Many electronically controlled AWD vehicles do this depending on which tires have traction.
Basically, you have two types of "2wd" vehicles -- front and rear wheel drive. Power is transferred from the crank, through the torque converter or dry clutch(es)* (depending on transmission type), through the transmission, then either directly to a differential (in the case of a FWD married unit), or through a driveshaft to a floating differential (in the case of most RWD vehicles).
From the differential, power is transferred through axles to each individual wheel. Throw things like posi units or cone clutches in the mix and you have some more explaining to do in terms of power transfer...but generally speaking 2wd vehicles either get power to the front wheels or the rear wheels, no mixing and matching.
Source: self (ASE certified master technician)
I'd be happy to answer any other questions -- it's sort of my thing.
* There are some funky transmissions coming out as of late...electronically controlled 'manual style' transmissions with dry clutches instead of a torque converter bolted up to the flywheel. I've only ever worked on one of these personally.
[rant / warning]
Avoid buying 'newer' / 'green' vehicles that are out of factory warranty -- you will not be able to afford (or even in some cases, obtain) the specialized parts required to repair them properly. Aim for a pre-2005 vehicle if you're going to buy used. -- just a little something I picked up from 8 years in the industry. :)
[/rant / warning]
** I just realized that I never answered your question!
|Can you make a car that is two wheel drive along ONE side (i.e. One front wheel and one back wheel on the same side) work as a car? |
The answer is 100% absolutely YES. You will need:
1) Huge Budget (~20,000,000 USD?)
2) Professional engineering experience
3) MIG / TIG welder and professional experience
4) Plasma cutter
5) A fully loaded CNC Machine Shop
6) A few years of free time
7) The ability to handle anything else that pops up along the way.
* although you might have a moderate pull after you get the thing built...
Anything is possible, for example...a smart car beating a Ferrari at 1/4 mile