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I installed the DTS in my '01 A4 last Saturday night. I know there were previous "reviews" from folks when the first batch was sent out but I wanted to add my two cents and the threads are many pages down now so someone who missed them wouldnt see this either.
To recap...the AWE DriveTrain Stabilizer (DTS) is an aluminum alloy brace that replaces the lower front brace on the newer A4 and S4 - I am not sure when Audi started using it but I dont think it was there in '96 (AWE claims fitment from '97 on). Its main claim is that it provides a motor-mount type mount point for the transmission which helps reduce the engine/transmission windup that occurs due to torque loading of the front axles on acceleration and deceleration.
The quality and fit of the piece is fantastic! The instructions were great! Installation using jackstands was well under an hour (I do use pneumatic tools). Its lowest points are a bit lower than stock, but not lower than the front of the exhaust system or engine belly pan and significantly higher than my front splash guards - which it sits almost directly between.
This piece appears much more rigid than the stock bar and 2 things came to mind. 1) It should be interesting to see if I can feel that when I find some bumpy turns and 2) I wonder how much it will interfere with the engine diving under the passenger compartment in the event of a major front end collision.
I on my initial short drive to see that everything was in good order that evening I immediately noticed a significant reduction in rocking of my Neuspeed short shifter, really movement is almost eliminated - nothing visible, only a little feel in the shifter when getting on and off the throttle. Obviously the drive train winds up way less at a start and during shifts. I didnt think the movement was really that excessive stock - until I installed this piece. After a couple days driving this observation is strengthened. It is remarkable how much more the throttle and drivetrain feel "connected" to the car. A lot of things get lumped into "throttle response" and I would have to say this is another. The reaction of the power to pavement from changes in throttle is instantaneous, like in a dedicated race car.
Another thing I have noticed is more confidence and gear selection speed in power shifts. I always felt the tranny was a little notchy and seemed to need a moment between gears, even with the short shifter. I tried a couple very fast 1-2 and 2-3 gear changes today and and delighted with the smoother and faster movement I am allowed.
Any negative? Well, my car has a bit of a vibration when at idle when the AC compressor is charging and this couples that a little more to the frame, but when the compressor is off or I am above idle I can feel no difference from stock in these terms.
I have found a few gentle bumps in curves that I am used to and subjectively the car seems to track truer, but this could be placebo. Something like that is hard to measure and personally my car feels like it is on rails anyway.
Regarding the potential safety concern. There is quite a long discussion in the S4 forum and some comments on this forum on this aspect. Although there has been no destructive test data to support the belief/opinion that key parts of the unit will break away in a major frontal impact and not substantially hamper the movement down and back of the motor, I am reasonably comfortable that it will not be an issue. I would love to see some tests on key parts like the bolts, rubber mount and the crossbrace to support this.
When initially seeing the price of the unit I was a little concerned that it was inflated. However now that I have handled, installed and used it I think the price is quite reasonable. I would rank its affect on the overall feel of my car as being 5th behind a chip, springs/shocks, high performance wheels/tires and rear swaybar but ahead of the short shifter and other things. This makes its priceerformance about right in my book. I guess you could say the APR front snubber provides something similar at a lower cost but I have (had) that and found that the increase in engine vibration coupling unacceptable and it did not provide this degree of stability.
In summary, I feel the DTS is an excellent value, high quality product and it provides a most useful improvement in an area that seems to have been largely overlooked. I cant wait to get to the next autocross...