Four-Wheel Drive Versus All-Wheel Drive

Four-wheel drive vehicle was developed with an all-terrain capability. Power generated in the engine is transferred or rather evenly distributed to the rear and front axle such that it is applied to each wheel. The even application of torque to all wheels ensures that all the wheels rotate at the same speed. This turns to be a problem when the vehicle is turning because all wheels can't turn at the same speed.

All-wheel drive vehicle is a more recent development but a little bit complex than the four-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is all time unlike in four-wheel drive. All-wheel drive can either be mechanical or electronic depending on the design of the vehicle. The mechanical all-wheel drive in most cases applies the principle whereby power is taken from the transmitter and distributed across the axles; it is then applied on all the four wheels. The principle is different in that power is applied to all wheels with the most pulling/or motive power by dividing the torque between the front and the rear axle.

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