Does weight really give you more traction in snow?

What’s the perfect car for driving on snow? It has to be an all-wheel-drive vehicle with good winter tyres but many different comparison tests have shown there are other adequate combinations between a drivetrain setup and a tyre selection. One of the least capable configurations though, regardless of the tyre choice, is probably an RWD car with a light rear.

Tyre Reviews’ latest video on YouTube focuses on that exact topic - how weight affects traction in RWD cars. While the answer is fairly obvious - more weight to the driving wheels means better traction, there’s an aspect of that question that not everyone takes into consideration. Does the added weight on the rear axle improve traction at the expense of handling?

For the purposes of this test, the folks from one of the most popular tyre channels on the web are using a rear-wheel-drive Volkswagen Amarok V6 TDI. It’s not the most obvious pickup truck choice you can think of, but in theory, any RWD pickup should behave identically to this Amarok in snowy conditions.

So, back to the burning question - what happens if you add weight to the cargo bed of an RWD truck in order to improve traction? Around the track Tyre Reviews is using for this video, with no load at the back, the Amarok V6 set a time of 1:45 minutes. Then, for the second part of the test, a set of four wheels loaded into the cargo bed gave the truck an almost perfect 50:50 weight ratio but added 440+ pounds (200+ kilograms) of load on the rear axle.

What’s the situation with all the added weight? We won’t spoil the whole video but traction is obviously much better regardless of the MT off-road rubber used in both tests. What’s the lap time? Check out the video above.

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