More specifically, wheel mass affects how much work your brakes and suspension will do at any wheel, front or rear, FWD, RWD, or AWD. On some cars, brake rotors are larger in the front, and some front calipers use more pistons than the rear.Vantage said:A decrease in rotational inertia does increase hp put to the ground, but front wheel mass is just as important when you consider the effects of unsprung mass.
All four wheels soak up energy as the car accelerates. You claim to know physics, so think about the energy situation. When a car is moving at a certain speed, there is translational energy in the chassis. All four wheels are moving with the chassis, so they have translational energy too. There is rotational energy in the rear wheels, because they are turning at a rate to match the ground speed. There is also rotational energy in the front wheels, because they too must turn at a rate to match the ground speed.transio said:Rear Wheel + Tire mass (and corresponding radial center of mass) is really the important figure in calculating the inertial dampering a wheel will cause in acceleration of a car.