Originally Posted by NHBubba
It's neat, depending on what you are doing. For a "sporty" car like the TT I think it sucks. You get very uneven handling characteristics because sometimes power is only going through the front and other times it is going to all the wheels. Sometimes it pushes into a corner like you would expect a front driver to do, and other times it oversteers and wants to swap ends like a rear drive car. Of course this only happens with the electronic stability program off, though it will still oversteer with it on, sometimes. Part of that is due to the TT/Golf/Beetle quirky handling. The TT was introduced without a spoiler and with a thicker rear andti-roll bar and no ESP. Things were quickly changed because of high speed stability problems that resulted in crashes. ESP was offered as a free of charge retrofit for all TT's produced without it, spoilers were added to reduce rear end lift and thinner antiroll bars were added to make the chassis more stable.
When you launch the TT hard you get a little scrabble out of the front end before the rear axle starts sending power to the road. Uphill in gravel it can be really annoying and I don't think the whole system is fitting for an aspiring luxury rally car. Though I don't think you can fit a traditional center differential in the Golf package. All of Audi's vehicles with longitudinally mounted engines use a Torsen center differential. So the name Quattro means different things on different cars.
For a family truckster like the Freestyle/500, I think the system is a great idea.
By the way, the TT/Golf R32 has open differentials at both ends. Spinning wheels are braked and then engine power is reduced. And when the engine cuts out it CUTS OUT. It is very irritating, especially when you are really trying to get somewhere. I frequently turn the ESP off when launching into traffic, especially in the rain. I find it better to spin both inside tires than to have no power to move out. In the snow if you do this, you spin out. The wheel base is too short and the steering is too heavy to control it well, it all happens very fast.