Although AWD (All Wheel Drive) and 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) operate in a similar way in that all four wheels of the vehicle can be driven through a transfer case, there are differences.
The main difference is that with AWD, the transfer case is not controlled by the driver. It is usually computer controlled. As such, the computer determines when the power is transferred from two wheels to four. In other words, AWDs are electronically controllable systems for four-wheel drives for cars.
With 4WD, the driver can decide – by using a switch -- whether just two wheels or all four are driven from the transfer case.
Impelled by demands for better fuel economy, emissions and reduced NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and greater integration with other vehicle control systems, 4WD drivetrains are becoming ever more sophisticated. Containing key analysis of the macro-industry factors currently affecting the 4WD sector, this intelligence service provides the latest information on VMs' activities and suppliers' technology going into the latest 4WD systems.
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