The ability to put power down to all wheels, once the province of trucks and oddities, is now the hallmark of modern supercars. Here's what Jalopnik readers think are the ten ultimate all-wheel-drive cars.
As previously mentioned, we're counting both 4WD and AWD under the more familiar "AWD" heading, although we acknowledge there's a difference.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: Porsche
10.) Jensen FF
Suggested By: ShirtBloke
Why It's Awesome: The Jensen FF was the first production car to be equipped with a 4WD system. There were production trucks that had power sent to all four wheels, but this was the first car, predating the Audi urQuattro by several years. Also, it looks like it should have starred in its own British tv spy show.
Photo credit: mark.braith, flickr
9.) Ferrari FF
Suggested By: Manettino
Why It's Awesome: Ferrari's first factory-equipped four wheel drive car is also Ferrari's first hatchback. When it hits the streets, it will feature a top speed in the neighborhood of 208 mile per hour and will jump from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. Its four wheel drive system intelligently sends power to each of the four wheels as needed, but is only activated in "comfort" or "snow" modes, with the car operating in rear-wheel drive most of the time.
Photo credit: Ced', flickr
8.) Porsche 959
Suggested By: Bullitt417
Why It's Awesome: The 959 was originally developed as a Group B rally car, which explains its incredibly-advanced-for-1986 all-wheel drive system. It could shift power and torque distribution between the front and rear axles on the fly, depending on conditions. Gauges in the cockpit informed the driver where the power was directed at any given time.
Photo credit: Exotic Car Life, flickr
7.) 1981 Rolls Royce Jules
Suggested By: yannjules
Why It's Awesome: Created just to run he 1981 Paris-Dakar Rally, this Rolls Royce Corniche is not exactly as it appears. Its body is all fiberglass except for the doors, hood, and trunklid, which are aluminum. Underneath, the Rolls-Royce running gear was stripped away in favor of a custom-made chassis and two Toyota Land Cruiser axles and a Toyota Land Cruiser four-speed transmission. Up front, the monster is powered by a 5.7 liter Chevy V8. During the race, the car ran a respectable 13th place until it was sidelined by a broken steering rack. It ended up being disqualified, but finished the rally anyway, being one of just 40 vehicles to do so. It is currently offered for sale in Europe.
Photo credit: CochesMas.com
6.) Nissan GT-R
Suggested By: Spiegel
Why It's Awesome: No list of all-wheel drive cars would be complete without Godzilla. Nissan's 520 horsepower, 451 pound-foot monster drives all four wheels thanks to their ATTESA system, which monitors the car's movement ten times per second and reacts accordingly. This, combined with a three-axis G-sensor and the car's ECU can direct up to 50% of the car's power away from the rear wheels to the front, and hopefully keep the car on the road.
Photo credit: FurLined, flickr
5.) Lotus 63
Suggested By: RXEight
Why It's Awesome: The 1969 Lotus 63 was not the first Formula 1 car to employ an all-wheel drive system. The idea had been attempted first on the Ferguson P99 in 1961. The 63, while groundbreaking, ended up being fairly uncompetitive. Graham Hill, after driving the car on a single test run called it a deathtrap. For all its faults, it was the first Formula 1 car to combine an all-wheel drive system with aerodynamic bodywork and downforce-producing wings that were coming into vogue in the late 1960's and early 1970's, and remain to this day.
Photo credit: prorallypix, flickr
4.) Bugatti Veyron SS
Suggested By: Nigel
Why It's Awesome: Locked in a back-and-forth battle with a number of other smaller companies, the Veyron SS is Bugatti's most recent effort at the production car top speed record. Its all-wheel drive system propels it to a record 267 miles per hour. The all-wheel drive system is permanent, and is controlled by a seven-speed transmission, which if grenaded on a normal Veyron will run the owner about $175,000 to replace. If you have to ask about SS pricing, you probably can't afford it.
3.) Ford RS200
Suggested By: Fordboy357
Why It's Awesome: The original RS200 raced in 1986 produced 250 horsepower in road-going trim, and 350 to 450 horses for the Group B rallying variants. The race cars were ultimately fairly uncompetitive, with poor power-to-weight ratios and lag at low RPMs. A planned Evolution model for the 1987 season would have bumped the competition horsepower to 815, but following a RS200's crash at the Rally Portugal in 1986, the Group B class was eliminated. A number of Evolution models were still produced, and found some success racing in other classes.
Photo credit: JoshDobson, flickr
2.) Hurst Hairy Olds
Suggested By: 472CID
Why It's Awesome: The Hurst Hairy Olds cars were based on Oldsmobile 442s, and were all-wheel drive in the truest sense of the word. The 1966 edition had a pair of seven liter Oldsmobile engines on board, installed front and rear, driving a pair of Toronado transaxles. Because of the double-engine setup, the car had two of almost everything in the cockpit, including two shifters, two sets of gauges and two accelerator pedals. The car produced 2400 horsepower and would smoke all four tires down the entire quarter mile while running times in the 11-second range.
Photo credit: HurstHairyOlds.com
1.) Audi urQuattro
Suggested By: ejp hates automatic transmissions
Why It's Awesome: As Mike pointed out on Friday, (while quoting Sam Smith) it is nearly impossible to exaggerate the change that the Quattro unleashed on the car world on its release in Europe in 1980. The road-going model would alter the performance car landscape, making speedy driving possible in all conditions. The competition rally model changed the landscape of rallying forever. When it bellied up to the starting line in 1981, rallying as the world knew it then changed forever.
Photo credit: Guillermo Fdez, flickr