Modern cars are so interchangeable, sophisticated and safe that they have lost their feel. Driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle during the white season, on the other hand, means taking a trip back in time, reconnecting with a more intense relationship with the machine. It doesn’t say he’ll never reconsider his options. But after two winters in his company, Pierre Lapointe does not regret having opted for a BMW M4 CS, even if it only has two driving wheels … at the rear. He immediately recognizes that it was not a choice of reason, “because the coveted vehicle did not offer all-wheel drive”. Despite some apprehension, Mr. Lapointe said he was “pleasantly surprised by the overall performance”. Still according to him, “the insight of modern electronic aids coupled with very high quality tires make winter driving trouble-free 99% of the time.” In fact, Mr. Lapointe believes that “the cornering behavior of a rear-wheel drive vehicle is more predictable and the loss of traction is easier to control than with a front-wheel drive vehicle. In fact, the real issue, he adds, is starting on a slope on a snowy surface. You have to know how to dose the accelerator ”. Michel Bourassa describes himself as “a propulsion regular”. His Cadillac ATS doesn’t doze under a tarp or in a garage once the white season comes. She rolls. However, she rarely leaves urban areas. “Driving on a road with a low coefficient of grip is no problem. For this, you must use the Snow function wisely. [neige] the on-board computer and avoid making the rear wheels spin too much. Jean Perron also drives his Lexus IS C in winter, but over short distances. “My journey often takes shape in the city between my residence and my place of work. Putting the city in his rearview mirror hardly enchants Mr. Perron, however. “If I had to use it regularly on country roads, I would dread the winter conditions,” he admits in all humility. Just like his wife who avoids getting behind the wheel of this vehicle during the cold season. Larry Noreyko, also owner of a Lexus IS C, shares the same point of view. In winter, I drive it little, but I never shy away from the pleasure of carefully spinning the rear wheels on freshly snow-covered pavement. Larry Noreyko, owner of a Lexus IS C Not everyone has the chance to drive a BMW M4 CS or have gained the experience of rear-wheel drive. Some winter mornings, Martin Latendresse-Fillion regrets the purchase of his Dodge Charger. “I have good tires, however, but nothing to do, this training method is a handicap for me. The small waltzes of the rear axle, the inability to park in poorly cleared places on pain of getting bogged down or even this worry of not being able to climb the unevenness of certain roads with confidence, that makes me feel insecure. The same goes for Paul Ménard, who struggles to find pleasure at the wheel of his Hyundai Genesis. “At first I thought driving was pretty cool, but today I find it exhausting, even stressful to drive in the winter. The interventions of the traction control system literally stall the engine on an icy surface and I am always afraid of getting stuck. ”
No more routine
More delicate to handle, the propulsion encourages spontaneously adopting a rather progressive behavior, based on anticipation. One way, ultimately, to reinvest in driving your car after years of routine. Unfortunately, this attitude is often resented by many motorists who have become too confident today. Driving a rear-wheel drive is more demanding, more hazardous and sometimes more restrictive, but reminds us – more than any other mode of training – of the importance of remaining vigilant behind the wheel. A crazy idea at a time when driving is no longer so much an automobile pleasure as a mobility pleasure.
These fueled driving sensations
This feeling of being one with the vehicle
This tightrope walker behavior, but without a real net
We like less
These untimely interventions of driving aids that break the rhythm
These slopes that we can’t always climb
These poorly cleared parking spaces in which we get stuck
Nowadays, and in Canada in particular, rear-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive) is generally reserved for rare sports models. The rest of car production sticks to traction (front-wheel drive) and all-wheel drive (four-wheel drive). This latter mode of drive could well become more and more general, of course, due to the popularity of commercial vehicles, but also to the emergence of electric vehicles which give even more freedom to its designers.