Engineering Explained gives the pros and cons of decreasing a car's final drive ratio.
When automakers launch a performance version of a model, say like the Ford Fiesta ST200 or the Mercedes-AMG GT R, one of the things often touted is the car’s shorter final drive ratio. Most gearheads out there know what shortening a car’s final drive ratio does. Some don’t but nod their heads knowingly when the subject comes up. For those of you who don’t know what’s what, YouTube’s Engineering Explained is here to, well, explain it. Don’t let the whiteboard and all the numbers scare you. The explanation is easy to understand.
In addition to explaining the effects of a lower final drive ratio on a car’s performance the video also goes over the pros and cons. An inaccurate speedometer can be fixed and lower mpg and a louder engine…well who cares about that stuff?
To be fair some people care about that stuff, but if those who are thinking about lowering the final drive ratio on their cars probably aren’t in such a group. Concerns about gas mileage aside, this video does a great job at showing just how much an impact a car’s gearing has on its performance. We often obsesses over big engines and forced inductions but one of the best ways to make a car feel faster is to alter its final drive ratio.