front wheel drive

What Is The Meaning Of Front Wheel Drive (FWD) In Cars?


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What is Front Wheel Drive (FWD) in cars?

Front wheel drive layout is an arrangement of engine and transmission in which the engine drives only the front wheels of the vehicle. These vehicles are also known as FWD vehicles. In addition, some people refer to these vehicles as 4X2 cars.

Technically, the term 4X2 means the following:



4: The number of axle-ends on a vehicle (2 at front + 2 at rear)

2: Number of wheels that directly receive power from the engine (The front two wheels)



A quick look at the history of the auto-world shows that front wheel drive cars were developed mainly because of the fuel economy concerns. The mileage of these vehicles is better compared to four-wheel drive vehicles because of the reduced number of driven wheels.

front wheel drive layout
A typical Front Wheel Drive Layout

The above diagram depicts a typical FWD arrangement with the transversely mounted engine. In these vehicles, the engine occupies space near the front axle. It later mates to transmission or the 'transaxle'. This is because of the fact that it combines the functions of transmission, driveshaft, and differential. Thus, with the help of transaxle, the engine supplies power only to the front wheels of the vehicle.

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