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torsen vs. haldex comparison

Figure: lenta ru haldex vs torsen (17KB)

Picture: lenta.ru

Lenta.ru did a comparison test of Audi TTS quattro DSG (Haldex automatic all wheel drive) and Audi A5 quattro automatic (quattro evolutions asymmetric Torsen-based full-time all wheel drive).

Under normal conditions – for example, city driving – one can’t feel the difference between Haldex and Torsen. Both Audi TTS and A5 accelerate well on compacted snow and slush. But if the car with an electronic clutch behaves like a front-wheel drive, accelerating without unnecessary tail happiness, the A5 has a strong rear wheel drive character, and keeps trying to go sideways. The ESP system allows some gliding and the driver has to compensate these movements by short steering wheel movements.

But when one goes on a twisty winter road, the differences in the all wheel drive design are more notable. If you accelerate out of a curve on Audi TTS with Haldex, the car understeers and does not let the driver to use thrust to skid the tail. The best this Coupe can do is to slide sideways, still missing the apex, but more often it understeers like a front wheel drive vehicle.

Therefore, we try to go through the same curve in another way... Our task is to make the rear axle slide in advance, by zig-zagging or using the handbrake. As soon as the car reacts to your actions and attempts to go into a drift – press the accelerator and try to draw an arc with the skidding of all four wheels by controlling the angle of skid by steering and accelerator. And you must be firm - to lock the coupling, you have to give the wheels more power than they can accept, causing them to slip. And if you do not, then the electronics will "help" you pull the car from skidding and puts more power to the front axle.

The TTS driver must constantly "play" with the gas pedal, causing wheel slip, and not allowing the car to become front-wheel drive once again.

Audi A5 with assymetrical "Torsen" behaves differently in a similar situation. Due to the fact that 60 percent of engine power goes to the rear axle, it is much easier to turn the car into the corner - you just need to press the gas pedal a bit harder. If the grip the front wheels had not yet been exhausted, the car immediately starts to drift. And to go in the "rally-style", you should only slightly reduce the fuel supply by releasing the gas pedal, and a little bit – but not completely – adjust the drifting by steering. Pure, mechanical happines!

But when under the wheels of the vehicle is compacted snow or ice, A5 with "Torsen" can behave just like his younger brother, TTS - in response to throttle the front wheels lose grip, and the car goes past the turn. In addition, A5 is heavier than TTS, so that all phases of sliding last longer and it does not respond as quickly as we would like to the actions of the driver.

If the car understeers, and the car stubbornly refuses to turn into a corner, then the driver has only one solution - almost completely let go of the gas, put the steering wheel straight and wait until the front wheels get grip. Once this happens - the rear axle will go a little further, triggering a light drift, and the car can be turned into the corner by using the accelerator.

But the main thing is - Audi A5 reacts even to the slightest change in the positon of the throttle, allowing to control the car very precisely, with the throttle, rather than the steering wheel. Haldex on TTS behaves quite differently – you don’t have to be sentimental with the gas. The higher the thrust, the clearer the car behaves. But in this case the ride turns into a struggle of human and the car’s electronic brain.

But most drivers are likely to find the behavior of Haldex TTS more familiar and safer than the habits of the car with "Torsen". This was confirmed by my colleagues, who drove both cars on snow-covered ground. According to them, TTS, in contrast to the A5, does not scare the driver off with a sudden drift in response to a throttle increase, and in order to cause a skid of the rear axle, it was much easier to "pull the handbrake," than to make themselves hit the gas pedal.

But I personally find myself closer to the mechanical "Torsen" - it has a character! It is interactive and involves the driver deeper in the process of driving. Yes, it requires attention to the slightest nuances in the behavior of the car and more accurate work with the gas pedal. But it is the character that we love in cars.

Source: http://auto.lenta.ru/articles/2009/03/26/audis/

Have you seen a better description of Torsen Vs. Haldex Comparison on the web? Please send us the link to or post it in a comment below!

subaru legacy 2.0 turbo 4x4 1993

I had a chance to own Subaru Legacy Turbo 2.0 4x4 Station Wagon for half a year (I purchased it for a short time for re-sale). The car was 10 years old and had over 200000 kilometers on the odometer.

A great car. 200 HP, 7 seconds 0-100 kph, permanent all wheel drive, viscous coupling locking differentials center and rear. A little bit rear wheel drive-like handling in snow, probably due to the rear locking diff, it was so much fun to drive. The car let me to take-off from intersections safely and quickly, even when some wheels were on snow and some were on tarmac. The four wheel drive was also useful in summer, when the roads were wet - even my 80 HP diesel van could spin wheels, what can I say, 200 HP need all wheel drive all year round. Suspension was pretty comfortable and not too stiff. The interior was pretty good for a japanese car, the only thing that disturbed me was the dashboard switches to the left of the steering wheel. Those were hidden behind the steering wheel - the driver had to grope for the switches. Oil consumption was too high, up to 1 liter per 1000 km, possibly due to the leaking turbo. A 10+ points car anyway.

Do you think this information about Subaru Legacy 2.0 Turbo 4X4 1993 is incomplete? Please send us what you know to or leave a comment below.

mitsubishi pajero/montero 2.3 td 1986

The car was too old - the turbo was weak, the body was rusted.

Good - 33" tires fit without any body or suspension lift.

Bad - my car was equipped with a free rear differential, not even a limited slip, and not many affordable lockers were offered for this model.

This car was used for off-road competitions from time to time. I was not very much excited about its off-road capabilities. The short wheel base was good for maneuvering through forests though.

Have you seen a better description of Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 2.3 Td 1986 on the web? Please send us the link to or post it in a comment below!

volkswagen bora/jetta 4motion 2000

This car is equipped with Generation I Haldex automatic all wheel drive and an electronic traction control on the front wheels. The all wheel drive engages quickly and the car drives like a full-time all wheel drive car - it's response is quick, on a very slippery surface the rear and front wheels spin synchronously. The traction control is no help when a wheel is in the air - it brakes the spinning wheel a bit but it's not strongly enough for the torque to be transferred to the other wheel that is on the ground. But that is in critical (off-road) conditions. When on the road, the traction control helps.

Do you think this information about Volkswagen Bora/Jetta 4Motion 2000 is incorrect? Please send us what you know to or leave a comment below.

There are 2 comments
Chris Welton
April 17, 2015 - 15:26

Is there a facility to ask questions here, concerning suspected Haldex faults?

October 16, 2013 - 02:51

an old but interresting topic about a snow test race with the different systems..
haldex won..
in german..

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