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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:11 PM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is online now
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X-Drive Vs. Quatro Vs. 4-Matic...

....Any significant differences, advantages, disadvantages? The Audi guys are always touting quatro as "hands down better than x-drive." As far as I know, the only manufacturer who makes an all wheel drive system that differs in any significant way from the others is Acura with their "SH-AWD" system. This vectors the torque not only front to back, but side to side.

Are there any reasons to favor x-drive over quatro or visa versa? Where's MB 4-Matic in this mix?

Which one imposes the least drivetrain losses and reduction in mpg, etc?
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Last edited by PsychDoc1; 07-15-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2011, 02:16 PM
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Audi's Sport Differential option on some of their Quatto cars (S4, S5, etc.) a significant advantage. Akin to the M Differential and Acura's SHAWD.

I love the SHAWD on my MDX. If it gave a bit more rearward bias, it would be amazing. The front and rear active differentials are completely insane. The car is a beast in the snow.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:15 PM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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I have driven both my Xi and my wife's 4 matic extensivley and really find not much difference between the AWD systems. I think the playing field is pretty level - except for the more sophisticated systems that have the more complex torque vectoring. Personally I love the inherent RWD bias of the BMW and MB system.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:39 PM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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It is very seldom you will benefit of a 4x4 transmission in a luxury sport sedan.
I think a RWD is what you want.
Or you must be living on a hill in snow country(a), or tugging a camper(b) all the time.
a: get some snow tires instead of AWD.
b: buy a Subaru.

Last edited by Sophisto; 07-15-2011 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:07 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophisto View Post
It is very seldom you will benefit of a 4x4 transmission in a luxury sport sedan.
I think a RWD is what you want.
Or you must be living on a hill in snow country(a), or tugging a camper(b) all the time.
a: get some snow tires instead of AWD.
b: buy a Subaru.
Or you have 500hp luxury sport sedan, then AWD helps put the power to the road.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:22 PM
miked miked is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophisto View Post
It is very seldom you will benefit of a 4x4 transmission in a luxury sport sedan.
I think a RWD is what you want.
Or you must be living on a hill in snow country(a), or tugging a camper(b) all the time.
a: get some snow tires instead of AWD.
b: buy a Subaru.
Not buying this at all, I previously had a Lexus rear wheel drive with very good snow tires, it sucked in the snow.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:37 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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Originally Posted by Munich77 View Post
I have driven both my Xi and my wife's 4 matic extensivley and really find not much difference between the AWD systems. I think the playing field is pretty level - except for the more sophisticated systems that have the more complex torque vectoring. Personally I love the inherent RWD bias of the BMW and MB system.
I agree there are probably more similarities than differences. For what it's worth, Quattro has the same RWD bias as xDrive (both are 40/60 front and rear).
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:46 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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Originally Posted by Sophisto View Post
It is very seldom you will benefit of a 4x4 transmission in a luxury sport sedan.
I think a RWD is what you want.
Or you must be living on a hill in snow country(a), or tugging a camper(b) all the time.
a: get some snow tires instead of AWD.
b: buy a Subaru.
AWD with snows is a much better combination than RWD with snows.

I don't buy the inherent superiority of RWD argument any more. Many of the world's fastest and best handling cars are AWD. Even the next M5 will be offered with AWD.
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Last edited by swajames; 07-15-2011 at 05:59 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2011, 05:03 PM
miked miked is offline
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
AWD with snows is a much better combination than RWD with snows.

I don't but the inherent superiority of RWD argument any more. Many of the world's fastest and best handling cars are AWD. Even the next M5 will be offered with AWD.
I agree 100 percent. I do not buy the RWD with snows either, been there, done that.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:41 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Even Acura's SHAWD isn't a big deal anymore. BMW M's and Audi's sport diff quattro systems do basically the same thing and don't have a stupid name to go with it also.

I'm looking forward to comparing Quattro to xDrive in the winter because my last car was a Q7, but overall, there shouldn't be any major differences in operation for the "normal" systems. They all provide rear biased power and can shift power around depending on the situation. Audi's advantage only comes in with the sport diff because it eliminates understeer completely and lets the tail go out, like a RWD car (oversteer.) Audi's got a new crown gear diff in the RS5 and A8, which is their next gen system.

Not sure if it is completely true, but what I understand is that the crown gear provides even more direct power biasing between the diff't axles faster. It's supposed to cut the tradition clutches' and diff's reaction times considerably. Instead of it acting electronically, it's all mechanical. The crown diff is supposed to vector torque side to side like SH AWD also.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:42 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Even Acura's SHAWD isn't a big deal anymore. BMW M's and Audi's sport diff quattro systems do basically the same thing and don't have a stupid name to go with it also.
Not quite. They're only on one axle. Acura's is on both.

Yes, the name is stupid, but it's fitting.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:38 PM
Nobrandfanboy Nobrandfanboy is offline
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Xdrive like Quattro come in two versions, electrical and mechanical.
MXdrive = mechanical
Xdrive = electrical

Quattro on A3 and TT = electrical
Quattro on A4, A6 A7, A8 and all S cars = Mechanical

4matic = mechanical

SH AWD = Mechanical.

Mechanical AWD is superior in performance when compared to electronic AWD but for dailly driving it doesn't make to much of a difference. But driving aggressively or on the track or aggressively in the snow the mechanical AWD's do make a difference. The main difference is when you drive a mechanical AWD car there is no delay in the AWD response while in electrical systems I could feel that it took a split second of slippage before the electronics slipped in and figure out what was going on. This is why BMW uses M xdrive in there performance vehicles. MB while they do have mechanical AWD the car just don't feel as planted as the other manufacturers. For some reason or another MB's rear end always are too light and during winter driving fish tails or looses traction all the time even with AWD.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:08 PM
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. For some reason or another MB's rear end always are too light and during winter driving fish tails or looses traction all the time even with AWD.
My GL450 allowed a fair bit of rear wheel slippage when I drove aggresively in the snow, but vehicle was well-planted under lighter throttle conditions. My SL550 also allowed for a fair amount of wheel spin when driven aggressively. I just figured MB traction control systems allowed the user more freedom prior to engaging. I found MB's normal mode is like BMW's DTC mode.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:07 AM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
AWD with snows is a much better combination than RWD with snows.

I don't buy the inherent superiority of RWD argument any more. Many of the world's fastest and best handling cars are AWD. Even the next M5 will be offered with AWD.
Yes but AWD without snows is not perfect on snow. So if you live in the snow you want AWD snow tires and no 500 hp. You can not use your 500 hp on the snow, even with snowtires, on roads covered with snow and with other traffic 500 hp seems quite useless.

Somewhere above 250-300 hp cars can not put all the traction on the rear wheels and AWD performs better, in aggressive driving that is. In normal trafic it does not bring anything usefull. It will give you a little better cornering and climbing on snow. But breaking or downslope it is not delivering any extra on slippery roads.
For fast cornering and delivering over 300 hp for accelearation AWD has its benefits on normal roads. Otherwise it is traction you want and that is influenced a lot by choosing the right tire. I find the all seasons on the AWD BMW quite a poor compromis. And choose good summer and winter tires with RWD above AWD with all seasons. I live in a flat country with 2 or 3 days snow per year. The roads are blocked with stranded cars on bad tires on those days. A RWD performs more than adequate on these days. The 250 hp/540nm of the 530D are easily delivered on normal roads, I have driven the F10 for 15000 miles and have not missed the AWD at all. The snow tires sure were of use a couple of times in the snow though.

Last edited by Sophisto; 07-16-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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  #15  
Old 07-16-2011, 05:36 AM
tdepetra tdepetra is offline
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
AWD with snows is a much better combination than RWD with snows.

I don't buy the inherent superiority of RWD argument any more. Many of the world's fastest and best handling cars are AWD. Even the next M5 will be offered with AWD.
Totally!
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:33 AM
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Yes but AWD without snows is not perfect on snow. So if you live in the snow you want AWD snow tires and no 500 hp. You can not use your 500 hp on the snow, even with snowtires, on roads covered with snow and with other traffic 500 hp seems quite useless.

Somewhere above 250-300 hp cars can not put all the traction on the rear wheels and AWD performs better, in aggressive driving that is. In normal trafic it does not bring anything usefull. It will give you a little better cornering and climbing on snow. But breaking or downslope it is not delivering any extra on slippery roads.
For fast cornering and delivering over 300 hp for accelearation AWD has its benefits on normal roads. Otherwise it is traction you want and that is influenced a lot by choosing the right tire. I find the all seasons on the AWD BMW quite a poor compromis. And choose good summer and winter tires with RWD above AWD with all seasons.
1. AWD & Snows - already have them, and unlike most second sets of wheels, they are of equivalent quality and performance. RWD owners tend to buy non-staggered cheaper winter wheels and live with lesser peformance during the winter months. Just the shift from 255mm wide tires to 225mm tires on my RWD 335d causes a significant loss in dry traction, but 255mm snow tires wouldn't work so well in the snow either. Thus, RWD with snows is an undesirable compromise for me and that's why I have an xDrive car also. I want and have maximum performance all year long.

2. 500hp - not for the snow or even everyday use, but it is there when I want it and it is really fun when I do.

3. Aggressive driving - see above

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophisto View Post
I live in a flat country with 2 or 3 days snow per year. The roads are blocked with stranded cars on bad tires on those days. A RWD performs more than adequate on these days. The 250 hp/540nm of the 530D are easily delivered on normal roads, I have driven the F10 for 15000 miles and have not missed the AWD at all. The snow tires sure were of use a couple of times in the snow though.
Everybody has their own reasons and situations that help support their perspective. I have lived in a hilly area atop a hill with long steep winding driveway for the past ten years. During that time I have owned a combination of RWD and AWD sports cars, sedans, SUVs, and pick-up trucks with Summer, A/S, and snow tires including examples of xDrive, Quattro, and 4matic. (BTW Quattro was the best in the snow, but that system is not the current system). Our driveway (and our road) doesn't get plowed until I get home. I have made it up my snow covered drive in the 335d, but it required continous wheel spin and a very contolled drift. My wife keeps her boots in the trunk and just parks the a car about a half-mile away. For most drivers in my situation, AWD or a pair of boots is the only way they would reach our home in the snow and yes, I've needed to use my tractor (with snow chains) to rescue those who have failed in the attempt.
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