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How Good is the S3'S 4 Wheel Drive?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Leenx, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Leenx
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    Leenx Member

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    Menioned in another thread, the S3 is supposed to be a pretty confident machine in the wet and/or the twisties.

    How do you think the S3 would stand against most cars on the road in these type of conditions 2WD and 4WD? Examples of cars please.....
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  2. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Strictly speaking it is a FWD car that when the front wheels break traction can pass it's power to the rear wheels up to about 50% (max - I think) - gen 2 Haldex.

    I'm not sure if Gen 4 is any evolution on this spec.

    Makes the car very quick from a standing start, but then you have to offset the weight and the transmission loss we have to bare against the Golf Ed30 / Leon Cupra.

    Overall I'd rather have it, as power is nothing without control.
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  3. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    what do you mean by offset and transmission loss warren ....mine is qauttro would a leon and golf ed 30 eat me ..
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  4. Leenx
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    Leenx Member

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    No chance? Surely? I had a Cupra R 225 - Was nothing compared to the beast of my S3?
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  5. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/showpost.php?p=747211&postcount=28

    The transmission loss is the figure calculated when you take the flywheel horsepower of the engine and correct it based on how much power is LOST between the flywheel and the tyres. As the S3 has multiple clutches, a propshaft to turn, rear diffs to drive it means that we lose quite a bit more power through the drivetrain than a 2wd car (probably 20-30 more bhp). This is one of the figures that can be misleading on dynos as there is WHP (wheel horse power), or bhp calculated at the flywheel. You should always be sure which you are quoting based on the dyno results.

    Then there is weight. The Haldex system is not light on engineering. Any additional weight requires MORE power to lug it about at the same speed.

    HOWEVER, the net upshot is we have more mechanical grip than an LCR, Golf Ed30 etc. Power is nothing without control, as said above, and you can have ALL the horses you want, but if you are just spinning them away it is next to useless. We have nealy 170 wet/damp days a year in Britain, hence why I am happy to cart abot the extra weight!
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  6. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    is a cupra r 225 does that stand for the break horse power 225 if so it would beet me ... i got to get to modding the engine
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  7. Leenx
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    Leenx Member

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    Yes it does - correct me if I'm wrong but the Cupra R 225 was the same engine as the previous TT model - the 225 and it was 225bhp.
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  8. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It does, there are 2 versions (225 and 210 bhp, like on 8L Audi S3).

    They are an amazing car, but the chassis in a little compromised so I guess in standard spec with the extra 200cc engine capacity, the fully independent suspension and Haldex you should be holding with it at least, and on a wet day giving it a bit of a hiding. However there are some very well tuned cars out there running serious horsepower!!
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  9. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    id always prefer the 4wd. when modding a front wheel drive like the LCR, once you get past 240 bhp you start to enter the really of torque steer, and its a pig to handle, unless you have a LSD. whereas the 4wd you will not see the torque steer. as said earlier, the s3 is a front wheel drive, its similar to some small 4wd off roaders. as soon as either one of the two front wheels loose traction, the back ones come in, so doing a fast start off the line will usually result in you having four wheel drive, or if hooting it round a bend, the ECU will know you are loosing traction, put a brake on the front inside wheel and transfer some power to the back. the s3 and 4wd system is so much more advance than any other hot hatch around.

    but as also said, you loose a lot of power, because it has to spin two drive shafts, two diffs four wheels, so i can imagine a remap is very much, well worth the money,
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  10. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    Not another one of these threads again! :banghead:
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  11. gixxer600k4
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    gixxer600k4 Member

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    lol!!!
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  12. Jo Sharp
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    Jo Sharp Member

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    I have a FWD TTR 180BHP and a facelift S3 with the 4gen Haldex.

    No doubt at all for me - the quattro is essential. I can often provoke a wheel spin in the TT and the handling at speed on curves is way behind the S3.
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  13. Dandle
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    The Cupra would beat you as its not as heavy and you only have 200bhp compared to the LCRs 225. Your car would probably be equivalent to a 160-170bhp hot hatch, the downside of your car is the awd losses and its really heavy. My old T4 was much quicker once rolling(from 30mph up) but off the line the A3 would win every time.
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  14. julians
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    Thats only true off a standing start, once you're in motion there is no need for the fronts to spin in order for power to be sent to the back, haldex uses various inputs to determine when to send power backwards.

    Having read a lot of stuff about how haldex is 'mainly' fwd, and not very good etc before I bought the car, I was pleasantly surprised about how good it really is. Snow and ice are handled well, you can accelerate as quickly in pouring rain as you can in the dry without the ESp light flashing once.

    I think all the people who say its **** etc have never driven the current s3 (I dont know what the old 8L s3 was like with the previous gen haldex).

    What the s3 lacks is the ability to send more power to the back than the front, and a proper limited slip diff at each end, but these just provide for more adjustability and fun rather than extra grip in adverse conditions .
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  15. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    but with a forge air filter revo remap it would take a cupra wouldnt it ??

    i cant believe seats are faster than audi a3s its a joke audis should blow seats and it proves we pay all that extra for looks and should have performance to match
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  16. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    Have any S3 forum owners got the uprated Haldex unit?
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  17. ChriS3
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    ChriS3 hud at ye bam

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    Unlikely.




    You do realise that Audi, Seat, Skoda, VW, etc are all the same these days? Different bodystyling and soundproofing, but the same underneath.
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  18. Flibble
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    Flibble Member

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    Have driven my a3 quattro up steep slippery mud with no probs (and no esp flashes) while a friend's 1.6 focus was wheel spinning and failing to make it up. It seems to do the job. :)
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  19. Jamiekip
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    Jamiekip Member

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    There's a bit more to it than that... different dampers, springs, ARB's, geometry, offsets, camber... and the small matter of AWD and FWD ;)
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  20. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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  21. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    I thought my A3 had the same underpinnings as the Veyron :wacko:
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  22. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    mines got a veyron engine but a damn cupra can beet me thats weird....:confused:
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  23. N8
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    N8 Kowalski Details

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    I've got a W16 engine and still get 450 miles to a tank, superb.
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  24. Dandle
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    I doubt it would take a cupra tbh. Your car will remap to 250-260bhp but once you factor in awd losses that probably knocks 30-40bhp off that and then your car is heavier. You wouldn't be far behind and would launch alot better.

    Audi do have an A3 car to compete against the LCR but its the S3 not the 2.0TFSI. The current Cupra has less power than the S3 but still runs 240ps. Your car would be matched to the Leon 2.0T which doesnt have the option of AWD.
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  25. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    30-40bhp?! Again people quoting random figures for haldex loses.
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  26. Dandle
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    I don't know but its got be at least in that region. Don't scoobies have looses around 30% with their AWD setup.
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  27. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    30 -40 brake for 4wd thats terrible i always though 4wd was quicker in everyway but doh im new to this...... so on a straight id struggle but on bends id pee it because of handling i think .....?
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  28. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Book figure is 240bhp, but most of them have been packing 260bhp on the rollers as standard. Rumour has it that VAG didn't want to show up the S3, or quote figs over 250bhp for a FWD vehicle in case the journo hacks used it as a negative slating point. In a straight line the Leon Cupra would be a very strong match for an S3.
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  29. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    That may be so but haldex isn't the same. No one actually knows what loses there are and when they exist. BUT every 2 months someone says how quattros are slower than the non quattro equivalent because you lose Xbhp. There's just no proof that it's that significant that it outways the performance gains given by the extra ability to put power down on the road.
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  30. Dandle
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    The awd adds 90kgs to your car so as well as moving the extra weight the engine is also powering a rear diff and another two shafts, each off them use some energy to turn them(its mechanical losses). Thats why AWD cars have worse fuel economy as more fuel/power is used to do the same works as fwd.
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  31. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    On a Dyno Dynamics Rolling Road near Silverstone my S3 was recording 296bhp with Revo Stg 1 race settings 9/6/9 (need to double check this), when the Mk2 Leon Cupra with the same map was posting 320 odd. Therefore had assumed sbout 20bhp loss in transmission. Haldex throws some very odd figs on RR's.
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  32. Dandle
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    Even when coasting to a stop there is more drag on an quattro A3 as all the extra parts are still turning even though the haldex clutch maybe disengaged. The AWD isnt a free benefit and I believe im being generous in saying it only looses 30-40bhp on a 260bhp car. The standard 2.0TFSI isnt quick at all once its at around 70mph as it looses power through the Awd, in a straight line at that speed its actually no benefit at all. I loved the grip it gave on corners and standing starts though and would have it again in a heartbeat over a fwd A3.
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  33. 10blazin
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    10blazin HYPERDRIVE NEEDED

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    just had a look on seat used cars there well expensive for what you get.... bag o shyte
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  34. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    Yeah isnt it very hard to get a correct AWD figure from a haldex car due to the way the unit works. A typical fwd car will have about 15-17% transmission losses, I dont know but would think the S3 should be more down then that unless its making more power in the first place.I remember people used to pull the haldex fuse and run them in fwd to try and get good acurate dyno readings.
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  35. Staz
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    Staz is a retronaut Staff Member Moderator

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    Not only that but we have already seen massive differences in figures from standard S3s on the same RR on the same day! I'm just a little sceptical.

    BUT I don't actually give a damn, because the grip far outweighs any loses at higher speeds.
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  36. Dandle
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    Thats my attitude to it as well rather have the grip and loose some power then loose the grip.
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  37. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ditto, I'll go with that too. The grip is deeply reassuring and I'd take the transmission loss figures for the haldex system grip anyday.
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  38. PaulAr
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    PaulAr S3 (8P)

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    Forgeting RR figures etc. I cant see how Haldex can cost an S3 30-40 bhp as stated here.

    My previous Golf had 250bhp through the front wheels.
    My current S3 (when it was std), was (marginally) quicker with 262bhp through all 4 wheels.
    Thats only a 12bhp difference.

    How is that?:think:
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  39. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    But are manufacturer figures quoted at the flywheel, or at the wheels? I honestly don't know, but had always read it as flywheel / engine horsepower, not horsepower at the wheels.

    If you think about it the S3 (8L) had 225bhp, as did the Leon Cupra R. They both stated 225bhp in the brochure, and the Leon produced 219-231 consistently on RR's. The S3 system has more mechanical engineering to cause drag on the system due to the clutches, propshaft, driveshafts and weight, so it has to produce less wheel horsepower. However as it delivers more grip, this offsets the horsepower losses caused by running FWD.

    It's not that big an issue, but makes you realise that BHP is actually a pretty arbitrary figure on high performance car because you are only as effective as your power COMBINED with mechanical grip, not jus based on power alone. The science bods need to define a new metric to compare bhp transferrable to tarmac for 2wd/4WD comparison!!
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  40. APL TDi
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    This is a good read chaps, I have been missing this kind of technical conversation on this forum for a while.

    My views are this:

    You will defiantly loose some power at the wheels with a 4wd setup due to the factors already mentioned (clutches, diffs, and shafts) but 30-40bhp does seem excessive to me. :think: I would have thought around 20bhp loss would be about right, but hey I don’t know.

    It has been a useful insight and given me food for thought when it comes to considering my next car. I have been looking at either 170 quattro or 170 dsg and have all but decided to opt out of getting a quattro. For my type of driving 95% motorway a FWD makes much more sense as when rolling a 2.0TDi 170 (even remapped) will have no use for 4wd. So unless you have a very powerful car, or drive cross country a lot I recon quattor is a bit of a waste. But given the choice between an S3, a LCR, or a GTi I would 100% go with the S3 every time.

    Once again thanks for a good informative read chaps!
    #40

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