Rear wheel drive performance car for skiing?

slowrider

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Until you test your driving skills on the gauntlet, Cascade Locks Oregon to Hood River Oregon on I-84. in A RWD on any given day of the week from November 1 to April 1, in white out conditions with 6 inches of fresh snow on top of 3 inches of ice don’t come at me with your RWD will get you through. Or that your a skilled driver in your RWD. Also I can’t tell you how many otherwise safe confident drivers I see staring at the wreckage of their totaled RWD anything every year. With most of the those wrecks coming with 0 snow and 34 degree air temps. Please let me know though when your going to attempt that short 16 mile drive in your RWD, so I can get that I told you so picture to post to the group. GORGE DRIVERS UNITE, let’s educate the RWD dumbasses, before they kill one of us. Lmao.
You forgot the +30 mph winds.
 

Tom K.

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To be fair to @Merlyn, if you haven't driven The Gorge at its worst, you just can't possibly imagine.

Hard to believe how much anti-awesomeness can be packed into such a short distance.

But, being a snob at the far end of The Gorge, I will admit that it does a pretty good job of limiting the incipient creep of Portland in our direction. ogwink
 
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@Merlyn, I get the anger. I have similar for ill-equipped I-70 bozos that put my family in danger. I just think it's better directed at the tires than the drive wheels.

6 inches of fresh snow on top of 3 inches of ice
With winter tires, that's a bit of a challenge for an RWD car, but I'd argue still safer than 4WD with all-season tires. With studs, six inches on top of ice is not a problem. A foot of snow become difficult depending on the vehicle clearance. You only have traction to push so much snow with two drive wheels, front or rear-wheel drive.

With most of the those wrecks coming with 0 snow and 34 degree air temps.
Icing is where winter tires save lives. I'd much rather be in an RWD performance car with winter tires in those conditions than a 4WD with all-seasons. Especially a big heavy SUV that's so much more difficult to handle in an emergency situation, especially when it lacks traction.

Traction and stability control also make modern RWD cars so much safer. With proper tires, you won't lose the rear end like the days of old.

RWD performance cars come stock with the worst possible tires for winter conditions, so they deserve their bad rap since most never change them out. But it's a completely different deal for those running winter tires.
 
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IMG_20191127_105832.jpg

There's my RWD performance car in the snow. :D

With four Michelin X-ice 3's, of course!

Poor thing. Sucks getting old. It was a garage queen for a very long time. It then got enlisted into kid duty as a nannymobile, and now being considered for ski duty. :eek:

It sat for a few days after the recent storm as I was having way too much fun with my more capable vehicles. I think that answers a lot of my questions right there. It's just more fun to have the right equipment for the conditions (like powder skis).

I've got a nice hilly test route in my neighborhood with a great spot where I try to get my vehicles stuck on a steep incline. I'll stop on this super steep roundabout driveway then see if I can get going again. No way that car could do it in the 14 inches of new but did it with a bit of difficulty once packed down. With the OEM tires, it would be sliding backward there. That actually happened to me in that car on a lesser incline when it was new with brand new tires. Garaged the next few winters after that if the slightest chance of snow. Totally different car with appropriate tires.

I took it out and had some fun after it softened yesterday. I had no problems on steep hills with surface conditions like this, I just had to pick the right line to not bottom out in the ruts.

IMG_20191130_153746.jpg
IMG_20191130_153730.jpg


Except for having to be careful about the suspension, it was a lot of fun and I found some nice drifting lines. The X-ice's make turning off stability control seem just scary and not absolutely nuts, but I don't think it's the right car for that. Maybe a G35 coupe or 350Z instead with less weight in the back.
 
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crgildart

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I drove that gorge between Idaho and Montana awhile back but in the summer. One of the most beautiful, scenic stretches of road I've ever been on. Can totally imagine how bad it could get in a storm or even on an average winter day with blowing snow and black ice. I'd not want to drive that without really good rubber under me..
 

slowrider

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I worked in the gorge from Astoria to Boardmen a few times. Creates its on weather. The dreaded East wind during the winter can push a truck right off the road. Rich historical background. Would I live there. Hell no.
 
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Mrsjmills has been driving a 2013 Civic that I mentioned could use new winter tires. She told me it was time for an upgrade so instead of tires we bought an AWD Lexus GS today.
I will not push winter tires so hard in the future :rolleyes:
Good thing I have winter tires purchased for it already. I had to schedule the install for next week so it doesn’t get in the way of opening weekend at Alta.
I will drive my AWD Chevy SUV with Michelin X-Ice
Congrats on the GS. Great car!

So, do you plan to take it up the canyons skiing? In good weather or bad? Curious how you see it fitting in your quiver.
 
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It's all about the tires!

A RWD Durango got stuck in front of the kiddos school this morning. (A week after the storm!) Had to push him out even after shoveling a patch down to the pavement. This is all it took to get stuck on a slight incline:

IMG_20191203_074324.jpg


These Bridgestone tires stamped M+S are terrible in the snow. They looked brand new, so plenty of tread:

IMG_20191203_074330.jpg


As a little tire test, I tried to get three of my vehicles stuck in the same spot and was able to get out in RWD no problem. X-ice 3, Studded Hakka 7's, and Michelin AT 2's did just fine. It's amazing how much difference tires make.

That Durango was a rental while the guy's Jeep was in the shop. What scares me is how 2WD and those M+S tires are legal in the Colorado mountains under our traction laws. I wonder how many ski trips that rental is going to take this year? It's not going to make it in a snowstorm, no way.

What scares me more is I bet those same crap tires are also on 4WD Durangos. With 4WD, they will be able to go just fine. They just won't be able to stop or turn. Those are the vehicles I get angry about!
 
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sparty

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It's all about the tires!

A RWD Durango got stuck in front of the kiddos school this morning. (A week after the storm!) Had to push him out even after shoveling a patch down to the pavement. This is all it took to get stuck on a slight incline:
Just out of curiosity, did anyone other than the original driver give it a shot? Even with sub-par tires, it seems like the bit down to pavement should be enough to generate movement. No idea if you can even turn off the traction control in a current-gen Durango, though.
 
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Just out of curiosity, did anyone other than the original driver give it a shot? Even with sub-par tires, it seems like the bit down to pavement should be enough to generate movement. No idea if you can even turn off the traction control in a current-gen Durango, though.
No, only the original driver tried. The wheels were spinning, so I don't think traction control was hurting things much.

It's possible a little more concerted effort at rocking back and forth may have helped, but traction was much more the problem than technique. With so many folks like this gentleman used to driving 4WDs, skills at getting unstuck are likely rusty.
 

James

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How is it that we used to drive very crappy rwd cars all the time in snow? No traction control. Four snow tires? Maybe the very enlightened, most did two. Did we get stuck anymore often than now?
 

jmills115

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Congrats on the GS. Great car!

So, do you plan to take it up the canyons skiing? In good weather or bad? Curious how you see it fitting in your quiver.
Thank you.
I would say the only reason we would take it skiing would be if my SUV is in for repairs.
My wife will use it to and from work and picking up kids but it will see snow in Salt Lake.
Since my vehicle is work provided we drive it everywhere we can as it gets 1 million MPG on the gas card :)
 

crgildart

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How is it that we used to drive very crappy rwd cars all the time in snow? No traction control. Four snow tires? Maybe the very enlightened, most did two. Did we get stuck anymore often than now?
250 pounds of sand in the trunk of yah""winter beatah". Gave your drive wheels more bite and if you did get stuck, sand ready to spread. Snow tires sucked on ice back then too. They were essentially tractor tires that fit on cars..
 

crgildart

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Can you still use the parking break a little at a time to fool your rear wheels/differential in to sending the power to the non spinning wheel?
 
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After easily driving through where the Durango got stuck this morning, I took my RWD G35 to some more difficult terrain. There's a nearby neighborhood with a bunch of fairly steep north-facing runs and a bunch cul de sacs. :D

Doing a donut and accelerating up a hill in the snow with RWD and Michelin X-ice 3's:


It would have been a real struggle for that RWD Durango to get up that hill with those terrible Bridgestones. With my all-season Michelin Premiers on the G35, I think I could do it with some difficulty with new tires, and probably not when they are worn a few years.

The X-ice 3's are great, but I'd go with studded Hakka's for sure on an RWD dedicated ski car.

Is it a donut or cookie? I think I've always used them interchangeably.
 
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James

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250 pounds of sand in the trunk of yah""winter beatah". Gave your drive wheels more bite and if you did get stuck, sand ready to spread. Snow tires sucked on ice back then too. They were essentially tractor tires that fit on cars..
Hah. I remember years ago putting bags of sand in the trunk of a friend's father's car. First drive out he came around the 90 deg turn of the driveway and spun all the way around.
 

François Pugh

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In my not so humble opinion, the anti-RWD sentiment evident these days stems from a general lack of skill. I'm sure not having spent sufficient time sliding around doing doughnuts and drifting in parking lots, learning the intricacies of power sliding and trailing throttle over steer in a RWD when first learning to drive has a lot to do with it. My first car, back in 1976 was a 1969 VW station wagon, with the engine in the back over the drive wheels. It would easily go through a foot of snow with all-season radials (tested in hay fields). However, it had a bit of tail wagging the dog syndrome if you let the tail get too far out when sliding around corners.

Front wheel drive cars most often found in the ditch front end first due to understeer.
RWD cars most often found in the ditch ass end first due to oversteer.
 

James

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Of course it’s a donut! There’s nothing in the middle as the tires burn rubber or spin on the snow and the front doesn’t move much -rwd. With awd/4wd it still usually oversteers like crazy, drawing a donut.

Atv’s seem like they can spin in place.
 
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