5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)
I am puzzled by some car manufacturers sticking to the front wheel drive concept (Japan for one) while BMW and others do not even contemplate the idea; and the same Company sometimes split itself on the issue. We know the traction and the weight of engine on the front tires bit; we also know the 4X4 concept. But still why front wheels on Cadillac Eldorados not the chevy Caprice (A split in GM) or why rear wheel drives on the 3, 5, 7 series BMWs but not VW (German split) and rear drive Town car but not Continentals? (Ford split) why don't they all agree on something? They do disagree on this issue even within the same company!!! Any Thoughts ?
Front wheel drive is MUCH MUCH MUCH cheaper to produce - no drive train, no rear diffs etc. + the whole thing, engine, gearbox and drive train drops in, in one lump during the manufacturing process saving time and more money.
Also there is much less energy lost from engine to wheels by eliminating the rearwheel drive train and heavy diff (this also sees a massive decrease in weight).
Also front wheel drive is much safer in the wet.
Also front wheel drive is driveable in the snow (You don't end up turning the car round 180 if you apply a little too much gas).
Also front wheel drive (usually) is much better for tyre wear.
That's why most cars produced outside of america are front wheel drive.
However, rearwheelers are built for the likes of me - people who love to drive and drive hard but still be in control, who like to use the power of the car to drive through bends instead of having to lift off and just drive out of them. Were a different breed to the people who just buy a car for transport from a to b.
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