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      01-15-2016, 04:51 PM   #133
Beowulf65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaungo View Post
Let nature take it's course

No need to waste your time on it. I know some people who go "I'm good with all seasons" in ontario, and they end up in the ditch.
Hmm...I'm in Ontario and Québec and have driven on AS for over 45 years without ending up in the ditch.
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      01-15-2016, 07:22 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by goj View Post
Tires don't matter? Hmmm that's some impeccable logic
Yes it "is" since here in Norway, ending up in a ditch during winter is proportionally more likely if you are driving an AWD. By the way, winter tires are mandatory.

Point is; tires matter.
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      01-17-2016, 03:02 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf65 View Post
Ahh...good point: 4 wheel engine braking. Compared to RWD, entering a corner a bit slower and accelerating harder just at the apex may be the ticket with xDrive?
In my experience it is (USA F31). It's a lot more ham fisted driving than a RWD platform. More, mash the pedal and let the computers figure it out. It's fast, but lacks the preciseness of a good RWD platform (I've DD a S2000 for 115K miles and counting). All the xDrive marketing about "eliminating" understeer and such is just that, marketing. It's not bad per se, but it's not the same. I'm happy with xDrive on my F31 (every handling option), but would be disappointed if an M car handled like an xDrive car.

As others have said, xDrive helps when using the go pedal, but otherwise it adds weight, rotating inertia, and cost. That said, I expect the M cars to go there eventually as the HP wars rage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
There's always the a-hole that claims they can drive just fine in the winter on frozen lakes with RWD on racing slicks.

I live in a climate where I need the AWD. FWD works pretty good too here, but RWD is a freaking mess, scary as hell. You can make it a little better with studded tires, but going up steep hills and on glare ice it's still sketchy as hell. I had my RWD car for two winters up here and it was not fun to drive in the snow and ice. I will say that stability control is pretty impressive, kicks the rear end back into a straight line, but other than that the wheels spin so easily that you are putting yourself at significant risk up here driving a rear wheel drive sports-type car in the dead of winter. A manual fares much better than auto as far as feathering the clutch during icy conditions, but driving like that with a manual is like trying to tip-toe all day long, it gets old REAL fast. Luckily, winter is getting less and less every year and it's only from Nov-March now really, so there's that, but during those months, unless you got a real heavy vehicle with a lot of weight on the axles, AWD of some kind makes a lot of sense and gives you the ability to drive safely in many conditions.

I've also lived in environments at 5000' and higher where the snow sublimated in a matter of hours and did not stay around for more than a few hours, or in wetter climates a few days maybe, in many places in the west it's simply not the issue that people and dealers make it out to be, the roads are plowed or the situation resolves itself in a couple days. Up here if it snows an inch, that inch is here all winter, packed into some form of ice. My parents are convinced their AWD subaru is doing something for them in Texas, whereas I noticed my RWD V8 car far outclassed my WRX in the wet as far as traction, the bigger tires, lower CG and stiffer suspension was no match for the WRX. Only in the icy conditions did the WRX start to be better, and only then if I was running something other than performance tires. In many environments the necessity of AWD is blown out of proportion, but on the other side of the equation we got the guys claiming they are running RWD slicks through 5 feet of snow...

Balance.

Got me some rare 18x40x245 studded tires.
The proper tires beat everything. xDrive can at best "double" the available traction for acceleration, the proper tires are more than that. Personally, I think there is bias towards AWD because:

1. Most people never bother with the proper tires on either an AWD or RWD. Of course AWD has more traction when the tires are the same poor, all season solution.

2. We accelerate much more often than we panic stop or turn aggressively during bad weather. This creates a bias towards selecting AWD despite the severely negative consequences involved with not being able to decelerate fast enough. How many cars are sold on 0-60 times or HP vs brakes? So many cars are undertired/underbraked but they sell like hot cakes with a gazillion HP.

3. Humans are really, really bad at assessing risk until it happens. Then it was "unavoidable" and "not" their fault.

Yes, once you select the proper tires for your environment, AWD will provide more traction for acceleration than FWD/RWD, particularly on slippery/loose surfaces.

Balance indeed.
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      01-17-2016, 03:10 PM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaungo View Post
Let nature take it's course

No need to waste your time on it. I know some people who go "I'm good with all seasons" in ontario, and they end up in the ditch.
The problem with that around here is, there is a cost to pull them out of ditches not to mention the traffic caused by these idiots. The result is the govt. over-reacting and salting the earth at the mere suggestion of a snow flurry. It's ridiculous, wrecks the budget in bad years, and destroys cars. I'm convinced the net cost is far greater than merely mandating proper winter tires. Winter tires typically pay for themselves (and the rims) over time because the tires are typically cheaper than performance tires and last longer too.

Edit: We should start a "green" campaign to revoke the "clear road" policies of the 60s. We're causing massive damage because some people are too ignorant to buy the right tires.
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      01-17-2016, 03:45 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptBreadbeard View Post
The problem with that around here is, there is a cost to pull them out of ditches not to mention the traffic caused by these idiots. The result is the govt. over-reacting and salting the earth at the mere suggestion of a snow flurry. It's ridiculous, wrecks the budget in bad years, and destroys cars. I'm convinced the net cost is far greater than merely mandating proper winter tires. Winter tires typically pay for themselves (and the rims) over time because the tires are typically cheaper than performance tires and last longer too.

Edit: We should start a "green" campaign to revoke the "clear road" policies of the 60s. We're causing massive damage because some people are too ignorant to buy the right tires.
Yeah, even with winter tires though, I still see people in ditches.

Like last night, I was headed back from montreal for the car show. And there was a mini blizzard out, only a portion of the road was plowed, and someone in a KIA tried to overtake me because I was apparently going too slow, and the curved turn came up and the guy who was in the overtake lane, came in too fast and hit the left wall, and then slowed down before continuing. He never tried to overtake me again, and instead followed right behind me the entire way.

Proper tires may help get rid of some dangers, but unfortunately, some people are still retarded, and will drive fast during weather where there is ice and snow on the ground. I adjust my speed accordingly, I will always go 10-20kph slower around corners if I know there is ice on the ground.
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      01-18-2016, 05:32 PM   #138
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The F31 was my first AWD drive car and its going to be impossible to go back to FWD, AWD is just so useful going up steep icy roads in the city and parking in 2 feet of snow. I don't really feel better on the highway, at speed the tires are making the real difference. X-drive is just so much fun without the traction control. I mostly drive without it aside from highway trips.
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      01-18-2016, 05:58 PM   #139
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Xdrive is nice to have but tires make all the difference. Back in the day, I used a 318I as my DD with proper snow tires and never once I felt I was losing traction or was in any danger and that's in the snow belt part of Ontario. Xdrive with snows on is unbeatable...
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      01-18-2016, 06:03 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beowulf65 View Post
Hmm...I'm in Ontario and Québec and have driven on AS for over 45 years without ending up in the ditch.
Consider yourself lucky...
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      01-18-2016, 06:18 PM   #141
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Not exactly on topic, but food for thought with respect to AWD in general. I just paid almost $900 (discounted) for a single front half shaft for my wife's xDrive E61 because of a bum CV joint. The joints aren't serviceable in BMW's world - you buy a fully rebuilt unit. If I was paying someone for the axle and install, I imagine this would easily be over $2k.

There are hidden costs associated with AWD that may not be obvious when you're configuring your new ride. Be sure you've done your homework and understand what AWD can and can't do for you. Marketing is great, but it tends to be a bit biased.
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      03-03-2016, 02:26 PM   #142
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As usual, there are a lot of terrific insights and comments posted by the esteemed brethren. Most are correct- except when equating RWD+W = AWD +W. As seen in many other forums, and posted by very high ranking forum experts, all seasons or summers, the ranking is something like RWD>FWD>AWD in snow.

No debate that RWD is terrific in dry. On the track. Lighter, lower CoG, even if Shockwaving and Dinaning the springs on your xDrive (my 2016 project), you can always do the same and get better handling out of that RWD.

But it is a myth is that AWD is only good when accelerating in snow. Actually, current xDrive is lots better than prev gen. Secondly, you do get all around more traction (more mechanical effort to more contact/rubber surface) and 100% front when rear slips. Amazing at regaining control on icy corners where I see RWDs+W still spin and loose mechanical traction as TC cuts power. Not the AWD. Gone, the front pulled it away. And the 53% frontal weight makes for even better winter handling- that was pure German foresight for weight distribution.

We all know some RWD friends dumping 200lbs sandbags in their trunks to generate more downforce in winter. Does not really work.

Finally, the big argument for the AWD is temperature. 10-20F or -20 -10C snow-belt residents (not southern Ontario, too warm) is that, at those temperatures lasting weeks, those Winter tires behave more like all-seasons and summers. The best winter tire reach a limit around -20C. At -30 you are on summers (not knowing it until braking). Back to RWD<FWD<AWD it is not even funny how the AWD takes off and nearly runs circles around RWD+W in those cold months. RWD handling advantage is nullified- no car can be pushed close to any half-limit. The AWD is just a nice little controllable beast. Yes you can still drive an RWD but likely watching the AWD or FWD dart by. As AWD have penetrated the market the last 20 years, the differences are far more obvious than 20 years ago when a RWD BMW + winter was still more sophisticated (TC, etc) than your average FWDs out there. That edge is gone today. FWD's are pretty smart, and AWDs quite more as well than in 1995.

Can't wait to buy an RWD as a summer car.

Last edited by Musashi; 03-03-2016 at 02:35 PM.
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      03-03-2016, 03:37 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
Finally, the big argument for the AWD is temperature. 10-20F or -20 -10C snow-belt residents (not southern Ontario, too warm) is that, at those temperatures lasting weeks, those Winter tires behave more like all-seasons and summers. The best winter tire reach a limit around -20C. At -30 you are on summers (not knowing it until braking). Back to RWD<FWD<AWD it is not even funny how the AWD takes off and nearly runs circles around RWD+W in those cold months. RWD handling advantage is nullified- no car can be pushed close to any half-limit. The AWD is just a nice little controllable beast. Yes you can still drive an RWD but likely watching the AWD or FWD dart by. As AWD have penetrated the market the last 20 years, the differences are far more obvious than 20 years ago when a RWD BMW + winter was still more sophisticated (TC, etc) than your average FWDs out there. That edge is gone today. FWD's are pretty smart, and AWDs quite more as well than in 1995.
Huh, we are back to this topic again on different thread. I keep seeing you make the above claim. I would like to see any proof to back it up. I tried to google the lowest temp range for winter tires and came up nothing.

Like I mentioned before if you don't have traction, you will be skidding no matter how many wheels you have.

I just need to post this again to prove my point.




Last edited by hollandog; 03-03-2016 at 03:43 PM.
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      03-03-2016, 03:53 PM   #144
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Geez, why does this argument keep coming up?

1) Yes, plenty of people prefer the feel of RWD to AWD (and I count myself among them even though I no longer have an RWD car)
2) Yes, tires make the most difference.

*However*, putting power down on all wheels instead of two helps with recovery (when you can put a little bit power down using the front wheels, you can use it to shift weight backwards to get traction back if the tail is spinning). Assuming there is some traction (i.e. you are not using the wrong tires), anyone who argues that AWD isn't superior *for traction* in both wet and snow has either not experienced the limits of both or is in denial. Finally, you're less likely to get in trouble with an AWD car if you're really pushing it.

Strictly for traction, and with the same tires, AWD is better than FWD, which is better than RWD. For feel, RWD is better than AWD, which is better than FWD, although rear-biased AWD systems can get pretty close to RWD.
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