For those who haven't been following along, I had a 2000 S4 6-speed sedan that was stolen, and I just replaced it with a 2002 tip allroad.
I've been wanting to move to a tip avant for a year or so, but I never tried a tip S4 avant, so I don't know how much of what I'm seeing is the tip, how much is the extra weight of the wagon, and how much is the S4-allroad difference. That said:
The tip lag is simply unacceptable. I never know what the accelerator's going to do and when it's going to do it, even in S mode. The steering is imprecise. The back end seems to have a mind of its own on bumpy roads.
Overall, I feel like I have to *think* when I'm driving the allroad, and game my driving to adapt to the car. It's like an instrument I need to learn to play. The S4 felt like a natural extension of me; it knew what I wanted to do and did it. Even when I test drove a new S4 (which I can't afford), a totally different car, I still got the same feeling. I was never totally thrilled with the S4 suspension - too stiff on bumps - but I never played with it much either aside from a stiffer sway bar.
I'm already planning to install Alcantara sport seats (so I don't slide), H-sport sway bars (to deal with the roll and back end), tip chip (to help the lag), and do a tip readapt and 00032 recode. I'm worried that after all that money I'll discover I really just picked the wrong car. I don't need the extra rear seat room or the offroad suspension; I do city driving (Boston) and highway road trips. I do need the tip for city traffic, and I do need the wagon, so maybe this is just the trade-off I'm making.
Anyone driven both the S4 tip avant and allroad who can share their experiences? What about the S6; is it possible to install components from there to improve the AR?
01-12-2005, 07:49 AM
But.. I think you picked the wrong car based on what you want in car. The likely car would be an S6 Avant. The allroad is not not will it ever be an S4. It can be faster. and more comfortable but due to is weight and height and suspension...as a combined unit... it can't be an extension of you like an S4 can.
Sure you can add the modds like we all do and they help.. but you still have the weight and height and suspension as the basic foundation to deal with.
The tip lag combined with Throttle lag (2.7T) is bad everyone says.. it gets better with a chip, and a recode.. but never goes totally away.
Page out to 4labs on the board. He just traded in his allroad for an 02 S6.. he would be best to give you the insights..
01-12-2005, 07:52 AM
the tip sucks as it appeared in the allroad. It is supposedly much better in the 6-speed versions now in place. S4 B6 tips are supposedly mucho mejor. But I've just resigned myself to learning to deal with it and not relying on the immediate throttle response sometimes required for the even mildly aggressive moves one needs in city driving if you are to avoid being eaten for lunch.
01-12-2005, 08:21 AM
Used S4's go for $25k, allroads for $30k, and S6's for $50k! So really my choice is S4 or allroad.
01-12-2005, 08:49 AM
Did you try a 3.0 quattro avant (non allroad)? I intended to buy an allroad last spring and after driving both allroads and a couple of '02 3.0 quattro avants, I chose the latter.
Drop me a note at lee at wheelman dot com if you'd like to get together to drive my car. I've done the suspension mods (HSports, Bilsteins) and some other good stuff to the car. I think you'll like the regular avant. It's not as fast as the allroad, but the transmission is better without the turbo, and the suspension is more to my liking (I came out of a lowered urS6 avant).
I'm in Needham, and no my car isn't for sale. But you're welcome to drive it to see the difference.
Oh, and by the way, are we related? Did you ever work for AOL?
01-12-2005, 08:50 AM
You will still have tip lag but improved. It is almost gone if you drive in tip mod and keep the RPM up like you did on your S4.
The suspension mods are a must and will make the AR much more drivable.
01-12-2005, 09:14 AM
01-12-2005, 09:34 AM
Jay: I got my S6 for 36k, with 42k miles and full CPO. They are out there if that is within you range. PaulRoad is right, I chipped, lowered and DV'ed my AR which was a 6spd, they all helped but it will never be an S6 or S4. I traded because of city traffic and my wife who flat our refuses to drive stick (even though she can). I test drove a tip AR and agree with you the TIP lag would drive me nuts that is why I went for the 6spd. Let me know if you can give I any more info. good luck.
01-12-2005, 10:46 AM
Is the HP25 coded better with regard to lag than the HP17? I'm assuming allroad 4.2's would have the HP25 as well due to torque. Wonder if they have tip issues, or they're just not as bad?
Also wondering on S6 brakes. Did the S6 use the HP2 like the B5 S4 and earlier allroads? While I've had no issues on my B5 S4 with brakes, the allroad has had plenty. Just wondering if it is a different pad and/or rotor, or just the added weight on the A6 platform? Heard anything on S6 brake issues? Do you know if the rear setup is a vented disc like the B5 S4, or solid like the allroad?
01-12-2005, 11:09 AM
I too am thinking about picking up a S6...or possibly waiting for next allroad. My opinion on the 402 is that it just makes bumps worse (if you're experiencing the hop). It helps on a smooth road, but forget backroad washboards. The H Sports help considerably on roll and control, but again not much on washboard.
I see the basic problem on the allroad as probably a combination of shock tuning and the air suspension...which deal well with average stuff, but absolutely pale in comparison to the S4 when the road gets rough.
I'm in total agreement to your analogy that the S4 feels much more an extension of you. I too have to work much harder when pushing the allroad...and I'm sure it's a various combination of things from weight, dampening, and perhaps even things from the A6 chassis.
Which is why I'm so curious to try out a S6 again. I'm wondering how much tweaking Sport did with it, or if they're still borrowing quite a bit from the A6 parts bin. While my allroad shares say the calipers with my S4, the brake modulation is hugely different...so without looking at part numbers, I wonder what differs say in the master cylinder between them...or does Sport use a different one? Or while I know the allroad's chassis is stiffened over that of an A6, my S4 Avant appears to be quite a bit more rigid (say body twist taking a 45 degree approach on an incline).
What can I say; I over-analyze my two cars on a daily basis for almost four years trying to figure out how I could make the allroad more like the S4. When I start penciling out the $$$, I just decide to live with it. That's an engineer's thought pattern for ya' once he's been schooled in accouting... ;-)
I could go on and on for pages on my thoughts and observations between the two. One of these days I would love to get my hands on a parts breakdown and just see how much the two cars share from the parts bin.
As a sidenote, it interesting that the ZF HP17 in the allroad is used in other cars across the industry, including the 5-series BMW. Obviously in a different config, but I think Audi really screwed up on the programming for it. Supposedly my parents BMW 530 has the same tranny...and it is world's different in behavior. I think ZF gave them a good unit to go off of and it's Audi that screwed up the behavior.
Keep us posted on what you do. I'm working with another S6 fellow on his test with adapting the allroad OEM hitch to the S6. I just have to send off all the wiring diagrams from the '01 model since he's working without a pre-installed harness.
01-12-2005, 11:31 AM
I would need to check a parts bin to know the answers, guru, I aint
01-12-2005, 11:38 AM
01-12-2005, 12:04 PM
01-12-2005, 12:48 PM
Interesting. I actually started out planning to get a 3.0 avant. I never got to drive it - my dealer didn't have any - but at the last minute, I tried the allroad at the dealer, and fell (I thought) in love. I assumed the 3.0 would feel too sluggish, but if as you say the tip programming is better, that could easily outweigh the speed difference.
We're not related, but yes, I worked for AOL, and I remember writing to you a few years ago... I'm in Wellesley now, going to Berklee College of Music. I'll drop you a line and can get together!
01-12-2005, 04:51 PM
H Sports, new tires, and trying 402. All of them help, but I think the HATE for the allroad for me falls to dampening. If only there was a aftermarket option...though it would probably be expensive.
I would assume the S4 uses the ZF HP17 like the allroad, but I could be wrong. I've driven a S6 some time ago and a buddy had a A6 4.2, both with the ZF HP25, and it appears Audi did a better job with the programming...or maybe the lower torque of the V8 helps some.
My TCU (supposedly late code) was replaced on the allroad two years ago and it did make a difference on both the wobble and the lag. But it is hard to know whether the '01 was just that much worse to begin with and now I'm like a '02 or later; or if is actually better. The lag is still there, but now it only rears its ugly head when I'm hard on/off the brake/throttle. It behaves almost like running XP on a PIII 500...it's confused and needs time to think... ;-)
01-12-2005, 08:50 PM
when Audi has stated in every single RAG, they knew of the problem and were working on a fix.
Mean Green Machine
01-13-2005, 09:47 AM
Going from a 2001 2.7T to a 2005 4.2 I can tell you that the transmittion is a lot more responsive on the 4.2 version. The 4.2 also has the HP2 brakes. These and other details, like the wood shift knob, heated steering wheel for example, are why I got the larger engine allroad. I test drove bothe the 4.2 and new S4 avant with TIP. and both transmission felt the same as far as performance goes. I just needed more room for golf club etc..
01-13-2005, 11:38 AM
After playing with it a little today, I realized my biggest problem (performance-wise) is the retarded engine timing after pressing the brake, otherwise known as "brake-throttle lag" or BTL - it seems to stay in that mode for at least half a second! That's not good in city traffic. As far as I can tell, this can't be remedied with a tip chip or an ECU upgrade, but may be better on the 4.2 or an S6... argh.