January 24, 2013

A lateral view, with an interesting conclusion

This article, on the lateral grip of 4WDs, is worth a look. It's in the UK's Autocar magazine.


  1. "Interesting" indeed. Having spent many years driving in snow, rain, and slippery dirt with a variety of 2 and 4wd vehicles, I can confidently say the author missed the point - or hid it by over-compartmentalizing and removing variables. The truth is lateral traction goes out the window when the vehicle loses forward traction, leading to the same over- or under-steer as would occur in the loss of purely lateral grip. Furthermore, 4wd enables a driver to use throttle as a tool to maintain control, even if traction is lost. In short, he fails to answer why the same vehicle corners and tracks better when 4wd is engaged. What the article does better is illustrate the pattern of internet media, in which authors try to raise their ratings with supposedly unique angles, rather than truth or quality. I could go on, but I think the point is made :)

    Thank you for this excellent blog! I just discovered it this week, and I've read several years' worth already.