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Ultimate AWD Sports Sedans

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Comments

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Said another way, the S60 R isn't the best car in this category unless you add aftermarket parts.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    " You could also get an upgrade to boost it to the power of the S4 and cure the suspension problem for less than the price of a similarly equipped S4."

    I'm not sure those options are realistic.

    In the case of the engine, reviews already say the turbo lag is bad enough that the engine feels like an on/off switch; either no power or lots of power. Unless you are cleverer than volvo's engineers, you're not going to add much power without adding a lot of lag, or grenading the engine. It's already a 300hp 2.5L for BOB's sake.

    In the case of the suspension, the suspension is already quite complex, with "sport" and "normal modes" etc. There's issues with weight distribution, geometry, suspension travel, chassis rigidity, etc. Just swapping on bilsteins isn't going to fix it.

    As for "best value", the s60r's msrp is $38,985. That's not a bad price compared to some, but in the ballpark of some nice vehicles.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 27,975
    As for "best value", the s60r's msrp is $38,985. That's not a bad price compared to some, but in the ballpark of some nice vehicles.

    But street price is a WHOLE different ballgame on these.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True.

    Still, you can't subtract 400 lbs, which is what would make this car the ultimate IMO.

    Preferably all 400 lbs from the front axle, too.
  • 6sptl6sptl Posts: 24
    Acura has the most advanced AWD system in the market at this time SHAWD. Not only is it one of 2 torque vectoring systems, its the only torque vectoring system that not only transfers torque but can actually overaccelerate the rear tire that is the torque recipient thus reducing understeer. The system is totally transparent works at all speeds and as other AWD systems enhances drivability in all weather conditions. No european manufacturer has been able to introduce their own version though audi and BMW are assidiously working to catch up. Of course SHAWD comes with Honda quality and reliability, standard. Available on the RL MDX and RDX, and probably on the next TL.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    A) I think you've been reading too much Honda marketing bilge.
    B) The "most advanced" doesn't mean the best or the most effective. That realm is occupied by Audi.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    It is a wonder that any other brand even sells cars given your insight :P
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Acura may have one of the most technologically advanced AWD systems on paper. But the "super handling" RL isn't anywhere near super-handling in my book. It is a grossly overweight car that has a below average suspension and steering compared to a 5-series. And this is from someone who has a 2004 TL 6-speed and 2005 MDX in their garage, not a BMW loyalist.

    If the next TL becomes as relatively obese and ho-hum handling as the RL, Acura can keep it. I'd be much more inclined to see it offered in a RWD version that stayed under 3,500 lbs.

    Acura's SH-AWD system makes for great reading. But, unfortunately, the RL is a very poor showcase in the real on-road experience. Haven't spent as much time in a new MDX.
  • fighter1fighter1 Posts: 18
    Most advanced systems prone to most advanced errors. Audi has best awd on the marked. RL looks good on a paper, but in real life I will choose A6.
  • fighter1fighter1 Posts: 18
    Better than bimmer handling? Honda & Toyota are dreaming about it, but can't make it yet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm a fan of SH-AWD, but I'd like to see Acura come up with a better overall package. As proof, the RL has basically failed in the marketplace.

    One happy owner doesn't change that. There aren't nearly enough people like you to make the RL a success.

    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind a used one, supposedly they're a good value because they don't retain their prices as well as the M35 and Lexus GS.
  • 6sptl6sptl Posts: 24
    The biggest problem for the RL is perception, many fans expected an M5, which obviously the RL is not. Nor is it a "bling" mobile a la Lexus. The RL did and still does outperform all of its 6 cylinder AWD competition. However, all of it's competitors have a higher performing V8 powered versions that give its lesser siblings the all important halo model. Though 80% or more of MB and bimmers sold are the 6 cylinder models, the owners enjoy the "props" of their higher priced siblings even though in direct competition with the RL they would handily be handed their rear ends!
    I personally don't know if Honda will ever build a "luxury" sedan that will crack that echelon of the market succesfuly. Such vehicles are just too contrarian to the overall company philosophy of value. Although racing is a Honda heritage, it is simply an adjunct to the philosophy of value and enviromental stewardship. In the end Honda will probably be better off anyway. Ferrari builds the most acclaimed sports cars however, in almost 100years their corporation has grown to a 1000th of Honda's size, thus in the big picture who wins in the end????? Yes an Enzo is hot, but a civic Si is a completely enjoyable, sophisticated, reliable and environmentally concious transportation device we can all enjoy!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Perhaps the $50k asking price was too high. Or the TL is too close in terms of performance, too.

    Seriously, though, a used one ought to be a bargain in a couple of years...
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The RL did and still does outperform all of its 6 cylinder AWD competition.

    Say what? The RL doesn't "outperform" a FWD TL 6 speed. In acceleration, handling, braking or fuel efficiency. And barely outperforms it in wet/snow conditions. The 530ix was superior in all respects, if only barely so in acceleration. The new 535ix should pretty much crush the RL in that regard. Even the E350 4-matic feels like a tighter handling car to me.

    You are partly right though, Acura advertised the RL as a "super handling" sport sedan to the point of falsely raising expectations. Unfortunately, the TL 6-speed, with a sport suspension, Brembo brakes, and 500 less pounds comes closer to delivering the goods.

    I do believe Acura is capable of producing a world class sport sedan, if they chose to. The Honda S2000 I owned was very competitive with the nearly twice as expensive Porsche Boxster S. There is no reason that Acura couldn't produce a serious 5 series competitor, if they would grab those S2000 engineers and replace the underachievers assigned to the RL.
  • I am inclined to agree that Audi do probably have the best AWD systems in the business at the moment. However what has caught my attention ever since the unveiling of the Prototype X and subsequently the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X is that its new S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) system appears to be more advanced.

    From all indications through articles and videos, you can directly influence the torque distribution to the wheels via a joystick-like button mounted on the steering wheel. Edmunds even tested it on an Evolution IX test mule and said it handles superbly.

    Since Mitsubishi was also active in rallying with AWD/4WD systems albeit later than Audi, do you guys think their new system could usurp the title of best AWD/4WD system from Audi?

    I'm also definitely looking forward to the 2008/9 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart - since its cheaper and easier on fuel with the Evo IX's AWD system and slightly less HP. What do you guys think of it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Quattro can actually mean different things, as the TT gets the FWD based system from the Golf lineup, while the A4 and others get a Torsen.

    It's funny, though, Torsens work great on the track, and when you have traction, but few people realize that on ice they are completely useless. With no traction they work like an open differential, and fail completely.

    Torsens have a bias ratio. Audi's is 2 to 1. That means it can send twice as much power to one side if it senses more grip than the other side.

    The formula would be 67% to the axle with more traction, 33% to the axle with less.

    However, if one side has zero traction, all the power leaks out that side. Two times zero is zero. So all the power leaks out, just like an open diff.

    Torsens fail completely on frictionless surfaces. They are great on the track when you DO have traction, but they are useless on ice.

    Audi gets around it by using traction control to brake the slipping wheels. But the Torsen still fails to transfer power in a sustained manner.

    There is a funny video on YouTube, staged by BMW. They turned off the traction control and put one axle of an Audi A8 on rollers. The other axle was on solid ground, clean and dry cement. It failed to move forward even an inch.

    That's how a Torsen works. All the power leaked to the axle that had no-traction, i.e. rollers. AWD failure was 100%.

    For that reason, a Torsen (Audi Quattro) is not the best, in my opinion.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    IMO, you are correct. The ultimate AWD sport sedan (for the money) at the moment is the BMW 335 xi. PERIOD! :P

    Regards,
    OW
  • HMM maybe Audi should go back to the original Quattro, with the manual locking diffs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, the marketing term "Quattro" has referred to many different things over the years.

    At one point they used THREE Torsens. A dream on the track. A nightmare on ice.

    The TT I mentioned earlier uses a FWD-based Haldex. Some Fords use the same technology.

    It's become like "Kleenex", a generic term for their AWD, but it can mean many different things.
  • 6sptl6sptl Posts: 24
    You have to watch the RL comparisons videos here. The RL smoked the 530AWD. As to the 535 BMW punked out with the turbo's. They simply couldn't meet the grade normally aspirated.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    No need for me to watch videos. I've had an RL as a loaner on two 1-2 day occasions and was more than happy to get my TL 6-speed back. The lousy slushbox transmission, obese weight ad ho-hum handling were underwhelming at best.

    You can think the RL is a sports sedan from watching videos if you want, but I'll take the "real" thing. At least BMW 5-series has a real sport suspension option and a real 6-speed manual. Hell, the old Legend GS 6-speed was a more impressive car for it's day.

    Like I said, the S2000 competes with Porsche, but if you think the RL competes with bmw, you are in the miniscule minority, based upon "real" sales. And what's somebody wiht a 6sptl monikor doing accepting a slushbox auto only offering, anyway?
  • Apparently BMW was up to something, here's an old video of the allroad whipping butt up a hill no AWD BMW could make, actually, the Audi was the only one...
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8zfKRdgoRo4
  • Holy cow, the RL is 4100 lbs. Thats within a few hundred pounds of an Explorer. I don't think anything that heavy can be the ultimate anything. It was the same issue the 3000GT VR4 had; it was fast and was very advanced, but all that technology added to the weight it was trying to hide.
    The BMW is about 500lbs lighter, and is available with a manual transmission, two strong points in its favor, IMO.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    IMO, this 330xi is pretty ultimate based on 23K miles of reliable, high performance handling in all-weather conditions, on public roads. It just outclasses other cars by a wide margin where performance speaks authority in the sedan category. Yes, the non-xi variant with SP will out-handle in dry conditions and as wet/snow/ice build, only the top class drivers can run a rwd better than the average enthusiast with this setup.

    I am sure the 335xi will blow my pants off in acceleration but the E90 xi is no slouch DESPITE the extra 500 lbs. more than an optimum sedan weight range in 255 hp dress.

    As I wrote before, AWD setups will be like Mickey D's around the auto world sooner than later. You can't tell me Porsche, Lamborghini and even Ferrari (just a rumor at present) doesn't portend a bright future for AWD performance. This technology will make RWD obsolete quite soon, I'm afraid. The fun factor will always be available for the purists but at a higher price differential as demand continues to drop for the 4 speed row set. That setup will be an option and a dear one as computers add capability far beyond the experienced driver can muster. I believe it is a long way off but as "smart highway systems" are designed and developed, the auto becomes an ipod that you plug into the national grid.

    For now, I'll take the edge AWD affords! ;)

    Regards,
    OW
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Just because I acknowledge BMW as superior to Acura in it's current implementation of AWD in a "sports" sedan configuration, don't expect me to ever buy your AWD over RWD as superior performance.

    As far as Porsche goes, the 997 model is a tighter, more nimble car, with better power in RWD form. The "enthusiasts" prefer the RWD GT3 to the AWD Turbo in spite of a 65 hp and 200 ft. lb torque disadvantage. Porsche wouldn't feel compelled to produce a $200k GT2, if they didn't know that RWD is the ultimate performance configuration of the 911.

    If you want to put training wheels on your racing bike, that's your perogative. But when those training wheels on a sports car or sedan add 100-300+ lbs, reduce drivetrain efficiency by 5-10%, and, in the case of BMW, eliminate a sport suspension option, you can't expect to win the claim that those training wheels provide a performance "edge". Stick with a legitimate claim of all weather versitility. We have enough polititians trying to sell a false set of goods.

    And Ferrari? Not in our lifetime.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Again, I agree. I know you won't buy AWD concept but a few people are, don't you agree?

    AWD performance in all conditions is not superior to RWD based on the issues we both agree. Not yet anyway. What I propose to you is that future iterations of AWD will outshine 2 wheel driven propulsion as the technology advances. The perfect analogy of the AT option for hands off-shifting and the automatic traction capability in AWD is apropos here. Yes, the added feature to shift auto/manual has evolved which shows continued evolution there as well.

    If training wheels allow me to blow past you on a given race course, in ALL weather conditions, that's satisfaction! I am sure the C4S owners do not consider they bought training wheels, do you? Porsche explicitly states the AWD is added for better performance not as an all-weather traction option.

    The enthusiasts will ALWAYS go for RWD. But the combination of RWD/MT is the original concept that continues to evolve in the auto world. AWD is still in it's infancy, IMO.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Here is some recent news from Infinity...AWD for the G37 Coupe?

    It is being reported that Infinity will add an all-wheel drive option to its G37 Coupe. While Nissan has yet to confirm the report, it seems very likely considering the G37's competitors, the Audi A5 and BMW 335xi coupe, offer all-wheel drive. "Dealers and customers have asked about it — and I understand it’s reasonable to expect it may happen, but nothing has been finalized, no timing decided,” said Tim Gallagher, Nissan's senior manager for product launch strategy and corporate communications. Infinity recently announced it would offer an all-wheel drive option for the M45.

    Even more training wheels! How utterly ingenuous! ;)

    Regards,
    OW
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Apparently BMW was up to something

    They were - they disabled the traction control. I mentioned that specifically. ;)

    The Audi video you shared doesn't convince me at all. For starters, notice how they're smoother on the throttle with the Audis, while with the others they stop and then stab the gas suddenly.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Here is some great news that continues the AWD concept to the next stage of world automotive, IMO.

    Mitsubishi will introduce the i MIEV Sport concept and Concept-ZT at this October's Tokyo Motor Show. The i MIEV Sport is based on the automaker's i MIEV and is an all-electric car. Like the i MIEV, the Sport uses a rear-midship layout with its lithium-ion batteries stored underneath the passenger floor. The powertrain consists of two electric motors in the front–one to power each wheel–and one motor providing power to the rear-wheels. The i MIEV Sport's interior uses Mitsubishi's "Green Plastic," a feature the automaker will debut in its Concept cX next week.

    The Concept-ZT is a larger sedan and could indicate the styling direction for the next Mitsubishi Galant. The concept is powered by a 2.2 liter clean diesel that produces 187 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via Mitsubishi's new Twin-Clutch SST transmission–another feature set to debut on the Concept cX. The Concept-ZT saves weight by using an all-aluminum space frame.


    Porsche and BMW need to get on the ball!

    Regards,
    OW
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Porsche and BMW need to get on the ball!

    Right. Mitsubishi is clearly way ahead of Porsche and BMW. Just don't pay any attention to their dubious financial condition or the fact that their most successful car (Lancer EVO), if you want to be generous, is aimed squarely at the boy racer demographic. Their corporate strategy appears to have been pieced together by a committee of schizophrenics and bipolars. And their mainstream cars tend to appeal to the same types. :confuse:

    P.S. Since you seem to be completely consumed by the notion that AWD is the holy grail, why don't you quit your day job and work on a AWD version of a racing bike. The day I see the winner of a Tour de France with a set of sprockets on the front wheel, I'll hand you the keys to my 911. ;)
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Here, introducing Steve Christini's engineered AWD motorcycle.

    image

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    image

    ....and the specs.

    Parts range from Shimano LX to XT. One of the bikes even come with Magura Marta SL Disc Brakes!

    CHRISTINI AWD System
    - Handelbar mounted AWD engagement switch.
    - Spiral-Drive aluminum bevel and pinion gears.
    - Aluminum interlocking clutch.
    - Tubular aluminum drive shafts.
    - Coated steel universal joints.
    - Stainless sealed cartridge bearings.
    - Total AWD system weight is 2.3 lbs.

    Frame
    - 6061 aluminum with powder and anodized finish available.

    Rear Suspension
    - Patented “Active Arch” single pivot suspension design.
    - Cross Country: 100mm of rear travel

    Front Suspension
    - White Brothers XC 1.0 (100mm travel)
    - or VT 1.3 (80mm-130mm adjustable travel)

    Headset
    - CHRISTINI integrated headset with sealed bearings.

    Rear Disc Hub
    - Compatible with all 135mm disc brake hubs.

    Front Disc Hub
    - Proprietary CHRISTINI silent, zero-backlash front freehub.

    Disc Brakes
    - Compatible with all full hydraulic and mechanical braking systems.

    Tires
    - Compatible with tire tread up to aggressive 2.3 inch.

    Stem and Handelbar
    - Compatible with all 1 1/8 inch clamp-on stems and bars.

    I'll trade in your 911 for the Turbo.. thank you very much! :D

    Regards,
    OW
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Re-read my post: When the Tour de France WINNER uses an AWD racing bike you can have my 911 keys. They are still safely in my pocket.

    I have absolutely no doubt that there are enough gizmo crazies out there to put AWD on everything from a motorcyle to a shopping cart. Just like there are those late night infomercials for an "automatic transmission" bicyle. But that doesn't mean Lance Armstrong or his successors will ever be turning in their RWD shift your own bikes for these cute mutants.

    And, by the way, the best track times posted at Nurburgring aren't by the 480hp/505ft lb 911 Turbo, they are by the meager 415hp/298ft lb. GT3. Rear wheel drive. And the C2S is more than a few seconds quicker than the C4S.

    Why exactly do you have an infatuation with AWD that results in a heavier, less drive train efficient, slower, lower fuel economy performance penalty? Sure, on your SUV that can trek through 12" of snow. Even on a sedan that has a lot of foul weather to contend with. But on a "sport" anything? Even Porsche engineers admit that AWD in the Turbo is a "compromise" for putting 500 ft. lbs of torque to the pavement, but hurts in all other areas, as the GT3 and upcoming GT2 show.
  • Why exactly do you have an infatuation with AWD that results in a heavier, less drive train efficient, slower, lower fuel economy performance penalty?

    Unfair Advantage
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    If only I could stop the rain and snow...BTW, MT ran handling performance clinic which they crowned the GT3 winner over the cars below.

    Lancer EVO
    S2000
    Caymen S
    Civic SI
    Z06
    335i
    Lotus Exige
    Cooper S
    MazdaSpeed3
    (My F430 was left out because MT tested it against the GT3 and the GT3 won out).

    BUT here is the kicker...

    Which is the best-handling car in the land? We've instrumented and tested 10 great cars, microanalyzing the vehicle dynamics of each. We've spent hours at the wheel assessing the nuanced feedback each car transmits to its driver. The logbook notes, interview tapes, and 420 megabytes' worth of objective test data agree: The clear winner is the Michelin-Porsche 911 GT3. We're augmenting the nomenclature here to acknowledge the immense contribution the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires make to the tail-heavy Porsche icon's handling. They're the closest thing to a full-on racing tire that is DOT-legal for street use. They're fair game because GT3s come from the factory with these tires, and we doubt that fitting conventional summer rubber would lower the GT3's performance to a second-place finish here. Conversely, a set of Cup tires probably wouldn't have enabled any of the competitors to outperform the GT3.

    But we're nagged by the fact that the astonishing fair-weather grip generated by these new Michelins will degrade markedly when the short-lived gooey tread compound wears down, when temperatures fall, or when anyone so much as wet-sneezes on the pavement. If actual rain is falling, park this car or limp it home as though negotiating a blizzard in Buffalo.

    A devil in sheep's clothing! For me, I'll take the extra level of grip from the Turbo and decline any street races from your GT3, thank you very much (until there are a couple thousand miles on your tires and/or the rain is falling). ;)

    Regards,
    OW
  • A devil in sheep's clothing! For me, I'll take the extra level of grip from the Turbo and decline any street races from your GT3, thank you very much

    I hope that as an actual owner of your beloved 911 Turbo, you will accept that I don't have an unfair bias.

    The GT3 seriously outhandles the Turbo. It weighs nearly 500 lbs less. Some of that weight difference are all the creature comforts in the Turbo, but a substantial amount is the AWD system. And the GT3 I drove had been fitted with the same exact 235/35/19 & 305/30/19 Michelin's that came on my Turbo.

    In nearly one year and 10,000 miles behind the wheel of my Turbo, the AWD system has kicked in for added grip perhaps 3-4 times. There is a dashboard light that shows power transfer front to rear and it is damn near impossible to light up on non-slippery surfaces. The standard power setting is 95% to the rear / 5% to the front.

    As much as I like the Turbo I would be dishonest if I didn't admit wanting a bit more of the tossable nibleness of the GT3. And as much as I like 505 ft lbs of torque on demand, I would be dishonest if I didn't admit to finding an 8,400 rpm redline more fun to drive when you aren't pointed straight down a runway.

    This argument can go on forever. You mention the Ferrari 430. Spectacular car to drive, in my book. Far, far, far more satisfying than the AWD Lamborghini. What I find interesting are the number of people that advocate AWD as enthusiastically as the manufacturers embraced FWD in the 70's and 80's. Superior for traction, yes. Sport, no. At least not without some tradeoffs. Your arguments would be more credible if you chose to acknowledge those tradeoffs rather than try to ignore them.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    An interesting response from spiritinthesky.

    I think this really is a personal preference issue. I will likely never convince you that the added traction of AWD isn't beneficial. Nor should I try, because in some conditions, it clearly is. But neither will you ever convince me that "light and nimble" isn't preferable in a sports car or sedan.

    Part of the vehemence of my position is that I, for one, think the evolution in size and weight of (even RWD) sports cars and sedans is working against them. Back when I bought my 5 passenger 1995 Nissan Maxima, 3,008 lbs was considered "healthy". Now that has crept up to 3,400-3,500 lbs. Perhaps AWD isn't the straw that breaks the camels back, but it's bending a lot, IMO.

    As for the Audi Quatro's "unfair advantage", I can't comment on their race cars, but the A4 Quatro and A6 Quatro I have been given as loaners are obese and numb, IMO. Not the kind of "feel" I would ever want in a sports sedan, no matter what the traction advantage happens to be. That feeling preference is not quatifiable, I'll admit. But it's there just as much as my preference against paddle shifting slushbox transmissions. If my sports car isn't fun to drive, the ultimate performance doesn't matter. Which is why you would never find me in a sledgehammer Corvette over scalpel 911.
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    As for the Audi Quatro's "unfair advantage", I can't comment on their race cars, but the A4 Quatro and A6 Quatro I have been given as loaners are obese and numb, IMO.

    I totally agree with you. I test drove a V6 A4 Quatro. It felt like a very nice car and I definitely liked it. But there is really no comparison to the WOW feeling of driving a 335i. I'm not talking only about the power, but the steering and the solid feel going around corners in the bmw.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Spirit, I always value your opinion as well as the others on this board. To me it's not an argument rather than a preference and a technology that will improve where FWD is/was limited, IMO. I agree there are tradeoffs with any differing propulsion systems. AWD more traction, heavier/less tossable...RWD lighter/more tossable, less traction. FWD, less control/torque steer.

    The debate is if AWD is just another encumbrance over the RWD technology to a sport-enthusiast's preference or not. Perhaps 10% or so of the sport handling is lost on your Turbo but I'm betting you still smile at the end of the straight roads!

    I make the point that car manufacturers are ever increasingly adding the option to their offerings and even in the high-line sports cars such as yours. I know some think it's because the buyer's prefer help from a nanny or 2 but when you see races won with AWD "race cars" and even "street cars" with AWD, the debate will continue.

    Put another way, when the roads permit, AWD can be an advantage (even a sport one). When the roads permit, RWD is ultimate. I would submit there were reasons you chose the Turbo and AWD did not deter your choice...I would no doubt follow your lead. In no way am I trying to sway other's choices nor claim king of any technology.

    At the end of the day, there are no perfect roads!

    Regards,
    OW
  • As for the Audi Quatro's "unfair advantage", I can't comment on their race cars, but the A4 Quatro and A6 Quatro I have been given as loaners are obese and numb, IMO.

    I totally agree with you. I test drove a V6 A4 Quatro. It felt like a very nice car and I definitely liked it. But there is really no comparison to the WOW feeling of driving a 335i. I'm not talking only about the power, but the steering and the solid feel going around corners in the bmw.

    I concur, the contemporary A4 doesn't do much for me. The 80s UR-Q up through the mid-90s S6 felt better to me, as did the early A4.
  • I cruised through an awful lot of the posts in this thread and need to ask for advice. I am in the market for a new car, my first actually since 1995.Since I live in NYC and anticipate making frequent NE highway runs (especially to Lake Placid), minimal local, I assumed an AWD (that also gets respectable fuel economy, high 20s) to be the best bet. The cars I am soon to test drive are the Lexus IS250, BMW 328xi, MB C300 luxury and maybe the Audi A4 V6 Quattro. I was hoping to get a coupe, but I am not blown away by the 328 or 335. Do I even NEED an AWD or can I get by with a FWD, like maybe the new Accord Hybrid? Tnx much Keith
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I met Christini himself. Drove up to their HQ in Philly, had lunch with him and one of his co-workers. Very cool small business with a strong engineering focus.

    They almost reminded me of what the Wright brothers must have been like way back when.

    He had one of those bikes up on a stand, and demonstrated the AWD system. So cool!

    There was no point test riding the bikes because they are RWD unless you slip, then power shifts to the front wheel.

    Very cool experience. I shot a video of it, let me see if I still have it....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I found a 5.7MB .MOV file if you want it, but it's not the one I filmed myself. It shows the bike in operation, AWD on and off.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Based upon the criteria you've set forth I wouldn't suggest that you spend you money on any of the cars you've listed. It sounds more like you should be in the market for a Toyonda Camcord V6, or optionally their bigger siblings the Lexus ES350 or the Acura TL.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    The 328/335 sedans drive just like the coupes, so if you didn't like the coupe I wouldn't waste my time with the sedan. The A4 is a softer ride, which you might like. I personally like (and own) the 335 sedan because I found that driving the A4 was too bland. The MB is similar to the A4 in my opinion. It's not a bad thing if you value a comfy ride over steering feel and handling. I haven't driven the Subary Outback, but I would consider that too as an AWD vehicle. It seems like a good value, although it comes up a bit short on the luxury aspects. The IS250 looks nice inside and out but I never bothered to drive it since my head hits the roof on that even in the lowest seat position. If you're under 6 feet, it could be a good choice.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Like everything else, "it depends". Not all winter tires are created equal. I've driven some that were absolutely lousy on dry pavement, and I've driven some that were so good on dry pavement that it was difficult to tell the difference between them and a set of good all-season rubber. More often than not these days, winter tires rival or even surpass all-season rubber in dry road characteristics.

    Just curious but what winter tires would those be and how ell do they perform in actual snow and ice like we get in New England? My area gets a fair amount of snow locally and they don't do the best job of clearing the roads for a few days after a major storm.
    I'm always on the lookout for a tire that does well in all conditions, so far the Nokians are the best in the winter but a bit squirmy in the dry. A higher performance tire that is actually good in snow, ice and dry winter pavement would be pretty good. I'm curious as to what brand you would recommend?
  • Tnx for the advice Dan. What I actually meant about the coupe was more the styling of it, I haven't ridden in one yet. Given that I assume I am going to do a decent amount of highway driving, what would your suggestion be then?
  • Tnx Shipo. Money aside, is AWD one of those features that marketers play up to the ignorant masses (like myself in thsi case), but in reality, is useless? Otherwise, even if it only comes in handy on an infrequent basis, I don't mind paying extra for the peace of mind.

    Keith
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Is it useless? No, not exactly, however, given the driving that you've described I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out when you're going to take advantage of the extra accelerative traction. Keep in mind that AWD adds weight to a car and as such it will take longer to slow itself from any given speed in any given set of conditions and will not have the same nimble turning characteristics in many conditions.

    Keep us posted.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    You don't like the coupe styling? Most people buy it because of that. I opted for the sedan because it's much more practical, it's cheaper, and it drives the same. Besides, my wife wouldn't let me get a coupe. :)

    What would I recommend? Well, first I guess you have to decide on AWD because that limits your choices. I like AWD simply because in the mountains I don't have to worry about putting chains on, which is a pain. I used to have a Jeep for that, now I will use my wife's SUV since I didn't get AWD on my 335. If you're not going into the mountains, then you may not need it. Having said that, if I thought I would have to drive on snow or ice, I would opt for AWD. It may or may not help, but I would rather have all the help I can get in those kinds of conditions. That's just me.

    Once you figure out the AWD question, you need to decide what you like. If you want to be really comfortable for long trips, I would look at a Lexus ES350 or an Acura TL. The Audi A4 or the MB can be good choices too, although they're not as reliable for the long term. Try a 328xi also, but I think that is a fairly tight ride which you may not like. I personally find the seats with the sports package incredibly comfortable in the 328/335, but you will feel bumps on the road which may get annoying on long trips.

    If you don't *love* any of these cars, save yourself some money and look at a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. They are perfectly good and comfortable cars that have everything you need and will do the job for you. If you're gonna pay $35K+ for a car, it better put a smile on your face every time you drive it. If it doesn't, there are plenty of cheaper cars that are quite good.
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