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Re: whippin up (long, of course:)

At 09:04 AM 3/31/98 -0500, QSHIPQ wrote:
>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.

Ok.  So now you're saying that C&D...the reviewers opinion...that the A8
needed more tire, is pretty silly.  Do we want to take what they say in one
sentence as gospel and ignore the next?  Seems like you do!

>>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
> >liner...
>Mustang a world of difference, oxymoron.  Plus 1 and Plus 2 concepts have
>around for some time.  Not what was tested.  17in wheels also don't do well
>against the renouned interstate system in the US.  

Hmm...17's are standard equipment on the M3, and will be optional on the
new 3 -series.  My Mustang did great with 17" rubber...on the US interstate
and off.  Didn't the Jag have 17" rubber??  17" can and does work on large
sedans and sports cars in the US...not just the autobahn.  And the ride
change that I pointed out on the Mustang between 16" and 17" wheels merely
shows the impacts of wheel size and tire width.  Not irrelevant...

>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
>think that would have moved the A8 up in the standings.  I don't.

Not at all.  Just stating what was not mentioned in the test, but came up
in the reported numbers.  They talked 0-60 times.  As their rating system
goes...the overall number has does not equal the sum of the individual
ratings.  And acceleration does not make a car.  But they did mention that
they though the Audi, with its techno aluminum structure, should've been a
little quicker than the others....while it was not.  I say, not off the
line, but moving, yes.  So I think they overlooked one small aspect...a
quibble I have.

>  >>
>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
>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

>"sweet spot" where most drive, there is no advantage, only phychological.

And I can easily argue that *most* American buyers do not want to change
tires as the seasons change.  So with a standard all season tire that has
decent performance and an H or higher speed rating, the AWD will out-do the
traction control sedan.  The '93 LS400 I drove in the snow...with traction
control, was horrible.  I tried to act like a snow ignorant driver to see
what the system would do.  The system in the Mercedes S500 was much better.
 Lexus has to cut corners somewhere... and both the S500 and LS400 were
nothing compared to any AWD/4WD vehicle I've driven in snow (Toyota Previa,
Mazda MPV, Audi 4000Q, 90Q, A8q, A4q, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Blazer, Jeep
Grand Cherokee).

You can talk about ice driving schools till your face turns blue (or mine),
but that doesn't win a FWD/RWD car anything in my book.  The added security
of AWD is always there in the snow.  It allows a driver to make more
mistakes.  And in the snow, there are more drivers that make mistakes than
drivers that don't.  Now if a car allows you to *get* away with mistakes,
more power to it.

>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

You are correct about the tire size.  The A8 I drove had RS-As just like
the Goodyear equipeed A4s do, though.  And BTW, GS-Cs are not all season.

>Pat writes:
>>20ft could be tires and more aggressive abs control without a 

>Monday morning.  Yup, coulda woulda shoulda.  Didn't.

Let's get this straight.  You say that tires wouldn't have helped.  Then
someone points out that tires would've helped.  Then you say...yes...but
the Audi didn't have better tires...so it's a moot point.  No its not a
moot point.  The point was...and is...that better tires would've helped.
Car & Driver said the same thing.

>Pat, contrast and compare an M3 4 DOOR to an A4 four door.  Might help you
>make my point.  

How about the upcoming S4?  Seems some Euro car rags that have had a chance
to put the two head to head thought the S4 could be better.  Your point??
Is the A4 apples to apples with an S4?  I don't think so.  S4 has more
rubber, bigger brakes, sport suspension, more power, drivetrain tuned
differently (Torsen), etc.  Big difference.  Hot rod sedan.

>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.  

Audi was priced on the high side as well.  Roughly 10K higher than the
lexus...right up there with the BMW.  I think, though, had price evened
out, they would've ranked BMW, Lexus, then Audi.  Why?  Just my impression
from the article.

>Justifying and explaining subpar perfomance is just that.  Monday morning,
>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
>body to start with.

Agreed.  A better car.  And in some people's books, 0.2 or even 0.5 seconds
0-60 doesn't make or brake a car.  Extracting 0.9 g's from a luxury sedan
doesn't either.  Lots of intangibles.  And lots of preferences.  I prefer
the Audi, sir.  Interior, exterior, size, AWD, amenities, engine note, etc
etc etc.  The package suits me better.  Do I have that kinda money??  Hell
no...but if I were buying a sedan in that range, the Audi would be my 1st

- Josh Pinkert
- Josh@Pinkert.com
- '98 A4q 2.8
- ISO '70-'73 Porsche 911