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Initial Hakka 10 impressions

Hi folks,
   I'm back at school after a pleasant Thanksgiving day break. I was hoping
that we'd have some snow and slick stuff at home so I would have a chance to
test out the Hakka 10s that the A6 and the Golf were outfitted with.
Unfortunately, most of the snow was gone except on my driveway that is.
However, I live out in the country (boon-docks) and my driveway happens 
to be ~1000ft long, straight as an arrow, asphalt, and steep. Not an ideal
test of the Hakkas but I compared the VW, the A6q, and the 200q on it and
needless to say was extremely impressed with the Hakka's performance. 
There was approx 4-5" of snow on the driveway that became more packed and Icy,
from driving over it, as the weekend wore on.  Oh.. the 200 wore Bridgestone
all-season something or others, a tire that leaves me with little to say about
it. If I had to guess, I would say conservatively that the Bridgestones had
approx. 80% of their tread left.

[Going up]

With the 200q, it was very easy to turn in from the road and induce oversteer
with throttle application. The 200q climbed the driveway, but I could feel the
wheels break loose easily. Personally, I love climbing half of my driveway
while sideways with visions of winter rally's running through my head. Note, I
didn't lock the differential. To tell the truth, I should have, but forgot
about it (again).

The A6q, with the Hak 10s, gripped the driveway like it had claws. At full
throttle, I could feel the wheels break loose for a instant.. then grab and
ROCKET up the driveway. I crossed 40mph and kissed 45 mph before I had to
brake (can't run through the garage now, can I?). I'm not sure if the center
differential locked itself or not. I would venture a guess that it didn't
because I didn't see a anti-lock brakes off light come on in the dash. Unless
Audi now has the technology to keep ABS on even with the Diff. locked. I know
with the 200q, with a locked diff. the ABS turns off. Oh.. the A6q is a 96 with
electronic diff. locking. 

The 91 Golf: This, I believe, is where the Hakkas really shined. It's always
been a struggle to climb my driveway at home in this car when it's slick out.
Very little traction and very slow speeds. I recall one particular winter
evening where I had my brother sit on the left front fender and my friend sit
on the right front fender, which gave me enough traction to climb up the
driveway. With the Hakkas, the golf was a completely different beast. It
climbed with no wheelspin unless I floored it. I would even venture to say that
it climbed by driveway about as well as the 200q with all-seasons.  When I did
floor the throttle, It had the same effect as the A6: Brief slippage, then grip
with respectable acceleration. Of course, the grip wasn't as tenancious as with
the A6q, but still respectable. It's cheaper to make my friends and family sit
on the hood of my car, but a *little* safer to get snowtars. ;)

[Going down]

I felt marked improvement in braking in both the A6q and the Golf. I was much
more cautious going down with the 200q. Why cautious? Well, besides the
steepness of my driveway (we used to sled/sleigh down it) running directly into
a well-traveled road? Directly across the road is a 30ft drop off into a
stream, to the right of the drive near the bottom is a fairly steep drop-off
into a stream, and top off with the knowledge that the bottom leaves you in a
partial blind spot to oncoming traffic in both directions! Egads.. yes we have
at least one accident a year in front of my house, thank God none of them have
involved my family. 

I would have thought that the heavier cars with ABS would brake better on
snow/ice that the lighter VW. This didn't hold true.. perhaps having something
to do with the momentum combined with the steepness of the driveway? I dunno,
but I expected better of cars with ABS. 

Traction decreased as my vacation continued and the driveway went from packed
snow to ice. IT was still respectable, but as physics dictates.. Ice is much
more slick than snow. 

I wish I had the opportunity to try out the Hakkas for cornering and not just
straight line acceleration/breaking.. but I took what I could. 

As for the dry.. well, they're snow tires. I did notice a rumble/whine from
about 5pm-45mph in the A6q. It was less noticeable in the VW. Dry handling
isn't awful, and is liveable. I just hope we get some respectable mileage from
these snow tires. The rumble/whine wasn't annoying, but I noticed it because I
was listening for it. It's easy to get used to.. especially with those heated
seats! Wow..       Anyway, I expected much worse in the dry than I got. It
wasn't bad at all in everyday type driving. 

Okay.. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving and let me know what you
think. Drive safe!

                               -Osman Parvez (wishing he had hakkas
                                              the 200q)
                                89 200q (149K miles)
                                Siena College
                                Albany NY