What type of drive system generally has the best properties for poor road conditions?
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“Most car manufacturers are abandoning the rear-wheel drive for the front-wheel drive. The most important reason for this is the inferior roadholding in poor road conditions.” (Driving Licence Book, 19th Edition, page 127)
If a car with rear-wheel drive looses grip, the result can be a severe rear-wheel slide, which means that the back of the car is thrown out in an uncontrollable manner.
If a car with front-wheel drive looses grip, the consequence will often be a deterioration in the steering, but the car stays on course (it is not turned around uncontrollably as in a rear-wheel slide).
Gliding stably (front-wheel drive) is preferable to being forcefully turned around (back-wheel drive).
There is also a driving licence book online (2023).
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