I'm considering moving to Seattle because I love the rain and the outdoors, especially snowboarding. Looking for something upscale with AWD and good looks. The A4 fits all that. I've never driven an AWD vehicle before but for those who have, how is it?
There are rumors that the next gen Acura TL and TSX may get SH-AWD (and a 2.3T in the TSX). If those rumors hold true, i might get one of the Acuras...
08-14-2006, 09:44 PM
08-14-2006, 10:24 PM
08-15-2006, 02:52 AM
I assume you mean when it's dry. Quattro is 100% transparent. Have you thought about actually driving one?
08-15-2006, 02:55 AM
Hard launches off the start and messing it up and burning the clutch :)
Quattro is seamless and transparent. The torsen center differential creates a constant tug of war between the front and rear axles. Torque is constantly being varied between the two. This gives the car amazing stability in all conditions.
Also, because of this torque 'tug-of-war', quattro is more of a proactive system than other reactive type AWD systems that wait until wheel spin is detected before redistributing torque.
The Honda system is a pretty clever innovation though. In theory, it should provide some clear handling benefits. I've never test driven a car with it, however, so I can't comment.
The thing I like about Audi's quattro system is that it is a purely mechanical system -- only 9 moving parts! No computers to make decisions for you and rock solid reliability.
More info at the link...<ul><li><a href="http://www.autozine.org/technical_school/traction/tech_traction_4wd.htm">Click here to learn more about how AWD works!</a></li></ul>
08-15-2006, 07:11 AM
Quattro helps you with acceleration...does nothing for braking...and helps a little bit in cornering.
I am on my eighth Audi...all but one has been quattro. It is going to be very hard NOT to buy a quattro car ever again.
08-15-2006, 07:23 AM
Audi or Subaru.
08-15-2006, 08:18 AM
Specifically when your wheels hit the crosswalk strips while accelerating from a stop light and accelerating around a corner. My last Audi was front wheel drive and I didn't really notice too much of a difference until it rained. The difference there is huge.
08-15-2006, 11:04 AM
but that's since it's very well designed. When you drive a Quattro vehicle, the car dynamics and the drivetrain are very well balanced. You basically just drive the car and it goes where it is pointed...no real surprises. It will fit you like an old pair of jeans. However, you will be spoiled for life....try driving the same way after with a non-Quattro car and you will see how noticable NOT having Quattro is. I drive a lot in severe Canadian winter...especially on snow and ice to various ski hills. I typically fly past the big SUVs. If I could not get Quattro, I'd consider the Subaru. Not Volvo. Not any of the Japanese cars (yet). BMW and Benz still have not got it right.
08-15-2006, 11:16 AM
All due to weight increase.
08-15-2006, 12:36 PM
Then when the road gets bad, that's when you do notice it.
One thing for sure, if you really want to learn how the AWD system behaves, sign up for a winter driving course. Nothing's more safe than that to learn and to play around if you have the chance (such as on a skid pad or on a figure eight course). Even a driving school during the summer months is useful... you'll quickly understand how nose-heavy Audi's are and their tendency to understeer, but that's because of the weight of the car and placement of the engine due to the torsen in the A4.
08-15-2006, 01:05 PM
Oh yeah! I've taken a winter driving course (actually in Mt. Tremblant, QC) and it was great. You are correct on understeer, I certainly notice this on my Avant, but it seem worse than it is because of suspension compression. I've had a number of German cars that tend to have excessive body roll and dive, and the A4 is no exception. The toughest part for me with AWD was "unlearning" my FWD habits (i.e. left foot braking). On the A4, I need to do the "brake late exercise" more and learn the exact time to get on the gas. I've done a fair bit of experimentation in wet parking lots...the stock Contis are not all that good :( Also, it's fun to turn the traction control off and see if you can drive "better" than the car will on it's own.
08-15-2006, 01:33 PM
I rarely use it.
08-15-2006, 02:39 PM
08-15-2006, 02:53 PM
The only benefit of quattro is its ability to pull out of the corner quicker due to being able to get on the gas earlier, but that comes at the expense of having to brake early. With a lot of power the advantage swings to AWD but with moderate power and good driving skills RWD is just as good if not better.
08-15-2006, 02:56 PM
08-15-2006, 03:33 PM
For example, going through a snow intersection and needing to make a turn, and realizing you really need to get going fast. Give it more gas, ESP kicks in, throttle cuts off, you're not going anywhere.
ESP off, steer into the corner, give it some gas and get around the corner a lot quicker. Of course hammer the gas and you'll just plow through the corner.
Yeah I miss my old B5 A4, the year where ESP was an option and I said no to ESP.
08-15-2006, 11:04 PM
08-15-2006, 11:17 PM
shortly thereafter SCCA added 150lbs, pushed 5% of the weight bias forward, reduced boost and changed the boost map profile. The cars were then 350lbs heavier then the other cars in the SPEED World Challenge.
After two races of figthing SCCA and getting poor track performace due to the changes, we were able to get the 150lbs removed, weight bias back to normal but the power kept restricted.
This last weekend in Denver we were as high as 1st and 3rd but ended up with one damaged car, one in 6th and one in 12th(damaged as well but finished the race). Also we set the fastest lap of the race which was a new track record. This was with our straight away speed 5 to 7 mph slower then the other cars. So it would appear it was made up in braking, handling and exit speed.<ul><li><a href="http://sjl-static15.sjl.youtube.com/vi/WFLSPGdeinQ/2.jpg">http://sjl-static15.sjl.youtube.com/vi/WFLSPGdeinQ/2.jpg</a</li></ul>
08-16-2006, 06:23 AM
08-16-2006, 08:08 AM
FWD cars compete just find against quattro audis ;) and so do RWD cars. Go look at race results of current times and you will see. If all cars, FWD RWD and AWD are of the same weight than AWD will have advantage (DUH). Most pro racing events/clubs put a restriction on minimum weight. Many cars can come in under that weight and have to increase weight to comply with requirements. Audi matched the weight with AWD system installed so basically it was competing against other RWD/FWD cars of the very similar weight and hence had an "unfair" advantage. They eventually got penalized and had to be "heavier" to accomodate that AWD advantage which resulted in them not being competitive and thats why they got pulled by AUDI from the race and eventually AWD got banned alltogether. In the race cars, cars with AWD can be much closer to their RWD rivals in weight but in the real world the difference can be far greater and so taking a stock AWD car and a stock RWD car to the track will most likely result in RWD winning. For example, take an AWD 330 and a RWD 330 and see which one does better at the track. RWD is not better its lighter and thats the point I was trying to make. Weight IMHO is more important.
08-16-2006, 08:43 AM
Plus I think you missed my point entirely. I completely agree that when cars are of the similar weight AWD is a major advantage. I'm reffering to street cars. Take a 330i and 330xi and see which one does better on the track. The extra weight of 330xi will be its downfall. Speaking of which, BMW race cars are still RWD right? ;) I'm sure they could make an AWD car competitive but why bother when RWD car is doing well enough. Same goes for porshce, ferrari and many many others. If AWD was such an amazing advantage, everyone would be using it, just like they do in Ralley ;) As for your race results...much more goes into it than just AWD. Congrats on the standings btw., but look at other races you've been in....what happened then? All the cars are competitive and anyone can win...otherwise this racing thing wouldn't be interesting at all.
08-16-2006, 08:46 AM
08-16-2006, 10:58 AM
A friend had one. Brand new. Hated it. Drove my car and loved it. Then again, he didn't buy an Audi. He's got the Lexus IS 250 (AWD). He's now happy.
08-16-2006, 11:59 AM
08-16-2006, 12:39 PM
08-16-2006, 12:46 PM
I don't think I'll ever want a FWD though.
08-16-2006, 12:56 PM
I think it is slightly noticeable. The car seems to "dig in" a little more in the corners. I read some auto mag recently and they compared AWD vs. RWD and the AWD won the handling test (by a good margin).
BTW - my friend has a TSX and it's a nice car but the steering feels very heavy compared to A4 Quattro. I spent 2 or 3 hours driving the TSX and was very happy to be back in the A4 Quattro.
08-17-2006, 05:58 AM
The car is no fun without AWD.
Some get a dose of torquesteer without it, it has more tendency to understeer without it, and have fun driving in the rain...particularly if you are chipped...