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FWD V Quattro in ze Winter!

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by Molnboman, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    How much extra does the quattro system weigh?

    I'm sure we have all watched videos of a 4 wheel drive car leaving a 2 wheel drive car sitting on snow. I would love to see the exact same test carried out with the same make and model of car, fitted with the same tyres, trying to stop. Like you said the quattro cannot defy the laws of physics. In theory the extra weight would mean that the car fitted with 4 wheel drive will have a longer braking distance in all conditions. This would be most noticeable on snow and ice.
    #41
  2. lynallbel
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    lynallbel Member

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    Doubt you would notice extra braking distance in the real world and in the real world the fwd car will still be stuck wheel spinning away whilst the 4wd plods along merrily on his way:yes:
    3.0tdi fwd u/w 1605kg
    3.0tdi 4wd u/w 1730kg
    4Wd fuel tank is 7 litres smaller, so you wont need to worry about your handbag:whip:
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
    #42
  3. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    I'm sure the 3.0TDi is not offered in a FWD variant. The 2.7TDi is however.
    #43
  4. lynallbel
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    lynallbel Member

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    Just checked and you are spot on its the 2.5 tdi version, listed on page 424 owners manual 2005 model, i wasnt looking tbh just checking the weights.
    Looked at some others to check weight and its roughly 100kgs ish extra for the quattro version.
    #44
  5. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sounds about right to me.
    #45
  6. rhinoman
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    rhinoman Member

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    Mine was fine in the snow last year utill all the 2wd cars around me got stuck, I was on cheap tyres too. Only slight issue was grounding on the deeper stuff but I didn't get stuck, just a liitle wary as the year before I was in a RAV4 with electronic diff lock and that was brill. Never tried winter tyres on anything.
    #46
  7. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    A lot of 4x4s are fitted with tyres that will say M+S = mud and snow. The drive system has nothing to do with how good a car is at braking on snow and ice. I have winter tyres and last year I had about 9 inches of snow which had ploughed up in front of the car. But the car never spun once.
    #47
  8. lynallbel
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    lynallbel Member

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    Snow no worries, its the mud that screws me up!
    This is my every day motor, this particular day had to use the winch to get me out five times, record for me.
    [​IMG]
    #48
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  9. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Errr.. what is it you do for a living again?
    #49
  10. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    ... there is a person that really needs 4 wheel drive:salute:

    If we use the A3 as an example:

    2wd weight 1320kg
    4wd weight 1425kg

    That's a difference of 105kg or 16 1/2 stone.

    That works out at an increase of 8%. If you have ever filled the boot of your car you will know that the extra weight makes a difference. I remember when I had 2 50kg bags of cement (no longer allowed - they are all 25kg now) in the boot of my first car. It was very noticeable. Definitely had to brake harder, but then again, my first car was a Vauxhall Nova. Even for such a light car - the brakes were poo.:Flush: In a car with modern brakes - like the Audi - I'm sure it would not be noticeable. But in an emergence a heavier car will have an increased braking distance, especially in poor conditions.

    Don't get me wrong, I can see the advantages of a quattro. They have much superior traction. And should handle better too. But, all things being equal, they are no safer.
    #50
  11. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Active Member

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    But they are more likely to get you home when the roads get icy and snowy.
    #51
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  12. Cyrix
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    Cyrix Member

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    You need to drive a Quattro, if you actually have any driving skill it is a very useful tool in both wet and dry conditions.

    Your point about the extra weight is moot, I don't have a half of the transmission simply piled up in the loadspace of my Avant it is evenly distributed around the car.

    You will also probably find that extra weight over the axles is an advantage in terms of traction.
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  13. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    Very good point, a quattro is wasted if you only drive in town or on dry motorway doing the legal speeds, on any other conditions is brilliant ! Rain, snow, wet B roads and that's where quattro comes into it's own, although in the couple of weeks that there's a bit of snow on the roads makes you congratulate yourself for the purchase of uch a fine car ! Yes, it might be a bit nose heavy (every audi is !) but it's better balanced than a FWD motor and the extra traction makes it for a very sure footed motor in every conditions. You chicken out well before the system looses grip on a spirited drive ! However, i hate electronics, for once if i could turn them off every time i want to play...
    #53
  14. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    Just as long as you don't need to stop in a hurry. I have 2wd and 4 winter tyres. No problems at all on snow and ice.Must remember to take my camera with me up the mountain roads this winter.
    #54
  15. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    I think some people are struggling to understand the difference between sprung weight and unsprung weight...
    #55
  16. Mr-C
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    Mr-C Member

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    My personal snow experience

    2WD A4 235/35/19 summer tyres due to the lay of the land on our drive and in 4-5" of snow you have not a freaking prayer. It may move about 3ft but that's it

    4WD A4 same tyres same kind of snow layering..... Im off the drive no problem then out there power sliding and drifting on empty car parks
    #56
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  17. desertstorm
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    desertstorm Well-Known Member

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    Original question from the OP was about the ability of the car to stop any quicker with Quattro and in my opinion it wouldn't. Two cars with the same tyres one quattro one FWD stopping from the same speed in a straight line I would put my money on the FWD stopping slightly shorter. Basically because of the extra 100Kg.
    In the winter it's all about the rubber you have on the tyres .

    Winter tyres: 4x4 grip test video | Auto Express

    And if the two vechicles they chose to use had been Audi A4's the result would have been much the same.

    Karl.
    #57
  18. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    x2 the reduction off 100kg of unsprung weight means the car would most likely stop slightly shorter than the quattro.
    #58
  19. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    I agree the weight distribution on a quattro will give it better traction and handling.

    However, I don't see how weight distribution would help braking. Simple physics - all variables being equal - a heavier object will require a greater distance to stop.

    Edit to add: I know some RWD owners who put a couple of bags of sand in the boot during the winter. The extra weight over the rear tyres helps with traction and if they get stuck they have their own supply of grit :)
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
    #59
  20. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Active Member

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    A good point - and one that many quattro drivers try to forget or ignore.

    quattro makes the most of the available grip to get, and keep, you moving but when it comes to stopping it's no better than FWD or RWD.
    #60
  21. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Indeed. Quattro gets (and keeps) me going in the snow, but it's anticipation and a gentle touch that brings me to a halt.
    #61
  22. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    The cars in the video provided above are Haldex, in essence FWD 'till front wheels slip then it transfer the power to the rear which is no that better in real life on snow and ice (works when powering out from a roundabout) ! Torsen quattro does sends the power 50-50% to both axles (in normal conditions and up to 80-20% when slip occurs) and as a result, the feel and road holding is amazing in all conditions ! Using engine brake does make you stop quicker, keep the momentum for longer and because the car has all 4 driven wheels, it's much easier to control than a FWD will ever be. I have been driving quattros for years, i have yet to find a situation when i got stuck ! I hate the poxi ESP and ABS but they are designed for ordinary folk, i know how the car will react when the ABS does not work...
    #62
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  23. lynallbel
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    lynallbel Member

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    Truck mech, this was a fun day out, took weeks to get the mud off!

    Back to the rwd v fwd, i think most people will agree getting moving and keeping moving is the problem most ordinary drivers have to contend with, so the 4wd has got to help, the numbers of times ive come to a standstill because the person in front in their fwd was moving to slowly the wheels span/lost traction and we all came to a standstill.
    Not a problem in the land rover but a real pisser in the rwd merc!
    Also the weight thing is a bit academic as soon as you either get passengers onboard or fat barsteward like myself:laugh:
    Bit like the people who remove the spare wheel convinced its going to help their mpg
    #63
  24. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    I have been on sheet ice, when it was raining, going up a hill, with winter tyres, in a FWD car - I didn't get stuck!

    I have been the first car, going through mountains, in half a foot of fresh snow, no other tracks, in a FWD car - I didn't get stuck!

    Is the torsion system heavier than the haldex? 125kg that's almost 20 stone.

    This has been an enlightening discussion. Glad other open minded people can think for themselves and see past the marketing and fanboy hype.
    #64
  25. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    That makes no difference, back in the day i used to run FWD old renaults with 13" steel wheels and i never got stuck with that either- arm roads and no tarmac ! No fancy branded tyres either, just ordinary standard spec tyres- folk in Eastern Europe keep 2 sets of tyres: winter and summer ! However, try and do the same on 18" wide wheels, with fancy ESP and ABS and you will see you will rather get stuck. A 4wd car will go much further than any FWD car will ever go, laws of physics apply but the difference is negligible ! As Jdp sayd in a post above: quattro get's you moving and careful planning will let you stop as well ! 4wd and loads of power/high gearing will let you drive in almost any conditions, i prefer driving a diesel in high gear as it will give me maximum braking power when downshifting which makes for a very easy to control vehicle, however height clearance is where it all ends, when you get stuck on deep snow all the low cars are like sitting ducks- moving nowhere... No fanboy hype here, just my own opinion, last winter i could not move a FWD 2004 a4 v6 tdi on 18" tyres a few meters to make room for the allroad and the trailer i was towing- i live on a rather flat road with just a slight incline at one end, the FWD could not climb a curb. Quattro had no issue getting there even on summer tyres...that's me sold for the brand !
    #65
  26. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So am I.

    Oh, and like adamss24 says, understanding the qualities of something does not make you a fanboy. It's a stupid expression anyway.
    #66
  27. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    In Austria, Finland, Sweden and Germany it is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres.

    I have 2 sets of tyres. So does my wife. She used to get stuck in our drive, now she doesn't. No 4wd needed.

    So in your experience a light car with narrow tyres is better during the winter? Simple physics, right?

    That makes sense. Everyone knows that a 4wd car has better traction than a 2wd car. Simple physics, again. What we are discussing is that the braking distances are the same. In fact the 7-8% lighter car - without a 4wd system - will have a slight advantage when braking.

    I had a V-twin motorbike. The engine braking was really good. But the brakes were even better at stopping it.

    Last winter I drove round a corner, down the hill in front if me was a van that had lost grip on ice and turned sideways blocking the road. I estimate it was 40 meters in front of me. I was not going very fast, but still had no time for careful planning there. I needed to STOP my car going down the ice covered hill. 4wd would not have helped me in that situation. My car stopped only 3 car lengths form the van.

    "Sorry officer, I hit the other vehicle because there was no time for careful planning!"

    No surprise there.

    If you lived in Austria, Finland, Sweden or Germany - you could have fitted that trailer to either car and driven off ;)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
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  28. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    Ok then...

    4 wheel drive owners are very dogmatic that their vehicles are better in all conditions.

    Is that better?
    #68
  29. V6 Quatt
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    V6 Quatt Active Member

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    Good point.

    All this rantin and raving....

    At the end of the a quattro is a quattro better control and grip in many conditions. ..as all driving you just need to be sensible with it...driving on icey roads makes no difference what you drive of your not sensible [
    QUOTE=Cyrix;2029018]You need to drive a quattro, if you actually have any driving skill it is a very useful tool in both wet and dry conditions.

    Your point about the extra weight is moot, I don't have a half of the transmission simply piled up in the loadspace of my Avant it is evenly distributed around the car.

    You will also probably find that extra weight over the axles is an advantage in terms of traction.[/QUOTE]
    #69
  30. adamss24
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    adamss24 Well-Known Member

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    If you pop the ABS fuse off the cars stop quicker than with the ABS on on fresh snow ! Where it benefits is the ABS let's you steer whilst braking as opposed to being a passenger when skidding ! I lived in Eastern Europe till i was 22, i know how winters are there and it's been legal requirement for a year or two no more. Common sense dictated the need of 2 sets of tyres well before they were mandatory...The argument is still valid, when using engine braking a 4 wheel drive with torsen diffs will stop quicker than a FWD, i did not imply to use the brakes, in wintry condition you use the brakes at least as possible and ONLY in conjunction with engine and hand brake ! Getting of a snow covered drive is nothing out of ordinary, how further up/down the road you get is a different story...quattro will get there quicker- might not stop as quick though !
    #70
  31. V6 Quatt
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    V6 Quatt Active Member

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    Good point.

    All this rantin and raving....

    At the end of the a quattro is a quattro better control and grip in many conditions. ..as all driving you just need to be sensible with it...driving on icey roads makes no difference what you drive if your not sensible [
    QUOTE=Cyrix;2029018]You need to drive a quattro, if you actually have any driving skill it is a very useful tool in both wet and dry conditions.

    Your point about the extra weight is moot, I don't have a half of the transmission simply piled up in the loadspace of my Avant it is evenly distributed around the car.

    You will also probably find that extra weight over the axles is an advantage in terms of traction.[/QUOTE]
    #71
  32. Molnboman
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    Molnboman Well-Known Member

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    Jaysus, I wish I had never started it in the first place!hahaha ( whats the point of a Forum if you can't have healthy debate ) I can't even remember the true reason for me posting the original thread, although you lot seem to have various different opinions hehe. I think the point I was trying to make was a Quattro would be the ****** in the winter, however, if you don't have it, then a good set of winter tyres and careful driving would see you through the worst of Winter if you watch what you are doing with a FWD version.
    End of the day you gotta weigh up Traction / Extra Safety v Costs......it's all down to that imho.

    Cheers
    Allan
    014.jpg
    #72
  33. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    You are confusing grip and traction. A 4wd has much better traction, but the same grip from the tyres.

    I agree about the icy roads. Even on winter tyres, I still cannot drive at normal speeds on snow and ice.
    #73
  34. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    ... that is what forums are for.

    If it is an either/or question...

    Winter tyres are definitely the way to go if you want a car that is safe in the winter.

    Quattro will improve traction and handling. Winter tyres will improve traction also, but more importantly stopping distances.

    Of course a Quattro with winter tyres would be best ;)

    My uncle lives in Canada and had an S4. 0-60mph in 5 seconds on packed snow :)
    #74
  35. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not really, because it is a mass generalisation.
    Add the word "Some" at the beginning, and I'm 100% in agreement with you. :beerchug:
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
    #75
  36. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    If you think about it, winter tyres don't really cost any more in the long run. I can only wear out one set of tyres at a time. However, you will either need another set of alloys, like I have. Or spend around £30 in the winter and summer to change tyres on the original alloys, as my wife does. My wife also bought a set of tyres bags for £25. These are great for lifting the tyres in and out of her boot and keep me and her car clean. VW have them, so Audi probably have them too.

    youtube has some great videos showing the advantages of winter tyres.

    A Quattro car will cost more to buy and don't forget the extra fuel costs. Though it will have better traction in all conditions. Not just the winter. Though if you need to apply your brakes it will have a similar stopping distance to its FWD equivalent.

    Lets make this really simple to understand...

    2 identical Audi quattros - 1 fitted with summer sports tyres and 1 fitted with winter tyres are driving down a road covered with compacted snow. On that road in those conditions - which is going to be the fastest, best handling, quickest stopping car? In short, which do you think will be the safest of the two cars?

    My personal experience of this was in 2000, I was with my uncle in Canada when he drove to get his winter tyres on. It was quite a while ago, but I do remember the car did a bit of slipping, sliding and wheel spinning on the compacted snow on the way in. On the way back, he floored the S4 away from a couple of junctions. The car took off with no issues and pushed me back in the seat.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
    #76
  37. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    lol... someone here is agreeing with me... what am I doing wrong :p

    How about... "In my experience..."
    #77
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  38. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    #78
  39. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    Continental tyres: winter tyres braking test (Audi A4)

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
    #79
  40. Daz Auto
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    Daz Auto Member

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    Winter tyres vs 4x4.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
    #80

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