F** Front Wheel Drives!

2007 Mini Cooper S

FUN FRONT WHEEL DRIVES (I bet you weren’t thinking FUN):

Allen:

Let me just preface this by saying I’m not a big fan of front wheel drive cars. This took quite a bit off internal fortitude to actually admit that there are a few front wheel drive cars that I actually like. Honestly, just two out of the many front wheel drive cars I have driven. Granted, there are probably others that are just as fun to drive as these but these I have driven and can vouch for. Also, these are the only one I have actually really, and I mean really, enjoyed driving.

The first is, as you can tell from the picture, the Mini Cooper (S model shown.). This is like driving a go-kart. You look in the direction you want to go and it goes there. The one I drove wasn’t even the S model so I can only guess that the increased horsepower magnifies the joy and excitement when driving as illustrated in the equation below:

Mini Cooper X More Horsepower = More Fun

The equation above can apply to just about any front wheel drive vehicle. Try it on your own ride or Austins:

Sentra X No Horsepower = BORING

Back to the Cooper. It has this wonderful bulldog stance, and quick steering that makes it a joy to drive. And the new model comes equipped with a turbocharged engine (TURBO, he he he!). You can apply turbo to the equation above, as well:

Mini Cooper X (More Horsepower + Turbo Boost) = CRAZY FUN

Too sum up on the Cooper, if there was no rear wheel drive cars left in the world (God help us if that is the case.), then I would be banking hard on picking one of these up or…

One of these:

The Honda Prelude. Unfortunately, Honda no longer makes this car and production ended in 2001. The 200 hp engine and superb handling make this responsive car excellent for the turns and a straight line. It also comes equipped with VTEC, which can be applied to the formula but is not equal to “CRAZY FUN” but is equal to “GREAT FUN” a notch lower.

This is wonderful car with a great heritage of reliability and performance summed up in a complete coupe package. What more could you ask for except rear wheel drive?

Austin:

So yes, generally front wheel drive cars have a tendency to be boring. But in spite of Allen’s comments that he can like 2 FWD cars, he is amazingly closed minded about them. Whenever I mention a car that I like, I always think he has blown a hose or something as the air leaks out of his head. “Pffffft. Front wheel drive,” is his only response. There is only one reason why he says this…Understeer.

Understeer is what happens when you are turning and you car will not allow you to turn any further. The car actually starts to slide towards the outside of a turn and it becomes a problem. This occurs because the power is on the same wheels that are trying to turn, which is also where a majority of weight is. This creates an unbalanced situation.

There are a handful of FWDcars that have been tuned to eliminate understeer. One of those cars is…you guessed it…the Mini Cooper.

I should note that while Rear Wheel Drive cars generally will oversteer, some of them have serious understeer as well.

Lastly I think that Allen doesn’t know how to have fun in a crappy FWD car like my sentra. I have all sorts of fun in that thing. You just have to use a little friend called the emergency brake to take off the understeer.

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