Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#5726 of 10348 Re: AWD - Not all created equal - (BMW 0, Zamboni 1) [aflc]
Jan 04, 2006 (5:30 am)
Given all I know now, what I could get then and what has been happening to this group of cars here is what I would do today. This may completely change in the next 24 months when once again I begin cycle.
The following assumes similar "deals" and content.
If there are no manual transmissions: Audi A6, BMW 530xi, Infiniti M35X (or whatever they may call them then.)
If there are manual transmissions only in the BMW: BMW, Audi and Infiniti.
If there are DSG or SMG transmissions (and who has them):
the test drive would tell the tale.
Audi has had superior AWD technology. They have, however, decided that marketing rather than engineering will win (and they have the evidence to prove it?)
Audis need to be better weight balanced. BMWs already are. Even the Infiniti is better balanced.
Audi has caved into the RWD biased AWD camp for the main reason, I assume, to be able to say "we are RWD biased AWD" because unless or until they do that it may be implied that Audi is really FWD with a nod to AWD (like Volvo and Acura, for example -- Volvos brochure says 95% FWD 5% RWD with the ability to redirect power.)
Audi has used a more expensive instantaneous mechanical torque sensing system with a 50 50 split for years.
Audi squandered its differentiation (when it was virtually the only AWD premium car it made too little noise, IMO -- at least here in the US market.)
Now that the majority of the LPS crowd offers AWD and AWD has been the fastest growth segment (from 0 to 40% in 6 months in the case of BMW's 5 at least locally in SW Ohio; and of course in the case of Acura from only FWD to only AWD in one model year, etc,) Audi is or has been IMO forced to say "we too are offering RWD biased AWD -- or will soon. . ." across the model line.)
Today my A6 is special, my 29th and best (although for emotional reasons only my second favorite -- my '95 S6 holding the top spot) but it is no longer (or shortly will no longer be) differentiated from the other LPS cars the way Audis used to be just one or two short years ago.
The playing field with the 2005 model years of most of these guys has been leveled greatly.
I was going happily down the M35X path (at the price) until the Audi deal financially leveled the field and the car itself won out.
Audi and BMW and Mercedes have to be looking over their shoulders and seeing the M's and even, perhaps, the RL's and STS's feeling the pressure to improve the breed, needing to differentiate themselves.
My concern (which is actually good for those of you shopping) is that there is more, much more, alike in the group of AWD LPS cars than there is different. Audi WAS, past tense, in a leadership role -- now they are in the crowd.
The differentiation by virture of manual transmission and very favorable f/r balance afforded by the BMW design is, at this frame of the movie, the best choice. Again, if the steptronic is all you can get in the BMW, I'm back in bed with Audi (or possibly the M35X.)
Jan 04, 2006 (5:47 am)
I'm getting a Zamboni!
I always wanted an AWD convertible that was a stellar on the ice!
Jan 04, 2006 (7:29 am)
Plus it is a great "pick up" car (as opposed to a car with great pick up, if you get my drift) the opposite sex loves 'em (so I'm told, since I am happily married.)
Zambonis Rule! But are they really performance cars or merely luxury sedans?
#5729 of 10348 Re: AWD - Not all created equal - (BMW 0, Zamboni 1) [markcincinnati]
Jan 04, 2006 (7:53 am)
Audi WAS, past tense, in a leadership role -- now they are in the crowd.
At least Audi is more distinguished in the crowd than Volvo. In the past Volvo catered to people who were more inclined to driving safe environmentally friendly cars.
That may not be the case today!
The safest cars are no longer Volvos. Audi/VW is known to have some of the safest cars in the industry based on a recent insurance study.
People who are inclined towards environmentally friendly autos are likely to drive Toyota or Honda hybrids. I read that the next generation of Priuses will be mainly composed of recycled materials. The new Volvo V8 XC90 refutes the notion of a environmentally friendly auto.
So what is Volvo's distinction?
Interior or Exterior fit and finish quality--No
I cant figure out why anyone would favor buying any Volvo model over the competition? Especially when Volvos are priced like LPS vehicles that have far more to offer.
#5730 of 10348 Re: AWD - Not all created equal - (BMW 0, Zamboni 1) [dewey]
Jan 04, 2006 (8:14 am)
The design aspect is subjective. I believe (as do others) that the old "boxy, but good" description of Volvos is no longer true. The S40 is pretty sharp. It is just very small in the back seat. They are still very safe cars. They have as many airbags as anyone. They are also known for some of the most comfortable seats in the industry. While the MSRP is up near luxo levels, nobody buys them for that. And if you were a university professor, I would think the Volvo would be a better choice than a Saab (stereotyping there a little ).
I am curious as to what the next iteration of the S80 will offer with regards to the other attributes you mention. Unfortunately, Edmunds spy shots make it look like a Taurus (hopefully that is at least partially due to the camo).
#5731 of 10348 Re: AWD - Not all created equal - (BMW 0, Zamboni 1) [dewey]
Jan 04, 2006 (8:33 am)
Volvo's hook is safety. How much do you value your or your lovedones' life?
#5732 of 10348 Re: AWD - Not all created equal - (BMW 0, Zamboni 1) [tayl0rd]
Jan 04, 2006 (10:40 am)
Volvo's hook is safety. How much do you value your or your lovedones' life?
Right, but as previously mentioned, Volvo no longer wears this crown, as rated by IIHS and other "crash-test" groups. Safety is Volvo's legacy, but they are no longer the best at it... It's only a matter of time before the general public majority realizes this.
#5733 of 10348 Re: DSG and SMG and possibly CVT. . . [markcincinnati]
Jan 04, 2006 (10:45 am)
DSG and SMG and possibly CVT transmissions will probably put an end to all this debate if they turn out to be as good as many say they are.
I've driven the M3 with SMG and the A3 with DSG, and I can't say that I would rather drive them over a traditional stick. It's a neat technology, but nowhere near as engaging and enjoyable as a true manual....
#5734 of 10348 What they don't know. . .
Jan 04, 2006 (11:03 am)
People who are inclined towards environmentally friendly autos are likely to drive Toyota or Honda hybrids.
Everyone has a point of view, therefore I can only report that I read that the hybrids have -- at best -- a possible enviornmentally friendly posture (I assume the author was at least attempting to be objective,) more likely they have an enviornmentally UNFRIENDLY posture due to the issues associated with the batteries some 6 - 8 years from date of service.
Moreover, hybrids, even at today's gas prices are an inefficient use of money and this goes even with the tax incentives that were offered.
Hybrids are not quite as "dumb" as burning $10 dollar bills to keep warm, but they are in the "inquiring minds wouldn't do this" category AT THIS POINT IN TECHNOLOGY.
Diesels, FSI small displacement and forced induction engines coupled to CVT transmissions both TODAY can better the financial and environmental arguments put forth by the Batteries are Better crowd.
This year the US will move a step or two closer to ever cleaner diesel fuel -- even though it would represent a small dent (small being better than none), encouraging diesel adoption, CVT technology, cleaner and cleaner diesel, etc etc etc, we have at our technological and financial disposal the means to make that dent.
From my perspective and my readings hybrids are doing more harm than good and besides they are not an evolutionary step, they are a side step -- like it or not the diesel coupled with volumetric efficiency coupled with transmission efficiencies that we now can produce at an affordable price are the way to go in an evolutionary fashion, until we can put fuel cells into production and/or come up with something new altogether: "Mr. Fusion" (or Mr. Fission) perhaps?
Jan 04, 2006 (11:28 am)
Audi has released the specs of the Q7.
350 horsepower from the naturally aspirated 4.2L V8, direct injection.
They need to get that bad boy into the A6 4.2.