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You are in the Audi A6
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Audi A6, Sedan
#2066 of 6921 GS400 vs. A6 4.2 - mostly repeat from my post #1844
Oct 29, 2001 (5:30 pm)
I owned a GS400 from January 1998 until January 2001 and switched to the A6 4.2. I was very hesitant to make the switch, since I had very few problems with the GS400 and the level of service at Lexus was outstanding. However, I felt that the GS400 insulated the driver from the road too much. I also felt that the handling and lean into and out of curves/turns was too soft. Plus, the rear wheel drive combined with the strong engine slipped while accelerating on wet roads, which I found annoying.
So, I read every post on this and the previous A6 sites and found every one of timcar's post 1838 issues and problems. But once I drove the 2.7t and 4.2, the ride, driver comfort, sporty suspension and all wheel drive made the decision fairly easy. I chose the 4.2 because I wanted the bigger engine for smoother highway driving, found it almost as fast off the line as the 2.7t, and think it looks materially better than the 2.7t. Yes, I miss the Nakamichi stereo (vs. the Bose) and the 5.7 zero to 60 mph speed of the Lexus GS400, but the Audi is so much more enjoyable to drive, those are minor sacrifices to make. Fortunately, I have had zero problems in my 1 year of ownership.
However, don't fool yourself - Audi service will NEVER be in the same class as Lexus service. And I think the fit and finish of the A6 is not as tight as that of the GS400. But the enjoyment you will get from the German engineering and feeling at one with the road and the car will be so rewarding the few annoyances you will have to deal with will be easily overlooked.
#2067 of 6921 Sorry, Mark.
Oct 29, 2001 (6:23 pm)
At the risk of piling on, I have to "me too" what Mike said. High performance summer tires are LETHAL in cold slippery conditions, I.e., snow, slush and ice. 4 X 0 = 0. Quattro and alphabet soup not withstanding, (Oh, and don't forget EDL.) high performance summer tires will grossly under perform ANY other type of tire in ANY other drivetrain configuration. Reports on AW of new Quattro owners with high performance summer tires trying to ascend inclines in snow and losing control, while their neighbors sail right up with FWD and all seasons.
#2068 of 6921 My posts were meant to urge. . .
Oct 30, 2001 (6:59 am)
My comments regarding the summer tires in post 2031 were meant to convey my strong opinions that for those of us in "moderate to heavy" winter climates -- we must have either all weather or snow tires.
My further comments regarding the ABS, ESP, now EDL M.O.U.S.E. were to support an earlier post regarding "why quattro is safer in winter."
If my posts led anyone to believe that I felt it is OK to go through winter on Summer tires exclusively, I apologize. Here in Cincinnati, I have tried weathering the winter on Summer tires and in our "moderate" snowfall winters, I have been able to "hang in there." But I agree -- Summer Maximum performance tires even with the AWD and ESP, etc. -- can be less than "inspiring."
Those of you that have been on the board for a time know that I have replaced my Pirelli P6000's which came with the A6 4.2 sport pkg with Yokohama AVS db's which are All season tires. But remember Cincinnati is about as far south as you can get and still be considered in "the north." We rarely have much snowfall anymore -- what with global warming and all.
Please do not attempt to navigate winter with Audi's selection of "sport tires."
#2069 of 6921 I've wondered about your AVS db's for my use, Mark.
Oct 30, 2001 (8:05 am)
They seem like an excellent choice for your situation, and I really like just about all their attributes. But being in NW NJ, we sometimes get truly snowy winters, unlike those you describe. However, I usually have the freedom to avoid driving when it's really bad, and exercise it. That being the case, I wonder if the db's would suffice for my application. If I remember, you got them in the spring. If so, I'd love to learn how they do over the winter. They'd probably work for me since, as you point out, the Quattro A6 is superlative in slippery conditions, and the stock Conti's have worked well.
#2070 of 6921 Conti Sport vs P6000
Oct 30, 2001 (11:14 am)
Talking about winter tires has me wondering. My 2002 A6 4.2 is not expected until late November. I have no idea what tires will be on the car. I prefer the conti sport to the P6000 because of the road noise. I'm wondering if the conti sport is a softer tire that can get you through a "mild" winter? (The kind of weather Mark describes)
Otherwise, I'll have an immediate investment to make for new Tires/Rims before January.
#2071 of 6921 Tires, tires, everywhere...
Oct 30, 2001 (11:27 am)
I also replaced the stock Pirellis with the Yoko AVS dBs. I have had great luck with them in the rain, but I'm going to use Dunlop Winter M2 tires for the winter. I go up into the NH mountains and this should give me piece of mind.
#2072 of 6921 The great snowfalke debate....
Oct 30, 2001 (2:30 pm)
The winter tire discussion is almost as zesty as the CR dialogue, but a bit more civil.
My understanding of the difference in "performance", "all season" and "winter" ( I am not a tire engineer) is as follows:
High performance rubber is designed to work within a defined set of parameters, i. e. dry and wet conditions. Their rubber compounds and tread patterns do not encompass characteristics which allow them to be optimized for low temperature or ice/snow conditions. These variables are simply not part of the original design specs. Give them a dry or wet road, within their optimum temperature range, and they are happy campers.
"All Season" tires are an interesting compromise. My understanding is that in order to "qualify" for this appellation, the tread design must merely have the requisite open area, thus making them perform a bit better in snow or slush. While some all season tires may be designed to perform somewhat better in winter conditions, as compared to others of their class, I am not competent to address that issue.
True "winter" tires (with the mountain/snow flake emblem) are every bit as much the specialist as their high performance "summer" cousins. This is not merely a result of tread design; the chemical composition of the rubber allows the tire to remain flexible at extremely low temperatures, thus permitting the tire to retain a greater percentage of its traction. In some cases, certain "Blizzaks" for example, an initial percentage of the tread is more sacrificial than is normally the case, again allowing the tire to maintain a significant degree of traction. The bottom line is: if you wish a tire that will give you the greatest traction, in the most adverse conditions, a "specialist" is the only choice. That is not to say that a particular all season tire cannot give good performance in the right climate (Cincinnati, maybe?). You simply cannot mimic this performance by searching for an all season or performance tire which has a "softer" compound.
A word on "quattro" and traction. All wheel drive does not yield additional traction; it apportions what you have. If you have none, you go no where. Given the right circumstances, an Audi will have just as much trouble getting up a hill as a rwd.
One of the most fascinating articles I have read was the Car and Driver or Road & Track (sorry, I do not remember which), wherein a fwd Audi was compared to a quattro, along with a Mercedes, with and without all wheel drive (4 matic). The test was conducted with and without snows. The single biggest difference was the addition of dedicated snow tires. In a combination of tests: braking, cornering, acceleration, etc., the fwd or rwd with snows was superior to either the quattro or 4 matic. By a small, but noticeable margin, the all wheel drive vehicles, with snows, had the best results.
My advice is: if you deal with ice or snow to any significant degree, purchase four (4) snow tires. If your climate is moderate, the choice is much less clear cut.
#2073 of 6921 Even more on tires . . .
Oct 30, 2001 (2:44 pm)
Mike's very detailed and excellent post expands upon my understanding. The only point I would phrase differently concerns different drivetrains ability to deal with low traction. As Mike points out, zero traction is the same for any configuration, but if all are given the same tires, and some traction, AWD will provide more motive force than RWD or FWD. But for sure, tires are the biggest single determinant.
Concerning Conti's vs. Pirelli's, my understanding is that AoA puts what they want on them. These are both summer high performance tires that only come with the sport package. Unless you're in the Deep South, I wouldn't want these tires on my car. Though Mark correctly pointed out that in most case it's possible to drive the car, I personally would find the window of safety reduced in the winter to an unacceptable level.
Oct 30, 2001 (3:26 pm)
Even with quattro -- the AoA sport tire selections are best in winter when sung to the tune, "Slip Slidin' Away." If I lived north of Cincinnati, I would probably go the winter tire route and summer tire route -- the all seasons in Cincinnati, so far, seem to be a very good compromise -- but remember the Yok's are Ultra High Performance all seasons which according to TireRack appears to be different than just "normal" all season tires. I suspect they will not be as good as normal all season tires.
Now to comment by sharing what I saw at the Audi museum in Ingolstadt.
Audi has set up a display of three model TT's -- one is RWD, one is FWD and one is, you guessed it, quattro.
The three TT's are on an incline that visually appears to be identical -- as if it is the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle. To show the traction capabilities you push a button which immediately starts the TT's "up the hill" -- about one fourth of the way up the hill the first car stops and the rear wheels spin on the "road" (this is the RWD TT); then about one third the way up the hill the second car stops and the front wheels begin to spin on the road; then well over half way up the road the quattro stops and all four wheels begin to spin. The explanation given as I recall is that pushing is not as good as pulling but that both pushing and pulling is the best.
The text indicates that there is not "more" traction -- as everything about the cars and the hill and the road is identical (except which wheels are driven) -- but that when the total available traction (motive force) is distributed over the four wheels, the car can "go further up the hill."
The point, without regard to its true everyday applicability is powerful -- under identical circumstances the quattro can keep on going much further than either rear or front wheel drive.
I have, with Summer Tires (fool that I was), driven up a hill in Cincinnati (the seven hills of Cincinnati) after a fresh snow fall and passed both front and rear wheel drive cars in my quattro (a 1995 S6 at the time). The only other vehicles that would go up the hill were SUV's.
The incident that finally convinced me to switch tires was, to my embarassment, when I got stuck in my own FLAT driveway after a particularly heavy (and rare) Cincinnati snowstorm. Perhaps all seasons would not have helped either, who knows?
Now that I have used all season tires I will --- based on where I live --- not even attempt to go through winter on summer tires.
Oct 30, 2001 (7:12 pm)
I also live in Cincinnati and my '98 A4 quattro has never had anything but the Dunlop sport suspension tires. I think some people get into trouble with the quattro cars because they fail to recognize that when it gets slippery out you need to slow down.
The only time I had a problem was in Pittsburgh during an ice storm and everyone else was doing periouttes as well. The interesting thing was I was having trouble getting the car to stop going down hill and I managed to get it to do a 180 and went right up the hill.
Having shared my experience I agree with advice that in climates where you spend more time in bad weather conditions it is advisable even with quattro to switch away from the high performance sport tires to something more winter oriented.