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What car company has the best AWD system

135

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I have to agree with you there - the Audi AWD system is a really good one, but all their AWD cars are PIGS in the weight department, and it really detracts from the driving experience.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Rocky, it's nice to see you admit you might have been wrong about something

    It's really hard for me as you know to admit when I'm wrong or to be convinced I'm wrong. I guess I'm very hard headed and some of you probably think thats a understatement. ;)

    So habitat, you don't like the EVO-X styling ?

    Did you watch the S-AWC hardware in the Lancer test mule ?
    They said there was a huge handling improvement over the last generation. ;) I however do understand the fact remains until mitsubishi does enough things to spice up the interiors, creature comforts, etc the mitsubishi brand will be often be over-looked no matter how good the cars hardware might be because of reputation. I however am willing to stop and sit in one to get my own judgment. I do know I will be impressed with its sub 5 second 0-60 performance numbers. ;) The WRX STI does 0-60 in 4.5 and we all know the EVO-X will want to meet or beat those numbers. ;)

    Rocky
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I'll give the nod to Audi, based on my S4 experiences and on the new RS4 reviews. On the RS4, the initial bias has been reset 60/40 in favor of the rear wheels, or rather the proper drive wheels...
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    would go to Audi for its AWD system, and Subaru...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    AWD, hands down, no contest. Whomever they don't outperform in AWD, they sell to or design for.

    Seeing is believing. Watch an Audi go up against any SUV or other AWD system as long as the ride height is not a factor.

    MODERATOR

  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    For on-road or light off-road use it's Audi or Subaru. Large population of both here. Audi is seen as "classier" but Subaru Legacy, (in particular), is gaining ground and both systems have a long history of reliability. Subaru, of course, have years of WRC experience behind them. Mitsibushi Evo's are comparatively rare and seen more as "boy racer" cars........but seriously quick. Serious off-road goes to Land Rover with Audi following. Only Honda AWD we get here is the CR-V and that's mainly a wife's shopping trolley. Most have probably never even been driven on the grass verge at the roadside. Lots of other AWD stuff, but not in serious numbers.
  • jokmjokm Posts: 1
    Came across this thread by accident and I thought I would share something with you guys.

    http://globecareers.workopolis.com/servlet/Content/fasttrack/20070308/WHWINTER08- ?section=Engineering

    Top of the article you will notice Ted Klaus, Honda/Acura chief engineer for research is involved with this article and this is what he says.
    "Every system has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on their intended use. Klaus, for instance, says xDrive is flat-out the best on dry race tracks and Quattro is the king if pure traction is what you want."

    As for Mitsu's AWD technology... Subi has Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) and Traction Control System (TCS). Pretty much same as Mitsu's yet this has been out for years.

    General Subi's AWD system overview.
    http://www.ertlecars.com/subaru/allwheeldrive.php
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Ummmmm, you better go look at the 08' EVO-X's AWD Technology as to calling it almost the same because that's not the case. ;)

    The new Mitsu S-AWC is by a large margin the most advanced AWD system in the world. ;)

    Rocky
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    the '09 EVO boys. rockford is right this is the most advanced AWD system in the world. Mitsubishi means serious business and they won't be selling to dorks that felt like defaulting on their new car loan was big-time fun.

    Serious buyers only for the new EVO-and Mitsu is going to find a lot of buyers for this new car toy racer.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • bubaabubaa Posts: 2
    I've been facinated with AWD since I drive a subie Impreza wagon. Trying to push it limits on snow and ice but always prevailed. Almost did get stuck when my gf made it loose traction on the front and rear end in 9" snow over our manhole drain because of a height difference. As the weight shifted, traction was lost and I got to see how each tire on one side was turning and the other wasn't..open diff. But of course I got in and rock it..abit of gas and I got it out. Still prevailed nevertheless. Anyways, here's an interesting video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7dVFY5CxT0

    I'd bet after watching this there's going to be a whole lot of discussion.

    Enjoy....
    Bubaa
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Something tells me that every manufacturer out there could make a similar video making them seem like the king of handling.

    I'd really like to see an independent tester like Road and Track or Automobile do the test, not Subaru's (or Audi's or Volvo's, or Honda's) marketing department. What the heck did you expect the video to show?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    What about the C4S or 911T? Does anyone have feedback on these babies? Here's something from Automobile:

    Sir Mix-a-Lot, the rapper who famously praised big butts, must have been reading Porsche's mind. The new 911 Carrera 4 with all-wheel drive sports an extra 1.7 inches of rump. It's a fashion statement, an engineering solution, and an anticipation of customer enthusiasm for the wide-body look wrapped into two curvaceous Carreras. The fat rear fenders are standard on the C4, whether you opt for the 325-hp edition or the 355-hp S we had the joy of flinging down Monte Carlo Rally roads in the French Alps.

    The meat accompanying these potatoes includes at least 5 percent but not more than 40 percent of the available torque sent to the front wheels via a viscous coupling, major structural changes, revised brakes, a 1.3-inch-greater rear track, and fatter rubber. The C4S's rear tires grow from 295/30YR-19s to 305/30YR-19s, and curb weight is greater by 122 pounds. Dual-mode dampers with new suspension calibrations are standard on the C4S. Adding the 4 insignia to the deck lid costs $7970 in a Carrera S and $7770 in the regular 911.

    The engineering changes yield what feels like a whole new 911. The C2's bobble-head front-end motion is gone; the handling dynamics reek of confidence. The steering is more communicative, with the front axle carrying an additional 75 pounds. Yank the wheel, and the nose dives aggressively for the apex while the tail hangs tight. Hammer the gas early to exit, and the front tires haul you forward instead of wide of the desired arc. No matter how you play the right pedal, the C4S drives where it's pointed.

    But the extra traction and poise don't improve straight-line acceleration or top speed. That will change next year, when Porsche boosts the 911's wide booty with a turbo.

    Now that's what i'm talkin' about!

    Regards,
    OW
  • Habitat will likely tell you he prefers the lighter RWD version to the heavier, but more stable AWD version in the 355 hp 911S. The C2S is definitely quicker than the C4S off the line - I'd peg the difference as about the same as the difference betewwn a base 911 and an "S" version. Meaning that a base C2 is about as quick off the line as a C4S.

    Now as a 2007 911 Turbo owner, you would think I would be a fan of AWD. True enough, in the Turbo, it is almost a necessity in order to put all of that power to the pavement without stripping all the rubber off your tires.

    ...But, I drove a RWD GT3 last week in Germany and fell in love. Probably not enough to ditch my blisteringly fast 911 Turbo and it's more civilized interior / ride. But there is no 911 that handles like the GT3. And with it's non-turbo 8,400 rpm redline, it is an absolute hoot to drive.

    Forget the "wide booty" thing. The difference is not that noticable. Get a C2S or C4S - or a GT3 or Turbo - based upon what you will enjoy driving for the conditions you will be driving in. As much as I like my Turbo and the PASM button that switches the suspension between normal and sport settings, it would be sheer nirvana if I had a button that could toggle between AWD and RWD, with a way to ditch 300-400 lbs for the latter. :)
  • howl42howl42 Posts: 1
    Someone was asking for a Subaru person?

    Subaru's system is not the most advanced, but it is simple, strong and effective. It's not intended to be used off-road (or on the beach). It's on gravel roads and snow it really works well. Unlike reactive systems most Subaru's send power to all wheels all the time. This means that you can take advantage of the AWD at higher speeds, which is why so many rally people use Subaru's. And I'm not just talking about high-dollar performance rallying; I'm talking about the grassroots navigational rallies and rallyX events that people enter with their daily drivers. Check out the entry list of any of your local rally events and you'll find probably half the cars entered are Subaru's. I've yet to see a SH-AWD Acura signed up (perhaps they're too new).

    The Audi torsen system and the Mitsubishi Evo system are probably the only systems that work as well or (arguably) better in a reasonably priced car, but then Subaru's also have other advantages like better balance, lower center-of-gravity, interchangable parts and overall price.

    If you want an AWD luxury car get an Audi or BWM. If you want to go off-roading get a Jeep. If you enjoy driving on twisty backroads get a Subaru.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I'll toss in a vote for SH-AWD.

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/pw/acura_awd.htm

    Other systems can route power from left to right, but they do so "reactively" and accomplish the task by braking the wheels. To date, Acura's AWD is the only one steering the car by overdriving the outside wheel. Audi and others have openly admired the torque vectoring properties of SH-AWD and are actively developing their own systems.

    Somewhere in earlier posts, I read a few remarking that SH-AWD doesn't distribute all that much power to the rear. We might as well correct that.

    Depending on the vehicle, the default torque split for SH-AWD is either 70/30 (RL) or 90/10 (MDX and RDX). That is how power is split when cruising.

    When you stomp on the gas from a standing start, power is split between 60/40 and 50/50. It varies from vehicle to vehicle and seems to match up with the vehicle's weight distribution. The RL, which is the most nose-heavy, get the most power to the front wheels. So, each wheel gets as much power as it needs to move the weight it bears.

    In corners, upwards of 70% of the power is routed to the rear, and may be sent to the outside rear wheel. That wheel is also overdriven by either 1.7 or 5%, depending on the vehicle. This is accomplished without braking. The front wheels retain 30% to pull the vehicle out at the end of the corner. (The last is similar to the way Nissan's ATTESA works.)

    Of the 3 vehicles currently using SH-AWD, only the MDX has programming which automatically routes power to the rear for hill-climbing. It also has algorithm's for towing.

    But it's kinda hard to divorce the AWD system from the car. For example, while SH-AWD is a better system than your basic torsen Quattro, I might take an A6 over an RL because the RL's chassis isn't up to par.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    It looks to me like the real winners are Mitsubishi and Volkswagen. They won together 7 or the top 10 places in the grueling Dakar race. No Acura's or Subaru's in the mix. The only other vehicles in the top 10 best off road vehicles was Ford, BMW X3 and a Hummer 3. My only reason for wanting power to all 4 wheels is when I get in a sandy wash and want to get home by dinner. I don't think all the fancy electronic AWD vehicles are good for real off road driving. KISS is a better way to go.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    No doubt. For off-highway driving, 4WD is better than AWD. But the question posed in the title is "Which car company has the best AWD system".

    FWIW, a Honda Ridgeline passed many Fords, Hummers, and other 7S class competitors in the 2005 Baja 1000.
  • Tires man, it's all about the tires...

    So my idiot brother buys himself a new Subaru wagon (and thinking he has a REAL 4WD) drives it out to the beach and promptly buries his "grocery getter" in the sand...

    So he calls me on his cel phone and after I laugh for several minutes (he hates that), I drove out to the beach in my Land Rover LR3, wrapped a tow strap around his chassis (had to dig down almost two feet to get there), and pulled him out pronto...
  • The answer to this question is Citroen, World Rally dominating champion for years now. Subaru had their day in the sun a few years ago, but downhill since then.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=120217

    http://www.worldcarfans.com/rsslink.cfm/article/2070329.002/bmw/bmw-dynamic-pefo- rmance-control-in-detail

    http://motoring.iafrica.com/newsbriefs/653507.htm

    Here's another AWD system with lateral torque vectoring not unlike Acura's SH-AWD. Couple of observations...

    BMW's rear diff routes power even during lift-throttle situations (SH-AWD does not). The X-drive AWD system can send up to 100% of the engine's torque to the rear drive shafts (SH-AWD will not).

    On the other hand, SH-AWD will route 100% of the rear axle's torque to an outside wheel (it appears DPC will not). Acura's SH-AWD will not only route power, it will also over-drive the rear axles (it appears DPC will not).
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