MemberAugust 21, 2021 at 1:18 pm
I wouldn’t be thinking the worst for winter driving.
For those in markets where snow fall is a likely issue – basically north of the Mason-Dixon line – snowy roads are often graded, eliminating the excess accumulation of snow and ice in the center of the lane.
In more southern climes, when it snows there is no grading and the roads typically have two quasi-snow free tire lanes with the accumulation of snow in the center of the roadway.
In the two-wheel drive Aptera, the rear wheel in this instance is in a space where the surface is covered with the original accumulation plus what ever re-frozen slush has been deposited there from the other wheel paths.
Because mush of the accumulation has been either packed down or removed, the two front wheels will face lower rolling resistance than the single rear wheel which must plow through the center accumulation.
That rolling drag is situated in the center of rear of the Aptera and acts like an anchor you drag. The vectors in the two-wheel and all wheel configurations obviously would default to this ‘stable’ center-rear dynamic.
Fishtailing in this context is actually more likely in a four-wheeled rear-drive car because the essence of fishtailing is the desire of the rear wheels to overtake the fronts which is more likely if the rolling resistance of the rear-wheels is less than that of the the fronts.
You might experience a little fish-tailing in the Aptera when turning out of the well-worn paths in the snow while making a lane change or left/right turn. This would occur when the front wheels engage the mounds in the center of the road and the rear is in the ice of the path. It is then that stability control and torque vectoring may be employed to keep the Aptera stable.
In any case, the Aptera ought to be more stable than a four-wheeled car with rear drive and with stability control and torque vectoring, it ought to out perform a typical FWD four-wheeled car.
The Aptera’s range will take a bigger hit in the snow, though, as the rear wheel’s rolling resistance when driving on the center of the lane accumulation, is simply higher, adding greater drag to the equation. It may also ride a little rougher, depending on the consistency of the slush.
Also, if you want to keep physics for your friend, you should drive slower because, regardless of the vehicle, slick roads are slick meaning that you should always take extra care when driving in ice and snow.
That said, I would be less concered about driving an Aptera in snow or ice than I would any rear-drive car or pickup ever made.