how much drag loss does AWD have? - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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how much drag loss does AWD have?

The reason I ask this question is b/c I raced my friend in his VF34 (Cobb Accessport Map for 2004 WRX) WRX from a roll up to 85 mph (getting on the interstate out in the desert in Nevada, no safety concerns here folks) and I was slowly reeling him in. His car has 315 hp, 295 torque according to Cobb's website, while I only have an intake/test pipe. The only reason I can think of is that his AWD is really slowing him down at highway speeds. He did have one passenger while I was alone.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 09:14 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

What's drag loss? IF you mean drive train loss, they have 10.12467% drive train loss vs conventional FWD and 20.6754353% vs convention RWD.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

ok, drive train loss. so would that have explained the outcome?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-21-2010, 11:00 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

[quote author=3driverPA link=topic=175042.msg3704118#msg3704118 date=1277169291]
What's drag loss? IF you mean drive train loss, they have 10.12467% drive train loss vs conventional FWD and 20.6754353% vs convention RWD.


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[/quote]
Just imagine all those lost trains!


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 01:33 AM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

at those speeds even aero dynamics come into play...but yeah the WRX loses probably 20 more horsepower or so in the drivetrain than ours due to AWD.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 06:30 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

[quote author=budgy link=topic=175042.msg3704355#msg3704355 date=1277184800]
at those speeds even aero dynamics come into play...but yeah the WRX loses probably 20 more horsepower or so in the drivetrain than ours due to AWD.
[/quote]


That would be drag coefficient, but I'm sure you already knew that.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2010, 11:57 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

[quote author=3driverPA link=topic=175042.msg3705185#msg3705185 date=1277245842]
[quote author=budgy link=topic=175042.msg3704355#msg3704355 date=1277184800]
at those speeds even aero dynamics come into play...but yeah the WRX loses probably 20 more horsepower or so in the drivetrain than ours due to AWD.
[/quote]


That would be drag coefficient, but I'm sure you already knew that.
[/quote]

Yeah isn't that the reason why most production cars are limited to X mph? Simply because at high speeds, it's like driving through a brick wall?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 01:40 AM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

[quote author=3driverPA link=topic=175042.msg3705185#msg3705185 date=1277245842]
[quote author=budgy link=topic=175042.msg3704355#msg3704355 date=1277184800]
at those speeds even aero dynamics come into play...but yeah the WRX loses probably 20 more horsepower or so in the drivetrain than ours due to AWD.
[/quote]


That would be drag coefficient, but I'm sure you already knew that.
[/quote]

...... you know...there is more at play than just the cd rating. Aerodynamics is a better overall term to use.....drag coefficient is multiplied by frontal area.....frontal area and the coefficient of drag are part of the overall aerodynamic equation...but im sure you already knew that.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 01:59 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

[quote author=budgy link=topic=175042.msg3705681#msg3705681 date=1277271659]
[quote author=3driverPA link=topic=175042.msg3705185#msg3705185 date=1277245842]
[quote author=budgy link=topic=175042.msg3704355#msg3704355 date=1277184800]
at those speeds even aero dynamics come into play...but yeah the WRX loses probably 20 more horsepower or so in the drivetrain than ours due to AWD.
[/quote]


That would be drag coefficient, but I'm sure you already knew that.
[/quote]

...... you know...there is more at play than just the cd rating. Aerodynamics is a better overall term to use.....drag coefficient is multiplied by frontal area.....frontal area and the coefficient of drag are part of the overall aerodynamic equation...but im sure you already knew that.
[/quote]

tomayto..... tomahto let's call the whole thing off!!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 02:59 PM
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Re: how much drag loss does AWD have?

Aero drag at those speeds is going to be coming in to play. Vehicle weight, torque curve, gearing and drive train losses also play a role.

As for actual inefficiencies.

FWD generally has the lowest losses, followed by RWD and then AWD. Based on engine dynos and chasis dynos of various vehicles I tend to see around 12-15% loss in FWD between engine and wheels, 13-17% in RWD and 15-20% in AWD configurations. So assume anything from 3%-8% more power lost than your FWD car depending on the efficiencies of both systems (which could be anything from about 10hp to 25hp difference at those power levels if one engine was in FWD and one in AWD).

Out of the hole though, FWD doesn't even hold a candle to AWD.
-Matt
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