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Autoweek on quattro

In message <v03110700b16fdd50e7a0@[]> "R. Dunbar" writes:

> "...The aluminum A8 costs substantially more than the other two German
> sedans [M-B E430 & BMW 540i]. But is it worth it? On dry pavement, no. ...

Yeah, we get this every now and then from people who haven't actually
realised what quattro is for.  Very often journalists ...

It isn't, primarily, for driving fast in the rain or snow.  True - it
makes this easier.  It also makes it more dangerous - the same physics
applies to the brakes on an AWD car as on a FWD or RWD.  Go too fast
and you're in trouble.  If you mis-use quattro, you'll just be going
a lot faster when you hit.

Quattro is a safety and handling feature - basically, it dramatically
improves the handling that can be wrung out of a car by a fairly
novice driver.  Anyone who says it does nothing on dry pavement simply
hasn't driven with it for long enough.  Quattros _do_ tend to be firmer
sprung than other cars - it's a matter of taste.

Beware of two things:

a) Quattros are (compared with other cars) _VERY_ sensitive to correct
   suspension alignment.  Sadly, correct alignment is beyong the skills
   of very many Audi main dealers.  If you take a quattro demonstrator
   out on the road and it doesn't _immediately_ feel like it's running
   on rails - it's probably badly aligned.  All quattros are
   adjustable for camber and toe on each wheel - it's a skilled job.

b) You won't truly appreciate quattro in less than two or three days
   driving.  The best way is to throw the car into some situations
   (where there's plenty of room for mistakes) and see how it handles

Once you've got the hang of it things like 0-60 times, bhp/ton, fancy
HiFis, etc., are just irrelevant.

 Phil Payne
 Phone: 0385 302803   Fax: 01536 723021
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