awd is not what makes a car handle better. Think about it for a second. When a tire is trying to turn and you apply the brakes near the limit of grip it starts to understeer. Why? Because the amount of grip available to the tire at that time is being divided into two. It's trying to steer in another direction and trying to brake at the same time. So traction is compromised in both scenarios. Same deal applies to turning into a corner, an awd car will have more of a tendency to understeer, much like a fwd car as the front wheels are connected to the driveline delivering power to the front as well as starting to steer, then as you exit a turn and start putting the power down, again you'll understeer wide, so you'd have to apply only partial throttle until the car is almost straight, then you could apply full throttle, whilst the rwd car has been applying power down since the apex. That would equal roughly a car length in just one turn, and if that turn is feeding a long straight then that distance gets multiplied. The Veyron is not the quickest car on the leader board of Top Gear anymore the Ariel Atom toppled it, and it is a rwd, and there were two quicker cars which couldn't count because they were not using DOT tires, the Ferrari Fxx and the Ultima GTR both of which are rwd. The reason the Bugatti is there is because that track is more of a power track than a handling track and there are many long straights where the Bugatti could use it's enormous power to it's advantage.
But you are using a rather extreme example here. Let's talk more about realistic cars like the Audi A4 2.0t vs. the 328. No contest. Comparisons like that could go on and on for days.
Dynamically speaking rwd>awd>fwd in a performance environment. Although IMO I'd rather have fwd over awd. I've driven A4's with and with awd and I found the fwd ones much livelier, again due to weight advantages. In the snow, I've never heard of anyone that uses snow tires to have a problem with the rwd. And if anyone does, there's usually a reason behind it, inexperience, driving to fast for the conditions, worn out snows etc.
Come to Mosport on June 4 and 5, and I'll take you around to show you the difference. www.trillium-bmwclub.ca
for details about the w/e.
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