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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans

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  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Pretty much as I expected, the intial tests and reviews of the GT2 confirm that it offers a HUGE advantage over the heavier, AWD 911 Turbo. As reported on MSN Auto:"Frankfurt Auto Show"

    The latest iteration of the venerable 911, the GT2 is the ultimate motorsports car for the street. The bi-turbo six-cylinder engine mounted at the rear pumps out 530 horsepower (390 kW) with 501 lb-ft (680 NM) of torque available as early as 2200 rpm.

    Combining that power with a curb weight of just 3,175 lbs (1,443 kg) and a low drag coefficient , the 911 GT2 can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in a mere 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 204 mph. These impressive figures make the new GT2 the fastest and most powerful production 911 ever. In fact, around the famed Nurburgring, the GT2 now holds the record for a license-plated vehicle with the fastest time, even running faster than the (AWD, 600hp, V10) Carrera GT.

    Surprisingly, there’s a fuel economy story there as well — Porsche claims the GT2 consumes just 12.5 liters/100 km (approximately 22.6 mpg). Of course, that would mean keeping your foot off the floor, which may be difficult in a car like this.


    So, whether you are talking about ultimate performance around a track, or just want to have the most nimble feel around Rock Creek Park at 35 mph, the RWD versions of the 911 do it best. Go with the AWD 911 "4" versions for snow and ice if you want, but IMO, the Cayenne (GTS) is the better Porsche choice there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not in ultimate weather. What if the 'ring were rained on, then which would you pick?

    Let's at least put an asterix there.

    * - under indeal conditions on a dry track.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not in ultimate weather. What if the 'ring were rained on, then which would you pick?

    I don't buy a sports car or even sports sedan thinking, "which will give me optimal performance in a downpour"... or snowstorm, or on a gravel road, or, for that matter, on an indoor track the size of a football field.

    I'll gladly ratchet down my speed a few mph in the occasional rain I've seen with my 911 in order to best enjoy the 98%+ of the miles on my odometer that have been on dry, paved roads.

    A 3+ ton armor plated AWD 911 with solid rubber tires would provide "ultimate" performance in Iraq. Do we need another asterisk for the GT2 on that?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    What does any of this have to do with:

    Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans?

    Let's please stick with the six models listed at the top of the discussion..

    I'm sure we can set up some sort of AWD vs. RWD discussion in one of the other discussion groups...

    regards,
    kyfdx
    visiting host

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    This would be an interesting comparo for me. I assume the 335 TT are now in the S4 power class but correct me if I am wrong.

    On paper the 4.2L is about 30 HP and 2 ft/lb. over the 335. I assume handling might be a tweak or 2 better since the 335xi suspension is standard fare.

    Anyone have any feedback?

    Regards,
    OW
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Without having driven either, my SWAG would have mirrored yours (i.e. giving the edge to the Audi).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    98%+ of the miles on my odometer that have been on dry, paved roads.

    That doesn't sound "ultimate" to me at all. It sounds downright routine, actually.

    This is ultimate:

    image
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    ...in its own special way, I'll take the later. ;-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    How 'bout this?

    image
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The timing is coincidental, but I just saw some pics of the Nurburgring and the one thing that stood out was how incredibly banked those turns were.

    That would certainly erase a lot of the advantages of AWD. Maybe that's why the Carrera GT isn't quicker.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please folks, if you want to display a picture in your post we would really like to see it, but you need to make sure that it is not wider than the normal width of the posting area. Very wide pictures distort the whole page causing most people to have to scroll from left to right to read every line on the page.

    If you can't control the width of the picture, please just post the URL instead of displaying it.

    Two posts with very wide pictures were deleted. Posters are welcome to repost either an edited version or just the URL.

    Thanks.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    C2S would have been off the road were it belongs in this stuff...

    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,694
    How did a Porsche 911 AWD end up in this thread? The thread is about AWD "sedans," not AWD coupes, or any other kind of AWD car.

    Bob
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A little latitude is not a bad thing. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm perhaps the guiltiest of bringing the 911 into the discussion. But it came from responding to another poster that took the position that AWD is superior to RWD in "performance", regardless of driving conditions. The RWD versions of the 911 indicate otherwise, and have each recorded better Nurburgring track times than their respective AWD counterparts.

    And I do think this has some relevance to the sedan debate, as a lot of purchasers of AWD sedans don't necessarily understand, or at least acknowledge, the performance tradeoffs.

    Plus, it's a little more exciting to see a picture of a Speed Yellow 911 Turbo rolling through the snow than a bloated Audi A4 Quattro ;)

    But I will attempt to reign in my digressions. I think the issue has been beaten up pretty much, anyway. :)
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    These systems will continue to improve. Soon, AWD will dominate. It's not the other way around, IMHO.

    The most advanced AWD system thus far.

    MUNICH, Germany — BMW is preparing to upgrade all of its four-wheel-drive models with an advanced new torque-vectoring system aimed at improving on-road agility. Called Dynamic Performance Control, the new system was developed with German engineering specialist ZF. It's based around BMW's four-wheel-drive xDrive arrangement but adds a series of additional electromagnetic clutches in a modified rear-mounted differential housing to further enhance its operation.

    Dynamic Performance Controls works in conjunction with sensors in the ABS system that measure steering angle, yaw rates, road speed and torque developed by the engine. They are capable of apportioning drive between the front and rear axles as in today's models, as well as from side to side at the rear for what BMW describes as a more neutral cornering stance.

    The idea is to direct drive to where it can be used most effectively, in an operation not dissimilar to that of a traditional locking differential on a rear-wheel-drive car. If the car understeers, for example, xDrive will redirect more drive to the rear wheels and, if required, the Dynamic Performance Control system will then load up the outside rear wheel with greater torque for improved balance.

    During oversteer, it reverses the action, sending the majority of drive through the front wheels and, if necessary, increasing torque to the inside rear wheel to stabilize the car during cornering (see diagram).

    Unlike similar systems developed by rival carmakers, BMW's Dynamic Performance Control operates both under load and on the overrun, meaning the car continues to be stabilized even when the driver steps off the throttle at midcorner.

    BMW is remaining tight-lipped on when Dynamic Performance Control will be introduced. However, signs are it will appear first on the upcoming X6 before heading into other models, including the X3, X5 and four-wheel-drive versions of the 3, 5, and next-generation 7 Series. Also earmarked to accept the new system is BMW's as yet unnamed seven-seat MPV and a secret new junior four-wheel drive that's tipped to slot into the German carmaker's lineup beneath the X3.

    Regards,
    OW
  • These systems will continue to improve. Soon, AWD will dominate. It's not the other way around, IMHO.

    Dominate what?

    Notice the underlined qualification:

    BMW is preparing to upgrade all of its four-wheel-drive models with an advanced new torque-vectoring system aimed at improving on-road agility.

    BMW does not currently offer the top of the line 550i, 7 series or any of its "M" cars with AWD and has no plans to do so. Nor does it offer a complete "sport" package on the AWD models. Same with Mercedes. None of their high performance AMG models (save SUV's) come with 4-matic.

    As an admitted driving enthusiast who places handling, agility, road feel and power "efficiency" high on their preference list, AWD definitely has some drawbacks. I would never want to see my M5 go the way of AWD and am seriously considering trading my 911 Turbo for a GT2. Maybe even a less powerful, but far nimbler GT3.

    Automatic transmissions "dominate" the U.S. market. But I would never consider one for my sports sedan or sports car. Same goes for AWD. It may offer the average driver in the northern half of the country better all season versitility. But if you enjoy the performance attibutes that I do, or live in the southern half of the country, AWD is a step in the wrong direction.

    One might look at FWD as a bit of a lesson here. It clearly offers some foul weather advantages, and is cheaper to mass produce than RWD. Yet, to claim it "dominates" is obviously incorrect. AWD is better than FWD on both the performance and all season front, but is more expensive to produce/maintain, reduces fuel efficiency and still has performance disadvantages compared to RWD. In my neck of the woods (Pittsburgh), I think AWD will make it's way into more average passenger cars. But I still think it highly unlikely you will see it in an M3 or M5 anytime soon.

    P.S. I just had a slight scare with my 2003 M5. The stability control system indicated a "malfunction" and I had to take the car in. Turned out to be a fried computer sensor and control chip that were replaced under a "courtesy" warranty (car is 53 months old). The non-warraty cost would have been $1,100. Another $1,000 if the ABS system had been affected. But the car was 100% driveable. You want to guess the hassle and cost of repairs of the more advanced, computer controlled AWD systems and what the consequences of a failure there would be? There is a saying in my business that you should be careful about buying into new, pioneering technology that doesn't have a significant, measurable advantage over current, proven, technology. Some of what we are seeing in cars today is technology for the geek's sake (self parking Lexus, for one; hybrid $110k Lexus LS that gets worse mileage than the gas model for another). AWD systems are not in that category, but the bandwagon is full of people who don't consider the cost side of cost benefit analysis. And BMW's SMG transmissions are a notorious example of that.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Dominate the market, IOW, sales. It's not going away but expanding is all I am saying.

    BMW does not currently offer the top of the line 550i, 7 series or any of its "M" cars with AWD and has no plans to do so. Nor does it offer a complete "sport" package on the AWD models. Same with Mercedes. None of their high performance AMG models (save SUV's) come with 4-matic.

    JENS MEINERS | Automotive News Europe
    Posted Date: 5/17/05
    MUNICH
    – BMW could expand its M range of high-performance cars into SUVs and other models.

    The X5 and X3 premium SUV models are possible contenders for new M variants, as are the 5 Series station wagon and the Z4 roadster.

    Extending the M range would spell the end of the purist approach that the M division has followed since it launched its first car, the 1978 M1. This was a supercar co-developed with Lamborghini and styled by Italdesign Giugiaro.

    Currently, BMW sells the M3, M5 and M6.

    “We have great potential to go into new segments with M models,” said M division CEO Ulrich Bruhnke.

    Bruhnke said the success of the X3 and X5 SUVs shows that BMW can break out of its traditional segments.

    Not a guarantee either way, just potential.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    ..that says it better than I:

    "It's just that drive all the wheels seems to me as fundamentally correct as putting brakes on all the wheels, or putting wipers on both sides of the windshield, or headlights on both sides of the front end. I believe that one day, two-wheel drive will be considered a specialty drivetrain, for special-purpose vehicles such as sports cars or commercial trucks or super-cheap economy cars."

    Bring on the drive! RWD for the weekend, AWD for the rest! (IMHO)

    Regards,
    OW
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,850
    two-wheel drive will be considered a specialty drivetrain, for special-purpose vehicles such as sports cars

    That is good enough for me... I want all my cars to drive like sports cars... :)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    2009 BMW X6

    An M Version on the Way?

    Our sources at BMW tell us that there are serious discussions about an X6 makeover by the high-performance M division as well.

    Until now BMW has resisted the urge to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Range Rover Sport, but there are signs that the 507-hp 5.0-liter V10 from the M division could be used to create a full-house X6 to provide the German carmaker with a new four-wheel-drive flagship.

    The X6's standard engines will be mated to a new ZF-engineered eight-speed automatic gearbox. But any M version would likely be offered with either a conventional six-speed manual transmission or BMW's soon-to-be-revealed dual-clutch gearbox, since the new ZF eight-speed can't handle the high revs produced by the V10 power plant.

    I'll stick to the 335xi for now.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    That is good enough for me... I want all my cars to drive like sports cars

    Considering 20% of 911's sold through July 2007 were Turbo, I guess those owner's agree with you.

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Will their sedan have AWD?

    I prefer the Aston Martin Rapide in terms of looks so I haven't really been paying attention to what drivetrain the Porsche sedan will get.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Considering 20% of 911's sold through July 2007 were Turbo, I guess those owner's agree with you.

    Considering that my dealer has 3 unsold 911 Turbos sitting on the lot and a 12-18 month waiting list for the less powerful, but nearly as expensive GT3, I think a LOT of serious enthusiasts agree with spiritinthesky, kyfdx, and me.

    There is almost a direct golfing analogy. Several years ago as I slipped from a single digit to a double digit handicapper (kids happened), I went to Calloway cavity backed cast Big Bertha irons from my former forged tour blade irons. There is no doubt that they the Calloways are more "forgiving" and my miss-hits are not nearly as bad as they would have been with the tour blades. But you will never see Tiger Woods giving up the feel, control and performance of a forged tour blade for a more "forgiving" cavity backed iron.

    So why is it that you seem to want to promote AWD to soemthing that it isn't? A 330ix is NOT as nimble feeling or responsive as a 330i. Nor is a 911 C4S as nimble feeling, responsive or even as quick as a C2S. I can tell the difference immediately, and I'm a long ways away from Tiger Woods or Spiritinthesky. If you can't, perhaps a little more time behind the wheel and less on the AWD podium is in order?

    Please understand, I'm not chastizing you or anyone else for selecting AWD. You have your preferences and priorities and I have mine.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    I agree with you on the feel and balancing a precision club vs. a "safer" one that edges out imperfections. The same with the c2 vs. c4. You use what is best for you. Totally agree.

    But many a par and even some eagles were swooped out of a sand trap. And most "real" courses have many hazards and the weather is not always agreeable. Different clubs for different situations.

    Since I drove the xi vs the 335i, what you call nimble is true but the total handling capability does to the awd, IMO, and no comparison in wet/snow. That's with the same exact Continental AW tires on stock cars. It's better to drive them back to back like I did. The feel is different. The AWD will NOT let the rear slide whatsoever in, through and out of the turns and allows power-on late/early. It's very different and satisfying none the less.

    AWD is what it is. It allows better traction by using all 4 wheels. What it isn't is lighter/more efficient. You can call it "training wheels" but the technology will only improve.

    I will now step down from the podium! Pretty funny!

    The turbo sales were from the mid year review('06-'07) by the CEO, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking.

    The two sports car series were linked to sustained growth. 17,329 vehicles were sold
    from the 911 series, of which 3,461 were the top model, the 911 Turbo. Total growth for the
    911 series amounted to 15.7%. The Boxster series even experienced growth of 19.6% to
    11,979 vehicles; this figure included 7,687 Cayman and Cayman S models.


    I really respect your view and knowledge and promote the RWD capability and fun factor. I plan to get the fun car soon, RWD for me as well. But the Turbo is really enticing...

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Isn't there a thread for that debate?

    This thread is supposed to be about AWD sedans, we can debate what the ultimate AWD sedan is, but I kinda doubt a Porsche 911 qualifies. ;)

    A while back an Australian magazine tested AWD vs. RWD vs. FWD, in an all around test of handling, and AWD one. They used a WRX STI for the AWD, a Porsche for RWD, and I forget what the FWD was, to be honest that's probably because I didn't care. :D
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    The GT-R could be the fastest AWD this side of $100K.

    link title

    I guess the 911 Turbo has some competition. I assume the AWD detracts from the experience similar to the Turbo. I wonder if that will change at some point.

    Getting around the 'Ring for this car should approach the nose-bleed ranks dominated by Porsche.

    The cost of admission to this rare distinction has dropped a tad for those interested to find out first hand (I assume in Z06 territory).

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not a sedan but that's awesome so it gets a pass. ;)
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Heck, I keep forgetting about the sedan part! :blush:

    Regards,
    OW
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