[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]


-----Original Message-----
From: Fluhr <ejfluhr@austin.ibm.com>

-- snip --

>It does seem to appear that the anti-torsen group is mainly talking about
>the type 44 (?) cars, while the pro-torsen group is referring to entirely
>different cars.  I don't know if this is a factor, but perhaps it is a
>variable that needs to be looked at.


This reminds me of a discussion we had over a year ago at lunch at an Audi
Finland function with a number of Audi rally veterans and tech people at
hand.  The type 44 chassis, as raced by the factory in its final efforts
after group B was banished raised a number of concerns to do with wheelbase,
polar moment, weight etc.  Esa Saarenpää, a veteran of Finnish/European
circuits with his S2 and Petteri Lindstöm, Group B Finnish National champion
(mid eighties with Urq) and Hannu Mikkola were present as we discussed the
various factory and semi-factory efforts.  They all agreed that chassis
geometry and dynamics were an integral part of the driveability (as we all
do) but with similar drivetrains tested, the Urq and the 200q rally cars
behaved unlike expected.  Somebody made a comment regarding static
assumptions based purely on wheelbase having been thrown out the window...

What I'm getting at is that I haven't driven a Torsen 200q in a long time,
I'll be sure to test it when the boys get one in on trade, but does someone
with the geometry/dynamics of the A4 have trouble controlling powerslides on
snow/ice?  I think that the dynamics of the different models throughout the
years are so different that the Torsen's pos/neg effect is negated in doing
comparisons.  Just to make the point, I've driven the following ´98 quattro
setups (same track, same wheel/tire combo), in order of preference:

A4 1.8T q man (1BE sport susp)
A4 Avant q man (1BE sport susp)
A4 2.4q man (1BE sport susp)
A4 2.8q man(1BE sport susp)
A6 2.8q man (1BE sport susp)
A4 2.5TDI V6 q man
Passat 2.8 syncro (q-technology) man
A6 2.5TDI V6 q man
A4 1.8q (n/a) man
A6 2.4q auto

The extremely flat torque curve of the 1.8T makes it very manageable.  There
is even a noticeable difference in the 1.8Tq sedan and avant on the track
given enough time to get to know the cars.  Why? -was the question asked at
our courses.  The added weight of the Avant in the rear (not a great deal of
weight, but mostly behind the rear axle) made it much less responsive to
steering inputs, especially the extreme sort.  The V6 cars seemed nose-heavy
with a fair bit more initial understeer and the extra power did not seem
usable at the track.  Might be different on pavement.  The 2.4 in my opinion
(I have no idea why) is a sweeter engine than the 2.8, much happier at high
rpm.  On ice the extra 28 hp were not needed for the test cars only had
Nokian Hakkapeliitta 1's with studs to put the power down.

The sport supension on the A4 and A6 makes the car much easier to drive as
was expected.  On the A6 it made a big difference.  The new Passat that I
drove (one of my demos) had std suspension (peoples car cannot be ordered
from the factory with such) and was not much fun with all the rock and roll
going on in the suspension.  The 150hp diesel with quattro is a terrific
car, but I could not get used to thrashing it around.  Maybe given enough

My point???  Nearly 10 different cars - all with Torsen - all with very
different dynamic characteristics.  I only wonder if I'd had some of the
older powertrain variations there to do back-to-back comparisons...

Jouko Haapanen