I was at an event recently where the employees were guiding cars into a grassy field to park. Cars ranging from Toyota Camrys to Chevy Suburbans were driving up a small hill that was around 3-4 feet high and not too steep, but steeper than what most people will drive up on a daily basis.

So a brand new "muscle car" was having severe trouble climbing the hill. It would get about half way and then the back tires would just spin. Everyone around was in shock since every other car was parking fine. I don't want to disparage the make or model of the car, but picture something like a Ford Mustang/Dodge Challenger/Chevy Camaro.

Why would that happen? I'm sure most people view these cars as powerful monsters.

2 Answers 2


The traction available combined with the size of the tire, larger well, wider tires in this case, mean that the tire can slip on the grass or vegetation easier and not "dig" through in the same fashion a narrower tire can.

Also the mass at the back will have an effect, many of the muscle cars don't have much of the weight at the rear...


This is the same problem as rear wheel drive in snow and ice. Front wheel drive gets better traction with the engine directly over the driving wheels. Too much power breaks traction more easily, the more power you have the harder it is to control.

Hence as soon as you have a reduced traction situation, such as a slope with wet grass, watching "muscle cars" try to get up it becomes a spectator sport in itself.

In the same situation a smaller front wheel drive car with limited power would have no trouble at all.

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