Originally Posted by GnatGoSplat
Originally Posted by Sol
Is it true that AWD adds a lot of weight to the car?
My guess is it will add a lot, at least 500lbs.
A transfer case is a lot of metal, probably about 1/3 of a transmission. My guestimate is it would weigh about 60-100lbs. Then you have a rear differential+halfshafts. A rear diff, maybe 200lbs? Then the drive shaft. I think a steel one would be close to 100lbs. Also, I think you'd need beefier control arms and bigger hub assemblies with the splined hole in the middle. It would all add up.
The Audi A8'* are in the same size class as a Bonneville, a little shorter actually. They have a 100% aluminum body and frame to greatly reduce weight, yet they still weigh around 200lbs more than a Bonneville. So my guess is AWD probably adds several hundred pounds minimum.
The weight gain would probably be substantial. However, it may improve your weight distributiion, and if RWD biased potentially overall handling. But then again, the 00+ SSEI does handling amazingly well for a large car, especially a front wheel drive one.
You may still be as faster or faster from a stop, given the additional traction - but would be slower from a roll than similiarly powered fwd bonneville.