All Wheel Drive Sports Cars

All wheel drive or four wheel drive (four by four) is used in four wheelers, mostly in off-road or sports utility vehicles. If we take a look at the term ‘all wheel drive’, you can get an idea of all wheels being controlled by the engine. The All Wheel Drive (AWD) technology in cars has proven to be extremely useful in maintaining traction on the road, proper grip on roads covered with snow, and good balance on slippery surfaces. Since the AWD technology is very helpful in proper handling, it is generally incorporated in sports cars manufactured today.

Many people have a misconception regarding AWDs and 4 wheel drives. It is commonly considered that AWD technology is the same as 4 wheel drive. Remember that both are different in terms of the individual wheel controls and power supplied to the axles. The 4 wheel drive technology can only be used in automobiles with four wheels; whereas, AWD may be used in trucks, carriers and other vehicles which have multiple axles and many wheels. In an AWD system, there is a center differential which provides power to front and rear axles separately. On the other hand, in a car with a 4WD system, the front to the rear axles are locked with a transfer case.

2011 Audi R8 Spyder

Well, granted this car, priced at $128,950, isn’t for everyone. But it definitely deserves attention from everyone. This 6-speed demon is one of the best sports cars around that’s intended for all weathers, including snow. You get to choose between a 430-bhp V8 or 525-bhp V10 and it comes with the standard Quattro all-wheel-drive-system.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is probably the best all wheel drive sports car around. The AWD system of this car reacts to the driver’s power and handling requirements significantly. It is backed up by a powerful 2 liter 291-horsepower turbocharged engine. It comes at a base price of $35,290. You also have the base Mitsubishi Lancer that comes with its 152-bhp 4-cylinder engine at $16,090.

2012 Acura TL SH-AWD

This luxury sports sedan has a 305 horsepower, V6 engine which is powerful and responsive. The ‘SH’ in the name is short for ‘super handling’, which is true owing to the car’s AWD technology. It also has a voice-activated audio system that lets you select songs by speaking to the system. What the car does seem to lack, is efficiency and on-board components that you get in other cars in the AWD category. Starts at a base price of $39,155.

Mazda CX-9

Although this car has a 3.7-liter V6 engine (compared to the V8 on other cars), it still gives substantial acceleration and efficient handling with the AWD. It is incorporated with an ‘active torque split’ AWD system that is controlled by the computer. It’s the most affordable midsize SUV and still ends up looking great. Starts at a base price of $28,336.

2012 Subaru Impreza

A perfect example of why smaller numbers aren’t always weaker. The car is downgraded to 148 horsepower from its previous 170, but is still faster due to the new variable automatic transmission. The body is lightweight and durable. It is a great choice if you’re looking for an all wheel drive with all-weather driving capability. Its only problem is its fine tuned suspension, that may put off some people who won’t be comfortable driving the Impreza in tough conditions. Tagged at a base price of $17,495.

2011 Buick LaCrosse

In two words – comfort and silence. This is one all wheel drive vehicle that comes with both, power and stability. It also comes in a front wheel drive version, with the all wheel drive boasting of a 280-bhp V6 and a base price of $27,990.

Other All-Wheel-Drive Sports Cars and SUVs

Here are more all wheel drive cars for you to choose from.
– Audi S4
– Volkswagen R32
– Audi S6
– Infiniti G37x AWD
– Volvo V50 T5 AWD
– Subaru Impreza WRX Sti
– Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport AWD
– BMW X6
– Porsche Cayenne Turbo
– Audi Q5
– BMW 335i xDrive
– Mercedes-Benz GLK350 4Matic
– Toyota Land Cruiser
– Infiniti EX35 w/Journey AWD
– Ford Flex
– BMW 328i xDrive Sports Wagon
– Cadillac CTS w/AWD

Knowing the detailed working of the all wheel drive technology can be interesting. Considering the benefits of using AWD systems in vehicles, car manufacturers have started offering optional AWD models to consumers. However, you also have to pay extra for buying an AWD car. Nowadays, along with AWD, cars also have other effective handling systems such as power steering and anti-lock braking systems.

Wheel Bearing Noise

Detecting the noise in wheel bearings can be a tricky job. However, with the correct understanding of how to diagnose the problem, it becomes easy to solve noise-related issues in wheel bearings. A rumbling or cyclic noise can be heard in wheel bearings with problems in their smooth functioning. If the driver senses even a slight problem in the smooth running of wheels, he should go for wheel bearing noise diagnosis. If the problem of bearing noise is not addressed in a timely manner, it can hamper the functioning of wheels.
Identifying Wheel Bearing Noise
The noise emanating from wheel bearings can differ from wheel to wheel depending on the degree of damage caused to them. At first, the noise originating from wheels might sound like a whistle. However, if the problem worsens, the noise could grow louder. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the exact cause of noise.
▶ A common trick used for identifying problems associated with wheel bears is checking whether noise heard at the time of acceleration and deceleration remains the same. One should drive the vehicle along a circular path, both clockwise and anti-clockwise, in order to find out which of the wheels (left or right) emits the sound caused by a damaged bearing.
▶ The noise originating from a wheel bearing doesn’t change with changing speeds; however, it might increase or decrease at the time of turning. Therefore, one can say that the noise heard at regular intervals, while driving at a steady speed, is a sign of problem associated with bearings.
▶ Do not confuse wheel bearing noise with that produced by a damaged CV joint; both the problems are different from each other and they need be dealt with separately.
▶ Noise produced by wheel bearings is a result of lack of lubrication and in some cases, physical damage caused to them. Friction between dry areas of bearings produces a humming sound; the sound repeats at regular intervals.
▶ A mechanical jack proves to be of great help in lifting the car; wheels (i.e. bearings) can be easily diagnosed for wheel bearing noise. While spinning the wheel with one hand, one should place the other hand on the strut assembly. If there is any problem in the smooth functioning of wheel bearing, a noise can be heard.
It is necessary to lift the vehicle to find out the side from which the noise originates. Wiggling the tire back and forth should helps us understand whether the tire is fitted loosely or not.
Front Wheel Bearing Noise
▶ The front wheel should be checked for noise as well as lubrication.
▶ Servicing of the front wheel bearing should be done every 30,000 miles.
▶ At the time of driving, listen carefully to any sound originating from wheels.
▶ Noise originating from the floorboard indicates that the problem is not related to wheel bearing; in fact, it could originate in any other part of the vehicle.
Rear Wheel Bearing Noise
▶ Noise produced by the rear and front wheel bearings is almost the same. In such cases, diagnosing the problem associated with bearing noise can be difficult.
▶ In one of the methods used for diagnosing such kind of noise, the vehicle is driven at a constant speed; slight changes to the speed are occasionally made. It is important that you vary the speed because there are certain cars which make noise only at certain speeds.
▶ The dangers associated with wheel bearing noise shouldn’t go undetected. It must be dealt with or repaired at the earliest.
While diagnosing the problem of wheel bearing noise, one should check if there are any cracks on the surface of the bearing. Even smaller cracks can later on cause big problems. To detect the minute cracks, one should diagnose the bearing in bright light. Cracked, pitted or worn out bearings should be replaced. The parts which bear the hub bore and spindles should also be checked for any kind of damage. At the time of inspection, one should check if there is any damage caused to the bearing hub bore; its fitting should also be checked. If the bearing hub bore doesn’t fit properly, it calls for replacement of the drum or rotor or hub. One should also check whether spindles are aligned properly. In few cases the spindles might not be aligned in a straight line; thus, it becomes necessary to carry out proper diagnosis of the problem. The steering knuckle should be replaced if there is any problem in the operation of spindles.
Working of Bearings
A bearing is a machine component which performs the function of constraining the relative motion between moving parts of the machine. The act of constraining the relative motion is aimed at facilitating only a certain kind of motion (differs from machine to machine). The different types of motions permitted by bearings are linear motion, axial rotation, hinge motion and spherical rotation.
One should conduct a careful diagnosis of the worn out and damaged parts of the vehicle to determine the exact cause of wheel bearing noise. In some cases, it is not possible to find out the problem on our own. In such instances, consulting an expert should be the right thing to do.