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Is FWD Dead? VW says Yes!


David

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To quote Christian Buhlmann of Volkswagen product line communications for e-mobility: "It doesn't make much sense because if you think of the starting torque that you have and the dynamic weight distribution, the weight is lifted from the front axle towards the rear axle," he said. "That's exactly where you need the torque to be in your acceleration moment. Therefore, it physically doesn't make sense to use only the front axle if you have the vehicle that offers a lot of torque right from the start. "

This was his response in regards to the question of FWD or RWD for electric vehicles and why?

With the ease of ability to package the motors front, rear, or AWD and running a few cables, it really boils down to the efficiency of where the motor makes the most sense. As such, EVs will be moving to RWD / AWD and with the lower cost of powertrain components, AWD is an easy profitable upgrade. VW like Tesla and all other OEMs has stated, the most expensive part of an EV is the battery pack. VW has admitted that the tradeoff in lower-cost vehicles that need efficiency with a lower cost is why FWD became the rage but those days are over as the dynamics favor the superior driving dynamics of RWD with electric powertrains.

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Is it a superior looking car over Tesla?

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Motor Trend Story

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1 hour ago, ykX said:

Makes sense.  However, most people are used by now to FWD driving dynamics.  First heavy rain or snow storm, and there will be a lot crashes and people in the ditch with the new RWD electric vehicles.

They do that now in their AWD crossovers... 

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Been saying this for years. Even wrote something here about "in the wake of AWD as an option how is RWD or FWD needed or superior? " That was  when the XTS concept debuted I think in '09. I was speaking of Luxury then.. but this seems to want to go all the way.. This is what I wrote:

AWD is the real hero of luxury.. and being able to augment that AWD is even more so.. Cadillac's Sport mode and U get a 20/80 front/rear split, Tour gets 40/60, and Snow mode splits it right down the middle. I love that. In fact I wouldn't be surprised one bit if the reason why AWD is standard in almost all iterations of the CT6 is because Cadillac decided to profitably package an upgrade in that cost them little, but offered a justifiable reason to charge more for the product. The silliness of people talking about a 204 inch, 122 WB large luxury car in the same terms as they would a RWD Camaro is ridiculous. The same goes for the HIGH UP vehicles..aka CUVs. Having a weee bit more power in the XT5 and XT4 as an option is 100.. but the chassis for at leats the XT5, as I haven't driven the XT4 yet, is perfect for 100% of the people buying them. 

 AWD is a luxury. Offering AWD all the time is offering a luxury ALL THE TIME. 

For some reason I find, more often than not, on these forums, that many forum goers feel that limitation of choice is the desire of most Luxury buyers. As a luxury buyer I whole-heartedly would like to disagree with that notion. Marketing should certainly steer buyers in the direction of the AWD version for profit reasons, not to mention performance credibility. While the segment does not demand super performance, having a car this large, a large saloon, being capable of great handling is a plus. The CT6, still imo, is offering AWD for marketing purposes, not to mention built in profit. That is the absolute only reason the Audi A8 sells AWD-only here, yet offers a FWD version in Europe. With this car the absence of the weight penalty usually associated with AWD allows Cadillac to sell an AWD model at 95% of the line-up and still be lighter than many of the single drive competitors

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I think in EV vehicles, which wheels drive matters less because the weight balance of the car is so different.   FWD was "better in snow" because you had all the weight of the engine on the front tires to help with adhesion.  In a pure EV that isn't based off an IC car, the weight can be wherever they want it to be.. front, back, middle... doesn't matter.

Put the motor and a stack of batteries in the rear of an EV and it'll go in snow just as well as any FWD. 

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I honestly can see having inexpensive RWD commuter EVs and then you step up into AWD EVs and Luxury / Performance having AWD with Torque vectoring.

OEMs can then also have a single set of Controller boards and a customer if later on has the money and wants more power can go online, pay the OEM for the power upgrade and it gets pushed down to the auto to unlock performance improvements, luxury add-ons, etc.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

I honestly can see having inexpensive RWD commuter EVs and then you step up into AWD EVs and Luxury / Performance having AWD with Torque vectoring.

OEMs can then also have a single set of Controller boards and a customer if later on has the money and wants more power can go online, pay the OEM for the power upgrade and it gets pushed down to the auto to unlock performance improvements, luxury add-ons, etc.

I think with EVs having AWD will be easier and less expensive than with ICE vehicles.  And even now when the AWD optional, it is about a $2k option on regular cars.   With EV, it is probably only extra couple motors on the front and different software.

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