Talk:Four-wheel drive

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Fixed the spelling[edit]

There was varying type of spelling, all the one brand now. As per Wiki guidelines. Billzilla 16:43, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Billzilla


Thank you for changing all occurrences of the word center to centre. However, this is against Wiki policy.
Please read all the guidelines contained in Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English that include the following two additional statements:
Stay with established spelling.
Follow the dialect of the first contributor.
The article has been in the American dialect for a long time, and there is no clear reason to change it. You should not change the spelling used in an article wholesale from one variant to another, and there is no compelling reason to do so. Other editors are justified in reverting such changes.
CZmarlin 17:07, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Rubbish - it was half-and half UK/US and I fixed it. Billzilla 17:39, 14 March 2007 (UTC)Billzilla

From this diff it looks like before you came in there was 1 centre and and 21+ center. Maybe it was half-half on other words... --Matt 18:00, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Added Table[edit]

added a critical dimension table.

Needed 4wd/awd info for list[edit]

I was unable to obtain any info via the lexus website conserning the AWD system in the GS350 and the IS250, if anyone knows please add to list under apropriate section Mymazdatribute 00:25, 18 December 2006 (UTC) Note I suspect it may be viscous coupling or clutch pack but have no confirmation. Mymazdatribute 00:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

They're based on Toyotas. They're probably using whatever a high-end Toyota 4x4 has. Gordonjcp 21:02, 8 January 2007 (UTC) Needed catagorization not on list currently:

  • Buick Enclave
  • Chevrolet Uplander
  • Chrysler Aspen
  • Dodge Dakota AWD varients, Durango
  • GMC Acadia
  • Infiniti FX AWD varients
  • Jeep Patriot CVT varients
  • Kia Sorento
  • Lexus IS250, GS350

* Mercedes GL class

  • Mitsubishi Endevor
  • Pontiac Vibe
  • Saab 9-7X
  • Saturn Vue, Outlook, Vue Redline

Mymazdatribute 01:10, 18 December 2006 (UTC) Speeddemonvegas 03:17, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I added the large lists of different 4wd and awd systems[edit]

If anything is incorect please tell me mymazdatribute, note I did not log in when I added this, I am 68.224.14.81, but please direct to mymazdatribute talk or this pages talk. All of my info came from manufacturers web sites such a media.gm.com. Mymazdatribute 23:59, 17 December 2006 (UTC) 68.224.14.81 00:00, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

4x4 question[edit]

In a 4x4 vehicle, what is 4 X 4. Is it 4 wheels by 4? 4x4 is 16.

"Four wheels with four wheel drive". A "4x2" is "four wheels with two wheel drive". --SFoskett 13:14, May 4, 2005 (UTC)
I've put in a comprehensive explanation in the "Terminology" section.--Tommm3000 (talk) 08:36, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
That's very interesting. Thanks. However, to stay, it will need a source.Ccrrccrr (talk) 14:58, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I concur with the need for a citation. This Army manual for the Willys MB, from 1944, already uses 4x4 in its modern sense of a four wheeled, four wheel drive vehicle (the MB had a 3-speed transmission.) Also the GMC CCKW "Deuce and a half" was referred to as a 6x6 in the same time frame. There have been marketing concepts like this (the Oldsmobile 4-4-2 was originally for "4-barrel, 4-speed, dual exhaust") but I'm not convinced it's the case for 4x4. ptschett (talk) 23:40, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Another problem: The article now has two "Terminology" sections. One at the top, that was a fix to move some of the long lead out into a separate section, and one further down that's been there a long time.Ccrrccrr (talk) 14:58, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

merger[edit]

who calls for merging Four wheel drive with Sport utility vehicle as the SUV article states that all SUVs are, without exeption four-wheel-drives. So aren't this just two articles about the same thing? I think geographical separation is the only difference and the two articles should be merged, for a wider prespective. mexaguil 219.88.206.183 12:06, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Nope, see SUV. --SFoskett 13:06, May 27, 2005 (UTC)
Surely you must be joking. Is the Lamborghini Murciélago an SUV in your mind? AlbertCahalan 02:20, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
All owls are, without exception, birds. So aren't the two articles about the same thing? The article bird should be merged and redirected to owl. Joe D (t) 03:08, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

NOT all SUVs are 4WD. Many, if not most, are offered with 2wd (front or rear, depending on whether they are truck or car based, generally) available.

"letter x" or "× (times)"?[edit]

It seems to me that the letter "x" in "4x4" should be replaced with a "×" (×), but it also seems to me that some people be defensive about the letter "x" due to tradition. Any thoughts? —Fleminra June 28, 2005 04:47 (UTC)

whilst i don't know why x was originally chosen it certainly isn't representing multiplication. Given this I can't see any good reason to replace it with the multiplication sign. what was your reasoning for suggesting this? Plugwash 13:59, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
While there is no multiplication in off-roading, the multiplication symbol has been used elsewhere to delimit dimensions (“4×4 matrix,” also read “four-by-four”). In this context, the dimensions are “# of wheels” and “# of drive wheels”. As for why the letter “x” may have been chosen in the past, one can’t assume that the multiplication symbol simply wasn’t available (e.g. in ASCII), wasn’t known to be a distinct glyph from the Roman letter (most off-roaders aren’t typography buffs), or wasn’t convenient (i.e. it’s not on keyboards). —Fleminra 03:53, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
i have to say this whole thing is a tiny nitpick but then it can be fun to pick tiny nits ;). The main argument for using the multiplication sign is that it is said as 4 by 4 and the word by used in this way generaly means multiplication. The main arguments for sticking with x are thats its what everyone else seems to do and the fact that the multiple is not a usefull figure (unlike the cross sectional area of a peice of lumber or the dimensions of a matrix). Plugwash 12:59, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
The American Heritage Dictionary has it with “×” (×) [1]. Merriam-Webster (online and hardcover) don’t mention this notation. I would defer to the Oxford dictionary, but I don’t have access to it. —Fleminra 17:56, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

4WD in Australia section[edit]

I really don't see what that has to do with the nature of 4WD. Maybe it could go in an article about the Australian car market, but it doesn't belong here. --an unsigned user

No kidding. Mechanical parts in Australia function just like they do in Mexico, China, Argentina, Spain... AlbertCahalan 05:01, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I've removed it. If someone disagrees, please respond here and we can discuss it. --Matt 15:56, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed the criticisms section.[edit]

I removed the criticisms section. Everything in there referred to SUVs. Seano1 01:25, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm removing the criticism again. All of these criticisms have nothing to do with a vehicle's drivetrain — they're about shape, mass, mass distribution. I don't think Audis, Subarus, VW Golfs, and Mercedes M-Class cars are crash incompatible with, or more prone to rollover than other cars. —Fleminra 19:04, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Added Subaru[edit]

Subaru introduced the first mass-produced 4wd car in 1972. The source is:

http://www.subaru-global.com/about/history/1971-001.html

The title of the article and the summary[edit]

I'm new to wikipedia, and I was fixing the Chevrolet Suburban when I came across this article. This article needs serious revamps! First of all, naming the article "Four wheel drive" leaves it very ambiguous as to what exactly it means. Furthermore, the lumping of AWD and 4WD in the same article is odd, especially because there was a lack of explanation about the difference between them (which there is!!!!!!). So, I would just like to mention that this article needs a lot of work. I will do a little bit a research and start editting this article, unless anyone has any reasons why it should remain the way it is. -User:Mtz1031 2/1/2006

The article should make it clear that these are marketing terms that vary from place to place and time to time. The truth is more complicated. It would be wrong to claim that there is a clear distinction between 4WD and AWD. AlbertCahalan 04:54, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

underside photo[edit]

Underside of a Mitsubishi Pajero.jpg

it said on the requested photos you needed an underside photo. here is one from a pajero. Hamedog 15:20, 16 December 2005 (UTC) I have two other ones if you want to see them.

that photo seems to be of too small an area for it to be even visible that the vehircle is a 4x4 Plugwash 18:01, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Two Wheel Drive / Four Wheel Drive Merger[edit]

The 2WD article is a stub, and it seems that its contents are quite miniscule to say the least. I propose that there should be a merge of the 2WD and the 4WD articles, seeing as they are both essentially discussing drivetrain. I don't know what would be the best name, maybe something using "drivetrain" in the name. There's no need to have two articles; one with almost no information in it. A merger between 4WD and 2WD would be best in my opinion. --Zouf 01:30, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

No, this article is complicated enough already. Besides, there are 3 different meanings of two-wheel-drive: normal (car), motorcycle, and Segway. 24.110.60.225 06:14, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I would disagree as well. I think it would be better to make something of the two wheel drive article. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 07:45, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Unrelated pictures[edit]

The picture of the Golf is not of an AWD Golf. It's a 20th Anniversary Edition. Perhaps an image of an .:R32 should be used instead?

The Volkswagen Golf page describes the Golf R32 as "outwardly appearing very similar to the 20th Anniversary GTI", so it's good for illustrative purposes. The Haldex-based drive system (most 4motion, Audi TT, Audi A3...) should be represented. It is also nice to illustrate the wide variety of body styles that offer 4WD/AWD; many people fail to realize that 4WD/AWD is available and useful on things other than SUVs and pickups. Not that a Golf R32 would look any different, but go ahead and search for the exact item. 24.110.60.225 04:48, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The 'AWD" information is incorrect / AWD vs 4WD[edit]

As it turns out, "all-wheel drive" refers to vehicles that have permanently engaged or automatically engaging four-wheel-drive capability. "Four-wheel drive" implies the vehicle has manually engaging, temporary four-wheel drive AWD is not the same as 4wd, Hummers have 4WD, not AWD. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.230.57.118 (talk) 03:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

The whole AWD/4WD thing is incorrect anyway, AWD is just a marketing term, they mean the same thing. Billzilla (talk) 03:22, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

" The AWD term is now being used to market vehicles which do not continuously drive all four wheels, but instead switch from two wheel drive to four-wheel drive automatically as needed."

That is wrong - 'AWD' is just marketing term invented for on-road only 4WD-type sedans. They do not have the ability to select either manually or automatically 2WD, they are permanent 4WD only. (anonymous)

Look, I've seen it. Go to a few car dealers and you too will see, at least if you research what the cars really do mechanically. AWD means anything, including non-sedan vehicles, that can power all four wheels. Most of these vehicles power just two wheels normally, then automatically switch to all four when the normal drive wheels slip. Of these, a few have the ability to manually lock the center and/or switch into a low gearing. A decent number of vehicles actually power all four under normal conditions, sometimes including the ability to manually lock the center, switch into a low gearing, and/or switch into 2WD. It doesn't matter to marketing: it's all AWD now, unless image concerns dictate otherwise. AlbertCahalan 04:40, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

AWD is commonly used to refer to a vehicle that is usually in 2WD, but can switch to 4WD when necessary. 4WD or 4X4 is used for a vehicle that is always in 4WD. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 67.188.172.165 (talkcontribs) 20:46 September 22 (UTC)

I think you mean it the other way: AWD doesn't have the switch and 4WD does --Matt 22:05, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

The ostensible differences between 4WD and AWD above seem to be a nicety. There's a more fundamental issue. "4WD" can mean "AWD" only when the vehicle has four wheels! A 6x4 truck has "4WD" but isn't AWD. A 6x6 truck has AWD but can't be described as 4WD - and I don't think I'd ever seen 6WD until I found the Wikipedia article! (NB The 8x8 article is about something else entirely, although there are some 8x8 trucks.) It would seem sensible to move this article to All-wheel drive (which currently redirects here) and merge Six-wheel drive with it... --Ant 10:05, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree with Ant - 4x4 and 4WD are only AWD if the vehicle has four wheels - many vehicles may have a different number of wheels. If somebody can do some research on this issue, that would be great. CobraA1 00:58, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

This seems to be a confusing issue with a lot of differing opinons. I'm not quite sure why "All Wheel Drive" isn't a separate article from "Four Wheel Drive", but it doesn't really have to do with "Six Wheel Drive" as mentioned above.

Four Wheel Drive indicates that all four wheels drive the car and power goes equally to each wheel. Most 4WD cars & SUVs have the ability to shift from 2WD to 4WD and back very easily. An All Wheel Drive car, however, is normally powered mostly by two wheels, and automatically switches power to the other wheels when the original drive wheels slip or lose traction. This makes an all wheel drive car ideal for rainy conditions but not necessarilly ideal for off-roading.

As an example, my grandmother had a Subaru Impreza years ago that was an all wheel drive model. Under normal driving conditions, the engine power was distributed 90% to the front wheels and 10% to the rear wheels. If the front wheels started to slip (such as in a skid), then through an automatic clutch-like system, power would instantly be transferred to the rear wheels until the balance was 50% to front and 50% to rear. This is much different from how a car/SUV marketed as a 4WD works. Unless there's some newfangled transmission I've never heard of, 4WD means that four wheels are powered equally, none will pick up the slack if one slips.216.175.106.233 07:10, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the above statement. AWD is very different from 4WD, and deserves it's own article. -GJK 3/1/2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.227.220.27 (talk) 17:02, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

The term "AWD" is an unnecessary distraction to this page as it's a vague marketing term only. I'm also seeing some misinformation above which seems to originate partly from people believing marketing BS and the remainder being confusion between torque and power. The entire page would be better served by a series of schematic graphics of existing 4WD drive train layouts, descriptions on how they work and a list of what vehicles use what system. I also don't see any need to venture off-subject into vehicles with more (or less) than four driven wheels. -Paul — Preceding unsigned comment added by 222.153.30.42 (talk) 21:32, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Reference to propshaft[edit]

This article needs to look at the transfer of the drive throughout the vehicle, so a mention of a propshaft should be included. Billcarr178 19:34, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Design Clarification -- Engineer Needed[edit]

The portion of the article that describes the inherent weakness of a four-wheel drive system that does not have limited-slip differentials or traction control requires some cleaning up by someone who knows the minutae of how differentials work. Probably an automotive engineer.

If you read the plain old "Differential" article, you will see that even where one wheel is spinning and the other wheel is immobile (in a 2WD vehicle), as when one wheel is on dry tarmac and the other on ice, the non-spinning wheel receives exactly the same amount of torque as the spinning wheel, and that this amount of torque is not zero. Rather, the amount of torque received by both wheels is equal to the amount of torque that is required to break free the wheel that is on ice. The other (i.e. "dry") wheel remains stationary because this amount of torque is not sufficient to move the vehicle (i.e. it is below the threshold torque).

I can understand this clearly enough in a 2WD system, but my head starts spinning when I try to translate it to four wheel drive.

The article as it is written describes the outward appearance of the phenomenon sufficiently, but it is wrong in describing the forces at play. The torque received by the wheels when one is spinning is simply not zero. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 38.112.13.86 (talk) 01:33, 6 December 2006 (UTC).

It is effectively "zero" as far as describing the conditions and distribution of power. Call it whatever you wish but "Ice" is intended to mean no traction. Whatever small value it may be in practice has no effect on the outcome of the situation being described. –Paul — Preceding unsigned comment added by 222.153.30.42 (talk) 21:20, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Will attempt to edit and clarify when I have time... Mymazdatribute 00:53, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Corrected errors[edit]

Lexus RX uses clutch packs not open canter diferential Speeddemonvegas 08:14, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

laterally mounted engine (mitsubishi evo and others)[edit]

How do the drivetrains on cars like evo's work? Are the front wheels driven in a system similar to most front wheel drive cars? Perhaps an article or two in the "engine layouts" category would be good.

Cleaning up a bit[edit]

I've been taking a crack at cleaning things up a bit. I edited the design section last night, and am curious if y'all find it more clear now, or if I've botched anything. Working on the intro & history sections tonight, I'll keep plugging. --Mbertsch 04:28, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Please don't place discussion and questionable use of terms in the article[edit]

Until this is resolved, I ask that the accusation of this being "just a marketing term" be left off the page. In addition, please do not place commentary about another person's writing on the main article page - that belongs to the talk page. CobraA1 00:54, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Billzilla, I explained my reasons for my edits. Please don't call it an "incorrect edit" unless it really is incorrect - and if you feel it is an incorrect edit, please explain why you feel it is incorrect - feel free to refer to wikipedia policy if you think I am making changes that violate the policies. CobraA1 07:56, 24 April 2007 (UTC)



'AWD' was a marketing term invented (by Subaru I think) in the 90's to try to get some marketing distance between their RX/WRX cars and the off-road types. It means nothing special as it's just something they thought up, and indeed is a badly abused term these days. The term has crept into current talk and people haven't a clue as to why they say it or how it came into being. Many other parts of cars and other automotive terminology is like that as well. One example is 'drifting' - It was never called drifting until Initial-D came along. People just come up with arbitrary words to describe things that already have perfectly good names, and it's confusing and certainly not needed. AWD is just marketing, get used to it. Billzilla.

Can we get some good sources that describe the history and invention of the term? I understand your point of view, and I agree that many terms have been invented by marketing people, I just want to make sure that this is indeed the case. CobraA1 17:44, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Here is a industry trade publication source that uses the term: "All-Wheel-Drive Revisited" - Brief Article in "Automotive Industries", February, 2001 by Don Sherman [2] it describes how AMC built on Quadra-Trac's success with a more elegant AWD system for the Eagle (in 1980). In other words, AWD is a more elegant design than a simplistic 4WD. This article was not written by marketing people, but it briefly describes the history of what engineers had developed for passenger car based systems. CZmarlin 20:52, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


":: Here is a industry trade publication source that uses the term: "All-Wheel-Drive Revisited" - Brief Article in "Automotive Industries", February, 2001 by Don Sherman [3] it describes how AMC built on Quadra-Trac's success with a more elegant AWD system for the Eagle (in 1980)."

That does not describe the creation of 'AWD' at all, in fact if you read it, it says 4WD. The 'AWD' term is used for when the document was written in 2001. Billzilla

We *still* do not have your reference for this being "just" a marketing term. I'm ready to remove that from the article again, unless you *can* give a good reference for your information. CobraA1 23:33, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


Yes, the article was written in 2001, but it clearly states the following -- "... Lunn built on Quadra-Trac's success with a more elegant AWD system for the Eagle. The New Process (later New Venture) model 119 transfer case he selected retained a center differential, but the limited-slip function was now provided by a viscous coupling. ..." This specifically describes how "... Jeep's chief engineer Roy Lunn orchestrated 4WD's next leap ahead..." This makes it clear that AWD is different from 4WD because of the "... limited-slip center differential to facilitate permanent engagement suitable for all road surfaces..." as well as "... Lunn's other special feature was the Eagle's independent front suspension, achieved by mounting the front differential to the engine block and providing drive to the wheels via universal joints and half shafts..." This was a major difference for marking the development of AWD in 1979. It is also true that the article refers to the AMC's Eagle being 4WD because that is the most familiar term to describe the capability of these new models. Herein lies the problem to this very day. Automakers apply this term to any vehicle that can get power to the front and rear axles. Nevertheless, the most popular origin of AWD term was with the innovations introduced with the AMC Eagles. Another reference to "all wheel drive" is within the June 1980 issue of Car & Driver magazine (hardly a bastion for traditional 4WD enthusiasts), in the article by Don Sherman entitled "Alter Eagle". He states the following "...The one advantage we had here and really intended to capitalize on was the Eagle's all-wheel drive. Since tractive effort is spread over four wheels instead of just two, driving forces are far less likely to screw up cornering attitudes. The suspension can be tuned race-car neutral with practically no chance of an embarrassing spin-out, even if the office gopher lifts off the gas and jumps on the brake at the wrong time on a flat-out run to the post office. ..." Yes, the title contains the term 4x4, but this was the best shorthand way to describe the Eagle's drivetrain. Here is yet another reference to Eagle’s new AWD system [4] this one by a 4WD magazine on-line. -- CZmarlin 01:56, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

M'kay fair enough but it's still incorrent. There have been previous versions of the same mechanicals and they were never called 'AWD'. I am still to see anything convincing that it is anything other than marketing. Billzilla.

Well, if you can find some stuff to back yourself up, go ahead. I'd like to make sure that the claim is supported, and not just based on one person's convictions. CobraA1 04:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


Okay did a quick check and the Formula Ferguson four wheel drive system seems to be functionally the same as current systems that're described as 'AWD'. That was in 1966, so it pre-dates anything from the 1980's well and truly. It was known as 4WD. Also a quick check shows that the Audi 4WD system was also named that even when they added a centre diff, etc. They only relatively recently changed the nomenclature to 'AWD', to match other car manufacturor's marketing. Billzilla.

I've reworded the section to clarify what AWD means, and noted that the term can be misused by the marketing types. Hopefully this is a good compromise that we can all agree on, and helps the reader better understand how the term is used (and abused). CobraA1 18:46, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


Looks good,thanks. :) Billzilla

Volvo concept car renders all current 4 wheel components useless[edit]

On the 62nd IAA in Frankfurt 2007, Volvo showed a concept car with 4 wheel 4 engine drive.

Each wheel has a wheel hub engine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pege.founder (talkcontribs) 19:55, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

There is very little actual information at those links but it seems like it has four electric motors, one per wheel. The thing is pure electric cars aren't going to take off any time soon due to infrastructure and battery issues and for hybrids there are advantages to avoiding the mechanical-electrical-mechanical double conversion when running off the internal combustion engine. A concept car is just that a manufacturer showing off a concept of how things might go in the future if certain problems are worked out but that isn't very pracitcal yet. Plugwash 00:38, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
This concpt car has enough Lithium batteries to drive the first 100km with electric power alone. For longer journeys, it has an ICE generating electric power. It's much more easy to produce renewable electric power with solar energy and wind energy than to make bio fuels. So the first 100km electric only drive mode covers maybe 80% of all kms of an average driver. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pege.founder (talkcontribs) 12:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Is that a rocket in one of the photos?[edit]

I was just reading the article when i noticed that the 3rd photo from the top appears to have a person shooting some sort of large RPG rocket thing. is that actually a rocket that is being shot or am i dreaming? Just curious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.129.46.94 (talk) 06:22, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The photo description (click on it) says "This one is firing a TOW missile". -- Matthead  DisOuß   12:40, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Misinformative / Incorrect Summary[edit]

I find the following line to be contraditory.

(It should be noted that "Full-Time" 4WD can be disengaged and the center differential can be locked, essentially turning it into regular 4WD. On the other hand, AWD cannot be disengaged and the center differential cannot be locked.) [1][2]

Firstly the sentence makes a distinction between "Full-Time" 4WD and AWD, which had been said to be equal in the preceeding sentence. Secondly, various systems which are unambiguously proper AWD (Subaru's Symetrical AWD for example), have user-selectable centre differential locking mechanisms (Subaru's DCCD), or limited slip centre differentials which lock based on traction conditions, making the quoted statement (and citations) false, or at best abused. See also, AWD#Center differential with mechanical lock, or other torque transfer features, emphasis on LOCK.

There is also the issue of this line:

With vehicles with more than four wheels, AWD means all wheels drive the vehicle, to varying degrees of engagement while 4WD means only four of the wheels drive the vehicle continuously.

It seems to be referring to the fact that not all road-going vehicles have four wheels (Six-wheel drive), but gives no indication of this, nor have I ever heard the term "AWD" used in reference to six-wheelers, which are almost entirely military and heavily industrial, and designed similarly to the equivalent 4X4 systems. If the sentence is attempting to give a short and fast summary of the paragraph containing it, I believe it is both unnecessary and confusing, and it is not needed if corrected to clarify about 6x6, which is present in the another section of the article.

Lastly, a minor quibble:

All-wheel drive (AWD) is often used to describe a "full time" 4WD that may be used on dry pavement without destroying the drivetrain...

Not all part-time systems destroy the drivetrain. Some surely do, but others are given an operation range (0-80kmph) and adversely affect low-speed turning radius, but are still designed for road-going use. It would be far more correct if AWD was described as "designed" for full-time road usage, and this is correct regardless of the blurred meanings accrued by both the terms "4X4" and "AWD".

Thanks. If this isn't responded in a timely fashion, I'll assume nobody cares but myself, and take appropriate action. Scott Paeth (talk) 19:44, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by timely, but I think the inaccuracies should be addressed - many AWD systems come with lockable center diffs - Honda Pilot and Toyota Rav4 to name two OTTOMH... And I also agree that the wording "destroy the drivetrain" needs to be changed - it may damage some to a degree - but many are still drivable after driving on dry pavement. I think "drive train" is two words, also... Now that's being picky! --Spankr (talk) 16:10, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

'AWD' is just a marketing term (miss)used to differentiate constant 4WD road cars from off-road cars. It's just a version of 4WD and this page is fine the way it is. Billzilla —Preceding unsigned comment added by Billzilla (talkcontribs) 00:11, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I changed the word "destroying" to "damaging" when referring to the effect of using a locked-differential 4WD system on dry pavement. Even this is somewhat inaccurate as some heavy-duty systems can manage this without damage but with some irritating drivability issues. Use of "destroying the drivetrain" is completely inaccurate as doing so will certainly not damage the engine, which is a major component of the drivetrain.SEWalk (talk) 00:34, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Other All Wheel Drive Systems[edit]

Should 'All wheel drive' redirect to four wheel drive? The term could also be used to describe 6x6 or 8x8 wheel drive systems on larger vehicles. Perhaps a second article is needed for AWD? Jellyfish dave (talk) 13:26, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it should.--Spankr (talk) 16:05, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

The more I think about it, the less I like the idea of having 4WD refer to vehicles with more than 4 wheels being driven by only 4 of those wheels. Many large trucks use tandem drive axles and could technically be called 4WD but I have never heard this used to describe them. They are always called "twin screws" or "tandem drivers". If someone knows of a vehicle with more than 4 wheels that is commonly referred to as being 4WD, I'd like to hear about it.SEWalk (talk) 01:39, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

4WD versus AWD[edit]

I added a globalize template because the way it is described is a very American perspective. "All-wheel drive" is much less common elsewhere, and "four-wheel drive" is not a description restricted to trucks. The sources are all American as well. Compulsions70 (talk) 18:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I've restored the template again, after it was deleted by User:Heb in August 2009. Here are links to several non-USA sites which refer to cars with centre diffs as "four wheel drive" or "4WD". [5] [6] [7] [8]. "All wheel drive" is not a term used here, we simply say "part-time" or "permanent" four-wheel drive. In Australia I believe that "AWD" = 4WD without high/low range. Again, this does not equate with the description given in this article, hence the globalize template. Compulsions70 (talk) 17:18, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the term 'AWD' is just marketing bulldust. Billzilla (talk) 09:36, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually, for any car with a central differential, it is exactly how the drive-train works. Ihosama (talk) 12:36, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


Lines 15 to about 20 odd are complete rubbish and must be changed. My Pajero is 4WD and has a centre diff that is normally not locked, as does just about every other full-time and part-time 4WD that I know of. I'll think of a re-write or maybe just a simple delete to make it more correct. Billzilla (talk) 03:13, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

history of term "4x4"[edit]

An anonymous user just put back an old paragraph with unsupported claims about "4x4" meaning 4-speed, 4WD. The only reference used was regarding the term "four on the floor", which doesn't help support the assertion about what "4x4" originally meant. The complaint that was used about what was there was that the reference didn't relate to "4x4". The information on "4x4" being in use in 1940 was hard to find on the cited page, so I made the citation more specific. I hope anyone who still believes that 4-speed, 4WD was the "original meaning" will look at that link.

It may be true that "4x4" was used to mean 4-speed, 4WD among a significant community of motorists at some point in time. It would appear that that was neither the original meaning; nor is it in common, present-day usage. It still might be notable and merit inclusion in the article in some form. Unfortunately, we can't put it in Wikipedia if it's not verifiable. I'd encourage, however, discussion about it here. Perhaps we can brainstorm ways to find some more sources and see if there is something notable and verifiable about that story that we can put in.Ccrrccrr (talk)

Well, a deuce and a half M35 cargo truck is a 6x6 vehicle and has a 5-speed transmission, not 6. A Stryker is an 8x8 AFV with 6 forward gears, 1 reverse and a two speed transfer case. I have never, ever, heard 4x4 refer to 4-speed, 4WD.--MikeyMoose (talk) 18:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
The 4-speed, 4WD = 4x4 claim was re-added recently, I've removed it. I read a fair amount of automotive history and have never come across this usage of the term. If there's verifiable evidence I'd be fascinated to see it, though! ptschett (talk) 21:18, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Four on the floor and 4WD = 4x4 was a term used on the front cover of a Popular Mechanics issue about 1976. I believe it has been misused by the automotive sales industry to mean only 4WD and seems to be de facto now. 99.251.169.186 (talk) 23:14, 1 June 2012 (UTC) Striking comments by block evading IP sock. Their edits have been reverted and others can then make the edits if they are deemed worthy, but be careful not to act as meatpuppets. This editor should not be supported. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:52, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Critism of 4x4/SUV[edit]

The article currently states that:

There is often confusion as to the difference between 4x4s and sport utility vehicles. This leads to criticisms of 4x4 vehicles in the media that should actually be directed at sport utility vehicles (see criticism of sport utility vehicles).

I'm aware that this critism have been sort of debated before, i think that - given that this article is about the drivetrain technology and not the vehicles that employs it - there should be a link to SUV's similar to that to off-road vehicles and rally in the introduction text, and the statement above should be removed so i have done that. --Hebster (talk) 07:37, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Cleanup Block[edit]

Can we remove the "cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards." block now? MikeyMoose (talk) 12:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

BMW xDrive and better categorization[edit]

Currently, xDrive is listed under "Multi-plate clutch coupling" along with such systems as the Haldex-based 4motion (which is 2wd until the driven axle slips). I'm pretty sure xDrive is a permanent system with a torque bias to the rear and an electronically controlled clutch for locking the front and rear axles together if one axle slips. Therefore xDrive should go in the "Center differential with mechanical lock, or other torque transfer features" list. In fact, "Multi-plate clutch coupling" is slightly ambiguous, because it can refer to on-demand systems (that don't drive one axle until the other slips) as well as continuous/permanent systems (that use the multiplate clutch for locking the center differential). How about a new categorization like this:

  • Continuous/permanent systems
    • Manual lock (e.g. earliest quattro)
    • Automatic viscous lock (e.g. BMW's 1980s system)
    • Automatic multiplate clutch lock (e.g. BMW xDrive)
    • Torsen (e.g. newer quattro)
    • Open differential (e.g. pre-xDrive BMW system)
  • On-demand systems
    • Manual (the old 'Off-road drive')
    • Automatic viscous coupling (e.g. VW Syncro)
    • Automatic multiplate clutch coupling (e.g. VW transverse engine 4motion)

Totsugeki (talk) 15:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Four-wheel drive in trucks-not currently here[edit]

As it is currently written, there isn't yet a section dedicated to the 6x4 layout commonly used in large trucks or buses (6 wheels, 4 driven; dual rear wheels are counted as one). This could be a meaningful expansion, as there is content dedicated to 6WD, 8WD, 10WD, and 12WD...none of those vehicles are cars and SUVs. --SteveCof00 (talk) 20:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Use of the term "pavement"[edit]

I understand the arguments over center/centre etc, but how about words like pavement, which has different meanings in different regions.

In the US, the pavement is where you drive. In the UK it's where you walk, and you drive on the road!

What's the policy on this? Can the article be changed to use a more generic term like "road" or "highway" instead of pavement? That way it makes better sense internationally.Mikeholden (talk) 12:24, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

It confused the hell out of me but I didn't know how to correct the statement not being real familiar with how these systems work. 99.251.169.186 (talk) 23:09, 1 June 2012 (UTC) Striking comments by block evading IP sock. Their edits have been reverted and others can then make the edits if they are deemed worthy, but be careful not to act as meatpuppets. This editor should not be supported. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:51, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Construction equipment[edit]

The article states that the development towards all wheel drive construction equipment started in the late 1980's and that Case CE where the "first" in 1987 when they launched a backhoe-loader. Well, Volvo BM 646 from 1977 is a backhoe-loader and had four-wheel drive. That is the first 4WD backhoe from Volvo, but there may have been other makes that where earlier still. And as the section is about construction equipment in general and, well, late 80's is not even near the start of the transition towards 4WD. The first 4WD wheel-loaders apparently came in the late 1940's, as an example. As another, the first articulated hauler was a 4WD and it was launched in 1966. Steinberger (talk) 15:40, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Nothing is sourced. Add it.--Dana60Cummins (talk) 16:54, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

4WD vs AWD, general clutter[edit]

The difference is obvious when the number of axle ends is anything but 2(i.e. motorcycle, tricycle, commercial trucks with two sets rear axles, etc) without any explanation, but the claims of differences between the two for four wheeled vehicles need to be supported by references per WP:V. The article is poorly sourced and relies excessively on original research. I think a good chunk needs to be trimmed out and the remainder needs to be properly referenced. Cantaloupe2 (talk) 12:06, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Lets edit it then.--Dana60Cummins (talk) 14:25, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
i read through talk and it is a controversial one. So, I want to discuss it here. Argument in the past appears to be bickering backed by personal knowledge. Cantaloupe2 (talk) 17:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

I just googled AWD vs 4WD and read through the top article from MotorTrend Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). . It describes classic 4WD systems as being a rear wheel drive vehicle with a mechanical connection made through a transfer case with connects the rotating torque from the output shaft of the transmission to a drive shaft connected to the front axle when engaged (it can be disengaged, hence part time 4WD) via a chain. Conversely, AWD is a more complicated and often computer controlled group of systems which rely heavily on computers to control how much of the torque from the motor is transferred to either driveshaft, and sometimes to specific tires. These systems often are mostly front wheel drive vehicles with the ability to send power to the rear wheels when low traction conditions occur on the front wheels. AWD systems also use traction control to stop sending power to wheels that are spinning and therefore have no tractions. 4WD systems, because of the use of differentials in the axles, may become much less effective if one wheel on either the front or rear axles loses tractions. The wheel (think of a jeep with one of the back tires in the air instead of on the ground where it belongs) will start spinning since all the torque will be sent there (the path of least resistance), and the wheel with traction will become dead weight.

This is my understanding of the article (there was also another link at the bottom to TruckTrend, so if I am wrong feel free to correct me. The article also acknowledges that the world is becoming more complicated, not only because more and more drivetrain systems are being invented and implemented, but because (as billzilla thankfully reminds us) marketing departments are not made up of engineers, and do not always care, let alone understand the systems they need to sell (no offense intended). These complications will continue to make the distinction between AWD and 4WD fuzzier and fuzzier. However, I believe we should continue to distinguish them as MotorTrends has. Ohsammyboi (talk) 07:24, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

I crossed out your first part because it looks to be mostly regurgitated, nor is it constructive. Magazines and Wikipedia are two totally different worlds. If you want to edit something you are welcome to do so.--Dana60Cummins (talk) 14:25, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I unstruck it because 1. that is rude as hell and 2. magazines are one of the pillars of sources wikipedia can use. Don't be so mean on the talk page. Huw Powell (talk) 03:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)