While Porsche and McLaren vie for sub-seven-minute lap records at the Nürburgring, there's another hotly contested category, and it's not for the fastest time of any vehicle. It applies specifically to front-wheel-drive cars, and is contested between European hot hatches.
From experience, we know that stuffing a heaping helping of horsepower into a front-wheel-drive car isn't exactly a good idea. But why? We aren't talking about torque steer and lack of control - those are effects. We want to know the cause, and we imagine that you'd like to know that, too. As we are but humble writers, we can't possibly begin to explain the physics at play when a big boot-full of power is sent to the front axle, though. Thankfully, we don't have to.
So here it is: Autocar reports that we'll see the first front-drive BMW at the Paris Motor Show this September, in concept form. It will likely be called the 1 Series GT, and the report says it will debut in late 2014. The car will share a platform with the forthcoming Mini redesign, as well as the turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder Mini engine that's basically half of a BMW 3.0-liter inline six.
When BMW began making noise about bringing front-wheel drive to the table, purists, enthusiasts and fans of the brand immediately busted out the pitchforks and torches. Visions of front-wheel drive 3 Series and 1 Series models were almost enough to induce frenzy (not that a huge number of owners would know the difference...), but if the latest word from BMW Blog is to be believed, the company's front-wheel drive efforts will be contained to a handful of all-new models.
It's not at all unusual for customers to not have any real understanding of what they are buying. After all, so many modern products have such a plethora of features that most of them never get used. Then there are cars. Even many engineers don't know how everything on a new car works, so it's not surprising that car buyers don't. For example, take which wheels are being driven. The reality is that even the tamest of modern cars have handling limits well beyond what most drivers ever utilize.
If there's one thing that's certain in this crazy world we live in, it's that Ultimate Driving Machines are driven by their rear wheels. Sure, there's an occasional all-wheel drive model thrown in for good measure, but even those revert to the tried-and-true RWD when extra traction from the front two contact patches isn't deemed necessary or desirable. Well, alert the media (oh, wait...): BMW has confirmed the rumors that it will build front-wheel drive automobiles.
If there's one thing that's certain in this crazy world, it's that Ultimate Driving Machines are driven by their rear wheels. Sure, there's an occasional all-wheel-drive model thrown in for good measure, but even those revert to the tried-and-true RWD when extra traction from the front two contact patches isn't deemed necessary or desirable. Well, alert the media (oh, wait...): BMW has confirmed the rumors that it will build front-wheel-drive automobiles.
After more than a year of holding talks with other automakers about potentially sharing a platform for a next-generation replacement for the A and B-Class cars, Mercedes-Benz has apparently decided to go it alone. AutoCar is reporting that the replacement for Mercedes two front wheel drive models will be developed in house but will abandon the sandwich floor layout used for the first two generations. The design provided packaging advantages by allowing the engine to be designed to slide between