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View Full Version : is Volkswagen AG trying to bury Audi?


bucket
03-16-2005, 05:37 AM
here's what i think:<p>it's obvious that VWAG wants audi to compete with bmw and mercedes-benz. so why are they stuck competing with "second-tier" luxury brands like acura and volvo? the answer is simple and comes down to a pair of three letter acronyms: FWD and AWD. <p>now there's no question that in percieved luxury, audi is a true competitor in the segment. anyone who has been inside one instantly knows that for the most part bmw and mercedes can't match their interiors. however, if you ever drove one back-to-back with a bmw or mercedes you might notice that the driving dynamics are lacking just a little bit.<p>now i don't think audi should get rid of AWD on their models. not only is it part of their history, but it is part of why so many people bought audis in the past. but now that all of their competitors offer at least one AWD model (some offer it on all models), it is time for audi to up the ante. <p>here's what they need to do:<p>1. dump the wonky "W" engines and stop sharing engines with volkswagen<br>-the "W" engines are a joke. they may be compact, but that's all they have going for them. they're heavy, clunky, and reportedly nightmares to work on. if you're going to use the same engines, at least go the nissan/infiniti route and make them significantly more powerful in the audis.<p>2. make all models AWD, with the "S" models rear-biased<br>-AWD is great in inclement weather, but quite bland and disconnected for the everyday drive. if they want to make truly sporty cars, they need to make AWD that mimics RWD in dry weather rather than AWD that feels like FWD.<p>3. eliminate all FWD models, transverse engine configurations, and introduce some new high-end engines that are <U>exclusive</U> to audi.<br>-if you want to go after the big two, stop competing with the second-tier guys. isn't that what volkswagen is for?<p><br>for the record, i've been an audi owner twice and driven all of their current models available in north america (except for the A3).

RS
03-16-2005, 03:29 PM
There is only one W engine used in Audis which is the 6.0 W12, so not really needy to reaplce it yet. WV is getting rid of that W configuration anyway.<br>The new quattro which is rear biased(I think) is for the first time available in the RS4, then it will be available on all models by 2007. I agree that Audi need some RWD cars because they don't only have racing history with AWD, but also with RWD cars competeting in LeMans and DTM.<br>But if Audi made all their cars RWD, ppl wouldn't opt for Quattro as much as with FWD cars and pretty soon quattro would be a rarity as is 4-motion in Mercedes.<br>Audi should definitely keep sharing engines with VW. Audi develps gasoline engines and VW develops diesel engines. This keeps cost down.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by RS at 4:34 PM 3/16/2005</i>

IcedG35
03-16-2005, 03:36 PM
Another major issue is audi styling. Beyond the big grille up front, the front wheel drive layout leads to cars that look very big adn bloated instead of sporty. on RWD, you put the engine behind the front axle and that gives u a longer looking hood and bigger wheelbase which looks much more classy. infiniti got this right, now so does audi. half their cars look like the front wheel is within inches of the front doors.....its an ugly look.

knicks125
03-16-2005, 03:36 PM
a little offtopic but vw badly needs a plant in us, the one in mexico ain't working, as evident its recent prolonged slump in NA, among other factors

RS
03-16-2005, 04:04 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>knicks125</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">a little offtopic but vw badly needs a plant in us, the one in mexico ain't working, as evident its recent prolonged slump in NA, among other factors</TD></TR></TABLE><br>yeah I've see way too many Jettas with the front bumper kinda hanging off in this way: At the front by the grille it's attached , but hangs off by the wheel arches about 2-3 inches below the fender (on both sides) <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/cwm13.gif" BORDER="0"> .<p>I also agree with MBcrazE. The same goes for Bentley. The cars would have a much better and timeless stance with RWD proportions. But I have to give them props for the A6 which looks a lot better balanced than other Audis.<BR><BR>
<i>Modified by RS at 5:10 PM 3/16/2005</i>

Verdegrrl
03-16-2005, 06:16 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>MBcrazE</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Another major issue is audi styling. Beyond the big grille up front, the front wheel drive layout leads to cars that look very big adn bloated instead of sporty. on RWD, you put the engine behind the front axle and that gives u a longer looking hood and bigger wheelbase which looks much more classy. infiniti got this right, now so does audi. half their cars look like the front wheel is within inches of the front doors.....its an ugly look.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Audi is the most profitable company in the VAG organization. It's not going away. Anybody who drives the superficially comparable VW and Audi models, will quickly realize they are totally different cars. However, the ongoing market confusion is the one thing Audi and VW must work to retire.<p>The W12 is the only W engine as RS notes. For those who haven't heard the Passat W8, you're really missing something. Yeah, I know the numbers aren't impressive, but once you hear the engine, you forget that! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"><p><A HREF="http://homepage.mac.com/nizam/.Movies/carsounds-medium.mov" TARGET="_blank">http://homepage.mac.com/nizam/...m.mov</A> <p>Well, North Americans buy less than half as many Audis as the Chinese, and profit margins are larger in China (we fickle North Americans tend to be difficult customers, and the dealers can often be a dead weight). The Chinese like the big grille. That's why we got it. It also harks back to the old racers. That long overhang will probably been seen on more and more cars as pedestrian crash standards get tighter. <p>It's also why they don't bother to build a plant in North America. High costs compared to some other places. Even Mexico has had problems. <p>Technically they can't change the overhang thing much (although they are doing what they can), since the AWD system/transmission/front drive axles must sit behind the engine. That's why Audi can offer a sport suspension that lowers the car (other AWD offerings don't), and it's why they can offer a V8 with AWD (most other AWD offerings don't).<p><br>Audi has a very long history of offering fwd cars. Far longer than QTR has been around! They were one of the first volume fwd producers in 1931. Front Trak allows Audi to save money, and offer cars to people who want a more economical car. In fact I contend that a Front Trak car is a much nicer car with a greater delicacy of feedback up to around 7/10ths of the (admittedly lower than QTR) limit. For people who regularly explore the limits of the handling or have very bad weather to contend with, of course QTR makes sense. The vast majority of Audis sold elsewhere, are sold as Front Trak models.<p>The A3 and TT range are based on VW platforms as befits the low cost or low production models. The rest of the lineup is exclusive to Audi, including most engines (the V10 TDI and regular 4.2 V8 are the only engines shared in the longitudinal platforms - and Audi always gets the higher output). Of course the Q7 will share Touareg roots, but that's no bad thing, given what wonders Porsche has wrought. The 3.2 FSI V6 (not the VR6 based engine), upcoming V10 gas engine in the S6 and S8, and the high revving FSI V8 in the new RS4 are all exclusive to Audi. <p>You can make the present Torsen based cars oversteer just fine, but most people don't bother to learn how. If Audi uses Torsen 3 with a slight rwd bias in the future, IMHO it's purely as a marketing sop to those people who can't unlearn how to drive a rwd car :) The speeds and driving style at which Torsen 3 can be used to best effect, are best practiced on the race track <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"><p>It strikes me as Bucket's priorities very NA-centric in a competitive sports-uber-alles kind of way. Unfortunately we are not a very big player for VAG at the moment, and so they will appease us where it makes financial sense, but their top priorities are with far bigger fish.

IcedG35
03-16-2005, 07:22 PM
There's no doubting that AUdi makes great cars and while I understand what your saying about the history of FWD with AUdi, what I'm saying is that times are changing and if they want to be taken seriously (or more seriosuly depending on how you already see them) then they must start making RWD cars and more proportionally sporty cars.

Verdegrrl
03-16-2005, 09:33 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>MBcrazE</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">....times are changing and if they want to be taken seriously (or more seriosuly depending on how you already see them) then they must start making RWD cars and more proportionally sporty cars.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Times are changing! Everybody else is copying Audi by offering some form of awd <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> According to sources within Audi, there are simply no plans to offer a rwd car. Perhaps the Q7 in base form, but not the cars. FWD models sell extremely well in other parts of the world, and Audi is known for AWD in North America (something like 80% of all cars sold are QTR). Audi believes that any car over about 220hp needs AWD for optimum control in all conditions. Since we see a much higher ratio of the more powerful models than most markets, we get more AWD versions than any other market. Since Audi is very logic driven (sometimes to their detriment), I can't see them offering a RWD car just for the sake styling. The Nuvolari show car shows you don't need to offer traditional RWD styling cues to capture attention. It's a pity they don't have the time/resources to develop it and the LeMans.

Naga Royal Guard
03-16-2005, 09:43 PM
this isnt the right place to ask, but what chassis is the Q7 on ( toureg/cayanne) ?

IcedG35
03-16-2005, 11:25 PM
i'm not saying just for the sake of styling, i'm saying RWD for the sake of being able to say they have the same setup as a BMW and a Mercedes, which leads to a similiar much more expensive look<p>and the Q7 is based on an extended toureg chassis

Hornbag
03-17-2005, 12:27 AM
I think its all fine actually. I used to think VW is living off Audi too much, but in the end its Audi thats getting all the awards and sales increases. The new Passat isnt A4 based for the first time, so i think they are starting to get less similar. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/bow.gif" BORDER="0">