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Old 02-28-2019, 03:27 PM   #1
Driving Sports TV Staff
Member#: 15542
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Kirkland, WA
2004 WRX

Default RWD vs. AWD in Snow and Ice

How does driving technique differ between rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) on a frozen lake? We flew to Wisconsin to join professional rally drive Patrik Sandell of the Subaru Rally Team to get some tips and compare differences in technique for the best performance in slippery conditions.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 499531
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Michigan
2013 Impreza 2.0
Silver gray


This is good stuff for people in the midwest
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:21 AM   #3
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Member#: 506390
Join Date: Sep 2019
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: New Mexico
2005 Baja
Atlantic Blue

Default Informative

and fascinating!
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:39 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 448622
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC
2019 STI SportTech


Pretty cool.

One of the things my buddies notice the most when driving with me on the WRX/STI is how much speed and throttle you can do through turns. Especially in snow, slush or rain. They typically go

I had a BMW before and it was downright scary in the snow, slush and rain.
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:29 PM   #5
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Member#: 506784
Join Date: Sep 2019
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
2018 WRX


rear wheel drive can be fun in snow if you have good enough tires.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:58 AM   #6
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Member#: 202923
Join Date: Feb 2009

To Wisconsin!
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:36 PM   #7
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Member#: 453267
Join Date: Aug 2016

Very interesting video. Funny to hear him say the fastest way around the track is with the ESC system on.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:24 PM   #8
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 515530
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Shakopee
1995 Legacy Wagon


AWD is the only way to go, especially in northern tier states. Learned to drive in MN, and spent 20 years driving in AK, and would never own a RWD for a daily driver. Even on dry pavement and in a climes without snow, AWD is a safety benefit.

However, the drivetrain does little or nothing, especially on snow and ice, when braking. The only vehicles you see in the ditch in Alaska are 4WD/AWD!

Studded tires are essential on ice covered surfaces. The Swedes and Finns, however, have established that braking distance with studded tires on bare pavement is actually longer than all-season rubber.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:03 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: VT
2005 2.5 SC OB


there is a reason why VT has the most Subaru registrations as a % of all registrations.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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Member#: 177235
Join Date: Apr 2008
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Washington
2016 Focus RS
2002 WRX Wagon


I drove a Coyote Mustang through a Northern New York winter (90+ inches of snow a year). It wasn't by choice and I did not have snow tires on it. I could get around, and if I had put snow tires on it I would have been confident that it could tackle any conditions. But our Subarus blew the doors off anything else up there
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