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      11-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #9

Drives: E39 530i & F10 LCI 518d
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Europe

iTrader: (0)

I assume you're an experienced driver since +20years of experience. In this case you're interested in the difference FWD and RWD.
  • When you overpower, the car becomes oversteer (tilt over with excessive yaw towards the apex of the turn), while FWD would incline to go understeer (straight).
  • Under slippery conditions, the space you need to recover is much bigger, but this is also true for FWD. When there is ice, space you'll need is exponential!
  • The DTC is a good device to contain the slip, but nevertheless, keep the speed down when you experiment with it. Have winter tires to get at least some grip. The worst thing is feeling the total lack of grip while this leaves you without any control.
  • Experiment with dots of overpower and feel the slide getting corrected by DTC while you immediatly counter lock into the driving direction as the car yaws (also with DTC activated, you can semi-deactivate after some experiments, but I would not entirely disengage it). I would build up speed and reduce DTC corrections gradually when I'd have the SPACE to do so.

My experience is that things only go wrong when you become over confident and start building up the speed. I lost control like this twice by building speed in the straight before the turn and consequently meet the middle of the ditch in the turn (was with FWD car of my dad 20 yrs ago, he was not amused then).

When you want to avoid the risk, just leave DTC fully activated, get winter tires and keep your speed down. The BMW will be as save as any random FWD car and just as easy to handle.

Concerning grip: the BMW has about 50% weight on his rear axle, while FWD have about 65% on their front axle. It is therefore logic FWD has the edge in traction under winter conditions (but only then). BMW remains the master of joy under all conditions.