Last post on May 09, 2013 at 9:32 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#15117 of 16087 Re: 5000 [m6user]
Oct 22, 2012 (10:40 am)
I think that is mostly correct, but it would be interested to see where all the weight is if you pulled a couple of cars apart. Here's three I'd start with:
1995 Maxima SE 5-speed manual: 3,001 lbs with 3.0 6 cylinder engine. Length 187.7 inches; width 69.3 inches.
2013 BMW 328i 6-speed manual: 3,360 lbs with 2.0 4 cylinder engine. Length 182.5 inches; width 71.3 inches. AWD/Automatic: 3,595 lbs.
2013 Audi A4 FWD CVT: 3,509 lbs with 2.0 4 cylinder engine. Length 185.1 inches; width 72.2 inches. Quatro: 3,616 lbs.
Wheels and tires have gone from 15" 215 series on Maxima to 17" 225-245 series on Audi/BMW. In fairness, the Maxima has gone up to 3,551 lbs, and is now 190.6 inches long and 73.2 inches wide. That's A6/535i size, both of which are pushing 4,000 lbs. Also, in spite of the greater exterior width of the A4 and 328 compared to the older Maxima, the interior width (shoulder/hip) is almost identical. Much of the exterior width difference is in flared fenders and design elements.
I don't think we should go backwards in structural rigidity and crash worthiness. But I have to question how much that accounts for the significant weight increases since the mid 1990's. You can have very light safety cages that can withstand tremendous stresses, as Formula One proves.
Oh well, I'm up about 10% in body weight since buying my 1995 Maxima. I'll get that down to 5% before I complain on this subject again. Hopefully, before Thanksgiving.
#15118 of 16087 Re: 5000 [habitat1]
Oct 22, 2012 (11:19 am)
Sorry guys for my lack of precise knowledge, so please just bear with me.
I think I remember reading somewhere that the reinforced cages added weight significantly (new materials notwithstanding, or maybe because of their higher costs?); in particular, new requirements on the roof strength in case of rollover raised the center of mass and changed the vehicle balance and handling, which in turn was one of the reasons to mandate the electronic stability control. FWIW. I don't know about you, but I would take an active safety over passive any day. I am concerned much more about the capacity of the car to outmaneuver and avoid an accident than about it saving my a** when the accident happens.
You are right about tires, but maybe the difference is less than it appears from the rim diameters. The overall wheel diameter is probably not much more that it used to be. In the past, high-aspect passenger tires were the norm, while now low-profile (such as 45-50) tires are ubiquitous even in the "family" sedan category.
Oct 22, 2012 (11:29 am)
Regarding your observation that "Audi has been too pig-headish about maintaining AWD . . . on their . . . performance models." I have no real proof (other than what I read in Car & Driver, et al) of my observation that Audi has built its reputation on AWD (at least in the US, if not elsewhere) and it has, of course, marketed itself, trademarked, copyrighted, and probably patented its "image" (if possible) on quattro and "The Four Intersecting Rings."
Audi has labored and fought hard to be equated with "quattro" just as a famous cola manufacturer has fought hard to be called Coke; or as hard as a tissue manufacturer has fought to be called Kleenex.
If Audi reverted to FWD instead of AWD several things would happen and not many of them would be good (at least from both marketing and performance perspectives). And there is no way I [at least] could ever imagine Audi marketing RWD cars -- any more than Coke wants any cola product to be called coke (with a little "c").
Audi would also probably point to near premium, premium, and super premium (and exotics, too) cars that are all-wheels-driven vehicles.
Several of the world's greatest automakers save AWD for their highest performing models. Perhaps AWD is in Porsche's blood what with Audi, VW and Porsche all being related. Perhaps Lamborghini too has AWD in its blood due to Lamborghini's relationship with Audi. The same for Bentley.
Audi would probably argue that AWD is their performance vehicles' "secret" [not really secret, of course] weapon or sauce as the analogy might go.
I love the use of the phrase "pig-headish" -- and assume it was meant to be ironic or at least be a double entendre since Audis are "front end" (or head end, as opposed to butt end) heavy.
I just don't see Audi doing anything else than continuing to embrace AWD -- especially for its highest performing cars.
Oct 22, 2012 (12:10 pm)
Victor, litigious culture is correct, however, if car companies would build a super light version of a M3 or A4 in a small run to give the driver enthusiast what they want. I would have to say that i highly doubt the average BMW 3 series driver wanting to buy one of those, As stated before, you can have a light weight car, but do the car companies want to build them? When BMW built the M3 CSL it was sold out before the production run started, Porsche does not have a problem selling their Cayman R either. It seems selling the cars isn't a problem..
#15121 of 16087 Re: 5000 [markcincinnati]
Oct 22, 2012 (12:21 pm)
Perhaps AWD is in Porsche's blood what with Audi, VW and Porsche all being related
That will get the blood boiling with a lot of Porsche enthusiasts that are far more knowledgeable and much more proficient sports car drivers than me. I've been casually shopping for a replacement for my 911 C2S that I sold 18 months ago. In the process, I've attended a Porsche track event and test driven several cars, new and used. The conversations I've had with Porsche employees, enthusiasts, and professional drivers has been pretty educational.
Bottom line, very few serious Porsche enthusiasts consider the 911 Turbo (AWD) to be the pinnacle of the 911 line. They put the GT3 RS4.0 on top, GT3 next followed by GT2. Some would put the new 991 C2S ahead of the 997 Turbo. They like naturally aspirated engines and RWD. The GT2 is the RWD answer to the Turbo S, and is fast as hell, but not preferred by them over the GT3.
The AWD 911 Turbo and various "4" cars were, as explained to me, partly based off the fact that the 911 RWD has a front/rear weight balance of roughly 37/63 and some buyers liked having another 150+/- lbs over the front wheels and some extra grip. That was usually followed by a thinly veiled "amateur" adjective to further describe that type of buyer. But not the preference of the serious enthusiasts, it seems. As a matter of fact, I have heard from several that they have acquired 993 Turbos (last of the air cooled engines) and actually disconnected the front drive train to make them RWD.
The Cayman and Boxster will never be AWD. They are already perfectly balanced and light.
My pig headed comment was probably unfair. Audi has built quite a reputation on Quatro. But remember, they started out as FWD, which is the worst of all worlds, so AWD was really a necessity if they didn't want to fire all of their engineers and start over. A RWD TT RS is probably not in the works, and the fact that the heavier AWD TT RS has none of the feel and sharpness of a Cayman S or R is probably not important to the typical Audi customer. But it would be to a Porsche enthusiast.
Oct 22, 2012 (12:16 pm)
When I read your reference to the 911 RS, I realized that I'm probably guilty of taking this discussion too far for the ELLPS forum.
Not really, I had to relive one of the most scariest moments of my driving life. My father and I bought a 73 911RS, needed work, after getting the car fixed and driving it for a couple of months, I took it to San Diego Stadium (where the San Diego Chargers play) SCCA has been having auto cross there for about 30 years, this is where I learned NOT to apply brakes or take your foot off the gas too quickly.. Spinning a 911 is not fun....
Oct 22, 2012 (12:19 pm)
Just look at tires. My first car had 13" and even 16"s were large throughout the 90s. Now the the standard is about 17" with 18"s pretty common as well. Can't tell me that these larger wheels and tires don't add significantly to the weight.
The weight of the 13" steel wheel and the weight of the aluminum 18" can't be that far off..
#15124 of 16087 Re: 5000 [habitat1]
Oct 22, 2012 (2:16 pm)
Your link to that track in Germany had an '09 TT RS tested with an unnamed driver. That's ancient by car standards. granted, you could argue the Cayman S and R are due for updates, but the '12 TTRS is faster than the '09 version I'd imagine, and a time around 8:00 will probably be easy with the 360 HP '12 version of the TTRS. The Cayman time was for a 2010 model for what it's worth.
Road & Track has some figures that don't take into account curves, corners, and turns, but are useful for the Audi owner pulling up alongside the Porsche owner at a stoplight who revs their engine up to see who can get to the next stoplight fastest
0-60 MPH (Ahhh, yes, AWD works wonders): Cayman R 4.4 TTRS 4.0 (That's smoked)
Quarter Mile: 12.8 for the Cayman R, 12.6 for the TT RS (That's closer, and for the $20K+ difference in price it should be).
Also, when they reviewed the TTRS in January's issue, I can't find it, but I remember them beating their very own Cayman R's time around the track (don't remember which track they use).
But if your giving them away as Christmas presents this year, I won't reject either in my driveway come 12/25/12. Thank you.
#15125 of 16087 Re: 5000 [andres3]
Oct 22, 2012 (2:47 pm)
Tell you what, if you put a measly Boxster S in my driveway for Christmas, I'll put something in yours that will kick my butt between stop lights and we can call it even. Do you have a color preference for your Camero?
#15126 of 16087 Re: 5000 [habitat1]
Oct 22, 2012 (5:00 pm)
Speaking of weight hogs, the Camaro is an excellent example.
The last guy to track a Camaro at an Audi Club event had a busted leaking transmission (auto) and tow truck trip to bother Hertz for (of course, the track tow truck was nice enough to tow him a mile off the track onto public roads so Hertz wouldn't be any the wiser.