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Hey again. My other question is, will GM make its future ER-EV cars rear-wheel drive (prob. too late for Volt 1.0)? I think it should be quite easy to do, and would give GM a competitive advantage. People will eventually get 'used' to EVs and will ask- how good is it compared to its ICE competitors. It seems to me that now would be a good time to establish rear-wheel drive architecture with 50:50 weight distribution, etc etc. EVs already have luxury-car levels of quietness and torque. If we do everything else right, the future looks bright! What do you think? :)
JDT
 

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I'd much rather see AWD than RWD. You could still have the 50/50 weight balance and you could put all the available torque from 2 electric motors on the pavement at once. That could result in a SERIOUSLY quick car that's also efficient.
 

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I'd much rather have only FWD. It's more efficient than RWD, and way more efficient than 4WD. I live someplace where we do get snow and rain, and I like having FWD for traction. I'd never buy a RWD car again. I'm confused as to why anyone would even think RWD is preforable when it's clearly worse.
 

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I like to drive rear wheel drive cars, it's just that simple. I don't like the feel of power in the front.

Now there is no reason why an electric car should be more efficient with front wheel drive than with rear wheel drive. Simply mount the electric motor at the rear wheels. No need for drive shafts, extra gears, or any of that. Actually, 2 smaller electric motors, one on each rear wheel with no gears at all would be ideal.
 

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Confused alright...

I'd much rather have only FWD. It's more efficient than RWD, and way more efficient than 4WD. I live someplace where we do get snow and rain, and I like having FWD for traction. I'd never buy a RWD car again. I'm confused as to why anyone would even think RWD is preforable when it's clearly worse.
You're also confused about FWD being intrinsically superior to RWD and AWD.

In a traditional all-mechanical drive system, there are significant packaging advantages to FWD and that's led to the perception of FWD as being preferable for many vehicles, because it results in a vehicle that is somewhat lighter and has more room in the passenger compartment than a mechanically-driven RWD car of similar overall size.

You need to understand that the electric drive aspect of an EREV vehicle allows engineers to change that formula significantly. You no longer need a large, heavy transmission and driveline if you want to carry power from one end of the car to the other, you just need an electrical conductor and a compact motor/differential at each end, or even a motor for each wheel if the motors are so cheap and light as to make that feasible.

FWD has some ease-of-operation advantages over RWD in snow/ice conditions, and some marginal advantages in wet conditions. FWD is intrinsically inferior in its overall handling characteristics, and the more sporty your driving style, the more the shortcomings of FWD are evident. When you're putting all your motive force through the same wheels you're using to steer, you run out of available traction much more quickly. RWD does very well in this performance regime, at least when driven by someone who's familiar enough with RWD handling characteristics to take advantage of them.

All-mechanical AWD systems have some issues at race-track levels of handling because they have a tendency to understeer (though typically much less of a tendency than FWD-only cars exhibit in similar conditions.) A 2-motor electric AWD system with computer control could offer all the positives of each of the 3 drive layouts, and a well-designed control system could avoid most or all of the negatives in each. While this vehicle would be slightly heavier and more complex than a FWD vehicle of similar size, many customers would be willing to pay for the higher level of performance it offers. It would be MUCH easier for a manufacturer to offer an AWD version of the same car whose base model is FWD, and being able to have various components of the drive system connected only by electrical conductors allows engineers to design in an ideal weight distribution every time.
 

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I'd much rather have only FWD. It's more efficient than RWD, and way more efficient than 4WD. I live someplace where we do get snow and rain, and I like having FWD for traction. I'd never buy a RWD car again. I'm confused as to why anyone would even think RWD is preforable when it's clearly worse.
RWD with traction control works just fine in the rain and snow and even ice.

I drove a C5 year round in Minnesota for 2 years and never had any problems with RWD. The only problems I ever ran into was when the snow was too deep but that was more about ground clearance than drive type.

You get more even tire wear too. Which is nice because in a Corvette you can't rotate any of the tires. The fronts are smaller than the rear and they are all unidirectional.
 

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Now there is no reason why an electric car should be more efficient with front wheel drive than with rear wheel drive. Simply mount the electric motor at the rear wheels.
Like a Fiero. Hadn't thought of that, but in that case it would be the same as FWD, except in the back, true.
 

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I would LOVE a RWD E-REV! Maybe the Pontiac performance version??
 

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While I do miss my rear wheel drive Toyota station wagon, and its uncanny ability to turn 180 degrees in the snow, I would prefer all wheel drive.
I can see your point. In California, snow is optional and I avoid the stuff, so I forget the challenges many of you face for a good part of the year. I just want RWD for spirited performance driving. An AWD version would be a great addition to the E-REV family of vehicles. So maybe something like this:

The Chevrolet FWD Volt. A cost effective four door sedan for most people's needs.

The Pontiac RWD Amp. A two door coupe or roadster for people that like to go fast in style.

The Saturn FWD or AWD Watt. A Crossover for people with larger families and need to haul stuff.

The Buick FWD or AWD Hertz. A nicer four door sedan with possibly a wagon option.

The Cadillac AWD Joule. A luxury sedan or wagon with top notch build quality, appointments and features.

The GMC RWD or AWD Ohm. A small pick up truck like the Canyon.

The Hummer AWD AC4. A small Jeep like off road vehicle.

The SAAB FWD or AWD 53kw.e A euro-styled version of the Hertz.
 
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