For science, of course, and a little promotion.
Race car driver, drifter, rally driver, Top Gear host and all-around good guy Tanner Foust produced a video with Volkswagen about driving safely (and quickly) on ice. And when we say "produced," we mean he was the talent. He used the slick looking 2022 VW Golf R and the battery-powered ID.4 electric to make his point. The R is all-wheel drive, so it should be a cinch. The ID.4, however, is rear wheel drive.
Foust did a similar video last year, extolling the virtues of the ID.4s rear-engine, rear-wheel drive chassis on the racetrack. In this video he reminds of the most important part of driving in any weather, "respect the conditions."
The new VW Golf R features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four boosted to 315 hp and 310 lb-ft, but it's the 4Motion AWD system that really does the dirty work. The system in the last Golf R could send up to 50 percent of the engine's total power to the rear axle. The new torque vectoring system in the 2022 Golf R uses a rear differential with two multiplate clutches that can distribute up to 100 percent of the rear torque to an individual rear wheel. It's based on speed, power application, yaw and other factors. Combine all of that with Tanner Foust at the wheel and some winter tires, it's basically unstoppable.
"You feel the torque vectoring every time you're exiting a corner," notes Foust. "There's this blend when you still have steering in and you're starting to accelerate. As soon as you're exiting the corner like that people normally feel understeer, that feeling of pushing the front tires. Torque vectoring cancels that out."
The ID.4 is rear wheel drive, which is normally tougher in the winter. But this VW has an electric motor on top of those rear wheels, and it's set low. Foust also notes that with modern traction control and modern suspension, as well as that low center of gravity, RWD vehicles can be perfectly safe when the white stuff falls.
Lastly, the VW ID.4 has a small turning radius, which means "when you're having a little fun with the rear-wheel drive, it's precise and gives you so much confidence in the car." Once winter's last blast hits us here in the Midwest some time in the next few weeks, we hope to get a chance to try it out.