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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like everywhere I look, AWD cars are popping up. First Audi popularized it with their Quattro. Mitsu had their Eclipse GSX and the 3000GT. Now we have BMW with their 325/330xi and Subaru has their Impreza. Jaguar with their X-Type. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I expect to see more and more AWD cars in the future. My theory is that people are tired of the bloated SUVs, but still want good handling in the rain and snow. Manufacturers are seeing the cost of adding AWD go down to the point where it's a viable option for lower range sedans and sports cars. Cars Enthusiasts have long known that RWD is the optimum for performance cars. Now we can have the performance of RWD with the safety of FWD.

[This message has been edited by Chiphead (edited November 05, 2000).]
 

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I wonder if there are any All Wheel Drive cars that have 50/50% weight distribution. I think that people will be able to futher take advantage of the handling prowess of All Wheel Drive with outstanding chassis balance like BMW's... hmmmmm now does a 330Xi have near perfect weight distribution?
Eric....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Turbo have a rear wheel bias because that is their main driving wheel. Audis have a front bias. The beauty of their AWD systems is that it drives the majority of the power to either the front (Audi) or back (Porsche). When the car starts to lose traction, power is redistributed to the wheel that has grip, like LSD for the front and back. Fulltime 4wd is very fuel thirsty so AWD is a good compromise to help to preserve fuel.

[This message has been edited by Chiphead (edited November 05, 2000).]
 

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I have rode on the BMW 323i and 325xi before. Well the difference is noticeable. with the 323 rear wheel drive, the you can feel more G-fore rather than the 325xi AWD. Also the 325xi has about 15more hp than the 323.

Ka
 

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Discussion Starter #6
323i weighs 250lbs less and has 6lbs/ft more torque. The 14hp advantage of the 325xi is not enough to offset the drivetrain inefficiency of 4wd system and weight disadvantage.

[This message has been edited by Chiphead (edited November 05, 2000).]
 

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A front-heavy car is a front-heavy car, regardless of whether it's FWD or AWD. As cars get heavier and heavier, they get less fun to drive. An S4 weighs almost 2 tons, partly cause its Quattro system adds 330 lbs.
As much as you see AWD coming in, you also see RWD coming back, witness the IS300, Lincoln LS, new Acura RL, as yet unnamed Honda, Mazda, and Nissan RWD sedans. Sport is what's coming up, not just AWD.
 

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Originally posted by saltedeggman:
Lexus has always been a RWD fan...
It's not simply a Lexus-thing. Automotive cogniscenti are fans of RWD for what it imparts to handling dynamics and steering feel. As much as the CV joints of modern FF cars are designed to reduce transferrence of torque to the steering kingpins, the mere fact that there exists CV joints to be turned means that there will be more friction (and hence artificial weight) in the steering. For this reason it should be easy to understand why all luxury marques, even those without any pretension of sportiness (Rolls Royce comes to mind), employ RWD.
 

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I think the type of drivetrain to be used depends on a lot of factors like the main function of the vehicle, its expected driving environments, cost, and efficiency (packaging, mileage, etc.). I don't forsee the extinction of any type of drivetrain (till we get flying cars or something).

Regarding the statement about Lexus being a RWD fan...you forget that the ES250 and ES300 are FWD...


[This message has been edited by JW (edited November 05, 2000).]
 
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