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Re: Re[2]: Audi Price Cuts

> From quattro-owner@swiss.ans.net Fri Oct 14 15:13:53 1994
> Date: Fri, 14 Oct 94 14:14:22 EDT
> From: stevanov@orion.crd.ge.com (Ljubisa D. Stevanovic)
> To: quattro-digest@swiss.ans.net
> Subject: Re: Re[2]: Audi Price Cuts
> Sender: quattro-owner@swiss.ans.net
> Reply-To: quattro@swiss.ans.net
> Content-Length: 1739
> John Greenstreet <jgreenst@motown.ge.com> writes:
> >Both the Audi 100CS and all Mercedes have memory seats, and the S-class
> >goes one further with memory for all interior and exterior mirrors,
> >steering wheel tilt and telescope, and all seat adjustments even
> >including seat-cushion length!  Only the LS400 offers even some of
> ...
> >Other niceities, such as pneumatically-closing doors, which permanently
> >remedy the door-slamming problem we Germans car owner have (German
> >doors are much heavier than those of Asian cars and have an airtight
> >seal, so they get slammed), true central-locking systems, and remote
> >pop-down rear headrests are also niceties that have yet to even appear
> >on Japanese cars.
> ...
> John,
> I'm sure you know that all these gadgets add weight. 

Yes, but very little.  The Audi 100CS I owned weighed in at 3,285 lbs
with every possible convenience feature except auto trans.  0-30 mph of
3.5 sec even with the auto was faster than all other cars in its class
except the Legend which has considerably more HP.  Even when companies
such as Porsche or Mazda strip a car down to the door handles, they
only save a little over 100 lbs.  The added weight is for structural
rigidity and crashworthiness, as well as many little things that add up
and would be expensive to make lighter, e.g. electrical connectors.  Plus,
a heavier car will ride better, all things being equal.  For example,
when people raved about the LS400's ride, I was underwhelmed since
it's never been a problem to make a 4000 lb. car that rides well.
Interestingly, the original was also bog slow from 0-30.

But the gradual increase in weight makes sense, as a recent ams article
on this subject noted that the mileage penalty due to weight is now
much less than it was in the 70s, where each 100 Kg added one liter of
consumption for each 100 kms of driving.  Now it's less than 0.1 liter
additional.  (10 liters/100 km. = 24 mpg).

> By the time they
> load it up with every conceivable "feature," curb weight is close to
> 4000 lb and performance is diminished. This is further accentuated by 
> Audis "one-world, one-car" policy, where engine design and choice of
> gearing ratios get optimized for autobahn cruising, not stop-and-go type
> of driving encountered in this country.

Actually, I found driving the Autobahnen to entail more stop-and-go in
a week than in a month of driving in Philly.  Every time I drove, I
managed to end up in a "Stau" that lasted at least an hour, but I was
lucky I didn't end up in the worst one: it was over 100 km (62 miles)
long on the night of Monday, October 3 going into Germany.  I actually
did more cruising in Switzerland and Italy--at higher speeds--than
I could in Germany.  If anything, my rented Golf was optimized for
low-speed driving--it had a top speed of only 160 km/h = 100 mph.

This has not been lost on the Germans, and all their new cars are
geared to run with the best at stoplight Grand Prixs.  In particular,
the '93-on Audi 90 is downright snappy.  And despite weighing in at
4600 lbs, my long-wheelbase S320 has stunning acceleration from a stop
and will run 0-60 in 8.1 sec according to C&D.  I've driven the new
993, Rx-7, and S-4 so I know what quick acceleration feels
like, and you will not find it in any Honda/Acura save the NSX.

Most Americans don't even come close to using the acceleration they
have on reserve, so I can't believe this is a major factor with today's
Audis.  And of course the very popular SUV's have considerable
driveline lash that further compromises low-speed comfort more than
their slow, noisy acceleration.

> IMHO, Audi is getting swept in this country not because of 60 min. ghost,
> but because of lack of image and, for the performance oriented folk,
> lackluster engines (V6 case in point) saddled with 4000 lb car. Oh, and
> changing names every couple of years certainly doesn't help either. 

I still don't know why people criticize the V6, for it has more torque
than even the BMW 325i and way more at low RPMs (peak is at 3000) than
any Japanese 3-liter engine.  Typically, Japanese engines don't start
producing significant torque until 4500 rpm.  And the narrow power
range of a 160 hp VTEC cannot compare with the broad band of the VR6,
nor the 1900 to 7000 RPM range of the S-4, whose torque rivals
small-block V8s.

If anything, the EPA should be blamed for sluggish low-speed
acceleration in cars (avoiding the Gas Guzzler tax begats a low axle
ratio), and journalists for claiming it is unique to German cars.
Consider that when the 1985 190E was tested, the engine was considered
only adequate because of its 9.9 sec 0-60 time.  But even though cars
have gotten quicker since then, nothing of the sort is written about
the Infiniti J-30 in the same magazine (R&T) when it posts a 9.8 sec
0-60 time, also the same as the "underengined" Audi 100!

John Greenstreet, Senior Engineer           (jgreenst@motown.ge.com)
Martin Marietta Government Electronic Systems    Moorestown NJ 08057
WPI Class of '75, Temple Class of '94

My new car history:
  1975    1978    1982       1986        1989      1992      1995
   VW ->  Audi -> Audi  -> Mercedes -> Mercedes -> Audi -> Mercedes
Scirocco Fox GTI  4000S    190E 2.3    190E 2.6    100CS     S320

POSSLQ's* new car history:
         1978       1981       1985      1988        1990     1993
       Triumph ->  Toyota ->  Toyota  ->  VW    ->   Audi  -> Audi
       Spitfire    Tercel     Corolla   Jetta GL      80      90S

*POSSLQ = Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters
Note: All Audis and Mercedes above were sold to friends or family.