all wheel drive

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Route only approved for four-wheel drive vehicles ( Iceland )

The all-wheel drive ( colloquially also known as all-wheel drive for short ) is a type of drive in vehicles in which the drive force  - in contrast to front or rear-wheel drive  - is directed to all wheels that come into contact with the ground . More and partly global common names for the all-wheel drive are AWD (All Wheel Drive) with regard to a four-wheel vehicles 4 × 4 ( english four by four ) and 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) . In the United States there was (1909–2009) the Four Wheel Drive Automobile Company (FWD), but as a drive scheme the abbreviation “FWD” is understood as Front-Wheel Drive ( German front-wheel drive ).

All-wheel drive is used in virtually all types of land vehicles designed for off-road use. These include cars, trucks, construction machinery , agricultural machines and quads . In passenger cars, all-wheel drive has long been used almost exclusively to ensure off-road mobility of off-road vehicles , but since the 1990s, all-wheel drive cars designed for road use have also increasingly been offered (see SUV ).


The original purpose of all-wheel drive is to ensure that the vehicle is largely off-road
All-wheel drive (and all-wheel steering ) in autosport: a Fiat-Stilo prototype at an ice race of the Trophée Andros

All-wheel drive is used in vehicles for a variety of reasons. In the past, as now, it was used to increase traction and to enable a certain off-road mobility in the first place, but a few years ago it was also used on the road to improve driving behavior. By driving all wheels in contact with the ground, the slip of each individual wheel is minimized. For this reason, all-wheel drive is often installed in vehicles that have been designed for use in difficult terrain or on unpaved roads.

In addition to off-road vehicles , all-wheel drive is also used in pure road vehicles. Here, thanks to the increased traction, all-wheel drive offers the possibility of transferring the increasing engine power to the road and the advantage of improved driving stability. Due to a suitable structure and the distribution of the drive torque between the axles, a behavior similar to that of a single-axle vehicle is often dictated to the all-wheel drive vehicle. It is thus possible to achieve rear-dominant driving behavior ( oversteer in the limit area ), neutral behavior or front-dominant driving behavior ( understeer in the limit area).

In general, the limit area is also easier to control compared to vehicles with pure front or rear-wheel drive . Close to the physical limits, typically when cornering very quickly, a vehicle with all-wheel drive can be easier to control than a vehicle with conventional drive, even without sufficient experience, because it has relatively neutral driving characteristics. This means that the vehicle neither oversteers nor understeers. With the increasing spread of ESP , these advantages or disadvantages are increasingly put into perspective.

All-wheel drive is mostly used in vehicles with a front or rear engine , since its use in connection with a mid-engine vehicle (mainly sports or racing cars) is very difficult to implement and therefore expensive due to the limited space available. This problem also occurs with a transversely mounted front engine with four-wheel drive. Vehicles currently available for purchase with all-wheel drive and mid-engine are the Lamborghini models Huracán and Aventador , the Bugatti Veyron and the Audi R8 .

Disadvantages of all-wheel drive are the increased weight of the vehicle, the higher production costs, a certain increase in consumption and occasionally smaller trunk spaces. Furthermore, the all-wheel drive, especially on wet, icy or snow-covered roads, can quickly suggest a false sense of security. With all-wheel drive the vehicle has better traction, but all vehicles, with or without all-wheel drive, always use all wheels to brake, so that all-wheel drive vehicles do not have shorter braking distances. In addition, a transmission of drive power via the steered wheels reduces the remaining grip for cornering forces, which can cause an earlier break out of the curve in the border area.

An overview of the history of all-wheel drive

Beginnings and milestones

Lohner-Porsche presented by Ferdinand Porsche in 1900 , the first all-wheel drive electric car
The 1903 Spyker 60 HP in the Louwman Collection , the first four-wheel drive car with a combustion engine
The Dernburg car from 1907, for the first time all-wheel drive and steering
The Mitsubishi PX33 from 1934, the first attempt at an all-wheel drive series vehicle for private individuals

As far as we know today, the origin of all-wheel drive vehicles goes back to the year 1827, when John Hill and Timothy Burstall in England designed a steam-powered transport cart with rear-wheel drive and a front-axle drive that could be activated via a cardan shaft, which was still unusual at the time . Further attempts at steam-powered vehicles by other designers followed, but the all-wheel drive could not prevail here due to technical problems.

  • In 1895, the Charles F. Caffrey Carriage Company in Camden ( New Jersey , United States ) built a steam car with four small steam engines of 3 HP each (based on the calculation method used at the time), each driving one wheel. Each could be controlled separately with a lever so that between 3 and 12 HP were available; the Caffrey Steam could therefore be driven with both front- wheel and all-wheel drive.
  • In 1900 Ferdinand Porsche presented the four-wheel drive electric vehicle known as the Lohner-Porsche . It was equipped with wheel hubs - electric motors on all four wheels.
  • In 1903, the two brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker in the Netherlands designed the Spyker 60 HP, the first internal combustion engine - automobile with all-wheel drive as a racing car for motor racing .
  • In 1907, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) built an all-wheel drive vehicle on behalf of the Reich Colonial Office, which was used by the state police in the colony of German South West Africa . This car was not only driven by all four wheels, but also steered by the four wheels. The first prominent passenger was the State Secretary of the Reich Colonial Office Bernhard Dernburg , on his journey through the protected area. In connection with the 100th anniversary of the car, Daimler AG referred to it as the Dernburg car .
  • In 1908 Otto Zachow and William Besserdich built a prototype with a steam drive and their patented front-wheel drive. From this, gasoline-powered passenger cars (1910–1912) and especially commercial vehicles (since 1911) with all-wheel drive were developed and sold as FWD .
  • In 1915 Renault and Latil began building the first four-wheel drive tractors .
  • In 1934 Mitsubishi built four prototypes of a convertible with all-wheel drive under the designation PX33 . A diesel variant was also tested. However, the project was stopped.
  • In 1935, Büssing AG presented the first German truck with all-wheel drive.
  • Also in 1935, the Tempo G1200 was the first vehicle with all-wheel drive, in which each drive axle was powered by its own internal combustion engine.
  • In 1940, American Bantam presented its first all-wheel drive prototype in a tender for an off-road vehicle for military use. A further developed model was produced in series for the US armed forces by Willys-Overland under the name Willys MB and by Ford as Ford GPW. In 1945 a civilian variant based on this vehicle followed with the model designation Jeep CJ-2A and in 1949 the wagon Willys Jeep Utility Wagon with all-wheel drive.
  • In 1948 the Unimog was presented, a versatile, extremely off-road utility vehicle that has rear-wheel drive with switchable front-wheel drive.
  • 1966 began the small series production (320 pieces were made) of the first road vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive - the Jensen FF .
  • In 1972 Subaru presented the Leone 4WD Station Wagon as the first large-scale road vehicle with selectable all-wheel drive.
  • In 1979 the AMC Eagle came on the market, a high-volume road vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive.
  • In 1980, Audi presented the quattro, its first mass-produced road vehicle (11,452 units were produced) with permanent all-wheel drive at the Geneva Motor Show .

Current situation

In addition to off -road vehicles, non- off -road vehicle types, including even sports cars , are equipped with all-wheel drive for reasons of increased traction and driving safety, or because of better marketing opportunities. However, all-wheel drive is most commonly found in off-road vehicles, SUVs and trucks , as well as tractors .

In road vehicles, all-wheel drive is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the upper middle class . It is used by some vehicle manufacturers to compensate for the disadvantages of the front-wheel drive of the series models with ever increasing engine outputs. Even if rear-wheel drive is predominant in this vehicle class with over 60 percent of registered vehicles, these models are increasingly being equipped with all-wheel drive. One example of this is the E-Class from the W211 series . The proportion of all four-wheel drive vehicles from Daimler under the Mercedes-Benz brand is over ten percent (as of 2005).

The proportion of all-wheel drive vehicles in this vehicle class rose from seven to twelve percent between 2002 and 2004.

Some high-volume models (e.g. VW Golf or Caddy, Fiat Panda, Renault Kangoo) are also offered in a variant with all-wheel drive (and in some cases slightly higher ground clearance). These vehicles are used, for example, as company vehicles for frequent use on poor roads such as field and forest paths.

In recent years the all-wheel drive has been supplemented by an electronic control system that regulates the power distribution to the wheels individually depending on the slip, e.g. B. in the fourth generation of the Haldex clutch , which was introduced in the Saab 9-3 XWD.

In the context of alternative drive concepts such as in hybrid vehicles, z. B. conventionally driven the front wheels with the internal combustion engine and the rear wheels with electric motors. With appropriate control, an all-wheel drive can also be represented from this.


One drive

Clearly visible front axle differential in an older Magirus-Deutz truck

The currently most common variant consists of a single drive (mostly combustion engine), the power of which is to be distributed over several axles and wheels. For a fundamental consideration of the technical fundamentals, it is initially sufficient to restrict oneself to vehicles that split the drive power over two axles. Other configurations can be derived from these basic principles. From a technical point of view, all-wheel drives can be divided into two basic types:

  • Differential-controlled or permanent all-wheel drives have a central differential (also: longitudinal differential, center differential) that divides the drive power on both axles and is sometimes designed as a limited- slip differential . The center differential is a planetary gear (sometimes also designed like an axle differential with bevel gears, as this is a special planetary gear with a 50:50 torque distribution), which is made up of spur gears , bevel gears , worm and worm gears or pinions and crown gears . Alternatively, differentials without gears (such as sliding block differentials) can be used.
  • Clutch -controlled all-wheel drives are also identified by terms such as switchable , hang-on or on-demand . In these systems, one axis is permanently driven, the other axis is only supplied with drive power via the coupling under certain conditions. The clutch itself can be a simple claw clutch (manual engagement), a viscous clutch , a centrifugal clutch or an electronically controlled friction plate clutch . The advantage of clutch-controlled all-wheel drives lies primarily in the lower system costs and the possibility of designing the vehicle with a brand-typical driving behavior as front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive in normal operation and only using all-wheel drive when required.

All-wheel drive requires two axle differentials in the vehicle, which in turn are connected to a center differential with permanent all-wheel drive. In trucks in particular, it is also possible to lock the rear transverse or center differential.

Differential controlled (permanent) all-wheel drive

The permanent all-wheel drive with central differential
1: Motor
2: central differential

In vehicles with permanent all-wheel drive, the engine power is constantly transferred to all four wheels and the differentials ensure complete speed compensation without loss of power. To avoid tension in the drive train, an additional central differential is installed between the front and rear axles. The disadvantage here, however, is that if a single wheel or axle does not have traction, the transferable drive torque is limited by this wheel or axle, so that in extreme cases a vehicle can no longer be moved under its own power. For this reason, vehicles with permanent all-wheel drive is often either the center differential as a limited-slip differential executed (for example, the Torsen -Differenziale in previous Audi - quattro -models with längseingebautem motor), or are electronic traction aids such as traction control (ASR). In off-road vehicles such as the Land Rover Defender, on the other hand, there is a manually lockable center differential that can be locked by the driver depending on the surface conditions.

The design of the central differential determines whether the drive torque is distributed evenly (50:50) or unevenly on both axles. The distribution is decisive for the driving behavior. Since additional weight is shifted to the rear axle on inclines and when accelerating due to the dynamic shifting of the axle load, it is common to transfer a higher proportion of the drive torque to the rear axle. For this reason, the torque distributions between the front and rear axles of 45:55 (V: H) to 33:67 are selected in many vehicles. This distribution is fixed. But if the central differential can be locked, the power can be distributed according to what is given on the axles. Center differentials with electronic friction plate clutches also allow power distributions of up to 100: 0 and 0: 100.

Clutch-controlled (switchable) all-wheel drive

The all-wheel drive, which can be
activated via a dog clutch, 1: Motor 2: Dog clutch

In vehicles with switchable all-wheel drive, only one axle is driven under normal driving conditions. The drive of the second axle is only switched on when the road surface is slippery or on slippery surfaces. This increases the traction of the vehicle.

There are various designs for connecting the second drive axis:

  • In the simplest case, a claw clutch is closed on the drive shaft
  • A lockable freewheel on the wheel hub connects the drive shaft with the wheel (in the case of manually shiftable hubs this requires leaving the vehicle)

The lack of speed compensation of the rigid connection can lead to tension in the drive train and occasional noises when parking. When cornering, the front wheels follow a larger radius and must turn faster than the rear wheels, but are forced to turn as fast as the rear wheels. This leads - depending on the design of the chassis  - to reduced oversteer or increased understeer . This low-cost four-wheel drive system was often used in the small car class . Examples are the Fiat Panda 4 × 4 (from 1983-2003), Subaru Justy and Subaru Vivio and the Citroën AX 4 × 4 .

Vehicles with switchable all-wheel drive consume just as much fuel as vehicles with permanent all-wheel drive, because the drive train rotates with the second axle when it is not driven, and therefore churning and friction losses occur. These losses can only be avoided if freewheel hubs are also installed.

The switchable all-wheel drive is now almost exclusively offered in vehicles that are driven on normal roads and are also intended to be suitable for off-road use to a limited extent (SUVs). Because of its technical simplicity and robustness, the selectable all-wheel drive is used in cars that are used in harsh conditions; For example, the Toyota Landcruiser J10 in Europe had permanent all-wheel drive with independent front suspension, but in Africa and Arab countries, switchable all-wheel drive and rigid axles. The Toyota J7 and the Iveco Massif presented in 2008 are manufactured exclusively with selectable all-wheel drive.

The all-wheel drive 1: Motor 2: Visco-clutch, which is activated by viscous coupling

There are two main types of automated systems:

  • Passive systems are based on a coupling which, depending on the speed difference between the axles, redirects the torque to the second axle. The clutch can be a viscous clutch or a centrifugal clutch. In some cases, the transmission behavior of these couplings can also be influenced from the outside (regulated viscous coupling and Haldex coupling ).
  • The exception with the Haldex systems is the "4Motion" technology from Volkswagen AG, this drive is designed as a permanent all-wheel drive.
  • Active systems are mostly based on an electronically controlled friction plate clutch , which is no longer controlled by speed or torque differences , but rather by a higher-level driving dynamics controller depending on the situation

Mixed form

The 4MATIC all
- wheel drive in the Mercedes W 124
1: Engine
2: Clutch
3: Central differential

Systems that are not permanent, but still have a central differential that distributes the drive force when all-wheel drive is engaged, occupy a special position. In this hybrid form, the all-wheel drive is controlled differentially, but can also be switched on and off with clutches. This solution is very seldom used because of the high effort involved.

One example of such a vehicle is the Mercedes W 124 4MATIC . Here the drive is directed to the central differential. To drive with rear-wheel drive, the central differential is locked and the front axle is switched off. Depending on the position of the two clutches (open or closed), the following operating modes are possible: pure rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive with longitudinal compensation, all-wheel drive with longitudinal lock. The electronic control evaluates the ABS data and selects the type of drive. The ingenious 4MATIC system was still offered by Mercedes after the W 124 "[ citation needed ]" , although its somewhat elaborate technology was changed for the successor model, the W 210 .

Another example is the IFA W50- LA. Normally only the rear axle is driven here. However, the driver can also switch to other types of drive. Shifting takes place with two dog clutches in the transfer case; either the rear axle (rear-wheel drive) or the central differential (permanent all-wheel drive with longitudinal compensation) is driven directly. In addition, the central differential can be locked.

The Super Select all-wheel drive of some Mitsubishi off-road vehicles, such as the Pajero , also offers similar functions . The driver can choose between pure rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive via the central differential with longitudinal compensation and additional viscous lock, and all-wheel drive with a fully locked center differential. If necessary, a ground reduction can also be switched on.

Also, the all-wheel drive Select-Trac brand Jeep based on a similar concept.

Multiple drives

Internal combustion engines

The Peugeot Hoggar concept car, a desert buggy with a 181 hp diesel engine per axle

A special form of all-wheel drive is a variant in which each vehicle axle is driven by its own motor. The vehicles equipped with this type of drive include, for example, the Tempo G1200 (4000 vehicles produced) and the Citroën 2CV 4 × 4 "SAHARA" (694 units produced) . In the 1980s, the Austrian Formula Vee specialist Kurt Bergmann , in cooperation with VW Motorsport , also experimented with this special form of all-wheel drive (see: All-wheel drive in automobile sport ). Three of his VW Golf vehicles were used in the famous Pikes Peak hill climb in the USA, but the type of vehicle itself never made it into VW production, and Volkswagen no longer pursued bi-engine development either. Around 20 years later, the twin-engine all-wheel drive concept is once again in fashion, as the Bimoto from mtm Motorentechnik Mayer, based on the Audi TT , impressively demonstrates with up to 1000 hp. In 1998, at the Geneva Motor Show, an A-Class Bimoto vehicle from Mercedes was presented as a so-called Concept CarZ . The Hoggar presented in 2003 , a concept car or a buggy study from Peugeot with front, rear or all-wheel drive, also belongs to the rare species of double-engine exotic vehicles.

Two V8 gasoline engines, each with a displacement of seven liters, provided propulsion for the heavy Soviet military truck ZIL-135 . It is almost unique that the drive force is not distributed according to axles, but rather a motor drives the wheels on the right and left sides of the vehicle. This drive concept was also used in the ZIL-E167 experimental vehicle , but here only on six instead of eight wheels as in the ZIL-135. The high off-road mobility of the vehicles was bought with this concept, however, with a fuel consumption of more than 100 liters per 100 kilometers.

Electric motors

Extra-terrestrial four-wheel drive deployment: David Scott , the commander of Apollo 15 , on the " moon car "

Another special form is the all-wheel drive through separate electric motors on each ground-contacting wheel, which are used there as wheel hub motors . As early as 1900, Ferdinand Porsche developed a vehicle known as Lohner-Porsche with this technology on behalf of the Jacob Lohner & Co automobile factory . However, in this electric vehicle, the lead batteries alone weighed no less than 1800 kg.

This variant of all-wheel drive was also used in the Lunar Roving Vehicle , known as the moon car . A 180 W electric motor was used on each wheel  . The high-tech vehicle was developed in 1969 and was first used on the moon in July 1971 .

At the beginning of the 2000s, the development of all-wheel drive vehicles with wheel hub motors continued. The use of this technology in vehicles is made easier by increasingly compact electricity storage systems. In 2005, Peugeot presented the Peugeot Quark, an all-wheel drive concept vehicle.

That same year, Mitsubishi presented the on the Lancer Evolution IX based Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MIEV ( M Mitsubishi I n-wheel motor E lectric V ehicle) . The vehicle has a total output of 200 kW (50 kW per engine) and a maximum torque of 518 Nm. It reaches a top speed of 180 km / h and has a range of 250 km. At the Shikoku EV Rallye 2005, a Japanese racing event for electric vehicles, the Lancer Evolution MIEV was to start for the first time. Mitsubishi planned to develop this drive concept for series production by 2010.

Also from Japan, the research vehicles KAZ and come Eliica ( E lectric Li thium I on Ca r) of Keio University , both of which are driven by wheel motors. These are in turn fed by lithium-ion batteries. Special features of the vehicles are, on the one hand, the number of wheels - eight - and, on the other hand, the maximum speeds achieved of up to 370 km / h.

The currently (2020) largest truck in the world, the BelAZ-75710 (total weight max. 810 t), has a 1200 kW electric motor on each of its four twin tires, which is fed by a diesel generator.

Hybrid drive

The Lexus RX 400h uses its hybrid concept in a special way for all-wheel drive: the front axle is operated by the hybrid engine consisting of a gasoline engine and an electric motor, the rear wheels are driven by their own electric motor. This eliminates the need for a cardan shaft and center differential as coupling elements.

Similarly, hybrid vehicles are powered by PSA, e.g. B. the Peugeot 508 RXH. A diesel engine is used on the front axle, the rear axle is driven by an electric motor. the vehicle chooses which wheels are driven in which driving mode, but if necessary, permanent all-wheel drive can be switched on.

The weakness of this concept becomes apparent, however, when the front wheels lose their grip when driving uphill: the electric motor on the rear axle is then overwhelmed by the vehicle's weight on steep slopes. However, such gradients usually do not occur in normal road traffic.

Another variant was offered by Nissan in March (known in Germany as Nissan Micra ) with the additional designation e-4WD, which was primarily intended for the Japanese market. A gasoline engine drove the front axle and an electric motor the rear axle. The vehicle did not need any batteries because the gasoline engine was also connected to a second generator for the electric rear-wheel drive. The power regulation of the electric motor was done by regulating the armature current of the generator. The electric rear-wheel drive, however, was more of a starting aid, initially with a 3 kW motor up to 25 km / h and later with a 12 kW motor up to 40 km / h. Above these speeds, the electric motor was mechanically decoupled from the axle. Otherwise the engine would have been over-revved due to the large reduction of the compact rear axle module.

A hydrostatically driven axle

In MAN trucks with Hydrodrive , the front axle is not driven mechanically, but hydrostatically . The drive can be used at speeds of up to 30 km / h. This system is also available from Volvo Trucks. At Daimler, the system is called HAD (Hydraulic Auxiliary Drive) and is mainly used in construction site vehicles.


There are also variants with more than two axles , especially for trucks . To make it clear how many axles or wheels are driven, the drive formula has been established: [number of wheels] × [number of driven wheels].

The standard car would therefore have the drive type 4 × 2, the all-wheel drive car or SUV 4 × 4 ( English four by four ; 4WD is the abbreviation for four wheel drive ; FWD is often incorrectly translated as four wheel drive , but stands for front wheel drive or front-wheel drive , as well as RWD the abbreviation for rear wheel drive or rear-wheel drive and AWD all wheel drive four-wheel drive means and thus - in addition to 4 × 4 and 4WD - is also used as an abbreviation), the three-axis driven construction site Truck 6 × 6 or the three-axle coach with only one driven axle corresponding to 6 × 2 or with two driven axles 6 × 4. There are also construction site trucks with all four driven axles, i.e. 8 × 8.

Most military vehicles have all-wheel drive, and corresponding trucks and armored vehicles often have the drive formulas 6 × 6 or 8 × 8.

All-wheel drive in cars

The Audi quattro was the first mass-produced car to be built with permanent all-wheel drive
  • The world's first all-wheel-drive passenger car was the Jensen FF , which was built from 1966 to 1971 and had permanent all-wheel drive from Ferguson Research . The FF ('Formula Ferguson') was only produced in a small number of 320 copies. In addition to its own Jensen FF , Ferguson Research also equipped some Ford vehicles with all-wheel drive. In view of the small number of units, however, these special Ford vehicles are of no great significance for the history of all-wheel drive in passenger cars.
  • In 1972 Subaru introduced the Subaru Leone Station Wagon AWD . This model was the first passenger car with selectable all-wheel drive that was mass-produced.
  • In 1976 the Lada Niva was presented as the first mass-produced vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive.

Introduction of permanent all-wheel drive in passenger cars according to vehicle manufacturers

year Manufacturer Model / series Mass production Small series
1966 Jensen Jensen FF x (320 pieces)
1972 Subaru Leone x
1976 Lada Lada Niva x
1979 AMC AMC Eagle x
1980 Audi Audi quattro x
1983 Alfa Romeo Alfa 33 4 × 4 x
1985 BMW BMW 325iX x
1985 Lancia Lancia Delta HF 4WD x
1985 Volkswagen VW Passat Syncro x
1986 ford Ford Scorpio 4 × 4 x
1987 Mazda Mazda 323 4WD x
1987 Mercedes Benz Mercedes W 124 4MATIC x
1987 Porsche Porsche 959 x (292 pieces)
1988 Opel Opel Vectra 4 × 4 x
1988 Porsche Porsche 911 Carrera 4 x
1989 PSA Peugeot Citroën Citroën BX / Peugeot 405 x
1991 Bugatti Bugatti EB110 x (approx. 300 pieces)
1991 Lamborghini Lamborghini Diablo VT x
1992 Fiat Tempra 4 × 4 x
2004 jaguar Jaguar X-Type x
2010 Dacia Dacia Duster 4WD x
2011 Ferrari Ferrari FF x

Other names for four-wheel drive cars

In addition to the standard names , individual car manufacturers have introduced special names and in some cases have been legally protected, such as:

All-wheel drive in SUV

M-Class from Mercedes-Benz

SUVs ( Sports Utility Vehicles ) have been used in German-speaking countries since the mid-1990s to describe vehicles that are designed to combine the comfort of a road vehicle with the off-road capability of an off-road vehicle. This is why SUVs are in most cases available with all-wheel drive, but are still only conditionally suitable for use off paved roads. In 1997 the M-Class was presented by Mercedes-Benz . This series was the first to be officially designated with the term SUV.

All-wheel drive in off-road vehicles

Off-road vehicles are almost exclusively equipped with four-wheel drive. They have their roots in the military field.

Special shape

In 1935, Vidal & Sohn introduced an all-terrain vehicle called the Tempo G1200 , which was based on the Tempo V600 delivery van . This vehicle had two engines with a capacity of 600 cc each and two 4-speed transmissions. This allowed the G1200 to be driven with either front or rear wheel drive . In difficult terrain it was also possible to use both engines at the same time and thus simulate an all-wheel drive. The Tempo G1200 was produced a total of 4,000 times between 1937 and 1944.

Military off-road vehicle

Original Jeep: A Willys MB from 1945
Today the US armed forces rely on the HMMWV

In 1940, because of the Second World War , the US Army asked 135 companies whether they were able to design an all-terrain military vehicle according to certain specifications. A prototype was expected a short time later. The only companies that could or would do this job were American Bantam , Ford, and Willys-Overland . Shortly afterwards, American Bantam presented its prototype. Based on the plans for the vehicle, Willys-Overland developed the Quad and Ford the Pygmy .

The US Army chose the Willys because it clearly exceeded the requirements. This was initially produced in a small series as Willys MA from 1941 and was replaced a few months later by the only slightly revised version Willys MB . In order to be able to satisfy the great demand, a contract was signed with Ford , which manufactured the Willys as Ford GPW according to the specifications of Willys-Overland .

Civil off-road vehicle

The Willys is also the original Jeep . He made the term jeep known worldwide and for a long time Jeep has been used as a synonym for almost all off-road vehicles. Willys-Overland registered the term jeep in 1950; today the Jeep brand belongs to Chrysler . The origin of the word jeep is not clear. According to the most widespread but controversial theory, it goes back to the supposedly original name of the US Army, GP for general purpose .

In 1945 was awarded the Jeep CJ-2A , the first civilian SUV based on the Willys MB of Willys-Overland introduced.

On June 17, 1970, Land Rover , then under the umbrella of the state-owned British Leyland, presented the Range Rover , the first mass-produced off-road vehicle with permanent all-wheel drive. In 1984 the manufacturer transferred the same drive principle to the successor to the classic Land Rover, the Defender, and to the Discovery, which appeared in 1989.

Introduction of all-wheel drive in off-road vehicles according to vehicle manufacturers

year Manufacturer Model / series Mass production Small series
1936 lighter yellow standard car Stoewer , BMW & Hanomag Military vehicle
1937 average & black yellow standard car Horch , Wanderer , Opel & Ford Military vehicle
1941 Willys Overland Willys MA / MB Military vehicle
1941 Volkswagen Type 128 floating car Military vehicle
1945 Willys Overland Jeep CJ-2A x
1948 Land Rover Land Rover Series I x
1951 Toyota Toyota BJ Military vehicle x
1951 Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo Matta x
1951 Fiat Fiat Campagnola x
1956 Auto Union F91 / 4 Munga Military vehicle
1970 Suzuki Suzuki LJ10 x
1976 Lada Lada Niva x
1979 Mercedes-Benz
Steyr Daimler Puch
G model x
1986 Lamborghini LM002 x

Four-wheel drive in trucks

The first four-wheel drive trucks were built in the 1930s. In 1932, for example, the JaG-12 was built in the Soviet Union, a prototype with four driven axles (8 × 8), which ultimately did not go into series production.

The first German truck with all-wheel drive was presented in 1935 by Büssing (trading under the name of Büssing-NAG at the time) and was named Type 504. As early as 1931, this company had developed the type G 31, a truck with three axles, two of which were driven ( drive formula 6 × 4). Only a little later, all-wheel-drive trucks from other commercial vehicle manufacturers came onto the market. For example, from 1941 onwards, Magirus-Deutz (then trading under Klöckner-Deutz) built the A330, which was later called the A3000, and the all-terrain model 33G1 from Henschel-Werke . Both were primarily supplied to the German Wehrmacht .

After the Second World War, the construction industry replaced the military as the main buyer of all-wheel-drive trucks in Germany: Due to the reconstruction after the war and the economic miracle , all-terrain construction vehicles were needed everywhere, so that most of the truck manufacturers at the time included all- wheel drive vehicles in their range. Up until the mid-1960s, hoods were the standard design for all-wheel-drive trucks in Germany, while forward-control vehicles with all-wheel drive did not gain acceptance until the late 1960s to the early 1970s. All-wheel drive is still widespread in trucks, in addition to the construction industry and the military, fire brigades and other auxiliary services such as the Red Cross and THW . Important manufacturers in Europe are, for example, MAN , Mercedes-Benz , IVECO and Tatra .

All-wheel drive in agricultural engineering

In 1857, inventor John S. Hall was granted a patent for a four-wheel drive steam tractor by the United States Patent Office. A practical implementation of this idea probably did not take place because of the very idiosyncratic construction, at least nothing is known about it today. Missing differentials, combined with an articulated steering , would have made the vehicle almost impassable in curves.

The first tractor with all-wheel drive was manufactured in 1907 by Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz AG . As a result of the complex technology, however, the vehicle was too expensive and therefore a failure. The Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz AG did not really enter the tractor market until 1926, but no longer with all-wheel drive vehicles, but with rear-wheel drive vehicles (see main article Deutz-Fahr ).

From 1923 the Lanz HP Bulldog with all-wheel drive and articulated steering was produced by Heinrich Lanz AG . The HP Bulldog had a front-wheel drive with a rear-wheel drive that could be activated .

The first MAN farm diesel with all-wheel drive was developed in 1948 and went into production in 1949. Other companies such as Fendt also brought all-wheel drive tractors onto the market in the post-war years. What all these vehicles have in common is that they could not really establish themselves because of the high prices - due to the high production costs of the complex technology. Many models soon disappeared from the market.

The market situation only changed in 1951, when the manufacturer Same presented the first large-scale all-wheel tractor with the 25 HP Same DA 25. This has resulted in a huge increase in the share of all-wheel drive vehicles on the tractor market. Other manufacturers followed and so the all-wheel drive began its triumphant advance in tractors.

Today the market share of tractors with all-wheel drive in the power class above 74 kW is almost 100%. Even with smaller agricultural implements, the all-wheel drive share is quite high at 70%.

All-wheel drive on two-wheelers

"Zyklon" brand motorcycle around 1900

The first developments towards two-wheelers with front-wheel drive brought about the first hybrid all- wheel drive motorcycle as early as 1900 - the front wheel was driven by a motor, the rear wheel with muscle power. Electrical AWD systems from 2008 represent the latest state of development.

Mechanical AWD systems

In the 1950s there were attempts to equip motorcycles with all-wheel drive technology. Systems with a flexible drive shaft proved to be unsuitable because of excessive wear. Since 1958 there have been all-wheel drive motorcycles of the ROKON ™ brand (USA) in which both wheels are driven by chains. Since 1994 there have been further developments of the system from Christini (Philadelphia). The front drive system of these motorcycles is easily recognizable by the additional shafts in front of the motorcycle fork.

Hydraulic AWD systems

Since 1999 there have also been hydraulically powered four-wheel motorcycles . The Swedish manufacturer Öhlins developed a system. With a Yamaha TT 600 R 2WD equipped with it , the Italian Antonio Colombo won the Sardinia Rally in 1999. With this system, a hydraulic pump located in the engine's gearbox pushes oil through flexible pressure lines to the front wheel. The oil drives a small hydraulic motor there before it flows back to the pump after it has been filtered. Similar to a speedometer cable, the lines are spring-loaded. With this system, up to 15 percent of the engine power is transferred to the front wheel. The four-wheel drive built in this way in the motorcycle promises above all greater cornering stability and easier vehicle control. Many manufacturers are currently working hard to develop it, but it has not yet been ready for series production. The use has so far been limited to motorsport.

Electrical AWD systems

A system for electric AWD drive for motorcycles was patented by KTM in 2008. The system has fewer mechanics and can be adjusted to driving operations using electronic control options. New findings enable the generation of the necessary torques by the electric motors.

Multi-track two-wheelers

The Segway Personal Transporter is an exotic all-wheel drive application . By definition, it is a “two-wheeled but multi-lane motor vehicle”. He is not a two-wheeler . Special models with wide tires for off-road use are available.

All-wheel drive in automobile sport

All-wheel drive is an absolute must for various forms of automobile sport these days. Audi , for example, revolutionized in the early 1980s with the Audi quattro the rallying - the first four-wheel drive racing cars however, there were already a few decades earlier. The following list contains the most innovative all-wheel drive cars and the most important all-wheel drive developments in racing history.

The Spyker 60 HP from 1903

1903: Spyker 60 HP - first racing car with permanent all-wheel drive

The Spyker 60 HP (pronounced: Speiker; the y [instead of ij] in the company name had been chosen for the international market) by the two Dutch brothers Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker from Amsterdam is nowadays considered to be the first automobile with permanent all-wheel drive as also as the first racing car with all-wheel drive. It had a six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 8.6 liters and brakes for all four wheels.

With the Belgians developed Joseph Laviolette 60 HP Jacobus Spijker denied even race and won in 1906 to consider the mountain race of the Birmingham motor club in England - in the rain. More than 100 years after its creation, the Spyker 60 HP can be viewed in the Louwman Collection (formerly the Nationaal Automobiel Museum ) in Raamsdonksveer near Geertruidenberg .

From 1931: Bugatti Type 53

Ettore Bugatti , who is considered ingenious , built at least two all-wheel drive vehicles ( Bugatti Type 53 , 8-cylinder in-line engine, 4972 cm³ displacement and approx. 224 kW / 300 PS) for hill climbs, at least one of which was driven by his son Jean Bugatti , among others . a. 1932 in the British Shelsley Walsh mountain test, which was already famous at the time .

It is known that René Dreyfus in March 1934 on a T53 4WD , the mountain race La Turbie of Nice won and that Robert Benoist in two other French mountain racing (in April 1935 Reims and Nancy was victorious). The two cars still exist today. One of the two is part of the famous Schlumpf Collection , the other belongs to a private collector. However, there is said to have been a third T53 with all-wheel drive, but nothing is known about its whereabouts.

1932: Miller 4 × 4 in the Indy 500

The designer and racer Harold Arminius Miller sat 1932 in Indianapolis a Miller 4 × 4 with a V8 engine, one, who had 5 liters. In 1934 this vehicle was also used at the Tripoli Grand Prix and the Berlin AVUS .

The Cisitalia CIS 360 in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

1947: Porsche builds Formula 1 vehicle "CIS 360"

In Gmünd, Porsche developed the Cisitalia CIS 360 as a 1.5-liter vehicle with a 12-cylinder mid-engine for Formula 1 for the Italian industrialist and racing car designer Piero Dusio . There are various power ratings of 280 up to 550 PS (206 to 404 kW) at about 10,500 min -1 . The gearbox was equipped with Porsche synchronization. The car had a front-wheel drive that could be disengaged while driving .

More than 20 years later, a second CIS 360 was assembled from rediscovered, still existing spare parts , which is therefore considered a so-called Bitsa car among collectors . After its financial ruin in Italy , the original by Piero Dusio spent a few years in Buenos Aires under the name Autoar (for Auto Motores Argentinos ) in the 1950s and is now in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart . The resulting from replacement parts second CIS 360 is (supposedly without crankshaft and therefore still not quite finished) as Cisitalia-Porsche 360 since the early 1970s at the Museum of British racing circuit Donington Park .

1961: First Formula 1 all-wheel-drive racing car actually used

Harry Ferguson Research Ltd. first used a four-wheel drive Formula 1 car called Ferguson-Climax P99 ('Project 99') with 1.5-liter engine under racing veteran Jack Fairman at the Grand Prix of Great Britain in Aintree . Stirling Moss later took over the wheel and was disqualified in the end. This was the P99 4WD's only appearance at an official GP. In the same year, Stirling Moss won the Oulton Park Gold Cup Race , which was not part of the F1 World Championship - after frequent rain showers, by more than 40 seconds ahead of the Brabham- Cooper . The capabilities of this all-wheel-drive racing car were also clearly demonstrated on dry roads when it was only two tenths of a second behind Bruce McLaren and his Cooper in the training session, which was spared from the rain .

In the winter of 1962/1963 Graham Hill and Innes Ireland contested the Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand with the P99 (now equipped with a 2.5 liter engine) and in 1964 Peter Westbury won the British Hill Climb Championship with it (the 'British Mountain Championship '). The P99 is now part of the Donington Park racing car collection.

1961: For the first time in autocross

The Briton Howard Parkin constructed the first all-wheel drive vehicle in autocross with his Cannonball ('cannon ball') . Until the 1970s, the single-seat Open Special was almost unbeatable and secured Parkin overall victory in over 60 races, which was determined by the best time of the day (FTD or Fastest Time of the Day) .

1964: BRM P67 (Formula 1)

The young technician Mike Pilbeam was given the opportunity by his BRM team to build a Formula 1-4 × 4 racing car. From an outdated P56 chassis, a V8 engine with 1500 cc displacement and 147 kW / 200 PS and a Formula Ferguson system, Pilbeam created the BRM P67 , which Richard Attwood tested during training for the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch .

Immediately thereafter, BRM decided against the all-wheel drive P67 and continued to bet on two-wheel drive. A few years later, private driver Peter Lawson took over the vehicle, now equipped with a far more powerful 2.1-liter Tasman engine , and thus became completely superior to the British Bergmeister in 1968. The BRM monoposto is now also part of the Donington collection.

1964: STP-Oil Novi V8 4WD (Indy 500)

Bobby Unser contested the race in Indianapolis with an STP-Oil Novi V8 with all-wheel drive. However, the car was damaged in an accident and Unser had to give up. The same car broke down again in Indy in 1965 , this time with technical problems.

1968: Lotus 56 with gas turbines (Indy 500)

Lotus sat down with Andy Granatelli four with gas turbines equipped Lotus 56 four-wheel drive in Indianapolis one. Mike Spence , who had been added to the team as a substitute driver for the late Jim Clark , had a fatal accident in one of the four cars during practice.

Joe Leonard and Graham Hill qualified as fastest and second fastest with their 56s . Leonard was consistently among the top three in the race, but gave up on lap 192 with a defective fuel pump. Hill fell out after an accident with suspension damage.

1969: For the first time in rallycross

On February 8, the two British companies Ford and BMC - on the same day but on different racetracks - launched the first all-wheel drive vehicles in rallycross auto racing . While BMC driver Brian Culcheth's Triumph 1300 4WD won its race in Lydden (near Dover ) and the victory was recognized, Ford works driver Roger Clark was the overall victory with the Ford Capri 3000GT 4WD in Croft (near Darlington ) soon after withdrawn from the race because the rallycross special with Ferguson drive "did not meet the applicable regulations" at the time.

BMC's Triumph was no longer used, but Ford continued its project and built another Capri for Roger Clark's brother Stan. A third Capri 4WD project, from privateer Rod Chapman, was factory-supported as well and after a few months of continuous further development of the "Ford-beasts" were so strong and the competition so superior that they only 5 or 10 seconds (4WD penalty) after their opponents were allowed to start. Nevertheless, the Capri drivers mostly managed to take the lead in the end and win their respective races.

While Ford took its 3000GT 4WD, which was now a good 250 hp strong, out of the competition in the autumn of 1971 in order to focus more on the new Ford Escort , Chapman was still successful in 1972 with his all-wheel-drive Capri on British rallycross tracks.

From 1969: Formula 1 again

Mario Andretti in the Lotus 63 4WD

Up to and including 1971 (Lotus), the teams from Lotus, Matra , McLaren and even the engine manufacturer Cosworth tested all-wheel-drive 3-liter racing cars in Formula 1 . Lotus built two Lotus-Ford 63 (V8 engine, 2993 cc, 430 hp at 9000 min -1 ), the gas turbine by Pratt & Whitney should be equipped, but due to scheduling problems Cosworth engines received.

After Graham Hill had tested the 'Lotus 63' for the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort , Joakim Bonnier had retired from the British, Mario Andretti from the German and John Miles from the Italian Grand Prix, problems arose for Colin Chapman and his designer Maurice Phillippe a. The greatest success was a second place under Jochen Rindt in the Oulton Park Gold Cup Race 1969, which is not part of the Formula 1 World Championship. Rindts 63 / I is now part of the Donington collection.

Colin Chapman tried again in 1971 with the all-wheel drive concept and presented his Lotus 56B , a kind of recycling of the Indy car from 1968. But after this gas turbine vehicle did not lead to any Formula 1 successes either, although it was in Zandvoort Young driver David Walker might even have won the rainy 1971 GP of the Netherlands , if Walker had not been thrown off the slopes in a promising position with the vehicle, the Lotus team finally gave up its all-wheel drive ambitions.

Jackie Stewart in the Matra MS84

Just like Lotus, Matra had brought an all-wheel drive racing car to Zandvoort for testing - just like Lotus, Matra did not use it in the actual race. Jackie Stewart was almost two and a half seconds faster in training with the two-wheel-drive MS80 than in the four-wheel-drive MS84 , so the choice of car did not require any further questions. Two weeks later, at the French GP in Clermont-Ferrand , Stewart was even six seconds slower in the MS84 and again he chose the MS80 . Another two weeks later, at the Great Britain GP in Silverstone , Jean-Pierre Beltoise finished ninth on his MS84 . At the Canadian GP in Mosport Park , Matra driver Johnny Servoz-Gavin managed to secure the only Formula 1 World Championship point ever won by an all-wheel drive vehicle with a sixth place. However, soon after crossing the finish line it turned out that the front differential of his MS84 had not worked and that he had only been using rear-wheel drive as a result ...

The McLaren M9A in Donington

McLaren was pretty optimistic planned equal a small group of 4 × 4 vehicles, built at the end but only one with the type designation McLaren-Ford M9A-1 (V8 engine, 2999 cc, 321 hp at 9000 min -1 ). The engine came from Cosworth, the drive was developed by Jo Marquardt and Derek Bell was the test pilot at the British GP in Silverstone. In 1971, the Donington Collection took over the M9A after Bruce McLaren Motor Racing lost interest in it.

The Cosworth 4WD in Donington

The engine builders at Cosworth also developed an all-wheel-drive Formula 1 racing car in 1969, which, however, was never used in racing. Keith Duckworth (the "worth" in Cosworth) commissioned Robin Herd to develop the vehicle that the ultimate setting for his new DFV (cc V8, 2993, 430 hp at 9000 rpm-GP engine -1 ) should deliver. The aerodynamic front end of the Cosworth 4WD was revolutionary for the time, but just like the other four-wheel drive Formula 1 racing cars, the "Cossie" had problems with its excessive weight. Mike Costin (the "Cos" in Cosworth) and Trevor Taylor tested the racing car in detail, but gave up the project at the test stage and in 1971 this four-wheel drive was also handed over to the Donington Museum.

Until the four-wheel drive ban for Formula 1, which came into force in 1983, there were three more 4WD test vehicles from March (March 2-4-0) and Williams ( Williams FW07D and FW08B ), which were never used in Formula 1-WM were used. While the March car was later used in some hill climbs, the Williams prototypes did not take part in any official competition.

1971: DAF 55 Coupé 4WD (rallycross)

The sports department of the Dutch car factory DAF built a DAF 55 Coupé with all-wheel drive for rallycross driver Jan de Rooy in just 10 days . An initially around 96 kW / 130 hp Gordini engine was installed where the passenger seat is normally located. Via a stepless Sportvariomatic , which was attached to the driver's seat, the engine drove a drive belt for the cardan shafts to the front and rear axles. There, limited slip differentials from the BMW 2002 passed the power on to all four wheels.

The driver's seat with de Rooy was enthroned over the Variomatic and a hole was cut in the roof of the car and a small dome raised it by a good 10 cm to give the driver the necessary headroom. The car was immediately given the nickname "het bultje" , which in German can be translated as hunchback , hump , hump or bump . For 1972 DAF then built two 555 Coupés (the third 5 stood for Group 5 according to FIA regulations ) for Jan de Rooy (years later a famous four-wheel drive trucker in the Paris-Dakar Rally ) and his brother Harry de Rooy, the now had 147 kW / 200 hp Ford BDA engines and now sat in the designated place under the bonnet. Another new feature was that the Variomatic all-wheel drive had a so-called disconnecting control , with which the rear-wheel drive could be deactivated at any time. Because from the end of 1972 (up to and including 1981) all-wheel drive was banned in rallycross, both DAFs in 1973 and 1974 were mostly only driven with rear-wheel drive by the De Rooy brothers, and sometimes only front-wheel drive was used on wet roads.

From 1980: Audi quattro (rallying)

In November, the new one was Audi quattro for the first time in the rally version used, but only as a course car in belonging to the European Rally Championship Algarve Rally in Portugal .

Franz Wittmann also won the January rally in 1984 in the quattro

1981: First official use of the Audi quattro in the January rally

The Austrian Franz Wittmann won the January rally, which is part of the European Rally Championship, in his home country and thus finished the first official sporting event of an Audi quattro with a victory.

At the Monte Carlo Rally , which took place around 14 days later , the first round of the FIA World Rally Championship , the two quattros of Hannu Mikkola (after a brake failure) and Michèle Mouton (due to dirty petrol) dropped out prematurely, but they already had one here ushered in a new era for rally sport as a whole - because afterwards nothing worked in this motorsport scene without all-wheel drive.

1982: Audi wins the manufacturers' championship in the World Rally Championship with its quattro

At the end of November at the RAC Rally of Great Britain, Audi won the manufacturers' championship in the World Rally Championship with its quattro thanks to a double victory for Mikkola and Mouton . The first FIA title with an Audi quattro had already been secured a few weeks earlier by Franz Wurz from Austria , who was able to become European rallycross champion in the Urquattro on October 3rd in Buxtehude .

From 1981: racing car with double engine (Pikes Peak hill climb)

The Viennese "Formula Vee Pope" Kurt Bergmann (Kaimann) experimented, in cooperation with VW Motorsport , with at least five all-wheel-drive twin-engine vehicles. He produced a VW Jetta (the "double Jettchen", 220 PS, 1981), a VW Scirocco (the "Twin Scirocco", 360 PS, 1982) and two VW Golfs (390 PS, 1985; 500 PS, 1986). He then designed the BiMotor Golf for the famous Pikes Peak hill climb in 1987 . He was there under the German rally driver Jochi Kleint used, which was driven in 1985 and 1986 for Bergmann's race, had two GTI 16V engines fitted with KKK - turbochargers fitted a total of 652 horsepower produced, however, coincided with a gradual damaged suspension front to the right for good - only three corners before the finish line.

Martin Schanche (left) and Erich Zakowski presented the all-wheel drive XR3 in 1983 at Brands Hatch

1983: First racing car with controllable power distribution

The Norwegian Martin Schanche (aka "Mister Rallycross") presented his new Ford Escort XR3 T16 4 × 4 (nickname: " Mjølner " or " Thors Hammer"), the first racing car, at the British Rallycross Grand Prix in Brands Hatch in December 1983 an all-wheel drive that can be manually influenced while driving. The variable Xtrac drive, which was initiated and financed by Schanche and developed in cooperation with the two Britons Mike Endean and Chris Goddard, was based on a permanent differential-controlled all-wheel drive, the center differential of which had a hydraulically operated multi-plate lock. Thanks to the infinitely variable control of the clutch, the torque of the 560 hp Zakspeed motor could be passed on to the front and rear axles, even in deviation from the 28: 72 percent basic distribution - right through to the rigid through drive. In 1984 Schanche immediately became FIA ​​European Rallycross Champion with his Xtrac- Escort-Mk3. The car, restored to its December 1983 condition, is now owned by "Mister Xtrac" Mike Endean, who has lived on the island of Jersey since his retirement .

Since the Opel sports department (at the time headed by Karl Heinz Goldstein ) was also very interested in Endean's Xtrac system, the Englishman was also involved in the development of the Opel Kadett for the planned Group S from 1984 onwards , which was later supported by the FIA was discarded again. Opel used two Xtrac Cadets at the 1986 Paris-Dakar , in which the now slightly modified variable rallycross drive proved itself without any problems, while the shock absorbers of the factory prototypes broke in series and ultimately Opel withdrew from the desert rally prematurely forced. After joining Opel, Mike Endean became an important partner as a developer and supplier for various plants and teams in the World Rally Championship and Formula 1 .

From 1984: "Group B Monster" (rally)

Lancia Delta S4 of Group B

Triggered by the continuous success of the Audi quattro and its further development, the Audi quattro A2 , a kind of arms race began in the World Rally Championship. Previously, mainly two-wheel-drive series road cars had been pepped up into potent rally vehicles, now pure all-wheel racing machines have been developed and homologated for Group B of the FIA . For this, at least 200 copies of the relevant model had to be produced and presented to the FIA. The majority of these small-series vehicles were then sold to enthusiasts for road use or to car collectors, and the factory teams then created extreme rally equipment from only about ten percent of the production. Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2 , Ford RS 200 and Lancia Delta S4 were the most important representatives of the turbo mid-engine group, while the Audi Sport quattro S1 had a turbo front engine and the MG Metro 6R4 a naturally aspirated rear engine. Their output was mostly between 300 and 400 kW (approx. 400 and 550 hp). These veritable “all-wheel drive monsters” could only be driven well and pushed to the limit by a few world-class pilots.

After several serious and in some cases fatal accidents, the FIA ​​pulled the emergency brake in 1986 and banned the high-flyers from the World Rally Championship forever. From 1987 to 1992 inclusive, a good two dozen of these high-performance Group B racing cars, some of which were even further enhanced to over 480 kW / 650 hp, found their international field of activity in the European Rallycross Championship. Today, most Group B racing cars are in collectors' garages and in racing museums. Rarely come some of them are still used, especially in various hillclimb , rally cross racing in Britain and Ireland or even in the classic cars -Rallyes .

The Paris-Dakar-Porsche-959 from 1986 by René Metge

1985: Porsche 959 with electronically controlled variable all-wheel drive

Porsche introduced the media to the Porsche 959 for the group B before. The street version of the super sports car has a 6-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 2.85 liters, which two turbochargers give at least 331 kW / 450 hp. The all-wheel drive of the 959 is variably electronically controlled. The front wheels can be steplessly switched on with a choice of three different automatic programs via a hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch. In a fourth setting "for particularly deep terrain", the engine power is distributed to all four wheels based on the road grip. At the beginning of 1986 the Frenchman René Metge won the Paris-Dakar with a pre-production car in rally raid version . Porsche built a total of 292 of the 959, which cost 420,000 DM in its basic version  , probably four of them as a “rally raid”.

Use of racing cars with all-wheel drive in other automotive sports

Hill climb

Street version of the World Rally Championship winner Subaru Impreza

Because of the high center of gravity, which offers advantages in rallies on unpaved slopes, the first evolutionary stages of the Mitsubishi Lancer and Subaru Impreza series were used almost exclusively in rallying. From around evolution stage 7 of the Mitsubishi (from 2001), individual drivers and teams started promising outings in hill climbs . Compared to the previously successful at Mount Lancia Delta S4 and Ford RS200 Group B offered the cars from Subaru and Mitsubishi the benefits of current homologation and a relatively low price, since both already in the production-based Group N were competitive. Both vehicles are about the same speed.

In 2007 and 2008, a driver on a Mitsubishi Evo 9 took first place in the European Hill Climb Championship (Category 1). Only in Group A did a rear-wheel drive BMW M3 still offer competition. In addition to the advantages of the drive concept, the extensive post-homologation of the two Japanese manufacturers and their turbo engines are also decisive. Between 2007 and 2016, one driver in a Mitsubishi Lancer always took first place in the EBM, often also second.

Other areas of application of all-wheel drive

Kramer wheel loader 850 with all-wheel drive

All-wheel drive is also used:

Registration numbers

According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), around 4.9 percent of all passenger cars in Germany were equipped with all-wheel drive in 2009: there are currently 2.0 million all-wheel-drive cars out of a total of 41.32 million registered cars.

Web links

Wiktionary: all-wheel drive  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (editor) and Clark, Henry Austin, jr .: The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805–1942 , 2nd edition, Krause Publications, Iola WI 54990, USA (1985), ISBN 0-87341-111- 0 , p. 233 (English)
  2. to the Charles F. Caffrey Carriage Co.
  3. Lohner Porsche
  4. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (editor) and Clark, Henry Austin, Jr.: The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805–1942. 2nd Edition. Krause Publications, Iola WI 54990, USA (1985), ISBN 0-87341-111-0 , p. 594 (English).
  5. ^ Lutz Nellinger: The Unimog: workhorse and cult mobile. Komet, Cologne 2016, ISBN 978-3-86941-581-9 . P. 11 ff.
  6. Sliding stone differential on
  7. Spiegel Online: MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION MIEV - Motoren-Quartett , In: , May 11, 2007
  8. Giant with all-wheel drive in mining - processing technology. Retrieved June 16, 2020 .
  9. Description of the e.4WD system (PDF; 573 kB) by the manufacturer Nissan
  10. Newspaper clipping from "ЗаРулем" on JaG-12, March 1981 edition ( in Russian.)
  11. ^ The Basics of AWD. Christini Technologies, Inc. (Philadelphia), accessed October 16, 2012.
  12. ↑ All- wheel-drive motorcycle wins Sardinia Rally  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  13. Patent for AWD with electric drive for motorcycles, KTM
  14. Development history of AWD for motorcycles KTM ( Memento from February 8, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  15. Report: Cisitalia CIS 360. ( Memento from December 26, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) In: Classic Driver.
  16. Image of the "Dome DAF"
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on January 25, 2006 .