Last post on Sep 28, 2008 at 10:38 PM
You are in the Dodge Charger
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Dodge Charger, Dodge Charger SRT-8, Sedan
#284 of 1087 FWD vs RWD
Apr 15, 2005 (9:30 am)
Hi, itís RobinT from the Dodge Information Center again and thanks for letting me jump in.
You all make good points especially with regards to RWD in extreme weather, but there have been several technological advancements in recent years. First there is weight transfer. The 2006 Dodge Charger has a near 50/50 weight distribution meaning the force pushing down on the tires shifts from the front to the rear. Then thereís vehicle balance which is distributed evenly throughout the car for better handling and braking. DCX is confident in their technology to minimize snow-traction objections. Standard with the Charger is the Electronic Stability Program, including Emergency Brake Assist, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and All Speed traction Control. This system aids in driver control and helps maintain directional stability over uneven surfaces and over patchy snow, ice or gravel. The vehicle corrects its path based on the drivers intended course. I think when you have the opportunity to test drive the new Charger, you may find the RWD system very different from what youíve experienced in the past.
#285 of 1087 Re: chiming in [shipo]
Apr 15, 2005 (10:40 am)
LOL. Yup, I'm sure my measuring tool of choice could use a tune-up.
I think the 30 foot is actually generous, but the 8 foot is probably off. Maybe 5 would be closer. So, what's that? about 16-17%?
I do know that, back in the day, my '87 4runner was unstoppable in anything with its all-terrains. I miss the days of manually locking hubs.
#286 of 1087 Re: FWD vs RWD [robint]
Apr 15, 2005 (10:45 am)
Just wanted to make one small adjustment to one of your statements:
"The 2006 Dodge Charger has a near 50/50 weight distribution meaning the force pushing down on the tires shifts from the front to the rear."
I think what you mean to say is that the weight shifts from the front to the rear upon acceleration, which, frankly, is true of every car and has nothing to do with weight distribution. Its just simple physics.
#287 of 1087 Re: FWD vs RWD [qbrozen]
Apr 15, 2005 (10:51 am)
I think what Robin meant was that the static weight of the new Charger is nearly 50/50 while most FWD cars are more like 60/40. There are any number of benefits that a car will gain by having a nearly equal weight distribution, not the least of which is neutral handling as opposed to the nose heavy "Plow" that most if not all FWD cars are afflicted with.
#288 of 1087 FWD vs RWD
Apr 15, 2005 (11:14 am)
Hi, gbrozen. Itís RobinT again. You are correct and thank you for the clarification. It is these very principles however, that are the foundation for DCXís enhancements to the 2006 Dodge Charger. We appreciate all comments and feedback.
#289 of 1087 Re: FWD vs RWD [robint]
Apr 15, 2005 (2:35 pm)
As the owner of a RWD 2005 Magnum RT, and having had the experience of driving it throughout the winter in the Chicago and southern Michigan areas, I must confirm that snow tires would probably be a worthwhile investment, even with all the fancy electronic assists.
I had previously driven FWD and AWD vehicles before I bought a Magnum (previous car was a Subaru Impreza Outback sport), and when driving in the snow, I really missed the AWD feel from the Subaru. But I was using the standard all-season tires on my Magnum, so for next winter I WILL be investing in snow tires.
The ESP, ABS, EBA and TCS are all welcome and useful (it came in handy avoiding a near-multi-car collision on a snowy highway in January), but I found at times with the Hemi motor, if the tires cannot get any grip, the car will not accelerate -- I have crawled across intersections slower than I could have walked it while other people drive past me without problems. After one particular snowstorm, I was unable to push through the snow to get up my driveway and into the garage, an approximate 5% grade, while my neighbor in a FWD car had no trouble pushing through 5-6" of heavy snow.
Also, I found out that all the fancy electronic agents don't help much when the car starts sliding sideways (traffic jam on the highway while it was snowing, trying to accelerate from a stop, the heavy Magnum would occasionally slide sideways with the slope of the road before it would move forward).
Just a word of cold-weather caution for those considering the Charger.
However, on open road in good weather, put the pedal to the floor, and smile.
#290 of 1087 Re: RWD vs. Front Wheel Drive [robint]
Apr 15, 2005 (6:40 pm)
Robin: Welcome aboard, assuming you are who you say you are...
I sent Dodge a hate letter asking them why the interior door panels of the new Charger look and feel like hard molded plastic, I asked them if padded vinyl had suddenly become too expensive for a $30000 car, and I asked them why AWD was not an option since a lot of us guys in the Northeastern U.S. prefer anything to RWD. (Shipo - You're still the man...Call me a hard-headed Guinea).
I got back an automated response saying something like "Yeah we're excited about the car too"....
Look if I was living in Florida we would not even be having this discussion. Graded driveways, weight distribution and traction all are very manageble on a hot dry piece of asphalt. Up here in New York if your car gets plowed in by a NYC Sanitation truck, you want that weight UP FRONT to pull you over the snowbank that gets created. Also ask yourself - why did Chrysler need to come out with an AWD Hemi-300 after one year if all of their friggin traction control was so special?
Despite all of this, I still want the Hemi Charger more than any other car out there. I may even wait until 2007 if I think there's an AWD version coming. If I don't think it will happen then the Lexus ES 330 or the Chevy Impala SS or the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP all give me plenty of what I'm looking for. I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.
Apr 16, 2005 (4:33 am)
when it comes to comparing the attributes of fwd to rwd in inclement weather. as a general rule, fwd will be superior over rwd. the advent of electronic controls has made rwd more manageable but there are a number of strikes against rwd that have not been addressed by the current crop of rwd platforms.
one area that i don't think has been mentioned that is of crticial importance when trying to maximize your traction in a rwd platform is tire width: most moden high performance rwd cars have WAY too much rubber on the road for snow conditions. focusing the weight of the vehicle onto a smaller contact patch can do wonders for getting better traction in snow.
another thing to consider: 50/50 weight distribution is fine for handling and does help with the traction problem in rwd to a degree, but only so much. not enough weight over the drive wheels will cause a loss of traction; that's why fwd is superior for wet weather traction. also, lots of rwd platforms DO NOT have great balance and the lh platform with the hemi is one of them. the fact that the 5.7 was cast in iron rather than aluminum was a major mistake, imo...totally wrecked any chance of having a balanced ride/handling and definitely forced the engineers to rely on electronics to mask the problem of too much weight over the front end.
probably the one single factor that leads to crummy traction in a rwd application is the distance between the front axle plane and the firewall. there must be sufficient room between the two in order for the engine to sit BEHIND the front axle plane or the weight distribution of the car is severely compromised.
one reason that fwd is so popular for packaging purposes, there is almost no intrusion of the drivetrain into the passenger compartment. unfortunately with rwd, in order to achieve the optimal placement of the engine/transmission in the wheelbase of the car, requires the firewall to be moved back into the passenger compartment, reducing the usable interior space for passengers.
i have just skimmed the surface of design differences between rwd and fwd...think of the c5/c6 with the transmission mount in the rear along with the differential: now there is a solution that you can live with....great packaging, great handling and excellent handling in the nasty stuff IF you get rid of those wide tires in the winter.
some food for thought. jackg 90seville 96k
#292 of 1087 Re: lots of variables [justgreat47]
Apr 16, 2005 (5:20 am)
Just one question. Have you actually driven a well balanced RWD car equipped with winter tires in the snow?
Another thing to consider is climbing a hill with FWD vs. RWD where the road is both slippery and/or rutted. I'm thinking specifically of I-80 east bound through Hackensack, NJ toward the GWB. Every FWD car that I've driven up that hill, in the dry, in the wet and in the snow, had been twitchy under power, at best (in dry), challenging (in the wet), and almost uncontrollable (in the snow). No RWD car I've ever driven up that hill has even felt the ruts much less been a problem to control. Like it or don't, torque steer is something that FWD cars suffer from, especially in slippery conditions, all of which is simply made worse at slow speeds for those of us who only know how to drive a manual transmission.
#293 of 1087 RWD vs FWD
Apr 18, 2005 (9:20 am)
Hello cfazzari. It's RobinT. It's unfortunate that the previous email that you received lacked the information that you were expecting. Let me assure you however that the feedback and communication that we receive is a valued part of how DaimlerChrysler creates products for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately however we cannot discuss future product plans or projects. However, any interest in our product whether it's negative or positive, encourages us to keep listening. We appreciate the time you took to communicate your thoughts.