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  #51  
Old 06-16-2019, 10:16 AM
ship4u ship4u is offline
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Hi everyone,
As you can see, I decided that the RWD was a good option for me. Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments. I am really enjoying this car. The dealership in Tallahassee, Florida, was a pleasure to work with, and I had the car shipped here to Cleveland.
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2016 435i Individual - Citrin Black / Nutmeg Extended Merino Leather
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  #52  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:49 AM
Loudpedal Loudpedal is offline
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Mein Auto: 2016 428i Estoril Blue
Great thread, so many good points. Having owned most of the configurations, I've experienced a good bit of the spectrum in snow. Also, having done a fair bit of autocrossing with a penchant for whippin' through the windy's at 8 or 9 10th's, I feel I can speak to the handling differences - weight distribution, over/understeer, RWD, FWD, AWD in snow, wet and dry. I've driven in snow/ice through eras in technology, from RWD (bad) to FWD (better) to AWD (best). This post might be a bit long, but a lot of this discussion is exactly why I ended up in the 428i x-drive and always run AS tires.

If you drive in snow, you can't count on a road being cleared, ice free, etc., and levels of snow in a given year are unpredictable. I've seen 25" of snow at the end of April in New England, just after switching to summer tires. Point is, you'll find yourself on your own in the snow often enough for it to really suck, so it pays to be ready.

Modern AWD is relatively inexpensive and an amazingly competent technology, with compromises that are actually minimal (or even non-existent) in the right platform. As long as I live in a snow-prone area, my daily drivers will have it. Arguing the performance compromise, I'd offer a 3800lb MS6 Touring at 3 seconds faster vs MX5 Miata on identical autocross layout, on a summer day, in the dry at a Zoom-Zoom Live events. Granted, the Miata was not a performance config, but the big 'ol MS6 just smoked it. The AWD clawed out of the corners, and understeer was very controllable with brakes, throttle and precision. Sometimes I think the real factor that day may have been the sticky Yokohama summer tires that came stock on the MS6, but could it explain a 3 second difference? Bottom line is, it had an AWD setup that was just formidable in the dry. With 276hp turbo 4, 6-speed manual and AWD it was actually very close (in spec, at least) to my 428i. Over the 13 years I owned it and never a single problem in snow, it became the bar. It was primarily FWD, transverse engine sitting on or slightly forward of the front wheels. AWD split was 50/50 max to the rear wheels. The center clutch could be disabled by pulling the handbrake one click, just till the brake light came on. The difference was noticeable in all conditions, but especially in snow.

So many factors do come into play, but tires really are the absolute in every road condition. Just like setting up a street car for the track or autocross, configuration for snow presents compromises. I took delivery of the MS6 with an extra set of Continental Winter Contact tires on 17" rims. The day after I bought it, (around Jan 6) I left CT for Minneapolis. It was phenominal. Too many times I left for work before the plow came through, sometimes pushing snow that was 3 or 4" deeper than my front end lip. Nothing in MN stopped the MS6 on full snows. The Conti's had hardened tread edges that bit into ice when they were newer. This went away a bit as the tires wore, and they wore fast in warm weather. Important to switch to summers as soon as spring comes. It should be noted that besides having zero grip in snow, summer compounds lose grip considerably in cold weather. I eventually replaced the Conti's with Pirelli AS 17" as an experiment, and then Cooper AS 17" when the Pirellis wore out. Specific season tires are costly, but especially the Yokohama summers. I took them off the rims, never got around to replacing the summers and I still have the 18" rims stored. The first sets both wore out in the same year, so I was looking at full replacement. The AS tires weren't as awesome as the full winters, but still quite good with the AWD and I never had to switch to summers/winters. I only spent that first winter in MN, and AS were fine in the relatively mild CT winters.

I traded a Mazda 3 hatch for the MS6, and the winter in CT had been mild. I procrastinated putting all seasons on the 3, and it was a scary ride in the least bit of snow. FWD, a crappy diff and summer tires gave these cars a well deserved bad winter reputation. Could barely get going on the flat from a traffic light on an inch of snow. IMO, all commuter/economy cars should ship with AS tires, at least in snow areas. That 3 just sucked in snow as delivered. AS tires would probably have helped, but I never found out.

I'm at the point where the goal is to never have to take the shovel out of the trunk, or to be anything less than confident in the worst snow conditions. I recently replaced the MS6 with my current 428i x-drive. When I went out shopping, the goal was replacing the MS6 with all it's superb capability and minimal compromises to dry performance (virtually none), and I wasn't about to take a step backward. I want it all, but I know I can't have all in one car. Maximising summer attributes while minimizing winter compromise, and tire choice above all seems to be key.

RWD - Full snow tires or you flirt with disaster. Even at that, put a shovel in the back seat so you don't have to go to the trunk so often. Sand helps too.
I have this vivid memory of watching a brown 5 series coupe sideways on a snowy Massachusetts interstate curve, couldn't have been doing more than 40mph, bounced off the guardrail, and probably on AS tires.
FWD - Most will eek by on AS, but full snows are best. You'll be getting stuck in any deep stuff, so it's best to have a shovel.
AWD/4WD - AS will get you there just about as well as full snows. Don't even bother on summers, it just spins all four wheels. I have shovels in the cars, never used it in the MS6 or the wife's AWD Flex, both on Cooper AS tires.

Finally, there's the stopping problem, where all the variants quickly become relatively equal. Stopping is probably where the discussion should start, really. Here, all drivetrain configs can be improved by full snows because the drivetrain does little to stop the car. Good, functioning ABS and DSC both help so long as you run at least AS tires. Here, full snows do a bit better. Tread stagger is bite, stopping and going. More rows and more stagger = more bite. Full snows are almost all staggered tread, Most AS tires have one or two staggered rows. Summers have none. The best full snow tires have big stagger and hardened tread edges that provide some bite on ice, and that's all about stopping. Very cold areas like MN and AK raise the argument for full snows for the extra bite on ice. Sun melts snow during the day, the water runs across the road and turns to ice, and there's occasional black ice, even in warmer areas.

Used to be that AWD/4WD was clunky, heavy and inefficient, used a lot of fuel, etc. Technology being what it is, today's compromises have less effect. I'm sure it's why SUV's have become the family car of choice, as most are on demand AWD/4WD, and fuel efficient. For me, a performance oriented vehicle with AWD, ABS, DSC and a set of AS ("M+S" on the sidewall) combination offers the best winter solution in most winter places without having to resort to full snows/summers. And with cars like BMW, WRX, Audi Quattro and MS6 (sadly out of production), they can be a great summer drive too.
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  #53  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:13 PM
edycol edycol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loudpedal View Post
Great thread, so many good points. Having owned most of the configurations, I've experienced a good bit of the spectrum in snow. Also, having done a fair bit of autocrossing with a penchant for whippin' through the windy's at 8 or 9 10th's, I feel I can speak to the handling differences - weight distribution, over/understeer, RWD, FWD, AWD in snow, wet and dry. I've driven in snow/ice through eras in technology, from RWD (bad) to FWD (better) to AWD (best). This post might be a bit long, but a lot of this discussion is exactly why I ended up in the 428i x-drive and always run AS tires.

If you drive in snow, you can't count on a road being cleared, ice free, etc., and levels of snow in a given year are unpredictable. I've seen 25" of snow at the end of April in New England, just after switching to summer tires. Point is, you'll find yourself on your own in the snow often enough for it to really suck, so it pays to be ready.

Modern AWD is relatively inexpensive and an amazingly competent technology, with compromises that are actually minimal (or even non-existent) in the right platform. As long as I live in a snow-prone area, my daily drivers will have it. Arguing the performance compromise, I'd offer a 3800lb MS6 Touring at 3 seconds faster vs MX5 Miata on identical autocross layout, on a summer day, in the dry at a Zoom-Zoom Live events. Granted, the Miata was not a performance config, but the big 'ol MS6 just smoked it. The AWD clawed out of the corners, and understeer was very controllable with brakes, throttle and precision. Sometimes I think the real factor that day may have been the sticky Yokohama summer tires that came stock on the MS6, but could it explain a 3 second difference? Bottom line is, it had an AWD setup that was just formidable in the dry. With 276hp turbo 4, 6-speed manual and AWD it was actually very close (in spec, at least) to my 428i. Over the 13 years I owned it and never a single problem in snow, it became the bar. It was primarily FWD, transverse engine sitting on or slightly forward of the front wheels. AWD split was 50/50 max to the rear wheels. The center clutch could be disabled by pulling the handbrake one click, just till the brake light came on. The difference was noticeable in all conditions, but especially in snow.

So many factors do come into play, but tires really are the absolute in every road condition. Just like setting up a street car for the track or autocross, configuration for snow presents compromises. I took delivery of the MS6 with an extra set of Continental Winter Contact tires on 17" rims. The day after I bought it, (around Jan 6) I left CT for Minneapolis. It was phenominal. Too many times I left for work before the plow came through, sometimes pushing snow that was 3 or 4" deeper than my front end lip. Nothing in MN stopped the MS6 on full snows. The Conti's had hardened tread edges that bit into ice when they were newer. This went away a bit as the tires wore, and they wore fast in warm weather. Important to switch to summers as soon as spring comes. It should be noted that besides having zero grip in snow, summer compounds lose grip considerably in cold weather. I eventually replaced the Conti's with Pirelli AS 17" as an experiment, and then Cooper AS 17" when the Pirellis wore out. Specific season tires are costly, but especially the Yokohama summers. I took them off the rims, never got around to replacing the summers and I still have the 18" rims stored. The first sets both wore out in the same year, so I was looking at full replacement. The AS tires weren't as awesome as the full winters, but still quite good with the AWD and I never had to switch to summers/winters. I only spent that first winter in MN, and AS were fine in the relatively mild CT winters.

I traded a Mazda 3 hatch for the MS6, and the winter in CT had been mild. I procrastinated putting all seasons on the 3, and it was a scary ride in the least bit of snow. FWD, a crappy diff and summer tires gave these cars a well deserved bad winter reputation. Could barely get going on the flat from a traffic light on an inch of snow. IMO, all commuter/economy cars should ship with AS tires, at least in snow areas. That 3 just sucked in snow as delivered. AS tires would probably have helped, but I never found out.

I'm at the point where the goal is to never have to take the shovel out of the trunk, or to be anything less than confident in the worst snow conditions. I recently replaced the MS6 with my current 428i x-drive. When I went out shopping, the goal was replacing the MS6 with all it's superb capability and minimal compromises to dry performance (virtually none), and I wasn't about to take a step backward. I want it all, but I know I can't have all in one car. Maximising summer attributes while minimizing winter compromise, and tire choice above all seems to be key.

RWD - Full snow tires or you flirt with disaster. Even at that, put a shovel in the back seat so you don't have to go to the trunk so often. Sand helps too.
I have this vivid memory of watching a brown 5 series coupe sideways on a snowy Massachusetts interstate curve, couldn't have been doing more than 40mph, bounced off the guardrail, and probably on AS tires.
FWD - Most will eek by on AS, but full snows are best. You'll be getting stuck in any deep stuff, so it's best to have a shovel.
AWD/4WD - AS will get you there just about as well as full snows. Don't even bother on summers, it just spins all four wheels. I have shovels in the cars, never used it in the MS6 or the wife's AWD Flex, both on Cooper AS tires.

Finally, there's the stopping problem, where all the variants quickly become relatively equal. Stopping is probably where the discussion should start, really. Here, all drivetrain configs can be improved by full snows because the drivetrain does little to stop the car. Good, functioning ABS and DSC both help so long as you run at least AS tires. Here, full snows do a bit better. Tread stagger is bite, stopping and going. More rows and more stagger = more bite. Full snows are almost all staggered tread, Most AS tires have one or two staggered rows. Summers have none. The best full snow tires have big stagger and hardened tread edges that provide some bite on ice, and that's all about stopping. Very cold areas like MN and AK raise the argument for full snows for the extra bite on ice. Sun melts snow during the day, the water runs across the road and turns to ice, and there's occasional black ice, even in warmer areas.

Used to be that AWD/4WD was clunky, heavy and inefficient, used a lot of fuel, etc. Technology being what it is, today's compromises have less effect. I'm sure it's why SUV's have become the family car of choice, as most are on demand AWD/4WD, and fuel efficient. For me, a performance oriented vehicle with AWD, ABS, DSC and a set of AS ("M+S" on the sidewall) combination offers the best winter solution in most winter places without having to resort to full snows/summers. And with cars like BMW, WRX, Audi Quattro and MS6 (sadly out of production), they can be a great summer drive too.


Stopping is real problem.
As I say: I have never seen anyone die because of not being able to go fast enough forward. But I did see people die because they couldn’t stop fast enough.
Any regular winter, requires snow tires, regardless of drivetrain. Anyone who says: All Season are enough, are fools.



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