Have you ever wondered if can you drift with FWD? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic.
Drifting is a whole mastery and requires a lot of skill to be performed in the right manner. Many people who are not experienced in this stuff, try to drift and end up wrecking their cars. Why is this so? Well, it’s because they don’t go step by step and want to become drift kings immediately. A small amount of confidence is good, but too much confidence might end up totaling your car.
And similarly to the drifting with FWD. These cars tend to understeer more and drifting might be a real challenge. But more on that later in the article where we will dive into the details and the mastery of FWD drifting and drifting in general. But first, you need to familiarize yourself if you are not a car guy. You need to understand the different types of drivetrains that are out there and we are going to help you out with that.
First, we will discuss what is a drivetrain and the different types of drivetrains that are out there, and their characteristics. Then we will focus on the FWD drivetrain and the pros and cons of having a FWD car. After, we will learn what is drifting and how it is done in a FWD car, answering the question of can you drift with FWD in the process. So, if you want to learn more about this, follow along.
What Is A Drivetrain (Can You Drift With FWD?)
Now before we learn if can you drift with FWD, let’s focus on some of the basics. And that is the question of what is a drivetrain? Knowing this is quite essential for you to understand in your efforts to become a drift king. Without the proper drivetrain, you will not be able to drift right. But what is a drivetrain in general terms? Let’s elaborate.
The wheels that receive the energy created from the engine are actively participating in moving the vehicle forward while the other wheels are passively participating. Meaning that these wheels only follow the wheels that receive power and that’s it. This is the case in RWD and FWD. But in AWD, all of the wheels actively participate in delivering power meaning that all wheels are live.
The drivetrain as we mentioned is composed of the engine which is the core of the drivetrain. Then the engine is connected to the transmission. The transmission is an integral component that converts the rotational energy from the driveshaft into torque.
Then this energy created from the engine is sent to the driveshaft and the driveshaft spins the differential. Lastly, the differential through the axles delivers the energy to the wheels and makes the car move forward or backward. Very simple process.
But the different types of drivetrains have different characteristics. Meaning that not all types of drivetrains behave the same. More on that next and after we will discuss the question of can you drive with FWD. So, follow along.
Types Of Drivetrains (And Can You Drift With FWD?)
Now as we learned what is a drivetrain, let’s now focus on the different types of drivetrains that are out there and their characteristics. Why is this important for you? Well, you want to be a drift king. So, you need to understand these three different types of drivetrains in order for you to become a good drifter.
We will focus on their core principles and their main characteristics. We will also give our comments on what type of drivetrain is more drift-happy and from what car you need to expect the most when trying to drift. Then we will discuss if can you drift with FWD. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we cover if can you drift with FWD, let’s familiarize ourselves with the FWD layout. But what does FWD means in general? The FWD abbreviation refers to the front-wheel-drive.
This means that the front wheels are the ones in this vehicle that are actively participating in delivering power to the wheels.
There are two axles at the front, one per wheel that delivers the power to the front wheels only. So, we can conclude that the rear wheels are only following.
This type of configuration is very prone to understeer. So, if you go in a corner with too much speed, you will lose the front end, and the car will basically keep moving forward and will not catch the corner on time.
That’s why it is very crucial for you as a driver to know the limits of your car and not end up crashing it into a wall. And this, unfortunately, limits the drifting ability of this type of drivetrain. But more on this later when we will discuss can you drift with FWD. Even though FWD is limited, it can still drift. Now let’s move to the RWD drivetrain.
Now before we learn if can you drift with FWD, let’s elaborate more on the RWD type of drivetrain. RWD as you probably know means rear-wheel-drive.
Meaning that the rear wheels are ones that get the power from the engine while the front wheels are dead wheels and only serve for steering the vehicle.
This configuration is extremely popular in the US and the majority of the vehicles sold here are RWD. Unlike the FWD and AWD cars that are not that popular.
RWD drivetrain layout is somewhat special because when you drive a RWD car you feel like the vehicle is pushing you forward. Unlike when you have FWD when the front wheels are doing all the hard stuff.
This also makes the RWD layout more prone to losing control and oversteer. If you decide to catch a corner with too much speed, you can easily lose the rear end of a RWD car. Especially if you drive on gravel. That’s why you need to be more careful when driving a RWD car.
But this also makes RWD cars a lot more drift happy. These rear-wheel-drive cars love to drift. And if the engine is powerful you could easily lose the rear end and do a controlled drift. Or even in some cases uncontrolled drift if you don’t know how to drift. So, if you really want a drift car, a RWD car should be your top pick. But can you drift with FWD? We will get to that in a bit after we cover the last type of drivetrain which is the AWD.
Now before we answer the question of can you drift with FWD, let’s cover the last type of drivetrain which is the AWD. Which is an abbreviation for all-wheel-drive.
You probably know that AWD means that all the wheels have power and are putting this power into the pavement. But this is not quite correct.
Most of the AWD systems are predominantly RWD or FWD. They use the power to all of the wheels only in exceptional situations.
For example, if you trying to go off-road or you got stuck in the mud and the AWD system will be there to assist you whenever possible. Even though some cars like the Audi Quattro deliver power to all of the wheels most of the time. Most systems do not.
So, depending on what type of car you are driving, you will either have FWD or RWD power output. If you have AWD that is predominantly a RWD then you will be able to lose traction and start drifting. If your car is predominantly FWD you might face some difficulties performing this stuff.
But can you drift with FWD? We will get to that in a bit. In the next chapter, we will focus primarily on FWD and learn all of its characteristics as well as the pros and cons. So, follow along.
What Is A FWD Car?
Now as we covered the types of drivetrains. Let’s focus more on FWD and if can you drift with FWD. Since this is quite essential for your efforts to become a drifter.
As we noted, a FWD car is a car that delivers the power to the front wheels only. The rear wheels do not have power. Meaning that losing the rear end on a front-wheel-drive car is almost impossible if you don’t do a simple trick. But more on that later where we will discuss the question of can you drift with FWD.
Nevertheless, let’s focus a bit on the FWD layout and learn from what components it is made of. Knowing this stuff will help you when it comes to understanding how things work in your suspension.
In FWD cars you don’t have a separate gearbox, driveshaft, and differential. In FWD cars, everything is stored in a unit called a transaxle. This unit basically includes the gearbox, differential, and driveshaft. Making it very compact and easy to implement on a car.
This layout makes FWD cars a bit more prone to understeer. They don’t oversteer like drift cars but completely the opposite thing. Meaning that if you try to drift them, they will basically understeer and the car will continue moving forward if it’s a high-speed turn. Resulting in the car rolling over. Just like in the movies. But there is a trick that you can pull off to make them drift. But more on that later when we will learn can you drift with FWD.
FWD Pros And Cons (And Can You Drift With FWD?)
Now before we learn if can you drift with FWD, let’s learn the pros and cons of FWD. What are the perks and downsides of driving a car that has front-wheel-drive? Let’s elaborate on them in depth in the following few chapters. This will be quite handy for the ones who want to purchase a FWD car anytime soon. So, follow along.
Now let’s cover the pros of the FWD system before we learn if can you drift with FWD. So, what are the pros of this type of drivetrain? Let’s elaborate.
The first pro of this system is that it is cheaper to make. As you probably know, everything in this system is stored in a unit called a transaxle. This transaxle contains the transmission, differential, and driveshaft. There are no complex systems like in RWD cars that go from the front to the rear of the car. This saves a lot of money in the process and the price for FWD cars is considerably cheaper than RWD and AWD.
The second positive thing about having a FWD car is the compactness of this system. This system is very compact and reduces the weight of the car considerably in comparison to AWD systems.
All of the weight is focused on the front and this makes the car really stable at high speeds and you will not lose the rear end like in RWD cars. Making these cars very good for driving in bad weather. They basically grip far more than RWD cars.
In addition to this, they are also more fuel-efficient. That’s right, with FWD cars you get the most when it comes to fuel mileage. The engine doesn’t have to struggle to deliver the power to the rear and then to push the whole chassis. When the front wheels have the power, moving forward is far easier for the engine. Thus, improving the fuel consumption immensely in comparison to RWD cars. But can you drift with FWD? We will get to that in a bit, let’s cover the cons of FWD systems.
Now before we cover if can you drift with FWD, let’s discuss the cons of FWD systems. As you probably know, even if FWD is really good, is not that sunshine and rainbows when it comes to performance. So, let’s begin.
As we noted, in FWD cars, everything is located at the front. Making the front end really happy and this increases the center of gravity. This creates a lot of understeer if you drive at high speeds.
If you decided to track your FWD car, then you should expect to not behave like most RWD cars on the track.
RWD cars are catching the apex much better than FWD vehicles. Meaning that they can make a lot more controllable high-speed cornering than front-wheel-drive cars.
FWD cars are heavy and this heaviness in the front makes them dive into a corner and not be able to get that apex right. Requires a different approach from the driver. This different approach will result in bad times on the track. You will not be able to beat any RWD car out there.
RWD is much more versatile. The front end is light and the car is able to catch the corner with a little more gas input from the pedal, you will be able to drift the car with ease. This process is basically called oversteer. But more on that in the following chapters when we will discuss all about drifting and if can you drift with FWD.
What Is Drifting?
Now before we learn if can you drift with FWD, let’s learn more about what is drifting in general. What makes a car to drift?
Drifting basically is oversteering. This is a position when the front wheels are pushed to the limit and the rear end brakes loose. Meaning that the rear tires start to slide sideways. This is done purposefully on the race track.
But there are a lot of people who are not experienced with driving RWD cars and they unintentionally lose the rear wheels.
This often happens when some inexperienced driver is driving a RWD car and goes in a corner too quickly. He will then lose the rear wheels and end up in an accident if he doesn’t know how to control the car.
Many people in these situations slam on the brakes and this makes things much worse than they were. In this case, the car will oversteer even more and you will, lose the rear end and end up crashing. That’s why learning how to drift sometimes will be a lifesaver for you as a car owner.
You need to learn how to control the steering wheel in these situations as well as the throttle. If not, you are in danger. That’s why when you have a RWD car, it is essential for you not to push it if you are inexperienced. Don’t throw your life away.
And I’m serious about this. I know people who got hurt by doing this and they got a few broken ribs. So, beware of driving a RWD, especially on the gravel. If you lose the rear on the gravel, you will be flying into a wall in no time. But can you drift with FWD? Let’s see up next.
Can You Drift With FWD? 3 Different Ways!
Now we come to the important bit and that is if you can drift a FWD car? And the answer to that question is yes, you can drift a FWD car that’s for sure. But the way you can drift the car is rather unnatural. Meaning that you need to force the car to get into a drift. And there are basically three ways to do this, with speed, brakes, and by using a handbrake. In the following chapters, we are going to explain how you can do this.
1. Handbrake Method
The handbrake is the easiest method to drift a FWD car. You just climb up to speed and turn the steering wheel sharply. Then pull off the handbrake and you will enter a drift. The rear of the car will lose traction whenever you pull the handbrake and the car will drift.
This can be detrimental for the handbrake though, in some cases the cable can snap if the car is not equipped with a capable handbrake cable that can withstand this sharp pull and lock of the rear wheels. So, that’s how you can drift with FWD. Now let’s move to the next method.
2. Lift Off Oversteer
Another method that you can try to get in a drift is the lift-off oversteer method. For this method, you will need to get at high speed in order for the front wheels to lift off and the car to enter something known as oversteer. Something that most RWD cars can pull off.
I would definitely not recommend this method because it is quite dangerous, even on a track. You can easily roll over and get yourself hurt. So, don’t do it. Now let’s learn the third way how you can drift with FWD.
3. Braking Drift
And the last method that you can try to use to drift a FWD car is with the help of the brake pedal. Similar to other methods, you get up to speed and slam on the brake with one foot and maintain the throttle with the other foot while turning the wheel and counter steer and steer again to get into the drift.
How it is done you can check out in the video that we attached above. All these three methods in action. Now let’s conclude this article about if can you drift with FWD.
Conclusion To Can You Drift With FWD
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the question if can you drift with FWD. First, we learned what is a drivetrain and the different types of drivetrain that are out there. Namely, FWD, RWD, and AWD.
Then we primarily focused on the FWD and we learned the pros and cons of this type of drivetrain and we concluded that it is not that drift happy like RWD. Meaning that you will have to force a drift almost all the time, either by using the brakes or the hand brake.
Lastly, we learned 3 different methods of drifting that you can try. Just be aware and try these methods on the track. If you don’t have a local track, then don’t do it if you don’t want to hurt yourself. Be safe and don’t do stupid things.