Good News! The Golf R’s AWD System Works Pretty Well

Everyone’s making AWD systems these days and manufacturers often quote amazing stats when talking about how quickly their system reacts to a lack of grip. Faster than the blink of an eye, they say. Quicker than a hummingbird fart, they yell. Speedier than the grand jury investigation of a police officer, they cry, increasingly desperately.

But what does that actually look like? Fortunately, the world is supplied with an insane number of cameras, an endless thirst for content, and a surprising number of rollers.

The famous roller test, although not necessarily reflective of a real-world scenario, does do a good job of demonstrating how a car’s AWD system reacts to a no grip situation.

In this test of a Golf R, the results are pretty good, though the car does eventually find its limits.

Look at its little robot brain struggle!

Early on, you can see how quickly the car figures out where to funnel power so that it can slide off the rollers. With both front wheels and both rear wheels neutralized, it only takes a few milliseconds for the R to work its way free.

As the arrangements become more and more creative, though, the R struggles increasingly, until with just one rear wheel on terra firma, it can’t free itself until race mode is engaged. Which, I suppose, does suggest that Race Mode actually funnels more power to rear wheels.

So good news, VW wasn’t full of it.