AWD/4WD/4x4 definitions and difference discussion

Discussion in 'Automotive' started by Ytrewq, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Ytrewq

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    Dec 6, 2014
    Drivetrain setups that deliver power to all the wheels on a vehicle come in several shapes and under several names. Defining and telling them apart has always been a hot topic for car enthusiasts, so I've created this thread.
    Keep in mind:
    1.) This thread is only about vehicles with four wheels (to simplify things :))
    2.) This thread is for discussing powertrains. Stories and photos of your cars/trucks and offroading trips belong to other threads!

    My opinion:
    can either be permanent or automatic on-demand. In case of the latter, the driver cannot switch between modes as the AWD mode is engaged automatically when wheels slip. Despite popular opinion, AWD cars can have a hi-lo transfercase.
    is always driver-operated on-demand. 4WD mode is only for offroad applications. Can be switched on and off either from inside or outside.
    is a synonym for 4WD.
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