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re: Re: Portland, OR Quattro Club event

On Fri, 17 Mar 1995 Scott=John=Mockry%Mktg%TM@banyan.bv.tek.com wrote:
> In the wet I don't think any RWD or FWD car could match the AWD cornering
> capability with all else being equal. Unfortunately many AWD cars sold are 
> heavy and don't have the low  weight/HP that many RWD "Sport Cars" have. 
> High HP RWD or FWD cars, especially FWD, are obviously handicapped with 
> wheel spin in wet conditions and even in some dry conditions. 

i think one of the reasons why some doubt the big Q's superiority in the
wet is because the original 5000/200Qs did not have a very stiff
structure, so the cornering precision was not there.  even though
audi claimed that the 5000 was built with quattro in mind, it doesn't
appear that they did their homework very well as far as structural
considerations were concerned.

the original aerodynamic 5000 was built with light weight in mind, and
the genenerously dimensioned and flexible body allowed it fantastic
crash survivability, better than v*lv*s.  v*lv* was going to license
procon ten from audi, but the deal fell through.  now everybody
else has to use explosive charges to do what audi harnesses from
collision forces.  the original 5000 also went well with a modest
2.2 liter 5 giving good gas mileage to boot.  in a lot of ways the
original 5000 represented a big advance in big car design.

anyway, audi started addressing this structural weakness on the 5000
with the 91 200Q20V and the 90V8.  in my factory manuals, it lists the
extensive structural reinforcements that the cars received.  on these
cars, there is a new aluminium structural cross member sitting behind
the dashboard.  there are the (visible) strut tower bars in the front
as well as an underbody brace.. and lots more spot welds all over the
body that the original 5000 did not have.

when they went to the current a6/s4/s6 cars, the bodies were now
boasting immense structural strength, yet maintaining the same high
standards of crash safety (which requires a soft, deformable body).
the current a6/s6/s4 cars work much better with the quattro drivetrain
i think, except that one needs more power to overcome the additional
weight.. even though the s4/s6 is quite heavy, the car never really
feels heavy or big or ponderous.  that's why the s4/s6 is a very
successful design and quite a different animal handling wise from the

the next thing that the a6/s4/s6 needs is the multilink suspension
that they developed on the a8 and is now deployed in the a4.
according to CAR, the new front suspension is very, very good.

i had the opportunity this morning to dust off a hard charging pontiac
trans am (yeah, small potatoes, i know) who wanted to pass me on the
outside of a double lane freeway ramp.  this was banked and generously
dimensioned for breakdowns and such.. (N 405 to W I90) normally i
would take this ramp at around 55 to 60 since it is a high speed
sweeper.. the v8, like my ex-4000Q has this uncanny characteristic
where initially it feels it doesn't want to go much faster than that.

(nomex suit on)

well, today, i wanted to shake this guy off my tail (and have just a
teensy little bit of fun) and just like the 4000Q when the speed
picked up it did not lose its composure.. instead it dug in deeper and
clung on like a leech and sent me messages that i could go around it
at any speed that i felt like.  i took the ramp at 75 today.. a new
record that i can't really believe either.. the pontiac was dusted in
an unimaginable way. this is the famous quattro trait that is missing
in other AWD cars like the SVX and talon/eclipse.  

(nomex suit still on)

i really don't think i need a single purpose "real" sports car.... :)

> I would like to have (in the future) a 91 200TQ or S4 with around 350 
> reliable HP. It rains so much around here in Portland that AWD seems to be 
> a must have.

hey, i'm north of you and i get every bit as much rain here..  i'm glad
to hear that i'm not the only who thinks that high performance and 2wd
don't mix in the pacific northwest..  (no offence intended to the
944 fans.. sorry to dredge this up again)