What’s the difference between all wheel drive and 4 wheel drive?

People always seem confused between 4-wheel drives and all wheel drive vehicles. Most of the people misunderstand that they are one and the same, but that is not the case. There’s a huge difference between an all-wheel drive and a four wheel drive vehicle.

All wheel drive vehicles : 

All Wheel Drive Mechanism.(SOURCE)

All Wheel Drive Mechanism.(SOURCE)

 All-wheel drives are generally come with  trucks or heavy duty motors or some of the luxury cars. These are basically operated on the front wheels and if required the rear differential is used. So the basic difference is, in all wheel drive vehicles, on usual pavements, the vehicle drives on the front axle that is on the front wheels. Apart from that, all wheel drives are suited with ESP which ensures them to give individual speed and traction controls to the tyre. It detects and avoids traction control of every wheel and provides more or less power as per the need. It can distribute power to the front and the back and also to the wheels on sideways. Wherever possible it is avoided to loose traction on any terrain.  These are not specifically designed for off-roading or as all-terrain vehicles, but they can perform well in all terrains.

4 Wheel drive vehicles : 

4WD MEchanism.(SOURCE)

4WD MEchanism.(SOURCE)

 4 wheel drive vehicles come with 2 different differentials and one centre differential which divides the torque in both the axles. A regular 4 wheel drive vehicle is driven regularly on the rear axle. When the rear axle seems to have loose traction over the road, then the front differential can be powered to provide extra traction to the vehicle. Usually, there are different modes in a 4 wheel drive vehicle which may include different options based on different vehicles and companies.

Variety Of modes in 4WD.(SOURCE)

Variety Of modes in 4WD.(SOURCE)

Apart from that, there is a differential lock for both the front and the rear differential. This locking of differential makes both the wheels spin together with the exact same RPM count of both. This provides extra traction and allows the vehicle to crawl even in extreme conditions. These vehicles are designed especially for all types of terrains and offroading events and activities.

Drive chart for Cars.(SOURCE

Drive chart for Cars.(SOURCE) 

Also read about The world’s smallest vehicle Here.

Featured Image.(SOURCE)

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