Variable Wheel Drive

On my drive to work this morning I was struck with an alteration to a cars power transmission that seemed to me to be both fun and fairly obvious. Currently when choosing a car you have a choice between  4 wheel drive, front wheel drive and rear wheel drive, with proponents of all making various arguments for their chosen system.

My idea, which occurred whilst changing down to take a bend, in order to supply a bit more torque, is simple – a system that allows power to be variably fed to either, or both of the front and rear wheels, depending on the circumstances. Now, ideally this would require an additional pedal, that in standard configuration would send power to the front wheels. When fully depressed all power would be sent to the rear wheels instead, and somewhere in the middle both sets would be driven in four wheel drive.

To achieve this, the car would need an automatic transmission, as the clutch pedal would make way for the new control. As I am not a fan of automatic transmission, my ideal would be an automatic shifting manual gear selection (similar to Saab’s Sentronic system). The end result, the best of all possible worlds?

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