SVT's John Colletti was recently quoted as saying future SVT products
would focus on weight reduction instead on increased horsepower to
gain better performance. And now it seems Audi is talking the same
talk. Will future high-performance Mustangs see their horsepower
capped at maybe only around 300 ponies, but those ponies only needing
to propel sub-3,000lb of curb weight?
With the recent spike in world oil prices, and the probability we'll
never see gas much under two bucks a gallon ever again, I think the
chances of flyweight Mustangs in our future are a certainty.
Related article ----------------
For two and a half decades, Germany's top three prestige automakers,
Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have battled it out for the first place
in terms of speed, horsepower and acceleration with their performance
divisions. With battles waged in nearly all vehicle sizes, body styles
and price ranges, the trio of high-speed German supercar-makers has
made the ?80s, ?90s and what we've seen of this new millennium an
Say goodbye to the RS Cars - Audi's pulling out of the HP race.
No true automotive enthusiast could deny any sense of excitement upon
the news of the original superwagon, the Porsche-tuned Audi RS2.
Designed by Quattro GmbH, no other factory-produced compact wagon
could top its explosive power and rawness. Nor can anyone turn a blind
eye to the power-overloaded antics of Benz's latest assault of
super-luxury vehicles powered by twin-turbocharged V12 powerplants.
BMW's most recent rendition of the M5 is perhaps the quintessential
supersedan, built with an F1-inspired V10 and a 7-speed paddleshift
sequential gearbox has been seared into the minds of many.
The RS6 might just have been the end of the line for high-HP Audis.
But the competition, particularly the one-upmanship seen over the five
years is short lived - Audi has officially pulled out of the
horsepower race. Stephen Reil, General Manager of Development at
Quattro GmbH, the man responsible for procuring Audi's RS models,
commented on the issue saying, "continuing to increase the power
outputs is not the way forward. With more power the car normally gets
heavier and then you need more power again." Weight has always been
considered the mortal enemy of the sports cars; it deteriorates ride,
numbs handling, reduces cornering agility and compromises braking
abilities. The vicious cycle is often repeated time after time with
every generation that passes. Audi's decision to concentrate on other
areas will hopefully shed years of weight gain on upcoming vehicles.
BMW has also pledged to drop the horsepower in favour or reducing
weight and improving handling.
Another critical issue involved with the horsepower race is getting
the power to the ground. Riel bashed the rear-wheel driven competition
whose recent releases include the 507 horsepower BMW M5 and the 603
horsepower Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG saying, "with a rear-wheel-drive car,
all you succeed in doing is lighting up the yellow traction control
sign." While Audi has never had such a problem thanks to their
innovative permanent all wheel drive system, could this be a sign that
Audi will be moving away from AWD?
The new super Audis will be badged under a new name.
Unfortunately for fans at the Audi camp, vehicles likes Quattro's
project, the 450 horsepower RS6 may no longer be on the up-and-up on
the horsepower race. But Audi's choice not to strive for top spot in
the power count doesn't necessarily mean that future hot Audis will be
any slower than the immediate competition. Riel said that Quattro is
aiming to develop cars that blend the best of the high-power output
world with "outstanding driving dynamics and road handling."
Audi doesn't want to end up cars that essentially only light up the
traction control light.
A key idea to delivering Riel's goals of improved dynamics comes not
from Quattro, but from Audi. Earlier this year VAG boss Bernd
Pieshstrader encouraged Audi's engineers to improve the way that their
cars handled and rode. The way that their engineers solved this
problem was to shift the engine towards the center of the car, a
technique often seen in purist sports cars to improve a car's weight
distribution while reducing the mass slung over the front wheels which
leads to better handling and braking.
With better handling and less curb weight, Audis may not lead in
power, but they'll leading in driving excitement.
On what car will Quattro exercise their new school of thought?
Analysts say that the next vehicle up for the supercar treatment is
the A3, however a hotter version of the new A6 is also said to be on
the way. Rumors of it utilizing Lamborghini's 5.0 liter V10 to counter
the new 507 horsepower M5 could very well be proven false if Riel's
statements are indeed true. But there is one thing for sure ? we will
know the vehicle when it arrives; a new naming scheme for high
performance Audis is being created, one that steps away from the R and
S logo types.
---end of article---
NoOp comment: Maybe the recent "delay" of the 500-horsepower
Lightning pickup has a lot to do high gas prices, hungry horsepower,
and big curb weight?
- posted 15 years ago