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Old 09-16-2001, 07:27 PM   #1
remarcable
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Default Subaru AWD vs Volvo AWD (video, repost)

Here's a german video showing offroad test between the Subaru Outback and the Volvo CrossCountry in german.

This has been posted before, but I finally got around to mirroring it on my site.

Direct link:
http://www.remarcable.net/misc/legac...lvo_filmen.mov

And my site:
http://www.remarcable.net/misc/legacy_outback/
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Old 09-16-2001, 10:36 PM   #2
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All I can say is "WOW"!!!

I though the Volvo Cross Country was at least as good, but I guess I'm wrong. That is quite a testament to the technology behind Subaru. If I were Volvo, I'd re-thing the marketing strategy around the Cross Country.

JoeT, proud to be a Subaru owner 00 Legacy GT and Outback VDC. Volvo has nothing over Subaru.
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Old 09-16-2001, 11:23 PM   #3
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badass, proof of what we all knew
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Old 09-17-2001, 02:17 AM   #4
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Default Confirmation of suspicions...

Saw a couple of V70 AWDs really struggling last season in the snow...now I know why.
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Old 09-17-2001, 08:41 AM   #5
MY99 2.5GT
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Sweet
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Old 09-17-2001, 12:35 PM   #6
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Wow.

We have seen what Marc has done in his Outback, and a few of ya know what I do in my GT... that video makes me really realize that I take for granted the technology and expert design of our AWD... I would not think twice about shooting up the hills in that video, and to see the XC struggle to get a few feet is really amazing (amazingly SAD)...

A
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Old 09-17-2001, 06:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Subaru AWD vs Volvo AWD (video, repost)

Quote:
Originally posted by remarcable
Here's a german video showing offroad test between the Subaru Outback and the Volvo CrossCountry in german.
From the 'lilting' speach patternes of the narrator, I would guess that he was actually speaking Swedish, and not German. Although I am certainly not an expert.

Yeah the Volvo clearly was using an "open" differential / transfer case setup, whereas the Legacy (was this a VDC ?) was managing the torque split between the front and rear axles much more effectively. I would be curious to know was sort of Legacy was this... (Did it use a viscous coupling transfercase, or an electrnicly controlled clutch set up ?).
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Old 09-17-2001, 08:33 PM   #8
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Jon, Exactly what I was wondering as I watched! Is that a VDC? Anyone u/s German/Swedish?

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Old 09-17-2001, 09:47 PM   #9
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That wasn't a case of open diff vs limited slip diff... My 99 outback with open diffs easily climbs such hills. The volvo system just has problems.

Someone on the USMB did a translation, however that post seems to have dissappeared. I just spent 10 minutes looking for it.

Oh well.
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Old 09-17-2001, 09:48 PM   #10
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Man after watching that every time I see a Volvo AWD, I'm going to think of that video... That was so funny that the volvo couldn't take it.

Mark
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Old 09-17-2001, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by remarcable
That wasn't a case of open diff vs limited slip diff... My 99 outback with open diffs easily climbs such hills. The volvo system just has problems.
remarcable -
you could clearly see the volvo digging a hole with the left front, whilst the left rear did nothing. Unless the right rear was also digging another hole (which I doubt), I suspect that the transfercase was effectively "open" (meaning the font axle could sit & spin, and the rear would get nothing).

The Viscous coupling setup with the manual Subarus (as you probably already know), will let a certain percentage of slip setup, before effectivily locking the front & rear axles. (Meaning you have in effect sometimes only 2 driving wheels.. but those wheels are each on a seperate axle. It looked to me like the Volvo only had 1 driving wheel).

Sorry if I didnt make that clear.
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Old 09-18-2001, 02:23 AM   #12
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Default

The original post was by me... a few months back, and it's a swedish test, not german. I couldn't find it on the USMB either, but here's the translation once again. BTW, I read another swedish test also, and that wasn't as "nice" as this one. They took a few AWD's and drove around with them for quite a while in different weather conditions, the Impreza was more or less considered the worst AWD of the bunch... here's the link, in swedish

http://www.aftonbladet.se/bil/biltes...01/970107.html

Another thing, there was a discussion on the USMB after I did the translation that they got the Subaru from 0-100km/h in just 7,7seconds, which sounds weird, go figure...

The translation of the Subaru Outback 2.5 vs. Volvo V70 Cross Country test:

http://bilnytt.spray.se/frame_index....+mot+Subaru%5C

spray bilnytt

Subaru Outback 2.5 vs. Volvo V70 Cross Country

Superiority in the mud
When we tested 5 different four-wheel driven cars a while back, we noticed that Volvo Cross Country refused to pull with its rear wheels. The system didnít put any power to the rear axle even when the front wheels were put on free-rolling rolls to simulate slippery conditions. The other cars performed variously in the test, but Volvo was clearly the worst one. Volvo told us that we couldnít test their four-wheel drive system like we had done, so we did a new test, this time in real-life and under real conditions. Is Cross Country four-wheel driven?

Ring Knutstorp has quite an easy off-road track that resembles a muddy and hilly forest road. A typical terrain for four-wheel driven cars of the type Volvo represents. They are not actual terrain cars, they canít manage climbing over logs and rocks or deep wading, but they should definitely manage a forest road without getting stuck.

Subaru the first one
Subaru was the first one to lift the suspension on their wagon, mount some tough moldings and thus heavily lean towards an off road-look, the new model was named Legacy Outback. Volvo realized the smartness in this concept, and quickly followed with V70 Cross Country, thatís why we wanted to use a Subaru Legacy Outback as comparison.
Outback and Cross Country are quite alike. They are equally long, they both have a similar wheel mounting and suspension, and the engines have almost exactly the same volume. Volvo has a 10cm longer wheelbase and the car is also 10cm wider. Volvo has a 200hp turbo-five engine while Subaru has a nice 156hp boxer-four. Both test cars were also equipped with auto-transmission and rolled on Pirelli friction tires to give good conditions for the comparison.

Heavy pricing
A more effective engine means higher top speed, Cross Country tops 210km/h while Outback is somewhat slower with its 197km/h. Subaru, however, accelerates quicker; 0-100km/h in 7,7 seconds Ė Volvo needs 8,6 seconds. Volvo charges quite a lot for the 44hp power advantage; Cross Country costs 315.900, 61.000 more than Legacy Outback, which costs 254.900. Still the Japanese is more comprehensively equipped than the Swede, air-conditioning and alloy wheels are standard, but cost extra on Volvo. Warranty is also better on Subaru, 3 years or 100.000 km against 1 year on Volvo. Volvo, on the other hand, has a non-rust-warranty good for 8 years compared to 6 year on the Japanese.

Volvo is, however, a much more beautiful car, it looks very cool from a front view with the covered nose, wide wheel track and low roofline, while Subaru is more a car of the 90s with its strict lines. The interior is quite similar on both cars with a plastic touch. Subaru has improved here, while Volvo still is missing the Audi-class on the interior.

Nothing dramatical, no wheel spin
Back to business, or back to the mud would be a more appropriate expression. The conditions were quite dry, it was possible to walk on the forest road without plunging through, and it didnít look very hard to drive on. With the Subaru there were really no problems driving up the hills (the only difficult parts on the track), just in with the gear and then cautiously up the hill. Nothing un-expected here, Subaru behaved exactly like a true four-wheel driven car with some terrain-capability should under theses circumstances.

With the Volvo we got stuck in the first up-hill, you can see from the QuickTime Ėmovie that the hill isnít especially steep or demanding, but Cross Country started to spin the front wheels, and exactly like in our previous test, the rear wheels didnít pull at all. The electronics didnít help whatsoever. The front wheels kept on digging deeper and deeper, smoke was rising from the tires, but the rear wheels didnít pull. After standing there a few minutes with spinning front wheels, there was a feeling that the rear wheels tried to act, but by then we were totally stuck and had to come back down.

Then we tested the cars on the same forest road with a trailer carrying a 200kg load. In other words an easy load for these cars capable of a 1.800kg trailer. No problems for Subaru, it was easy to turn and correct the trailer, a typical action to get a two-wheel driven car stuck. With the Volvo it was the same story all over again. At an early state it started to spin the front wheels and got no help from the rear wheels. The car got hopelessly stuck.

The final result
In conclusion, the results were the same as in laboratory conditions on a road of rolls. Volvo V70 Cross Country might be a nice, good looking and drivable car, but the four-wheel drive system is under all critics. If youíre a really capable driver you can come quite far with the front wheel drive, it really can manage a lot more than one could expect, but the idea with four-wheel drive is that you never get stuck, not even a novice driver on a muddy road with a trailer. Subaru Legacy Outback, however, is a true four-wheel driven car that wonít let you down.



* Miki *
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Old 09-18-2001, 02:54 AM   #13
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Default Thanks!

Thank you Miki! That was very enlightening. What were some of the other cars tested, and how did they do overall when compared to the Impreza?
OK I should have checked out the new link! Funny how you can kind of get the gist of what is being said, but no detail. Mention of land-mines and other great stuff. Please share more!

Glenn O
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Old 09-18-2001, 12:44 PM   #14
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Default woah

glad I bought a subaru, as if there was ever a doubt
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Old 09-18-2001, 05:32 PM   #15
remarcable
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Thanks for the clarification, I have updated the gallery section of my page with the video and translation.

Regardless of what the problem was, the Volvo should not be labelled as an AWD vehicle if it can't make it up that silly little hill.

When I got stuck I was really cursing the open diffs. You could tell that they AWD system was having a hard time with my situation. Only 1 wheel was touching the ground, it it of course, got no power. I really want a rear LSD, although that wouldn't have helped me here.


It was pretty much driver error and bad tires that landed me there. What happened was that I was scraping the front bumper too much going up and so I backed down slightly to take a different line and the side of the hill broke off and slid down into a little marshy area, leaving 2 of my tires in the air when the car slid backwards onto a stump/rock/whatever.

Last edited by remarcable; 09-18-2001 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 09-18-2001, 10:12 PM   #16
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A pretty interesting video and explanation. My brother recently picked up a used '98 V70 AWD R (the 237hp version) for his wife, and I was doing some research about the Volvo AWD setup. It certainly sounds nice, but it shouldn't doesn't appear to do much, huh?

The info I found was here: http://www.autoworld.com/news/volvo/awd.htm . I wonder if they used the same Volvo in both tests, and that particular car was just screwed up. According to the info at that link, low speed traction in particular should be excellent, as there are traction control systems for the front and rear axles. Something doesn't add up. I might have to get my brother to borrow the wife's car so we can go do some independent testing of our own.

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Old 09-18-2001, 11:48 PM   #17
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Based on reading that, my guess is that perhaps due to the incline the fancy shmancy computer didn't think to turn on the AWD. Maybe the 5% default power was not enough by itself to spin the rear wheels when they had most of the car's weight on them?

I think the driver should have tried mashing the throttle. Sure, that is a good way to get yourself stuck and buried but I like to see dirt flying in the air.

Oh yeah forgot to mention, Pat if you didn't already know, I've got your infamous lime rock clip on my site too.

I can take it down if it is a problem, but people seem to eat that sort of thing up. I think I may have asked you about this before, but I can't remember for sure.
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