Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Bert1568, Jul 18, 2006.
Top Gear is back.
I do not think you have the physics quite correct there. Yes, a heavier vehicle will have more inertia but the formula for usable traction does not change. Again, I'm not an expert here, but I've already pointed out your statements on traction are incorrect and I will point out momentum is certainly part of hill climbing and a heavier vehicle will have more forward momentum due to inertia than a lighter one. I'm really not an expert here, have not off roaded for several years, but your statements do not all jive with my (limited) knowledge base. You also said the 4Runner had an advantage due to a rear locker when the LR4 actually has one available out of the box too.
As to the solid axle I see what you're saying. However, how about empirical comparisons? Certainly there must be some direct comparisons of the 4Runner with the LR4? Has this been demonstrated to give the 4Runner and edge out of the box? My LR3 was pretty heavily armored with skid plates so I'm not even sure the differential was exposed. You are also not giving due to articulation which I'm willing to bet the LR4 excels in vs. the 4Runner.
Do you have any side by side comparisons showing the 4Runner is materially superior to the LR4? Just me but for "nice" and "off roading" mix I'm going to go with the LR4. The real world service experience, having owned both a Tundra and Rover previously, goes hands down to Rover so that alone would give the nod to the LR4 in my books.
This does not include the 4Runner but includes the LR3 and the Land Cruiser. Results are LR3 wins: http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/suv/163_0510_suv_4x4_challenge/viewall.html
2012 4Runner Trail Edition in second to last place here: http://www.fourwheeler.com/roadtests/129_1301_the_ultimate_factory_4x4_shootout/viewall.html Sort of embarrassing IMO.
Have not found a direct comparison yet but here is a link where the put an LR4 against a Cherokee and LR4 wins then they put a Cherokee against a 4Runner Trail and the Cherokee wins: http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/suv/163_1012_jeep_toyota_land_rover_comparison/
Someone around here has one with a matte finish. It looks good on that truck.
I usually don't like a matte finish, but that truck looks good.
Yeah I had looked around for direct comparisons and came up empty as well. That Four Wheeler comparo isn't really fair, because other than the Jeep Rubicon the 4Runner beat the other SUV's (just the XTerra). The other vehicles were all pickup trucks which are inherently much lighter (hint hint) than SUV's and have better ground clearance. And in the last comparo, they flat-out say that the 4Runner is better than the Jeep GC off-road but they went with the Jeep because they liked its road manners better.
If weight was better for off-roading, all the fanciest rigs would be heavy. This is just not the case. And like you I'm not an expert on the physics but I do know that in the real world lighter is better. I have owned and off-roaded anything from a Unimog to Suburbans to a Sequioa (currently own) to Pickups (Tundra, Tacoma, F-250, Silverado) to the 4Runner (currently own) down to a Yamaha Rhino (currently own my 2nd one) and various quads. For real off-roading, which in my mind is driving back roads with a purpose of getting from point A to point B, it's a fact that being heavy is a disadvantage in virtually every plausible off-road situation.
If weight was an inherent advantage, the H2 would have won every off-road comparison that exists (great approach/departure angles, huge tires, competent ground clearance). But I have never seen a truck get stuck in the mud faster than a co-worker's H2 when we decided to take it off-road and see what it could do. It sunk like a stone, and even those 315 width tires were no help. The fact is that the force necessary to move heavy vehicles more than offsets the traction benefits that come with added weight.
We could probably both just admit that the LR4 and the 4Runner are fine vehicles and far more off road capable than 99.9% of owners will ever need. When I kick around third vehicles Toyota 4Runner and FX are both always on the list. Cannot quite make the math work for a third vehicle (will off-loading some miles from our leases outweigh vehicle acquisition cost, upkeep, license and insurance over say a 10 year period) but Toyotas are always in the mix when I think this.
Edit: meant FJ, not FX.
For me, since I already have two 4x4 SUV's, the third vehicle drool is for a sports car (2005-2007 911's to be precise). I'll just note that the math REALLY doesn't work going in that direction, in case anyone was wondering.
How will being heavier help you in a hill climb unless you are really flying? I think being heavier helps with traction under certain circumstances (that's why some people put sandbags in the back of their RWD pickup trucks in snow) but not for going uphill in a controlled manner and certainly not in descending under control. I should note I have no idea which of the LR4 and 4R are better offroad, but lighter is still generally better.
Hey where has greenfrog been?
Driving his car, with any luck!
Your first quote is clearly wrong. I think we all agree that where it says lighter trucks have better traction is false as the formula is: useable traction = coefficient x weight. Even you agree weight in the back of a RWD truck adds traction. Weight cannot both add yet subtract traction, now can it? Where weight clearly causes a disadvantage is when the vehicle can sink into the surface, be it sand, mud, etc. Sink enough and forward progress will become harder and harder until the vehicle is eventually stuck.
As far as momentum goes your quote does not contradict what I said about momentum.
Either way, H and I agree both are great vehicles.
Last time I took my LR3 off road was a sponsored ride by my Rover dealership. They carefully picked several climbs and would brief you before you went up. This one long climb was all lose scree type stuff. They pointed out a line and promised if you just kept your foot to the floor and steered up the line you'd make it. Everyone that did not let up on the gas made it. The way that machine pulled itself up was incredible.
And those that stalled out? Hill descent control works in reverse. Got them all back down safe and everyone made it up their second try.
Here's another couple sources for "lighter is better" Jalopnik: This Is What Makes A Vehicle Unstoppable Off Road and Less is more for off-road Jeep Stitch enthusiasts
Actually, your bombastic statement aside, we do not all agree on this. You also clearly misread my first quote which quite clearly says "under certain circumstances." You are missing the fact that going uphill under control may not be one of those circumstances. Doesn't look like you understand the formula for usable traction or why it's relevant or what a vector is. Weight is a vector that always applies in the direction of gravity (aka towards the planet), so you need to take the Normal force and multiply that by the coefficient of friction for it to be useful (Normal force is not the weight of the vehicle - except on flat ground). Your usable traction increases with weight, but the amount of weight pushing you back down the hill increases as well. The more weight you carry with you, the more torque you need to overcome that weight. Can be a wash depending on circumstances but at this point the fact that you are making shit up is the only thing that is clear here.
At the right speed, a FWD minivan would be able to charge up the hill too and you've pointed to nothing that indicates that extra weight helps. I hope readers don't mistake your confidence in your opinion for genuine knowledge or learning.
The LR has great articulation, good electronics, approach/departure angles, etc. but it would do even better off road with 1k fewer lbs to haul around. I can't find any credible sources which back up the opinion that you have that additional weight provides benefits in controlled ascend and descent and don't think you will either.
Oh god, you're so cute! You've made me laugh so hard my sides hurt. Me with genuine knowledge or learning? Oh son, you are so funny.
Also, speed would tie to...momentum? Ah yes. I believe someone without genuine knowledge or learning mentioned something about this...
Just took delivery of a Mini Cooper 1.6 Petrol (2013) as a hire car while the TT is being serviced. I never imagined they would be so sparsely equipped, given their price and branding. Heavy steering, clutch and plastics that make Dell laptops feel premium was a real disappointment.
I know my sister is seriously considering one for city driving, but I couldn't stand it. I want a small car to be nippy and light, not move like a brick.
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