Last post on Mar 24, 2008 at 10:20 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Acura RL, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac STS, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Lexus GS 300, Lexus IS 350, Sedan
#57 of 102 Re: First comes the GT-R...Next...a Sedan [circlew]
Dec 29, 2007 (2:56 pm)
Wow, this sounds a lot like the "death of the manual transmission" predicions over in that other forum.
Let's review. AWD costs, on the average $2,000 more than RWD (my guess - about that on a 3 series, $5,800 on a 911, less on others). It adds anywhere from 150 to 250+ pounds to the vehicle's weight. It dulls the handling, steering and overall dry weather performance of the more sporting versions of some cars. It doubles the number of moving drivetrain parts, increases maintenance costs, increases the potential for costly repairs. It decreases fuel economy at a time when CAFE standards have been raised.
There is no doubt that some buyers strongly prefer the foul weather advantages of AWD. But if it was such a foregone conclusion that it will become the preferred choice, why the heck hasn't that happened with the Mercedes E class. The relative cost is low, given the price of the car. These aren't the most performance oriented sport sedans to begin with. The Mercedes 4-matic has been available on the E-class for at least 16+ years (a co-worker had a 1991 300E Sedan 4-matic). And yet, on the E-class, I believe the percentage of AWD to RWD sales is less than 25% and has remained relatively stable for the past several years. For other Mercedes models, the 4-matic option is even less popular.
I actually heard a different prediction the other day on CNBC or Bloomberg business News (forget which). It was that we may end up seeing passenger vehicles go on a serious diet to get the weights down to help improve fuel efficiency to meet CAFE requirements. They pointed out that the average small to mid size car has gone from 2,400 lbs to nearly 3,400 lbs in the past 25 years. That does not bode well for AWD in areas that do not have enough snow to justify the additional weight and fuel penalty.
P.S. Washington DC has a 6% sales tax on vehicles under 3,500 lbs and a 7% tax on vehicles over 3,500 lbs. At one time, it was jokingly called the "SUV penalty". Now a BMW 3 series can get hit with it.
#58 of 102 Re: First comes the GT-R...Next...a Sedan [habitat1]
Dec 29, 2007 (3:46 pm)
OK, remember, first, it's just a personal prediction. 2nd, ALL cars (especially mine) need to go on a weight watcher's campaign as you duly noted.
Heck, the new base CTS is 3,500 lbs. with the 210 HP V-6 RWD. I know the AWD adds weight. So does all the air bags and gizmo options, sound insulation, etc.
Let's see how they can reduce weight and add fuel efficiency...a 3-series with TT engine gets in the 20's at the 3,600 lb. mark with 300/300 power. Even your C2S gets economy-car efficiency equal to rust buckets of the '80's that weighed 2,400 lbs.
Hopefully the metals technology can help.
#59 of 102 Welcome, welcome
Dec 29, 2007 (3:54 pm)
Let's have some refreshments and continue this conversation here in the drawing room where we've all been herded. Help yourself to what's on the table over there in the corner. Enjoy!
#60 of 102 Re: First comes the GT-R...Next...a Sedan [circlew]
Dec 30, 2007 (12:58 am)
Even your C2S gets economy-car efficiency equal to rust buckets of the '80's that weighed 2,400 lbs.
Only according to the EPA sticker (18/25 in 2005). In reality, I can get 26-27 on the highway, but only average 13 +/- around town.
Comparing my 3,000 lb Maxima SE (rated 22/27) and my 3,400+ lb Acura TL 6-speed (20/29), the TL also gets much worse around town (16 vs. 20+) when you have to start and stop that extra weight.
And lastly, remember the old Civic CRX (?) from the early 1980's. They were small, but a buddy got one and I distinctly remember driving with him on a 350 mile trip and filling up with a hair over 6 gallons gallons at the end. He routinely got over 50 mpg on the highway in that car, better than today's hybrid Prius.
I'm not advocating that we dump all of the safety and structural improvements of todays cars for the sake of getting a few more MPG. But, just like I'm personally feeling right now, carrying an extra 10% more weight on my frame doesn't help my performance. Back to hitting the pavement and gym after the holidays.
#61 of 102 Re: First comes the GT-R...Next...a Sedan [habitat1]
Dec 30, 2007 (8:51 am)
Back to hitting the pavement and gym after the holidays.
I am with you! I am a little surprised at your city number on your C2S. I would have guessed 16-18.
It is interesting that car companies have not conquered the added weight issue considering the new tech metals available vs. 30 years ago. At least the rust issue seems a success.
If you look at the difference in the 3 and 1 series regarding weight, there is not much difference and there should be.
The new M3 weighs in at 3,648 lbs.
There is a lot of work to be done to get to my magic 3,000 lb. limit. Perhaps after the HorsePowerWars, we can start the WeightWatchersWars!
Regards and Happy New Year!
#62 of 102 Revise the title of this thread...!
Dec 31, 2007 (12:03 pm)
It should be:
FWD, RWD, F/AWD, R/AWD.
F/AWD for front torque biased AWD or AWD derived from a FWD based chasis.
R/AWD for rear torque biased AWD or 4WD/4X4.
What I see in the marketplace is more and more RWD vehicles being introduced and more and more FWD being "converted" to F/AWD to avoid the stigma now being (slowly) assigned by the buying public due to the patently UNSAFE nature of these BEASTS.
No 4WD/4X4 driver with any level of experience whatsoever would dare leave the center diff'l locked once underway "at speed" on a snow or ice covered roadway. But basically that's what a FWD or F/AWD is, a 4WD/4X4 vehicle traveling down the ice or snow covered hwy with the center diff'l locked.
The ideal drive system IMMHO would be one that provides equal torque to all four, or maybe even is a bit front torque biased, as long as directional control is not threatened nor directional control is being imposed by the driver. In that case the front torque biasing should be reduced incrementally as the lateral forces build.
It looks to me as if the 4runner's (R)/AWD mode does exactly that.
I wish the RX350 did the same.
But I would willingly accept an RX with the SH-AWD (F/R/AWD..??) system.
#63 of 102 Re: Revise the title of this thread...! [wwest]
Dec 31, 2007 (12:53 pm)
Actually, the emphasis here is the luxury performance sedans - we'll leave it as it is for now.
Happy New Year everyone!!
#64 of 102 The Last 3 days...
Dec 31, 2007 (2:11 pm)
I have seen a lot of new 5 and 3 series cars aound town (Central NJ) and they were all the xi 335/535xi versions...you'd think we were deep in the snow belt or something! Do those owners know something I don't?
The thing is, the buying public (non-enthusiasts) are voting for the traction upgrade, particularly on the high-end sedans as it becomes an available option. If you add the pending CUV/SAV/?AV craze to the list of AWD vehicles in the US and Europe, this trend continues unabated.
Oh well, there is still the Lexus top end hold out...Infinity,Cadillac, Lincoln have crumbled to AWD options and Mercedes long ago. Even Porsche, king of the sports car went mad awhile back! Audi and Subaru really led the way as far as sedans go.
Will it ever go back to strictly RWD?
Happy New Year and Best Regards to All.
#65 of 102 Re: The Last 3 days... [circlew]
Jan 02, 2008 (10:51 am)
Will it ever go back to strictly RWD?
No - and it shouldn't. There are a lot of folks out there that want/need AWD and if I were to move back to my former hometown, with 100+ inches of snow a year, I'd test drive both a 535i and ix before I made up my mind.
If there is any drivetrain configuration that should get the axe it is FWD for anything other than small econoboxes. My TL 6-speed would be a great car with RWD, but the FWD drivetrain is a detriment to my driving enjoyment. I suspect it will be the last FWD car I ever own.
By the way, I just got the new issue of Porsche's "Christophorus" magazine with the new 911 GT2 on the cover. Pretty amazing. 530hp, 501 ft-lbs of torque in a RWD chassis that comes in with a curb weight of 3,175 lbs. It doesn't beat the AWD's 0-60 time, but the early test track times around Nurburgring put it way ahead of the Turbo, the Nissan GT-R and within a second or two of the all time production car record holder, the $450,000 Carerra GT. It certainly appears that Porsche still considers RWD the way to go in a pure sports car.
#66 of 102 Re: The Last 3 days... [habitat1]
Jan 02, 2008 (11:11 am)
I absolutely agree regarding pure sports and rwd/MT, no-nannies, please. I read up on the GT-2 and you can use it as a daily driver to boot! Awesome but since it will be a limited edition, I'll bet the MSRP will skyrocket in the re-sale arena.
I understand it's not good to invest in autos but it is enticing to be able to get some excitement and a little earnings at the same time. The GT-2, like the F-430, are my rendition of going for broke and smiling all the way! When I retire, I'd like to spend half my time on the course and half at the track...sans AWD!!!