Can Superchargers Be Used in Front Wheel Drive?
- The FWD car faces three dynamic challenges. The first is that tires only have but so much grip to give, so trying to get a car's steering tires to accelerate it will hurt both handling and acceleration. Secondly, weight transfers backward under acceleration; this means that no matter how well-set-up a FWD car is, it can't offer the same traction as a rear-wheel-drive car. The third problem is torque steer.
- Torque steer generally happens when one of the driveshafts -- known as half-shafts in FWD applications -- is longer than the other, or when the car has a bad suspension setup or improper tires. Under acceleration, torque steer will cause one of the tires to push harder than the other, yanking the steering wheel either to the left or right.
- Superchargers differ from turbos in that they're connected directly to the crankshaft, so they'll produce boost nearly from idle. This boost creates massive low-rpm torque, which exacerbates all three of the FWD car's inherent disadvantages. Turbos will do the same thing, but the turbo's lag time at least gives the tires a chance to hook before spinning.