[V8] Torsen and Stasis...I've driven them both, for what it's worth
QSHIPQ at aol.com
QSHIPQ at aol.com
Mon Mar 12 20:10:53 EDT 2007
Excellent post Carter! Copied to the torsen list.... This goes a bit
beyond the original question from Andy, but definitely worthy of consideration.
Andy, I understand that you converted to a 5spd, and IMS, there is no way to
keep the clutchplate locking center, which means you've gone to torsen center
Your original question was regarding torsen rear, which again, for a
street/track car is just fine. I've set up type 44 with locking center and locking
rear as well as locking center torsen rear. IME/O, the locking center torsen
rear gives the best handling on the type 44, even after optimizing the
chassis for track. Randy Pobst drove the 5ktq setup (center lock, torsen rear) at
BIR nationals a few years ago, and his comments were all positive.
The biggest issue you run into with the torsen center is the amount of
weight shift on the v8 causing some handling issues under spirited driving. Given
the choice in a 5spd v8, I'd want a locker center/torsen rear for daily
driving. That said, a torsen center torsen rear is hardly last prize at the
county fair, and for a v8, is probably a pretty good compromise. And that's what
the factory did anyhow.
All that said, unlike the Stasis wide TBR, on a street car I'd prefer to
make a narrow TBR so it has less dynamic chassis effect (like what audi did with
the second gen rear bias torsen). A lot of suspension work has to be done
to really make a wide TBR be 'better' than stock or narrow, and the v8 is
already quite the portly beast. You can probably get better handling results
going after dedicated wheel tire combos (winter/summer/track) and brakes to get
better v8 performance than changing around the diffs.
In a message dated 3/12/2007 4:58:21 P.M. Central Standard Time,
carterjohnson3 at yahoo.com writes:
I drove a 93 V8Q as my daily driver for about 2 years, and got to know it
quite well. I took it to three winter driving schools, though never to the
track, and never pushed to hard enough to matter on the street. The Torsen
rear/auto combo in the V8 with snow tires is - hands down - the best Audi I've
driven in the snow. That includes all the new models save the A8. It was
certainly better than my 4000Q, and is better than the 200. I think a lot of
that had to do with power to weight ratios, and balance - it was much easier to
balance the V8 on throttle than it is the 4000 or 200.
This past fall at Mont Tremblant, I got to drive a fully modded 2.0 Turbo
A4, replete with Stasis modded Torsen diffs. In terms of track driving, it was
the most oversteering car I've driven on the track, and I've driven quite a
few. It oversteered underpower and off power, neutral input, mild turns and
hard turns. Part of that was the car setup - 800lb springs in the rear will
certainly help when not on full race rubber - but you could also feel the
power delivery shift under heavy throttle. It was a neat mod, though I wouldn't
want it day to day, as Scott said - it was really intended for track use,
and could certainly catch you out if you weren't paying attention. I'm fairly
smooth on track, especially when it's not my car, and I had the thing 90
degrees to the direction of travel on the warmup lap, completely unintentionally.
It was much like driving the V8 in the snow.
I've also driven RS4s and RS6s, which seem to overly suffer from the high
speed/fast turn oscillation. At Tremblant, this is pronouced through turn 6 -
approximately 90mph at entry flat on the floor and lots of steering input.
Both cars have an uncomfortable understeer/oversteer wiggle they develop at
that speed. With some experience under my belt, I didn't lift when this
occured, though I could see easily how someone could put one of these cars in a
wall if you snapped off the throttle at the wrong time. The B5/B6/B7 S4's I've
driven on track don't seem to do this as much - it's more just constant
understeer, so I presume the R's have reprogrammed Torsen setups and probably too
much power :-)
For track driving, the Stasis setup is very trick, if you can live with it.
In the snow and ice, the new cars do WAY too much thinking for me, though in
general I'm sure they're safe, there are times when I want the car to
oversteer - or even, just to turn - and the new cars simply won't let you. On the
new new models, they've gone Daimler - even if you disable the ESP, it stays
For what it's worth, that's my input. The V8 stock setup is certainly good,
but only with proper tires. In a track situation, I can see wanting to bias
that power more to the rear and have maybe a more constant limited slip,
though it would be interesting to know what Audi ran for center/rear diffs in
the V8 touring cars. I presume they ran a much more rear-biased, locked up
setup, given the videos I've seen of those cars turning.
W. Carter Johnson
SileStone/Stone Systems of New England
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