What is a Wheelbase?
In a recent How’s This Work, we looked at performance tires to figure out what their advantages are and, of course, how exactly they work. This week, much like those tires, the subject of our HTW is certainly market-wide, but it isn’t necessarily a feature or even a part of the car, so much as it is a dimension to look at when researching a vehicle. We’re talking about wheelbase, which might be something you’ve stumbled across before and not known what it means, so we’re here to explain.
[ LAST WEEK: How does Dual Exhaust work? ]
So, what exactly is the wheelbase? Well, for starters, it’s actually a term that applies to a wide array of transportation types rather than just road vehicles– like railcars, motorcycles, bikes and even skateboards. Much like width, length and height, the wheelbase is an exterior dimension that might be important to you when deciding between different vehicles. Specifically, it measures the distance from the center of the rear axle to the center of the front axle, regardless of how many axles there are between them.
Why does Wheelbase matter?
But why should you care about wheelbase? That’s a good question, and one that we can definitely answer. While it might not be as important as cargo capacity, fuel efficiency or horsepower, it can become very important depending on how you plan to use your vehicle, as it has a major effect on balance. If you’re looking at trucks and plan to have a ton of weight in the bed, you want to make sure you’re driving a car with a wheelbase that can handle it. If there is too much weight in the back of a car, it can cause understeering, and vice versa.
So the shorter a wheelbase is, the easier it will be to spin out or lose control of your vehicle. If this is a concern based on your automotive needs, then make sure you’re comparing wheelbase when you do your research. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.