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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, I thought the concept was an EVO model. Maybe it was.

    Sure looked cool.
  • hello ATX;
    was not trying to be immature, OW and myself where told on another sight that these 2 sedans are beter off then the xi,( sorry if i offended you, but just relaying what i read.) i as an xi owner beg to differ, as the writer of automobile mag does also !
    atx, in case you dont know my son rides a vw r32, and i respect all rides, especially AWD automobiles.
    another phrase from the article reads,

    so why do mitsubishi and subaru continue racing for awd superiority? 2 reasons; first, both the evo and the sti spring from front wheel drive genes, and AWD IS A NOTCH HIGHER IN THE PERFORMANCE PECKINIG ORDER. second, no one drives exclusively on smooth, dry pavement; when the road is rough or slippery, awd is more likely than alternative to get you HOME SAFE. :)

    safe & fun driving to all, in whatever car you choose to drive!
    UJ
  • If you're not into the Boy Racer image, anyone consider the Spec-B?

    It might have 60 less hp than the others, but it still manages a 5.4 second 0-60 time. Comes with a lowered, more STI-like suspension than the GT Limited and includes 6-speed.

    Plus its priced right around the EVO X and STI though its slightly more 'mature'. Its good enough build quality for entry-level luxury. Certainly worth what you pay for it.

    I can say from experience they have absolutely phenominal grip in any driving condition with good tires.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Now that you mention it, I am waiting to see the first ones delivered at my local NJ dealer...I checked 2 weeks ago perhaps now they might have one.

    This is a very good candidate that I will consider.

    The Evo is another but I do not want "wings" on my next car and I want the new DSG tranny which is only on the MR version with the Wing.

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good suggestion with the spec.B. R&T had a comparo and it lapped the quickest of the bunch, beating BMW, Audi, Infiniti, everyone. To be fair it was the previous generation 3 series xi.

    The STI has indeed matured, in fact too much for some folks. That's one of the criticisms of the new model, that it lacks the spunky character of the 2007 and prior model.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess to me I think Caliber SRT-4 or Cobalt SS. Something a "boy" could afford. The type of car you'd see in a high school parking lot.

    At $35 grand the STI is well beyond that. The 2007 and prior were so in your face that you could stretch and include those as well. The new one, not so much, IMHO.
  • I guess to me I think Caliber SRT-4 or Cobalt SS. Something a "boy" could afford. The type of car you'd see in a high school parking lot.

    At $35 grand the STI is well beyond that. The 2007 and prior were so in your face that you could stretch and include those as well. The new one, not so much, IMHO.


    True, the $35K range is a bit above Boy Racer price, but it still retains the image. So would you count the WRX as Boy Racer? That would be the initial entry into the AWD circuit wouldn't it? And it's not over-the-top expensive.

    Down in that range I'd go for the Legacy GT 5-speed. I think it is still more refined than the Impreza line. The Legacy Limited has soft plastic dash, really nice leather, etc. The Impreza has made up some ground, but I can't get around hard plastic dashes.
  • zavfejzavfej Posts: 13
    In the past decade I've had a Volvos60T, 2 AudiA6 2.7T's. a BMW 330xi and now a Mazdaspeed6. All werre new models when purchased. I live in northern NJ and we have some nasty winters; some with barely any snow. For all of them I mpurchase a set of snow tires/wheels, and that is what makes the difference in snow driving. The AWD with Summer tires (usually higher end Dunlops) offers incredibly better handling, with its higher level of confidence.
    Of all the cars, I liked the size and overall feel of the Audi's, but after warranted, they became difficult to keep factory repaired, and I tend to sell at around 40K miles.
    The current Mazdaspeed6 offers a nice compromise in size (larger than the 3 series but plenty of room for 4 adults. It needed upgrades in sound and some improvements in breathing (added a CAT-back exhaust and forced air induction, along with several small factory adjustments to the clutch etc) and is a truly fast and satisfying ride. It does not have the panache of the others, but it gets the job done as well. All things considered, I'll likely keep this one longer than the others I've had,
  • I thought of the MS6 as well, but aren't they removing AWD from next year's lineup?
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    They are removing the MS6 all together. They will still have the smaller, lighter, FWD MS3, but that is kind of a different vehicle.

    I am bummed because I waited too long and missed the last '07 MS6 at the dealer here. Oh well, I probably would've been annoyed by the 93 octane requirement anyway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To me the old WRX TR was more boy-racer, i.e. the Tuner Ready model, ready for customization, which is exactly what the boy racer wants. And at a price they could afford, with some room left for mods.

    I don't have demographic data but I'd be willing to bet that the STI owners is a lot more mature. Older, higher income, more well educated.

    It's for the adult hooligan, more so than the boy racer.

    If you are a 16 years boy racer and show up at a Subaru dealer and ask for an STI test drive, they will pretty much laugh in your face.
  • If you are a 16 years boy racer and show up at a Subaru dealer and ask for an STI test drive, they will pretty much laugh in your face.

    As well they should in my opinion. I think there should be a 100hp limit on anything sold to people under 18, and a 200hp limit for under 21. And this is not being hypocritical, because I drove like an @$$ when I was that age too. Its likely that we all did and we all lost at least 1 friend to testosterone-induced driving under age 25. I lost 3. Anyway, back on topic.

    The STI is good, don't get me wrong. I think most any Subaru is a good value. I'm just looking at criteria for the best all-round sedan. I would easily call the STI the best hatch.

    That's why my mind keeps turning back to the Legacy GT/Spec-B. They can really tear up some track and be halfway refined all at once. And they don't quite come with the sticker shock of a 335xi sedan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I won't argue with that. I like the spec.B as well.

    They upgraded to a 6 speed manual and a Torsen rear diff, and this is after it beat all those lux cars in the Road & Track test.

    It's likely Subaru will give that model more power to further distinguish it from the regular Legacy GT.
  • It's likely Subaru will give that model more power to further distinguish it from the regular Legacy GT.

    There's no reason why they can't. I think it would sell better if it came with the STI's engine. Maybe they are afraid it would take away from STI sales?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    And they don't quite come with the sticker shock of a 335xi sedan.

    Exactly my consideration. I agree the HP limit for kids as well.

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Rumor has it getting about 280hp or so.

    Enough to set it apart from the GT, without stomping on the STI.

    The spec.B ain't cheap, so 280hp would be a welcome improvement.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I hope this is a good forum to post this.

    Have some questions on using staggered wheel / tire packages versus non-staggered on AWD sedans.

    If I am reading the information on their web sites correctly, for the Infiniti G35x / G35xS, and the BWM 528Xi, they only offer non-staggered wheel / tire packages on those AWD sedans, while their RWD versions offer a staggered package as an option / part of an optional package.

    But the 328Xi, 335Xi, and 535Xi, offer a staggered wheel / tire package as an option, the same as their RWD counterparts.

    Is there anything unique about the 328Xi, 335Xi, and 535Xi that allows use of either staggered or non-staggered set-ups with AWD? Is there any difference in the AWD set up / parameters between a staggered or non-staggered set-up from the factory? A corollary to this is if one got a non-staggered wheel / tire package from the factory, is there any reason you cannot later convert to a staggered set-up assuming you have the right fitment, size, offset, etc.?

    Conversely, for the G35 and 528 AWD sedans, is there any reason you cannot use a staggered set-up assuming you have proper fitment?

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I believe there is nothing unique weather i or xi. The AWD is set up the same. It has a lot to do with tire change out considering the RFT requirement. If you buy the car, you can change to GFT tires.

    I think it's safe to say if the stagger was offered as an option, it's OK but I am not qualified to comment on adding a staggered wheel/tire arrangement to the 2 cars you mentioned.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Don't know enough about the Infiniti to comment. That said, on the BMWs, it's just a matter of packaging, there is no technical reason why you cannot use staggered wheels and tires on say a 528i, just as there is no reason why you cannot use non-staggered tires on say a 328i SP (that comes with staggered tires from the factory). In fact, if I were to order any of the 3-Series or 5-Series cars that come with staggered tires, I'd almost immediately convert the car back to non-staggered. Why? Two words: "Tire Rotation".

    In spite of the fact that BMW recommends against rotating tires (especially staggered ones for obvious reasons), I found that tire noise could be dramatically reduced and tire life could be nominally increased by rotating the tires on my BMWs.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The key is that the outer circumferences of the tires be the same.

    If we think about an extreme case, where you have small tires up front and much bigger tires in the rear, the front axle would be spinning a lot faster than the rear axle, and that would confuse the AWD system, which might try to "correct" for that difference.

    I'm sure that's why tires are not staggered on the AWD models.

    Even if the circumference is the same, you would still have to account for things like tire wear and sidewall deflection.

    Given the better AWD systems are designed to react very quickly to differences in axle speeds, the tire circumference has to be very close, i.e. the tolerances are much smaller vs. cars with only one axle being powered.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I concur with the need to rotate the tires. These Conti RFT's are wearing perfect because I am on my third rotation in 20K miles. There is no noise as were with the EL42 BS.

    I have always rotated my tires but still do not understand BMW's direction regarding this.

    Regards,
    OW
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,496
    The key is that the outer circumferences of the tires be the same.

    Exactly. Some manufacturers of AWD vehicles state that if your tires are over 25%-50% worn you should allways replace them in sets of four because of the difference in circumference. Ditto for the tires on an axle equipped with a LSD.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I'm sure that's why tires are not staggered on the AWD models."

    But they are. consider the following:
    2008 328xi Sedan offers a $300 upgrade to the Sport Package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 17 x 8.0 front, 17 x 8.5 rear; 225/45R-17 front, 255/40R-17 rear run-flat performance tires.

    2008 328xi Sport Wagon offers a $300 upgrade to the Sport Package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 17 x 8.0 front, 17 x 8.5 rear; 225/45R-17 front, 255/40R-17 rear run-flat performance tires.

    2008 328xi Coupe offers a $600 upgrade to the Sport package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 18 x 8.0 front, 18 x 8.5 rear; 225/40R-18 front, 255/35R-18 rear run-flat performance tires.

    2008 335xi Sedan offers a $600 upgrade to the Sport package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 18 x 8.0 front, 18 x 8.5 rear; 225/40R-18 front, 255/35R-18 rear run-flat performance tires.

    2008 335xi Coupe offers a $600 upgrade to the Sport package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 18 x 8.0 front, 18 x 8.5 rear; 225/40R-18 front, 255/35R-18 rear run-flat performance tires.

    2008 535xi Sedan offers a $600 upgrade to the Sport package. Said upgrade includes:
    - - 18 x 8.0 front, 18 x 9.0 rear; 245/40R-18 front, 275/35R-18 rear run-flat performance tires

    So, it would seem that every AWD version of the 3-Series and 5-Series save the 528xi can be had with staggered rubber. Go figure.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,496
    So, it would seem that every AWD version of the 3-Series and 5-Series save the 528xi can be had with staggered rubber. Go figure.

    I'm thinking that BMWs AWD system may get tweaked when staggered tires are fitted. Either that or the tires have an identical circumference. Otherwise the system would detect the difference in wheel rpm and interpret it as slippage.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I haven't figured it out recently, the last time I checked, ALL BMWs with staggered tires used the virtually identical circumference tires front and rear.

    I'll get my handy-dandy circumference calculator out and report back in a few minutes.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Okay, here's how diameters lay out for the upgraded SP package tires on the "xi" models:

    The 328xi Sedan and Sport Wagon:
    - - 225/45 R17 -- 24.97" (Front)
    - - 255/40 R17 -- 25.03" (Rear)
    - - Difference ------ 0.06"

    The 328xi Coupe, 335xi Sedan and 335xi Coupe:
    - - 225/40 R18 -- 25.09" (Front)
    - - 255/35 R18 -- 25.03" (Rear)
    - - Difference ------ 0.06"

    The 535xi Sedan:
    - - 245/40 R18 -- 25.72" (Front)
    - - 275/35 R18 -- 25.59" (Rear)
    - - Difference ------ 0.13"

    I'm thinking that as the worst (from a difference perspective) of the above cars is thirteen-hundredths of an inch, they can be considered virtually identical as far as their overall diameter is concerned. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Inherently, that's what I figured but you just proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Thanks, as always, for your insight.

    BTW, what's the difference in performance between 17" and 18" wheels on the 3 series from your point of view?

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The performance difference? Probably very little. There was a study done eight years ago or so that showed that handling performance peaked with 16" to 17" wheel/tire assebmlies. Beyond that point, the incrementally higher centrifugal mass of the rim would detract from handling performance. Geez, I've even heard of folks who track their car and bring their racing sets with them in the back seat. So? He-he, well the whole "so" bit is that they remove their 18" street set and mount their 16" track set. Go figure :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Hmmm....I figured as much but coming from you, I know better now. Why spend the extra dinero? Never appealed to me. Right sizing is the goal, IMO.

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I suppose I should temper my most recent comments by saying that I suppose it is possible for some new tire technology coupled with an ultra light set of racing rims to bend the rules by an inch or two, however, I've yet to see any evidence that that has actually happened.

    My personal take on it is that anything beyond 17" is simply bling. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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