Front-wheel drive is boring. So goes the perception. Having the wheels supplying the power as the same wheels that control direction is an inherent compromise that sacrifices speed for turning ability (or vice versa.)
I can’t say this is an unfair argument. Take a roundabout in an RWD car than an FWD drive one, especially after some heavy rain, and the one that left you smiling more is the winner. Dollars to donuts that it’s the one that pushes that beats the one that pulls.
This argument falls apart, however, if you put the same two cars on a snow-covered road and suddenly you’re RWD becomes more of a liability than joy. Instead, the front-end weight of an FWD can give you the traction you need to make it to your destination.
Recent years have seen the rise of all-wheel drive systems. Often functioning as a drivetrain assistant, these setups are being implemented more and more as a way of sending power based on the conditions.
(Subaru are the odd ducks here: their symmetrical AWD system does, as advertised, send the power equal to the front and back fulltime.)
Volvo has been jumping on the AWD train. Though their powertrains are often front-wheel based, they’ve used electronic AWD to send power to the necessary corners ensuring maximum safety, as is their brand.
Volvo tuning-house Polestar is looking back to look forward. The company announced that they’ll be releasing a software update that will default to a rear-bias on all gas and diesel-based ‘vos (with EV and hybrid Volvos already rear-biased.)
Accessible through the driving options, under Dynamic, this update is another step towards Volvos break from their safety-first past and into their luxury-enthusiast future.