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AWD stands for "All Wheel Drive." A vehicle drivetrain that has front and rear differentials that power to all four wheels of the vehicle at all times. AWD improves traction when driving on muddy roads, wet roads, descending sharp grades, off-road driving, or similar conditions.

  • Some passenger vehicles have all-wheel drive mode or AWD. It is a version of four-wheel drive used in vehicles primarily for on-road use. It provides improved traction, especially on slippery or snow-covered road surfaces.
  • When the wheels on one axle slip, the system automatically transfers torque to the other axle with better traction.
  • A two-speed transfer case is not used, so there is no low range for off-roading.
  • Other AWD vehicles have front-wheel drive with auxiliary rear-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive with auxiliary front-wheel drive. Others have the gearing to drive the auxiliary axle built into the transmission or transaxle.