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Re: whippin up (long, of course:)

In a message dated 98-03-30 18:27:46 EST, you write:

<< Speculate about what people want to be known for all you want.  Its an
> irrelevant quibble in this thread.
 OK, how bout bottom line, audi came in third, think audi wanted THAT?

 >Fact:  Car and Driver said the Audi was squeamish at the limit and it's
 >braking performance was not as expected.  They said the car felt
 >under-tired.  Fact!  You say "tires wouldn't help it a bit."  The A8 (as
 >all Audis) has crummy brakes and it's got some bad chassis dynamics.  Fact:
  >The Europeans are fortunate enough to have 17" wheels with better rubber
 >as an option.  In 1997, we were denied that sportier option (not sure about
 >1998).  Audi claimed to *know* what American buyers would prefer...a
 >softer, more compliant ride.
BMW had 16in wheels and tires, and braking performance and at limit
performance were not compromised, neither was the Merc.  Fact.  This apples to
apples test, showed that whatever Audi decided to do in the "apple" world was
3rd compared to the others.  Making that a tire issue is pretty silly, IMO.
I've driven an A8 with good tires, didn't help a bit.
>I say that 17" rims and appropriate rubber would have increased the sporty
 >feel of the car.  I've driven one car (Mustang GT) with 16" and 17" factory
 >wheels...a world of a difference in performance.  The 16" car feels almost
 >Cadillac like compared to the 17" equipped car.  It would've given up some
 >of the luxury feel of the car, but it seems that Car and Driver didn't care
 >about the luxury or gadgetry of the A8 in their test.  It just earned a one
Mustang a world of difference, oxymoron.  Plus 1 and Plus 2 concepts have been
around for some time.  Not what was tested.  17in wheels also don't do well
against the renouned interstate system in the US.  Autobahn sure.  Maybe no
one got the luxo and gadgets cuz that's not what the test was about.  Or, all
5 were comparable.
> The A8 was slower off the line (like most Audis are), but faster in the
> moving acceleration tests (30-50 and 50-70?).  Don't take any notice of
> that...noooooo.  You can ignore those facts too.  And you expect that a
 >clean slate design should be the best...comparo in the bag.  That's plain
> stupid.  Lexus and BMW (the two that beat Audi) took already excellent
 >designs and refined them further.  Ever driven a 1993 or 1994 Lexus LS400?
> BTDT.  Great car.  Scratch that...excellent car.  A little short on
> personality, but in the 50K+ luxury market, personality rarely wins over
> excellence.
Bending the A8 to fit YOUR test, sir.  So, we add the 30-50 and 50-70 times
and audi gets a single first place.  Looking at the rating system used, do you
think that would have moved the A8 up in the standings.  I don't.
 >And one last thing (sir?).  C&D stated that the Audi was probably the
> *best* car for people in areas rough winters.  Sales indicate that the
 >quattro A8s are outselling the non-q pretty handily.  So people concerned
 >with foul weather capability might prefer an A8q over a Lexus.  I
> personally know of someone who sold a Lexus LS400 to buy an A8q...to her,
> it was a no-brainer...she's never looked back.  Drives that thing in it's
>"sweet spot" all the time and luvin it!
AWD is an effective Audi marketing tool.  I can argue easily that a decent
traction control and good tires and 1 steamboat school will put the awd
advantage at the lowest denominator.  Snow and Ice driving is skill behind the
wheel infinitely more than awd.  A no brainer?  That's a chunk of change to
think that awd will save her backside.  Driving in the "sweet spot" all the
time is a best case scenario in a car that gets nasty outside of it.  

AWD is a tool, so are good tires, good skill and good equipment.  Do they
offset?  Not as much as you might think, Josh.  The times at steamboat were a
good example.  There were awd audis at 100sec+, and fwd cars in the mid 80's
(the average time of all cars).  Been to steamboat for 4 years now.  AWD has a
slight advantage to a REALLY good driver.  The rest of the time, including the
"sweet spot" where most drive, there is no advantage, only phychological.

In another post Josh writes:
>It has Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires...205's.  I think they're better than the
>Conti's on my car, but by all means, not stellar tires.  Would you buy the
>RS-A's for your car??  Not at any price!

Factoid:  The ones in the test were Eagle LS' at 225/60 16.  Given a
commitment to Goodyear, the GS-C's would certainly have been a decent choice. 

I wouldn't buy p4k's, mxv4/e's, or Turanzas either.  Not at any price.  Bottom
line is that all these tires hardly qualify as performance. And interesting to
note that Tire Rack sells the MXV4 (BMW) for 11USD less than the GY (audi).  

Pat writes:
>20ft could be tires and more aggressive abs control without a 
Monday morning.  Yup, coulda woulda shoulda.  Didn't.

>Just a quick glance through the road test summery shows Audi's to be at least
>mid pack as far as braking distances so subpar may not best describe them..  
Apples to apples, they were dead last.  All the same 'buyer' looking at
comparable cars, not grandams and celicas.

<me:  y >did the powers that be at Audi put the pieces of 
<crap on to begin with?  
>Good question. 
So, some would like me to believe (including you it seems) that audi woulda
been at least second had they spent 40USD LESS on tires?  Not sure I go with
you on that one.  Could the chassis be off, with ANY tire?  Coulda, maybe
woulda, maybe shoulda?  Just as much of a stretch as you and Josh make.

 >That includes 
>the mighty m3 which you never miss the chance to praise and which by the way 
>is a sports car not a sedan. Just because it resembles one does not make it 
>one.  A quick ride in the back seat will confirm this. I recognize that cars 
>are tuned for a certain personality and appreciate cars for their particular 
Pat, contrast and compare an M3 4 DOOR to an A4 four door.  Might help you
make my point.  

>So are you saying the S cars brakes suck?  I have never heard that word 
>mentioned when describing the S cars.  Apples to apples Audis are not that
>behind bmw in braking on there stock sedans.
Pat, S cars brakes suck.  They aren't any different than 5ktq brakes.  More
weight tho.  Apples to Apples, you are not correct.  One of the sets of Big
Reds I installed was on a S4.  The brakes I took off were G60's and they were
toast.  And they sucked.  My estimation of that car AND the owners.

>Give me an application and lets me and you show them how to do it right.  We 
>are probably not the people they are shooting for sadly. 

I'm just a wrench.  Audi hires engineers, so does everyone else.  The
marketing boys prolly screwed this up.  However, marketing boys start paying
attention when the creme de la creme takes 3rd.  I advocate that Audi buyers
demand BMW performance.  Not accept audi awd marketing.  That isn't working.
AWD compromises the other parts of the perfromance equation right now.  To the
point of LOSING ranking.  Hello?

> Use the example of 
>Lexus and Infinity.  Lexus shot for the luxury segment while Infinity went
>the performance segment.  Lexus cleaned their clock.  Maybe this is what Audi
>is using for justification.  The tires could have been put on for a hundred 
>reasons we may never know but performance obviously was not one of them.

But AUDI didn't clean anyones clock, that's the point.  And if you read the
article, BMW lost only on price to the lexus.  Not such an ace with the audi.
Distant third is a clock that needs fixin, IMO.  

Justifying and explaining subpar perfomance is just that.  Monday morning, the
review wasn't kind.  Apples to Apples.  Let's get audi to improve the
mistakes, and MAKE it compete in it's apple world.  Given the marketing hype
and only "good" point in that article to audi, I sure hope El Nino doesn't
come back next year.  Making the car better is a demand from buyers not a
fixit from a goofball like me.  Bandaids only mask wounds.  How bout a healthy
body to start with.

My .02

Scott Justusson
'87 5ktqw
'86 5ktqw
'84 Urq