Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think.

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

This is it.
Today’s the day.
The day where I put my credibility, reputation and life on the line.
The day where I get torn apart by the savages on CT Facebook.
Today is the day when I get buried in hate filled internet comments from kids who aren’t even old enough to drive yet.
Today is the day that I defend Front Wheel Drive.

And just like that, you’re probably offended. How dare I speak of the forbidden drivetrain? I bet you want to click away, I bet you want me banned from CT, I bet that you want to pray to the car gods to smite me down in a fiery blaze of E85 and Nitrous. But before you do any of these, hear me out for a second, and I’ll explain.

Dear heavenly spirit, please smite down Performanceandluxury for his acts of treason.
Dear heavenly spirit, please smite down Performanceandluxury for his acts of treason.

Us car guys/girls love cars, we love the smell of gasoline in the morning, and we love going for a drive, just because we feel like it. We also like speed, performance and the thrills. But above all of that, we like FUN. That’s right, we want to have fun. Despite the constant complaining from your girl friend about from how boring your conversations about cars are, you like to have fun and you like your cars to be fun as well. Over the past few years, we’ve developed a loving community around these machines that we so dearly love. (Except CT Facebook)

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

However, in the car community, “Some cars are more equal than others.” (Upvote if you get the reference!) By this, I mean front wheel drive cars. Throughout our time, front wheel drive has achieved a bad reputation. And it’s easy to see why. The “front wheel drive” system is normally fitted to generally boring, practical cars. Some of these being the Fiat Multipla, your mom’s minivan, and the Toyota Prius.

On the other hand, we normally associate the “rear wheel drive” system with fun and exhilarating cars such as the Supra, the M3 and the Miata. But what we tend to forget is it is a two-way street. There are a handful of cars out there that are RWD and aren’t any fun, AND there are a handful of cars that are FWD and that are fun! So if you’ve read this far, thank you. If you like what you’ve read so far, I’d love it if you kept reading on!

They are actually, a lot of fun!

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

Those of you that know me, (or read my other stuff) you’ll know that I own a Mazdaspeed (MPS) 3 (Pictured above). When I was first looking at the car, I loved everything about it. I loved the way it looked, I loved the turbo noise and I adored how practical it was. The only thing that seemed to hold me back from throwing my money at the owner right away was because it was Front Wheel Drive. This fact bugged me for a long time, because I knew that I’d be missing out on the drifting fun, but finally, I thought that’d I’d give it a go anyways. So I bit the bullet and bought my very first car. Turns out I was worried about nothing, the car was an absolute blast! The power is immense, the steering and turn-in is fantastic, and the back end is light enough so that you can get some lift off oversteer.

The first track day that I ever took my Mazda to was a very wet one. My very first lap, and my very first corner, the back end stepped out, and my car started to slide. Inside, I screamed, I didn’t expect my FWD hatch to do something like that. However, with a little more throttle input, and quick handiwork, I was able to hold a slide through that entire first corner. That moment was the most fun I’ve ever had in a car, and I’ve been hooked on lift off oversteer ever since.

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FWD Can be Fast!

Photo credits: Skootermedia.com
Photo credits: Skootermedia.com

Throwback to September 20th, 2015. The end of race season. The season finale of Canadian Sport Compact Series (CSCS). This event was the door-to-door racing event. It was here that I witnessed what I thought, would not be possible. It was here that I saw a Honda Integra type R beat a V8 powered 240sx. I watched as they went round the track, lap after lap, neck and neck the entire time, it was an amazing battle. The Honda would catch up in the corners but the 240sx would pull ahead on the straights.

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

And then it happened. Despite the intense battle, in the second corner of the final lap. The ‘Murica powered Nissan messed up, and went straight off the track into the run off area. The Honda ITR, and the driver: James Houghton, finished moments later and were victorious over the bald eagle powered 240. This really messed with my head, how was a Honda able to beat a V8 240? For whatever reason, the Honda win made me feel good about owning a front wheel drive. So James, if you’re reading this. Sir, I salute you.

It did make me realize though, Front wheel drive cars aren’t necessarily the most thrilling to take around the track, being front drive, they can be predictable in sorts, and they also probably won’t get the most attention. But one thing’s for sure, they can get around a track quickly, and to some, that’s all that matters. So Mr. Max Mustermann. I cordially invite you, to suck on that.

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

FWD Legends

Readers Reviews: Why Front Wheel Drive Isn't as Bad as you May Think. - Readers' Reviews

Despite not having RWD and low power, some of these “wrong wheel drive” cars have made their way into our petrolhead hearts. A Car like the Honda Integra type R is famous for having one of the best handling chassis of all time. The Ford Fiesta ST has received world wide appreciation for being a genuinely fun car. The old Volkswagen Rabbit GTI was one hell of the car and a good looking one too. The New Type R Civic blasted around “the green hell” (Nurburgring) and set an blistering lap time of 7:50. Considering the world renowned Cayman GT4 set a lap time 10 seconds faster, FWD is starting to make a great name for itself! Good job Honda!

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All in all, what i’m saying is that FWD tends to get a bad rep around the car community. It’s sad, but I think it always will have a poor reputation. As long as manufacturers today keep producing their econo boxes and minivans with front wheel drive, it’s going to stay forever hated. Y’know what? That’s okay by me. But before I go, let me recommend something, I want you guys to make an attempt to drive a “FUN” front wheel drive car. Not a Minivan, not a Prius, not something lame and boring. Test out a car like a Fiesta ST, a Honda ITR or even a Golf GTI, something that has the potential to put a smile on your face. And who knows? You just might end up liking it.

That’s my time guys, I’ll talk to you later.

Cheers,

Performance and Luxury

Automotive student. Automotive enthusiast.

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