This is Why We Need More 8 Wheel Cars!

A vehicle with eight wheels (sometimes called 8WD or 8×8) is a powertrain system that allows all eight wheels to be used simultaneously as driving wheels. In contrast to four-wheel drive drivetrains, the arrangement is mostly restricted to heavy-duty off-road and military vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles, armored vehicles, and prime movers. 

But why don’t we have normal cars that come with 8 wheels? Or we do have?

The Argocat is one example of a smaller 8×8 vehicle.

Source: Argocat

8 wheel drive is not exclusive to military or huge tractors. It could and have been used with normal cars that you could drive on the roads. But why are they not getting popular? Why don’t we have more of them? What are their pros and cons? And which electrical car has 8 wheels and was produced early in 2004?!

Military Uses

Source: Bundeswehr-Fotos Wir.Dienen.Deutschland / wikicommons

8 wheel vehicles have a long history with military vehicles. This concept is present in tank transporters and artillery tractors. Not only for military purposes but also commercially. It is also present in logging and heavy equipment transporting on and off-road.

Typically, eight-wheel drive vehicles have two steering axles up front and two at the back, with just the front pair being used.

Tank transporters such as the Oshkosh M1070 use a single front axle and three rear ones (tridem). An automobile with such a layout often steers with both the front and back axles. The ZIL-135, for example, has a different setup.

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Source: Spc. John Crosby / wikicommons

Armored vehicles on wheels often use an 8×8 driveline with more equally spaced axles (typically with independent suspension). Armored eight-wheel trucks of the latest generation steer using its rearmost (fourth) axle to facilitate maneuverability in small spaces.

To reduce driveline stress and tire wear and increase fuel efficiency, trucks and armored vehicles might have only two rear axles used for on-road operation.

Using 8 wheels for military vehicles and tractors that lift high weights is understandable. But why would we implement such a concept with cars?! It actually has advantages!

8×8 Cars

Source: By Anetode

Professor Hiroshi Shimizu and his colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo created the Eliica (also known as the Electric Lithium-Ion Car), an 8×8 battery-electric prototype or concept car that was initially presented in 2004. The lithium-ion-powered, 5.1-meter (17-foot) car has a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and can reach 0–100 km/h in four seconds (faster than the Porsche 911 Turbo at the time)!

On Italy’s Nard High-Speed Track, the Eliica topped out at 370 km/h (230 mph) in 2004.

For greater aerodynamics and stability, the car features eight wheels, each of which is smaller than a typical passenger vehicle’s. With an 80-horsepower electric engine in each of the eight wheels, the car has a total of 644 horsepower and can handle any type of road surface.

All four of the front wheels work together to provide steering. The Eliica’s electric motors allow for a 0.8 g smooth acceleration with no gear adjustments. Every car’s wheels have a disc brake and are equipped with a regenerative brake system to help save energy.

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Pros of 8-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

As we have seen with the Eliica’s example, 8 wheel cars are powerful, fast, and could provide an amazing driving experience. Here are some reasons why we think that more 8 wheel cars should be produced:

  • Greater traction.
  • Decreased ground pressure.
  • Smoother drive on rough terrain.
  • The overall area inside the vehicle increases because of smaller wheels used.

Cons of 8-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

Even though 8 wheels cars are beautiful, they still have some downsides:

  • Increased level of complexity in suspension and drivetrains.
  • More complicated steering systems.
  • Consequently, the maintenance and repair workload is more difficult to handle.
  • Typically uses more gasoline per mile than a six-wheeler or four-wheeler.

Now that we have discussed both sides, it’s up to you to decide if you would like to have more 8 wheel cars and if you would like to own one. Please provide us with your opinion in the below comments section:

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