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Re: Quattro vs Volvo V70 AWD

>I was intrigued to see that Volvo has introduced an AWD system for their
>V70 wagon. Its a viscious fluid-based system, distributing 95% of the power
>to the front wheel under normal situations (much like Suburu). Check out
>www.volvocars.com for more info.

Only some (mostly automatic) Subarus act this way. Manual Legacy's have a 
50/50 front to back power split.

>One thing mentioned specifically on their web pages (almost as an "oh by
>the way" type of thing) was that their AWD also worked in reverse. I never
>gave it much thought, but does Quattro work when in reverse? (Apologies if
>this is a silly question).

A quattro has a normal centre diff, therefore letting it work in forward 
or reverse direction. I'm not sure if a Torsen diff will lock in reverse, 
but I suspect it would.

>I'm glad to see that my choices for an AWD car (for my wife :-) will be
>more than just an Audi or a Suburu. I'd have no problem buying a Volvo,
>even without AWD; the addition of AWD to that line of cars is terrific, 

Well, there have been all types of AWD cars over the years, the problem 
is that most North Americans won't pay for it. They would rather have 
leather seats than AWD.

>Something tells me that AWD is going to turn out like ABS; every car will
>have it either standard or as an option, eventually.

I might have thought that 7 - 10 years ago when Audi, Subaru, Pontiac, Ford, 
Mazda, Isuzu, Toyota, AMC, Chrysler, Mitsubishi etc... (and many other 
that I can't think of right now!) were building AWD vehicles of varying 
forms, but today it looks more like a niche market, unfortunately. I 
think the market is quite different overseas, though. On the other hand, 
Audi and Subaru sure seem to be raking in the sales lately.