Read Autocar for any length of time – say four issues, or a week’s worth of web reading – and you’ll probably gather that when it comes to driving entertainment, we tend to prefer rear-wheel drive to front.
Why? Because rear-drivers are better balanced when powering through bends, making it easier to plot your desired line, besides allowing you to use the accelerator as a steering aid by killing understeer with an extra slug of power. And of course, you can drift a rear-drive car.
That said, there have been plenty of glorious front-drive cars that could be steered on the throttle too, by lifting off or feathering the accelerator mid-bend. They start with the original Mini, run to the Peugeot 205 GTI, various hot Fords, most RenaultSport machines and many others besides.
And the contrast between these drivelines has been rammed home to me this week with steers in Peugeot’s RCZ R and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupé 507 edition, both of which I’ve been sampling – and enjoying hugely – for the World Car of the Year awards, for which I do jury service.
Be in no doubt, though, that the RCZ R is a very fine thing, not least for the spectacular 270bhp it wrings from its 1.6-litre turbo motor. More impressive still is that the front tyres can put this power on the road without spilling much of it, even when you turn the electronic aids off.