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Posts Tagged ‘AWD’

Buyers Showing Love for All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

Sales have increased five points in five years.

by on Dec.13, 2013

Subaru's sales jump this year is helping to push sales of all-wheel-drive-equipped vehicles to new highs.

With nasty winter weather dominating the headlines the past few years, it would seem people are buying vehicles better equipped to handle the elements: sales of all-wheel-drive vehicles have risen five percentage points in five years.

Nearly one-third – 31.3% – of new vehicles sold through September were equipped with either all- or four-wheel drive. This is up from 26.3% during the same nine-month span of 2008, according to data from Polk, an automotive research firm in Southfield, Mich.

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While Mother Nature may have played a small role in the increase, more likely it’s the rising sales of crossovers and small sport-utilities as well as companies that feature AWD vehicles, such as Audi and Subaru, that have spurred the change. (more…)

Hyundai Going AWD With Next-Gen Genesis

HTRAC system to eventually roll out across the line-up.

by on Oct.18, 2013

Hyundai will plant the HTRAC logo on the back of the Gen-2 Genesis sedan, with other models to follow.

Hyundai is getting ready to join the list of makers offering all-wheel-drive options to upscale motorists – in this case with a new AWD system it is calling “HTRAC,” which will make its debut on the next-generation Genesis model.

Once reserved for off-road vehicles and a few more mainstream offerings, all-wheel-drive has been steadily gaining ground across the industry and nowhere more quickly than in the luxury market. In fact, dealers and manufacturers alike say it has become difficult to sell a non-AWD-equipped luxury vehicle in many northern regions, such as New York, anymore.

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“We expect our customers to feel world-class safety and driving performance in the all-new Genesis equipped with the HTRAC system,” said Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center.

The Korean maker’s HTRAC designation should be an easy one to translate, the “H” short for Hyundai, and the rest a shortened form of “Traction,” Hyundai notes.


First Look: 2012 Subaru Impreza

Maker claims top AWD mileage.

by on Apr.07, 2011

Subaru will bring the new, 2012 Impreza to the upcoming New York Auto Show.

It’s going to be a busy couple press days at the upcoming New York Auto Show, Subaru the latest to reveal plans for a major launch in the Big Apple.

The automotive arm of Fuji Heavy Industries will roll into Jacob Javits Center with an all-new version of the compact Impreza, both in 4- and 5-door configurations, it promises, the image shown here of the sedan.

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The design is modern, if not exactly breakthrough, featuring a coupe-like curved roofline and more muscular flared wheel wells, front and back.  Narrower headlamps and a revised grille provide a generally more sporty look.  Industry reports have been suggesting the new car should deliver a bit more length and width improving what has been one of the more cramped offerings in the compact segment.

But what could be the real draw is the promise by Subaru that the new Impreza will yield an estimated 36 miles per gallon on the highway.   As it stands, that would make the new 2012 model the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive passenger car on the U.S. market.


AWD or Stability Control: Which Is More Important?

Stability control may be the most important auto safety technology in a generation, but there's still a place for AWD.

by on Dec.16, 2010

Subaru's WRX STi puts its power to all four wheels.

The day after this week’s blizzard, a co-worker asked if I had driven my all-wheel-drive Subaru or the 2011 Buick Regal I happened to be testing.

AWD traction would seem to be a big advantage, and considering that I have a 55-mile commute, I’ll take all the advantages I can get.

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But the Subaru is a 10-year-old warrior, so, while it does have anti-lock brakes, it doesn’t have the latest safety devices such as traction control or stability control. So, even thought the Regal puts power down through its front wheels only, I’ll take the modern car in most circumstances over the older one, even if it is driving all four wheels.

Traction control and stability control are that important. In the old days, you wanted a limited-slip differential to keep the wheel with the least amount of traction from spinning. But traction control effectively replaces the limited slip, in many respects. By selectively braking the wheel with the least traction, the wheel that can get the best bite gets some of the power.