How Four-Wheel-Drive and All-Wheel-Drive Applications Are the Same and Different

Many people don't know the difference between four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. They mostly think that these two terms are describing the same thing. That is partially true, because they both describe the process of providing power to all four wheels of a vehicle in order to increase traction.

Four-wheel-drive configurations use a lower gear ratio and a split differential to get to get the power to the four wheels. It is found in pickup trucks and larger off-road SUV vehicles. These vehicles are used for off-road and rugged terrain use.

The all-wheel-drive setup delivers power to all four wheels evenly, unless individuals need an adjustment based on road conditions at that wheel site. It is designed to operate on paved driving surfaces only. Vehicles that use all-wheel drive include sedans, crossovers, and high-performance cars. All-wheel-drive configurations perform exceptionally well in all kinds of bad weather including ice, snow, and rainy conditions.
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