Originally Posted by ynguldyn
This is only true for a spherical car in a vacuum. If it applied to real cars just like you're describing, all AWD cars would have perfect neutral handling. For some reason, however, throughout many generations, a 3 series could always turn better than an A4. Do you have a good explanation for this?
Love the reference!
I've stated that there are situations where the AWD 3 will still produce increased oversteer. If it produces increased oversteer before reverting to RWD in those circumstances, it will be marginally worse in performance in those circumstances. The system takes a bit of time to transfer the power (up to a tenth of a second after it's registered), so one would still be subject to both the increase in initial understeer plus this delay.
Further, the AWD will have different handling and more notably different steering feel (heavier and prone to torque-steer). They're not the same, and you can't drive them like they're the same.
So, no, I don't think AWD better, nor neutral. It's different, with some disadvantages in some circumstances, and some advantages in others.
The points I made were both to correct some inaccuracies as well as calm down the exaggerated rhetoric. It's a slight difference overall, and only in circumstances where the vehicles are pushed to the limits do these differences really come to light.
Comparing to a different make of vehicle is apples to oranges, so doesn't really provide a useful metric. I could compare the RWD 3-series to our decade-old Porsche Turbo or the GT-R, and the AWD platforms would steer circles around the RWD 3'er, therefore AWD must be better? Not valid. Drive the Turbo next to the GT2, and again the RWD feels sharper.