideways. It’s like coaching wheels for drifting, educating you the intricacies of weight stability and steering from the rear at low, safer speeds.

So, subsequent winter, purchase your self a Toyobaru. You’ll have a blast, study greater than you ever dreamed about car dynamics, and also you’ll look nice doing it. What extra might you need?