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Dodge Charger 2006+

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Comments

  • tolenashtolenash Posts: 52
    Snow tires...read about them in the 300 forum.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Yes, good snow tires are essential. Any comparison without them is meaningless. The snow tires currently available are the best ever.
  • robintrobint Posts: 8
    Hey, my name is Robin T. I am a marketing representative with the Dodge Information Center. Glad to see that you guys are impressed with the exterior appearance of the 2006 Dodge Charger. I noticed your discussion regarding front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive, and was wondering if it would be okay for me to join in. I’m heading out for the evening, but I will check in tomorrow...
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    Sure... join in. Knock yourself out.

    I understand that snow tires are a great help, but it's a hassle as well to get your tires swapped twice a year and to sacrifice your dry road performance for 4 or 5 months.

    With a front driver, you get a decent set of all weather tires and you're in good shape year around without the hassle or expense of tire swapping. That is a real advantage.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I beg to differ, unless your all season tires are of the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S ilk, I find it highly unlikely that you will be able to tell the difference in cold weather handling between two like cars, one shod with "a decent set of all weather tires" and the other shod with a decent set of winter tires (except on slippery roads where the winter tires will blow away the all-season rubber).

    The real advantage comes when you have a RWD car with two sets of tires, then you can maximize your performance year round instead of being stuck with a nose heavy sled cursed with terminal understeer. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    Personally, I think a really good set of all-seasons, combined with a good TCS/Stability program can perform just fine in RWD setup in the wet stuff, as long as you keep the driving within sane limits.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    I've owned both and have never had to put snows on a front drive car. Of course traction degrades in the wet stuff with either layout, but it is far less severe with FWD.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Well, maybe in an environment with flatter terrain, say like the Chicago area. I live in southern New Hamster now, and my street has a 7.5% grade, and all but one driveway is even steeper, as in like 20% on two of them. My driveway is something like 9% and I was basically unable to navigate it with anything more than about two to three inches with all-season rubber (summer rubber couldn't even get up with .25 inches covering it), however, with winter tires the only limiting factor seems to be ground clearance.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Of course traction degrades in the wet stuff with either layout, but it is far less severe with FWD."

    For light acceleration, you are absolutely correct, however, what about turning and stopping. A nicely balanced RWD car should easily be able to out perform an otherwise identical FWD car assuming similar tires and slippery road surfaces.

    I've got over three decades of driving in the midwest and the north east, and my cars have been almost evenly split between FWD and RWD. I can say without reservation that my last two RWD cars (with very competent traction control systems) have been by far the most capable cars I've ever had the pleasure of piloting through the white stuff, assuming winter tires of course.

    Fortunately I don't live at the top of one of those 20% driveways on our street (that I mentioned in my last post), because even their AWD cars equipped with winter tires cannot make it up with anything more than an inch or so.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    well, i've never owned a set of winter tires and i don't live in a flat area (i'm in jersey). FWD with all-seasons does great in any weather (again, though, they have to be good tires - research is very important - i've had all-seasons that wouldn't work worth a darn even if you had 8-wheel drive). Our last driveway was fairly steep (i'm not familiar with grading terms, however, but we're talking about 8 feet over street level in a matter of 30 feet) and our all-season clad AWD vehicles never had a problem, even when they first had to bust through the 3-foot drift of plowed snow at the head of the driveway. I could always get my FWD up it, too, but usually needed a running start. If I ever ran into anything that required snow tires, I might be obliged to buy a set, but that has yet to happen with FWD or AWD. My 350z with summer tires, on the other hand ... ugh ...

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My bet is that if you were to put winter tires on your 'Z', it would become your favorite winter time ride (assuming it has enough ground clearance).

    The formula for calculating grade is:
    Percent Grade = (Rise/Horizontal Distance) * 100

    Givens: the Rise and the Horizontal Distance use the same consistent scale of measurement.

    Based upon that formula, your 30 foot driveway that climbs 8 feet over that distance has a gradient of 26.67%. As there isn't a single AWD or 4WD vehicle in my neighborhood that can climb even a 20% grade when it is snow covered, I'm thinking that you took your measurement with your Mark-I eyeball, and maybe its calibration is off by a few feet. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • robintrobint Posts: 8
    Hi, it’s RobinT from the Dodge Information Center again and thanks for letting me jump in.
    You all make good points especially with regards to RWD in extreme weather, but there have been several technological advancements in recent years. First there is weight transfer. The 2006 Dodge Charger has a near 50/50 weight distribution meaning the force pushing down on the tires shifts from the front to the rear. Then there’s vehicle balance which is distributed evenly throughout the car for better handling and braking. DCX is confident in their technology to minimize snow-traction objections. Standard with the Charger is the Electronic Stability Program, including Emergency Brake Assist, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and All Speed traction Control. This system aids in driver control and helps maintain directional stability over uneven surfaces and over patchy snow, ice or gravel. The vehicle corrects its path based on the drivers intended course. I think when you have the opportunity to test drive the new Charger, you may find the RWD system very different from what you’ve experienced in the past.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    LOL. Yup, I'm sure my measuring tool of choice could use a tune-up.

    I think the 30 foot is actually generous, but the 8 foot is probably off. Maybe 5 would be closer. So, what's that? about 16-17%?

    I do know that, back in the day, my '87 4runner was unstoppable in anything with its all-terrains. I miss the days of manually locking hubs. ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,897
    HI Robin,
    Just wanted to make one small adjustment to one of your statements:
    "The 2006 Dodge Charger has a near 50/50 weight distribution meaning the force pushing down on the tires shifts from the front to the rear."

    I think what you mean to say is that the weight shifts from the front to the rear upon acceleration, which, frankly, is true of every car and has nothing to do with weight distribution. Its just simple physics.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think what Robin meant was that the static weight of the new Charger is nearly 50/50 while most FWD cars are more like 60/40. There are any number of benefits that a car will gain by having a nearly equal weight distribution, not the least of which is neutral handling as opposed to the nose heavy "Plow" that most if not all FWD cars are afflicted with.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • robintrobint Posts: 8
    Hi, gbrozen. It’s RobinT again. You are correct and thank you for the clarification. It is these very principles however, that are the foundation for DCX’s enhancements to the 2006 Dodge Charger. We appreciate all comments and feedback.
  • enygma6enygma6 Posts: 35
    As the owner of a RWD 2005 Magnum RT, and having had the experience of driving it throughout the winter in the Chicago and southern Michigan areas, I must confirm that snow tires would probably be a worthwhile investment, even with all the fancy electronic assists.
    I had previously driven FWD and AWD vehicles before I bought a Magnum (previous car was a Subaru Impreza Outback sport), and when driving in the snow, I really missed the AWD feel from the Subaru. But I was using the standard all-season tires on my Magnum, so for next winter I WILL be investing in snow tires.
    The ESP, ABS, EBA and TCS are all welcome and useful (it came in handy avoiding a near-multi-car collision on a snowy highway in January), but I found at times with the Hemi motor, if the tires cannot get any grip, the car will not accelerate -- I have crawled across intersections slower than I could have walked it while other people drive past me without problems. After one particular snowstorm, I was unable to push through the snow to get up my driveway and into the garage, an approximate 5% grade, while my neighbor in a FWD car had no trouble pushing through 5-6" of heavy snow.
    Also, I found out that all the fancy electronic agents don't help much when the car starts sliding sideways (traffic jam on the highway while it was snowing, trying to accelerate from a stop, the heavy Magnum would occasionally slide sideways with the slope of the road before it would move forward).

    Just a word of cold-weather caution for those considering the Charger.
    However, on open road in good weather, put the pedal to the floor, and smile.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    Robin: Welcome aboard, assuming you are who you say you are...

    I sent Dodge a hate letter asking them why the interior door panels of the new Charger look and feel like hard molded plastic, I asked them if padded vinyl had suddenly become too expensive for a $30000 car, and I asked them why AWD was not an option since a lot of us guys in the Northeastern U.S. prefer anything to RWD. (Shipo - You're still the man...Call me a hard-headed Guinea).

    I got back an automated response saying something like "Yeah we're excited about the car too"....

    Look if I was living in Florida we would not even be having this discussion. Graded driveways, weight distribution and traction all are very manageble on a hot dry piece of asphalt. Up here in New York if your car gets plowed in by a NYC Sanitation truck, you want that weight UP FRONT to pull you over the snowbank that gets created. Also ask yourself - why did Chrysler need to come out with an AWD Hemi-300 after one year if all of their friggin traction control was so special?

    Despite all of this, I still want the Hemi Charger more than any other car out there. I may even wait until 2007 if I think there's an AWD version coming. If I don't think it will happen then the Lexus ES 330 or the Chevy Impala SS or the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP all give me plenty of what I'm looking for. I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.
  • justgreat47justgreat47 Posts: 100
    when it comes to comparing the attributes of fwd to rwd in inclement weather. as a general rule, fwd will be superior over rwd. the advent of electronic controls has made rwd more manageable but there are a number of strikes against rwd that have not been addressed by the current crop of rwd platforms.

    one area that i don't think has been mentioned that is of crticial importance when trying to maximize your traction in a rwd platform is tire width: most moden high performance rwd cars have WAY too much rubber on the road for snow conditions. focusing the weight of the vehicle onto a smaller contact patch can do wonders for getting better traction in snow.

    another thing to consider: 50/50 weight distribution is fine for handling and does help with the traction problem in rwd to a degree, but only so much. not enough weight over the drive wheels will cause a loss of traction; that's why fwd is superior for wet weather traction. also, lots of rwd platforms DO NOT have great balance and the lh platform with the hemi is one of them. the fact that the 5.7 was cast in iron rather than aluminum was a major mistake, imo...totally wrecked any chance of having a balanced ride/handling and definitely forced the engineers to rely on electronics to mask the problem of too much weight over the front end.

    probably the one single factor that leads to crummy traction in a rwd application is the distance between the front axle plane and the firewall. there must be sufficient room between the two in order for the engine to sit BEHIND the front axle plane or the weight distribution of the car is severely compromised.

    one reason that fwd is so popular for packaging purposes, there is almost no intrusion of the drivetrain into the passenger compartment. unfortunately with rwd, in order to achieve the optimal placement of the engine/transmission in the wheelbase of the car, requires the firewall to be moved back into the passenger compartment, reducing the usable interior space for passengers.

    i have just skimmed the surface of design differences between rwd and fwd...think of the c5/c6 with the transmission mount in the rear along with the differential: now there is a solution that you can live with....great packaging, great handling and excellent handling in the nasty stuff IF you get rid of those wide tires in the winter.

    some food for thought. jackg 90seville 96k
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Just one question. Have you actually driven a well balanced RWD car equipped with winter tires in the snow?

    Another thing to consider is climbing a hill with FWD vs. RWD where the road is both slippery and/or rutted. I'm thinking specifically of I-80 east bound through Hackensack, NJ toward the GWB. Every FWD car that I've driven up that hill, in the dry, in the wet and in the snow, had been twitchy under power, at best (in dry), challenging (in the wet), and almost uncontrollable (in the snow). No RWD car I've ever driven up that hill has even felt the ruts much less been a problem to control. Like it or don't, torque steer is something that FWD cars suffer from, especially in slippery conditions, all of which is simply made worse at slow speeds for those of us who only know how to drive a manual transmission. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
This discussion has been closed.