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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping someone here knows something about the Q4 system. I can't find anything specific about what type of system it uses.
I live in Canada and require AWD but with the entire car industry moving to cheaper AWD systems I am leery to buy a Giulia until I understand what type of system they use.

Last year I bought one of the new Audi S3s and was very disappointed. They use a Haldex system which is quite simply terrible. I got rid of the car within 4 months.

My problem is that I have had a Subaru STi and now drive a Mitsubishi Evo X. Both of those cars are designed to drive at high speed in slippery conditions. I spent quite a lot of time in my cars at the track in the rain. I also like to drive fast in the snow which requires a very quick AWD system. The Audi is designed for "safety" so it fights you if you throw it around. It also didn't have LSDs, it uses the brakes to simulate an LSD and it simply doesn't work for how I like to drive. The good news for me is that the Giulia AWD system is rear biased and I can order it with a rear LSD so there is hope.

I had a chance to check out the new Giulia at the dealership in Burlingame recently and quite liked it but didn't have time to go for a test drive. I would really appreciate any insight anyone of this forum may have as to what is really under the skin.
 

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I'm hoping someone here knows something about the Q4 system. I can't find anything specific about what type of system it uses.
I live in Canada and require AWD but with the entire car industry moving to cheaper AWD systems I am leery to buy a Giulia until I understand what type of system they use.

Last year I bought one of the new Audi S3s and was very disappointed. They use a Haldex system which is quite simply terrible. I got rid of the car within 4 months.

My problem is that I have had a Subaru STi and now drive a Mitsubishi Evo X. Both of those cars are designed to drive at high speed in slippery conditions. I spent quite a lot of time in my cars at the track in the rain. I also like to drive fast in the snow which requires a very quick AWD system. The Audi is designed for "safety" so it fights you if you throw it around. It also didn't have LSDs, it uses the brakes to simulate an LSD and it simply doesn't work for how I like to drive. The good news for me is that the Giulia AWD system is rear biased and I can order it with a rear LSD so there is hope.

I had a chance to check out the new Giulia at the dealership in Burlingame recently and quite liked it but didn't have time to go for a test drive. I would really appreciate any insight anyone of this forum may have as to what is really under the skin.
Very little information as to what the Q4 really is but did some searching around and it seems mostly Croatian Alfa forums for some reason are the only ones talking about it. They are saying that it is Haldex, but not like other cars, because it is all RWD and then at 2.5% slip it can then give up to 60% of the power to the front wheels, so they call it a 'reverse Haldex.' Though, some are disputing this and claim it is actually Torsen. Frankly I don't know, seems like the 'reverse Haldex' thesis sounds pretty solid. :smile2:

Just wondering, what was so bad with Haldex? My dad has a 2016 A4 (Quattro) and I find it is good in the snow, does that have Haldex? I live in New Hampshire and it is very very snowy in winter and like you AWD is a must. Never owned or driven a Subaru or Mitsu AWD.
 

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It uses a similar AWD system as the Maserati Ghlibi. Its a fairly lightweight package. I posted a video about the system some time back (can't remember this specific forum).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The reason that the Audi Haldex doesn't work well is that it is a fwd based system that transfers power to the rear when it detects slip.
The problem with Haldex is that it has to wait until it detects slip and then there is a delay (albeit a slight delay) before it transfers power to the rear. In most instances you won't really notice a big difference. The real problem is if you are driving at the limit. For example the Maserati Q4 Haldex system says it reacts in 150 milliseconds. That sounds pretty quick until you realize that at a track at 60 mph you have just missed the apex by about 15 feet. When you are playing in the snow the delay is frustrating because it is always behind what you want.

The original 911 awd system was a viscous coupling system. It was so slow that in the chicane at our local track by the time the awd system figured out what was going on and transferred power to the front axle you were already going the other way and the system caused you to pirouette around the front axle into the swamp beside the track. When you are doing a rally car curve at 100 mph in the mountains in the snow you can't have that. I realize I am probably at the extreme of what most be expect their car to do but I enjoy driving at speed in slippery conditions and it is irritating if my car won't do what I want. Like I said I am used to the Evo and everything else is going to be a compromise because the car manufacturers figure people won't notice or care and have gone to much cheaper and much lower performance systems.

If the Alfa uses a Haldex system that is rear focussed I may be able to buy a controller that allows me to adjust the system to a more balanced version but then you have to wonder about how much additional wear it will cause.
 

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This may give a clue:
https://youtu.be/K7Y1josLoJU

If you skip past the first bit which is the Giulia QV with traction off, the latter part is the Stelvio with traction on. The car looks like it has rear bias. I presume the Stelvio and Giulia Q4 systems will be similar in approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately the guy driving never even turned off the stability control. All the awd vehicles on the road are designed to do what he was talking about which is to keep the car on the road. The downside of this is that in order to drive fast in the snow you need to rotate the car at speed which is what stability control is designed to prevent.

It looks like a reverse Haldex system similar to (or the same) as Maserati uses.
 

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I'm not at all well versed in awd systems but I can say confidentially it is rwd biased per FCA. Will find out about the system mechanics. Awd only adds 132lbs if that helps at all.
 

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Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately the guy driving never even turned off the stability control. All the awd vehicles on the road are designed to do what he was talking about which is to keep the car on the road. The downside of this is that in order to drive fast in the snow you need to rotate the car at speed which is what stability control is designed to prevent.

It looks like a reverse Haldex system similar to (or the same) as Maserati uses.
I'm surprised there is no independent control of the ESC system in the Giulia QV; it is either on (DNA) or probably-off (Race). Every other performance car I've driven has had dedicated control of ESC regardless of driving mode. I guess in time the after market tuners will provide for this.
 

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I have been looking for explanations of the Q4, and have read that in normal driving it sends 100% of available power and torque to the rear wheels, but as required it can seed up to 60% to the front wheels. As mentioned before, it's sort of like a Haldex, but in reverse. I have a '13 VW MK6 Golf R with the Haldex, and it is basically in FWD mode most of the time. It tends towards understeer too, like most FWD types do. With the Giulia being a reverse setup, I'd hope it provides a driving experience more suited to those who like the rear wheels being driven versus the fronts.

Also, my car, the MK6 version, did not come with a full ESC defeat option. Good thing the aftermarket came through with the cure. I don't use it often, but I like having the option to disable it if I want to. :)
Flyby out
PS I'm still looking for a detailed road test and evaluation of the Giulia Q4. A track test would be much appreciated. Maybe someone someday?
 

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So in the Giulia manual it explicitly states its RWD then shuffles power to the front as needed.

https://www.alfaromeousa.com/conten...Giulia/2017-Alfa_Romeo-Giulia_Base-OM-3rd.pdf

"Some models of this vehicle are equipped with an All-Wheel Drive system (AWD), which offers an optimal drive for countless driving conditions and road surfaces. The system reduces
the slipping of the tires to a minimum, automatically redistributing the torque to the front and rear wheels as needed. To maximize fuel savings, the vehicle with AWD automatically passes to rear-wheel drive (RWD) when the road and environmental conditions are such that they wouldn't cause the tires to slip. 92 SAFETY When the road and environmental conditions require better traction, the vehicle automatically goes to AWD mode."

Now as far as I can tell its the same Q4 in Maserati, so its up to 50% to the front axle based on wheel slip, steering angle, yaw angle, power output and speed.

http://www.ebrochure.maserati.com/e...downloads/ebrochure-maserati-q4-system-en.pdf
 

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The AWD Giulia is like having your cake and eating it too: RWD in normal function where wheel slip is not an issue, and AWD when RWD wheels begin to slip. I like this approach far better than the understeer-inducing FWD normal state of the Haldex system on my Golf R.
Flyby out
 

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The AWD Giulia is like having your cake and eating it too: RWD in normal function where wheel slip is not an issue, and AWD when RWD wheels begin to slip. I like this approach far better than the understeer-inducing FWD normal state of the Haldex system on my Golf R.
Flyby out
Completely agree! Also a current Golf R owner here :grin2:
 

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My last car was Acura TL with SH-AWD. I much prefer RWD that becomes AWD on demand rather than FWD that becomes AWD on demand. It had torque vectoring and my Ti does not but I think the TL needed it to correct torque steer in high throttle low vehicle speed situations. I don't miss the active torque vectoring at all so far as I can tell.
 

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My last car was Acura TL with SH-AWD. I much prefer RWD that becomes AWD on demand rather than FWD that becomes AWD on demand. It had torque vectoring and my Ti does not but I think the TL needed it to correct torque steer in high throttle low vehicle speed situations. I don't miss the active torque vectoring at all so far as I can tell.
Im the same way since almost all the time those systems that start off FWD remain FWD biased although they have some AWD tech. It's all about the fundamentals and people tend to forget that. Fortunately these days with all the options we have its not hard to find an affordable RWD biased or 50/50 AWD vehicle
 

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Im the same way since almost all the time those systems that start off FWD remain FWD biased although they have some AWD tech. It's all about the fundamentals and people tend to forget that. Fortunately these days with all the options we have its not hard to find an affordable RWD biased or 50/50 AWD vehicle
Affordable?:surprise: The Audi Quattro system sends 60% to the rear wheels, I think, but that's in the S or RS series, I think. What other cars come to mind? The Giulia Ti AWD can run into the mid $50s, placing it among the mid-level Audis. (I'm suddenly reminded that I'm poor!:grin2:)
My Golf R is a '13 model. It will induce mind-numbing understeer if I approach a turn wrong(ly?), but if I get it right, the tail when come around nicely under power. So it's not a tossable car as in a RWD car. Still, it's a manual, which the wife can't drive, so I want a driver's car (like the Giulia Ti-AWD) with it's automatic tranny) so me and the other half (yes, that debate is still on!) can hit the road on Monday at arrive on Sunday by switching off driving. OK, so I'm a romantic!
Flyby out
 

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This should also give an idea of what the Q4 will be like in snow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHFDpXZJViw
Thanks for sharing this. I wonder what kind of tires were fitted.

I find it difficult to believe a stability control system was active.
Every previous car I have had has had an off switch for it.
I still haven't found the one for my AWD Ti. Is there none?
Similarly, traction control. There are situations in which it
isn't helpful. How does the driver deactivate it?
 

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My last car was Acura TL with SH-AWD. I much prefer RWD that becomes AWD on demand rather than FWD that becomes AWD on demand. It had torque vectoring and my Ti does not but I think the TL needed it to correct torque steer in high throttle low vehicle speed situations. I don't miss the active torque vectoring at all so far as I can tell.
I think FCA write-ups say that Giulias (& Stelvios) do have torque vectoring. I found this article to be much more useful in explaining Alfa’s different technologies than most of the reviews I see on YouTube. THE SECRETS OF ALFA ROMEO DRIVING DYNAMICS
 
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