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I sit here on Sunday morning with my coffee, laptop, baby and puppy, and I see a commercial for the BMW 3-Series, with AWD. Now, I don't keep up with BMW's, so I don't know if this is new for them, but it really struck me.

Wow. A performance sedan with AWD. And reasonable! (By reasonable, I mean that it's not overpriced over a non-AWD Bimmer).

Would I ever love to see a '6 hatch with AWD! That is, as long as they keep it closely priced. Don't add a bunch of crap to jack the price up, just offer AWD.

AWD is so awesome, I wish it was offered on more cars - especially performance ones. The only reasonbly priced one I can think of is the WRX. All the others are in a significantly higher price class (BMW, Audi, etc.)

It seems like the '6 is going to kick ass as it is. Think of how much more ass it would kick if you could shell out another $1,000 and get AWD!
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

True. But until Mazda can proove high volume on the 6 worldwide, I suppose we can be glad that they even did three body-types (well, at least here...) with such a variety as they did.

Mazda is a small brand. At least yet. Too diverse production might proove harmful to the balance sheet comes end of fiscal year...:sarc
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

And don't expect an AWD version you can pick up for $1000 more. The driveshaft changes alone will end up running close to that for the company.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Kincaid


            And don't expect an AWD version you can pick up for $1000 more. The driveshaft changes alone will end up running close to that for the company.[/b]
Yes, my ignorance on AWD pricing shows...but point made.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

AWD is highly overrated. First of all it's more dangerous than FWD because by putting power to all the tires, it makes the car harder to stop. Second of all AWD that is from a FWD car, is not like AWD from a RWD car. The Mazda 6 would be the former. That means only 30 percent power to the rear, and the good handling isn't that good.

AWD also makes cars MUCH heavier. Try at least 500lbs, so if you're going to do that, let's add so more power too. And then it might be better for snow, but you'll probably speed faster than normal, and the AWD is compromised because you think that AWD is that much safer.

Look at it this way, most race cars are RWD. Not AWD. Yes this is a FWD car, but I'll take the lighter weight, and already great handling on snow.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

Absolutely right on the additional weight for AWD. I think the 2.3L would be seriously struggling with the extra weight of AWD, and I'd hate to think of what it would do to the performance of the smaller engines. Mazda would need to put a more powerful engine into the 6 if they are thinking of going to AWD.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

There is already a 4WD version of the Mazda, and according to some people I spoke to that has taken it for a drive, it rocks!

Mazda has applied some new technology to their AWD if I'm correctly informed.

A 2.3 liter engine should be sufficient for AWD, but it depends. In this case, there is not much to worry about. The 2.3 is a very strong engine.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

For a sports car, I would agree, nothing but RWD! And light, light, light!

But for a sedan, these factors are not as important. Hey, a sedan isn't gonna be under 3,000pounds anyway. And as far as the speeding/stopping arguement, a good driver is a good driver, and a bad one is bad regardless of if the car is FWD or AWD.

I found the brakes in a Subaru to be mushy, but I was told that was a Subaru thing, not an AWD thing. I am sure brakes could be engineered to be effective on a car that's a little heavier.

I don't own an AWD car, but I've seen a couple of Subaru's rip up wet roads with a grin.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

According to our dealer the 2.3 AWD wagon will be available in mid-December. Price increase over FWD version should be around US$2000.
 

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AWD is nice. I've driven some Subarus (and yes, their brakes have left me with some thing to wish for) and I have a friend who got an Audi A6 AWD.

That car is like a tank. It's heavy, but dude does it make its way anywhere!! It doesn't matter. Where my FWD 626 no longer want to share the fun, his Audi just keeps on going.

Now I know that Audi has a good AWD. But anyway. And as Applejax says: if it's supposed to be a family car, does it really matter if it's a bit heavier?
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

The specification seems to vary from country to country,
so maybe the spec might be different in your countries.
In Japan, the AWD is only available for Wagon,
and 5AT only. Here's Weight and its price.

[23S Wagon]

FF 5MT 1390 kg 2,200,000 yen
FF 4AT 1420 kg 2,300,000 yen
AWD 5AT 1500 kg 2,500,000 yen

For me, I put more importance on economical advantage
than on stability provided by AWD. Actually some
drivers prefer AWD especially in heavy-snow area.
 

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Replying to Topic 'An ideal situation'

QUOTE
Originally posted by MAZDAMAN


            AWD is highly overrated.  First of all it's more dangerous than FWD because by putting power to all the tires, it makes the car harder to stop.  Second of all AWD that is from a FWD car, is not like AWD from a RWD car.  The Mazda 6 would be the former.  That means only 30 percent power to the rear, and the good handling isn't that good.  

AWD also makes cars MUCH heavier.  Try at least 500lbs, so if you're going to do that, let's add so more power too.  And then it might be better for snow, but you'll probably speed faster than normal, and the AWD is compromised because you think that AWD is that much safer.  

Look at it this way, most race cars are RWD.  Not AWD.  Yes this is a FWD car, but I'll take the lighter weight, and already great handling on snow.  [/b]
I'd like to address these points one by one:
1. AWD is more dangerous: I suppose it would make the car marginally harder to stop on an automatic. But with a manual, AWD gives you engine braking to all four wheels. Stopping distances are sometimes higher on AWD just because of the weight factor. Even then they aren't significantly higher.
2. AWD from FWD vs. RWD - well, yes and no. Maybe you're confusing the various part time AWD systems from Toyota and Honda that drive the car like FWD most of the time and only drive the rear wheels after major slip to the front. The whole power split thing is dependent on the center differential. My Subaru Forester is split 50:50 as a default. Automatic models of the same car have a 90:10 split. The automatic WRX, with VTD (another type of differential) gets a 45:55 split. The BMW 330xi (mentioned above by applejax) gets a 30:70 split. These are the defaults and will change depending on conditions.
3. AWD does have a weight penalty. Anywhere from 200 to 600 lbs. depending on the AWD system. As for speeding faster with AWD because it feels safer in snow - well it is safer. But anyone with half a brain should realize that AWD aids in handling, but not in braking. The car will handle like a champ, but if you need to stop in a hurry, forget about it. This is a driver issue, not an AWD issue.
4. Most race cars are RWD. I have two responses to that. First of all driving on a super smooth track is not the same as driving on potholed roads in the rain and snow. Secondly AWD has been BANNED in many race events because of its unfair advantage over RWD and FWD. Audi dominated several GT events until Quattro was banned.

Also, if you look in the November (?) issue of Grass Roots MotorSports, they have a comparo looking at the various drivetrain types in AutoX conditions. They tested an Acura RSX-S (FWD); a BMW 328i (RWD); and a Subaru WRX (AWD). They tested them in both dry and wet conditions. All three cars put out similar power to the wheels. The BMW has a slight advantage there. Guess what. The WRX had the fastest lap times both dry AND wet.

Finally to the power issue. If you want a car with sporting aspirations, and want some power, forget about FWD. Notice that for the MPS 6, Mazda added AWD, so that the additional power from the turbo would be usable. AWD gives you the advantage of putting the power to the ground better than either FWD or RWD. Some of the fastest cars in the world now use AWD: The Porsche 911 Turbo and the Lamborghini Murcielago among them, not to mention the Nissan Skyline GT-R, the Mitsubishi Evolution, the Audi RS series and the WRX STi.

Obviously in the end its a matter of personal preference. If you haven't driven a performance AWD vehicle - TRY IT. Believe me, it's an amazing thing to feel all four wheels clawing at the road and giving you total control as you blast your way out of a turn. It's even more fun when it's wet. :D
 
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