Author Topic: Watch a formula car attack the Nurburgring in 3-degree weather...in the snow  (Read 2552 times)


enigmaT120

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I have to agree with one of the comments:  at 3 degrees F the snow isn't all that slick.  I'm convinced that 2WD with snow tires is better than 4WD without.  But what about 4WD with snow tires?  You still can't stop any faster that way, though.


RetiredAt63

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Cool.   -16C is a nice winter temperature, snow is crisp, not wet.  That looks like a long version of my driveway ;-)  I couldn't tell how fast he was going from the video, not that fast I thought.

And 2WD with winter tires is definitely better than 4WD with all-seasons, which is why Quebec legislates winter tires for winter driving.  4WD is even better with winter tires, but a lot of people get a false sense of security with that and end up in the ditch.

Syonyk

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But what about 4WD with snow tires?  You still can't stop any faster that way, though.

It depends.  Snow tires have better traction in snow and ice than all seasons, so there's that going for them.

As for stopping, it really depends on the drivetrain.  In general, most cars are biased towards front brake power (which makes sense with weight transfer under braking).  However, this means that in slick conditions with little to no weight transfer, the rear wheels won't do that much stopping.  If you have good ABS and really stand on it, yes, you can probably stop about the same, but if you have a 4WD system that transfers torque front to rear, you can use the front brakes to slow the rear wheels and get better braking than the 2WD version of the same car.  The downside being that if you lock the wheels, you lock all 4. :/
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Indexer

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For those who asked his speed.  Its about a 13 mile track.  So he was averaging about 60mph.  So probably 40 in the corners and 100+ on the few straights. 

He is able to do that 100% because of the snow tires. 

And AWD does matter if you plan on going that fast in thicker snow.  Here is another awesome snow race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2GwLUN-8Q

(Most important part to this discussion starts 3 minutes in.) This race happens on thicker snow.  This one is great specifically because that Ferrari has AWD in 4 gears, but only 2 wheel drive in 5th gear.  Their logic being you wouldn't have a Ferrari in 5th gear on ice......  The formula 1 driver(the Stig) has no problem at all 'until' he hits 5th gear and the car spins out.  And he does even better in the full AWD Bentley.  A Bentley can actually take a Ferrari... assuming you are on lightly packed snow.

Now AWD matters in thicker snow because you can completely lose traction in 1 or more tires, especially without snow tires.  However I've driven what people would probably consider the worst cars for snow* and gotten around just fine.  You just have to pay attention to what you are doing and be smart about it.

* Old Mustang with summer tires.  Lots of torque only to the rear tires where there is almost no weight.  You get lots of tire spin without going anywhere.  I actually took the transmission out of a broken down car, wrapped it in plastic, and stuck it in the trunk for 'weight'.  Drove like a dream in snow after that.

Making Cookies

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuE00qdhLA

My question is are they describing all-season tires as summer tires?

I'll insist that AWD on all-seasons still beat the same FWD vehicle on all-season tires at least around here. I've seen it in real life.

Making Cookies

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44sT6Ew12Us

This video is misleading.

The difference between the dedicated snow tire and the all-season tire is 5.3 meters.

Convert that to FEET and it's 15 ft - right? A quick look at the car's length on Wikipedia shows that the car is about 15 ft long.

The video exaggerates the distance as being 6-7 car lengths different when we're actually talking about one car length difference between the all-season tire and the dedicated snow tire.

I'm not going to argue that winter tires are an advantage for the frozen place up north but not worth it down here in the south. We get by on all-seasons and AWD/4WD/FWD just fine.

Besides AWD is only a ~1 mpg penalty in my old daily driver. That's something like 20 gallons of gasoline a year.

Syonyk

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I'll insist that AWD on all-seasons still beat the same FWD vehicle on all-season tires at least around here. I've seen it in real life.

It should, easily.  Also for stopping, because the front brakes can apply torque to the rear wheels through the drivetrain whereas a FWD car in slick conditions won't get much brake force built up at all in the rear.  My old Subarus were great in the snow for stopping, though "locking all 4" isn't great for stability if you do that... don't do that. :)

My preference for winter, in terms of FWD/RWD/AWD and snow tires/all seasons, from "Wow, this sucks!" to "What snow?"

RWD, all seasons
FWD, all seasons
RWD, snow tires
AWD, all seasons
FWD, snow tires
AWD, snow tires

Based on driving a lot of cars in a lot of Iowa winters, with and without snow tires. :)
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