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Re: 325iX vs. Quattro(read this one....)

At 08:16 PM 3/31/97 -0800, you wrote:
>Ok all, i did some research this past week with my friend and we came up 
>with a comparison of the 325iX and the 90 quattro (1988 i believe).  They 
>came to the conclusion that the iX had a superior all wheel drive system. 
> Well, that kind of hurt the argument that i had as i am always defending 
>audi vs bimmer all the time.  so now i dont really have an argument that 
>says that Audi is better...with facts at least...i KNOW that it is, but i 
>dont have any facts about why it is.  I need some help guys, i know that 
>alot of you out there really know about Audi's so i need some facts and 
>opinions on which all wheel drive system is better... I look foward to 
>any help that i may recieve...Thanks in advance.
>i know that you probably already got this, but i didnt have a return 
>address on it...so now i do...sorry for the duplicates...
>Mike Williams
>85 Coupe GT

I feel qualified to comment on this one, as I presently own a 91 BMW 325iX
and an 86 Audi 5000 Turbo Quattro (actually a Treser Super 5000, but that's
another story); I previously owned an 87 TQ wagon, and an 86 5000 wagon
(front wheel drive). 

According to what I read at the BMW faq site for iXs, the drive system is
viscous coupled. My old Audis had lockable differentials, and while the BMW
is very good in the snow - I just drove through lots of it today and
yesterday - nothing, IMO, is like driving my old TQ wagon with the diffs
locked up and lots of snow on the roads. What fun that was! Nothing stopped
that wagon. I still miss it. 

The two cars feel very different. The iX understeers more; the turn-in
response seems quicker. My Treser seems more neutral, though a bit more
deliberate at turn-in.  The straight line stability is better in the Audis.
The BMW seems to wander more on uneven pavement (there is no even pavement
in the state of Pennsylvania, at least not where I drive), but it does have
oversize low aspect ratio tires on it, so that may be the reason. The BMW
seems livelier; the Audis more stable. 

The throttle response is better in the iX - no turbo lag. The iX is more
nimble, and the extra power and lighter weight make it more tossable. In
both cars you can have lots of fun powering out of turns - you just have to
anticipate a little more in the Audi. I should mention that my BMW has a
performance chip upgrade - I don't know the manufacturer - and an
aftermarket exhaust system. I was told when I bought the car (used) that it
had been dynoed, and had about 200 hp at the rear wheels. I am skeptical
about that number, but it's got good throttle response and acceleration. 

For long distance driving, there is no choice: the Audi wins, hands down. My
5000 TQ is a much more comfortable car to ride in and drive. It's quieter,
too. Much more civilized.  

I can't comment on the 90 quattro, as I have no experience with it. But I
don't believe that BMW's system is superior to Audi's. Really, I would love
to have the iX's nimbleness and acceleration with the Audi's ride and
comfort. And all else being equal, I would probably choose the quattro
system over the iX's viscous couplings. But I do think the iX is an
excellent car - lots and lots of grins on the twisty parts of the road. 

Ben Baldridge
Antenna Laboratory,
Tracor Aerospace Electronic Systems, Inc.

86 Audi Treser Super 5000
91 BMW iX

Benjamin M. Baldridge