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4WD cars for hunters.

Four--wheel drive conjures up visions of multiple-shocked, implementing-tired Jeeps and Land Cruisers tearing through the north woods laden with enough gear to keep a Himalayan expedition on-line for months. However, in recent years there has emerged another approach to four-wheel drive traction advantages that offers the finesse of a daily transportation car as well. The four-wheel drive car emerged in the early 1970s as an oddity, an answer to the needs of the European rallyist who was faced with running full-out down dirt roads in all kinds of weather. Today, though, the 4x4 automobile represents the state-of-the-art in technology for all-weather performance and all-season hunting versaility. The 4WD car is more than just an alternative to the pickup or Jeep.

American Motors entered the four-wheel drive car field in 1979 with their Eagle line of automobiles, combining the technology of the Jeep line with the bodywork of the Concord. The resulting vehicles featured an independent from suspension system with half-shafts connected to a front differential by constant velocity joints. The Eagle may have begun life as little more than a lifted Concord, but the experience of driving the Eagle is completely different from any other. The Eagle offers the security of four-wheel drive for the icy and snowy roads, with sports car handling for those times when the streets are dry. The Eagle's Select-Drive system allows the car to be driven in two-wheel drive the majority of the time, but still slip into the 4WD mode where it can be driven on whatever road surface for maximum handling traction or trailer towing perfrmance. With its viscous coupling system, the Eagle is equally at home on or off the beaten track, where amximized traction is key.

Up in the stratosphere of exotic four-wheel drive cars is the Audi Quattro, a high performance sports coupe with full-time four-wheel drive for the highway. While not specifically intended for off-road use, the Quattro does exhibit the ability to get the driver through when the going gets sticky. The Audi is powered by a five-cylinder in-line turbocharged and intercooled engine that produces 156 horsepower and a whopping 28 mpg on the highways. In addition to the obvious benefits to the hunter who occasionally needs 4WD to get down a trail, the audi Quattro demonstrates remarkable prowess on the road as well. Wheel lockup under braking is much less prevalent with all four wheels pulling, while steering responsiveness is enhanced through the application of power to the front wheels. In essence the Quattro brings the driver all the strong points of a front wheel drive car in combination with the positive aspects of rear wheel drive. Traction is excellent on wet or dry pavement, and features a console-mounted switch that allows the drive to lock-out both front and rear differentials.

From across the other ocean, Subaru also offers a turbocharged four-wheeler of the car variety. The Subaru Turbo Traction line-up with standard four-wheel drive offers the ultimate in sporty style for those who must keep their high priority appointments and "on-call" assignments, regardless of the weather. Such pressing demands as the opening day of waterfowl season can be solved by Subaru's versatility for virtually any road condition from sand or mud to snow and rain. The Subaru turbo is designed to deliver boost a relatively low rpm levels for the bottom end torque required in limited traction situations. The Turbo Traction package is available on three of the Subaru vehicles, the two-door coupe, four-door wagon and the vehicle without a market category--the BRAT. The BRAT features a very short pickup box with rearward-facing seats behind a two-person cab that makes the little vehicle something like a car and something of a mini-pickup.

The latest entry into the four-wheel drive class of car also comes from Japan, the Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon. The economical and roomy front-drive wagon gives the hunter the added versatility of four-wheel drive with the flick of a lever for added traction to master rough roads or rotten weather. The Tercel wagonhs high roofline provides excellent interior headroom and a very large rear glass ara for exceptional visibility. The gearbox is unique for Toyota, since it features a six-speed configuration with a super low gear for four-wheel drive use. Thus the Tercel represents a classy alterantive to the utility wagon we have come to know as a 4x4 with outstanding mileage figures from its four-cylinder engine. The wagon delivers basic comfort either on or off-road and carries itself well in traffic due to a full-independent front suspension.

The four-wheel drive car may not immediately come to mind as an alternative to your truck-like hunting rig, but when you consider the amount of time normally spent on the road getting to and from work and remote hunting areas, the choice of a car-like hunting 4x4 may not seem so unlikely. The main function of this type of vehicle is to deliver the ability to travel anywhere on any type of road, regardless of the road's condition, or weather. Isn't that the reason for owning a four-wheeler in the first place?
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Title Annotation:evaluation
Author:Jelinek, John
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Mar 1, 1984
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