Video: Audi S4 vs. Volvo S60, Leaf-Blown Monza Discussed on WOT
This week’s episode of Wide Open Throttle included David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan of Roadkill fame, bringing their unique performance perspective on the world of cars. Starting out, the discussion revolved around the comparison of the Audi S4 to the Volvo S60 T6. On paper, the cars are closely-matched, with all-wheel drive and forced-induction 3.0-liter six-cylinder engines. Yet despite the valiant effort, Volvo could not topple Ingolstadt’s four-door superstar, thanks to Audi’s lightning-quick dual-clutch seven-speed transmission and launch control.
The Volkswagen Group’s significant engineering and financial resources, as well as its inherently superior drivetrain gave Audi the edge. Freiburger said the idea of a high-performance Volvo is somewhat odd to him, saying Volvo makes him think “soccer mom.” Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman retorted that he’d been to Volvo’s motorsports museum in Sweden, and that the brand has a long history of performance and motorsports, despite its safe and conservative image.
The last Roadkill adventure of supercharging a Chevrolet Monza with a quint of Husqvarna leafblowers came up, with Freiburger and Finnegan defending the experiment as science, and vouching for the efficacy of the yard tools for adding 20 hp at the wheels. Cost effective? Not really. Fun and wacky? Definitely.
Finally, the sunset of the era of Ford manufacturing in Australia capped off the week’s discussion, following the company’s announcement that local production would end in 2016, the victim of shrinking demand for the brand’s traditional full-size rear-drive sedans, the strength of the Australian dollar, which has made imports cheaper, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s insistence on global platforms. In a somewhat ironic consolation, the next-generation Mustang may be sold in Australia.
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