I have the 1.6L (116 HP) with 5 speed and regular gas. The reason for having such a small engine is the import tax here which is very related to engine size. Even with this small engine, the price is more than 50.000 US$ for the simplest version. A regular model with 2.0l is about 65.000 US$.
Due to the small engine and lack of torque, they put in an extra stick for low-high. This result in 10 speed forward and two backward. This is useful when breaking because the low-first-gear is really low.
There is really no problem to get the stud to slide on ice. It is not that much better than a fresh high quality dedicated winter tire without stud. A fresh winter tire without studs is better than an old winter tire with studs (more than a couple of years).
Another effect of engine breaking, is that your are really noisy (specially with low gear). People really get out of the way when you come revving at 4000-5000 RPM. And you really have no way of stopping, so that makes perfect sense.
12-24-2013, 12:18 PM
$50,000 for an XV. Wow, that's a lot!
How does it work for electrical vehicles?
12-24-2013, 12:36 PM
For EV: no tax, and no VAT. For now, EVs can drive in the bus lane as well as park free a lot of places. Tesla is becoming very popular in Norway. Probably more Teslas around here than any other place (per inhabitants). Electricity is also quit cheap due to mountains and water.
If the Tesla with AWD was available I might have considered it.
12-29-2013, 09:15 AM
I did try to get up the icy steep road up to the cabin again. However, I gave up half way up. Dropped off the luggage. Manage to get the rear wheels with some traction on side of the road, and slide front of the car so facing downhill. But could not stabilize the car, started sliding downhill. Breaks totally useless, no control. Got it into 1 gear, some control, but car started sliding again. The road was like an U upside down. With ice on top. Did not want to slide off. Gave some more power, and got some control over the car. Sliding and dancing, and had to push the pedal a few more times to not go off the road. Puhh. At end of hill, I had 6000 RPM. Parked the car half way down. Met a farmer doing some work in the forest, he would help me get the luggage up to the cabin. He then had an accident where his timber trailer went off the road and tipped. This is a senior guy, he did the digging for my cabin, and he knows how to operate stuff, he is alway very careful. It was very slippery. The strong wind polished the ice. We walked a few miles in the dark up the hill to get a new tractor with a winch to get up the trailer. I then had to drive the other tractor up the ice road (never driven a tractor before..), scary as hell, but got good instruction from the farmer (actually a teacher, but loves to work in the wood).
The next day I planned to try to get my car all the way down. I started off, wow it was slippery. I got halfway down when I met another tractor which passed me (it aint much traffic here usually..). He came walking down and understood I was from the "city". He offered me help, but it was even hard for his tractor with chains. He drove up and down a few times with chains to get some more traction first, and then he helped me down with a rope between the tractor and the car. He really could not understand how I manage to get up here in the first place with only the car.
Lesson learned: The XV is insane good at climbing up icy roads. The electronic control system on the car was perfect. The anti spin, and stability system are king, Whenever there is a small stone or anything it uses that for what it is worth. It felt like the car was "snaking" up, often partly sideways. (which scared my wife a lot) However, going down, the breaks are not set up for steep downhill ice. Got a feeling the using the engine downhill enables some more useful electronics controlling system. However, this requires some minimum speed. The problem I had getting the car down the second day, was a sharp turn after a hill and then a bridge. And I did not want to miss that bridge. If the tractor did not show up, I would have tried. I wonder what the result would have been.
No more attempts when the conditions are like they are now. Better be a bit more careful.
You are right, the wheels have small spikes. I discussed snow-chains with the farmers. Their opinion is that normal chains, as the ones you linked to, are not really much better than regular street wheels with spikes. However, there are other chains. Not sure what they are called in English, ? "spikes chain" It is possible to get these for cars as well with thinner spikes. I think with that, you can go everywhere :) Nor sure if is it worth the effort. We bought some spikes for our shoes and walked up. Anyhow, it would be awesome with "spike chains" and Subaru AWD.
The tractors had "spike chains". One on the large rear wheel only. The driver did go backwards downhill to get all the weight on the large wheels. He claimed that otherwise the tractor would fly downhill. The problem, if you loose traction with this kind of chains, you are in deep trouble.