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RE: Dead Duds - sorry, but this just isn't physics...

>Where are the magazine articles?  It's ten years since the first Torsen
>ur-quattros rolled out of Neckarsulm - I don't know exactly when the
>first Type 44s with centre Torsens came out, but it was around the same

By my reckoning, only 709 of the Ur-Qs imported to the UK have Torsens in
them ... a drop in the bucket even compared to the total number of Audis
imported let alone the total number of cars sold over the same period.
What's that saying about trees falling in the forest?  Don't assume that
just because you don't hear about a problem, it doesn't exist ... also,
don't forget that that Audi had no incentive to publicize anything about its
cars along these lines.  Even most of the "voluntary" recalls you read/hear
about are the result of much behind-the-scenses negotiations between the
government and car manufacturer ... rarely do they happen all by themselves,
regardless of what's involved.  

>No recalls.  No warning notices.  No deaths.  Seriously - if there was
>some aspect of the car that caused it to behave in a manner that Joe
>Average couldn't cope with, Nader and/or "Sixty Minutes" and/or Stern
>would have pilloried Audi _YEARS_ ago.

To my thinking, there's a fundamental difference between a car that is
driven through a garage door while its owner claims they were standing on
the brake pedal and one that ends up in a ditch because its owner drove it
too quickly for conditions and was caught out by a rogue center diff.  In
this country, driving above 7/10ths on the street in ANY car, at ANY time,
is generally considered to be reckless driving and punished ... I also think
it's highly likely that most of the people who have been "bitten" don't know
it.  All they know is that the car went into a "skid" and they couldn't save
it.  In fact, no one expected them to have saved it ... the average
driver/judge/insurance adjuster simply chalks it up as "one of those things"
that could have happened to anyone and that's that.  Very few drivers have
the know-how to take a car over the line and bring it back, and even some of
them can't do it when they cross over the line unintentionally because they
weren't prepared for it...  

I see this every year when I instruct novices at the local SCCA chapter's
autocross school: They have NO idea what sort of car control can be achieved
by a skilled driver and, presumably, these people are far more aware than
most about what car control really means.  Not to toot my own horn, but each
year, I'll spend a full day working with three or four novices, get them to
improve their lap times by 10 percent (or more, some cases!), then take my
one-and-only run in their car and beat their best time by another 10 percent
still.  They rarely believe they were *that* far from the car's limit and
have an even more difficult time believing that *I* had some ways to go as
well ... I can only imagine if they were driven around the course by
somebody who's really good, like Walter Rohrl (or my personal favorite,
Price Cobb, who scared me absolutely shitless while driving a '93 RX-7 R1
around a corner at over 90mph and on full opposite-lock ... that's the day I
realized there was no future for me as anything but a "talented amateur"
when it comes to racing cars.  I wish this weren't so but I have to accept
reality, whetner I like it or not.)

Personally, I think there's more to the Torsen than you would give it credit
but I'm not going to go there as yet ... once tax season is over, however,
I'll resume my efforts to get more info and post back then.  You've not
heard the last from me on this issue, I promise!  :^)
    _                _
   / |      _| o    | \       _| o  Jeffrey Goggin
  /__| | | / | | __ |  | | | / | |  audidudi@mindspring.com
 /   | |_| \_| |    |_/  |_| \_| |  http://www.mindspring.com/~audidudi/