All-wheel drive (AWD)

What is all-wheel drive?

An all-wheel-drive (AWD) system sends the power of the engine to both the front and rear wheels all the time. This means that if one or more wheels is stuck or can’t get any grip on the road, the other wheels are still driving the car forward. Some cars have permanent AWD, so all the wheels are always powered directly by the engine. Other cars have part-time AWD, so the car mostly uses just two wheels (usually the front wheels), which uses less fuel, but when needed, sends power to all four wheels.

Related Jargon

What is a 4x4 car?

A 4x4 car is one that is fitted with four-wheel drive, which means that the power created by the engine is sent to all four wheels.

What is an SUV?

Sport utility vehicle - or SUV - a type of car fitted with four-wheel drive, which was built for use off-road.

What is a front-wheel-drive car?

A car with front-wheel drive (FWD) means that the engine and gearbox are connected directly to the front wheels only.

What is rear wheel drive in a car?

A rear wheel drive car is one where the power generated by the engine is sent to the rear wheels, which then ‘push’ the car along.

What is an SUV?

Sport utility vehicle - or SUV - a type of car fitted with four-wheel drive, which was built for use off-road.

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