The Ingolstadt-based German revealed a new version of its well-known AWD system, promising an improved fuel efficiency.
The Audi Quattro permanent all-wheel drive has always been, since the 80’s, the most iconic technology of the four rings brand. The German automaker says that a new chapter in the Quattro history has just started, with the revealing of a new system, which will make its debut on the new A4 allroad with the S-tronic transmission in the second quarter of 2016. Audi claims the updated Quattro is with 0.3 liters/100 kilometers more fuel efficient than conventional systems, based on tests conducted on a route throughout the Ingolstadt area and in normal traffic. The “ultra” all-wheel drive system’s control decouples the rear axle when it’s not needed, continuously analyzing road conditions and driver behavior to choose the most suitable settings to achieve the best driving dynamics.
The all-wheel drive is always deactivated when it is not needed, but remains permanently available. Every ten milliseconds, the system acquires and analyzes a wide variety of data, such as steering angle, lateral and longitudinal acceleration and engine torque. Activation of the all-wheel drive system follows a three-stage strategy: proactive, predictive and reactive.
On the proactive level, the focus is on the data delivered by the networked systems in the car. The control unit uses such data, for example, to calculate the point when the inside front tire reaches the limit of grip during fast cornering, activating the Quattro if it senses low grip. With predictive activation, the quattro control unit orients primarily on the driver’s style, the status of the ESC and the mode selected in drive select, and on the trailer detection system. The reactive setup, which rarely occurs in real-world driving conditions, reacts to sudden changes of grip levels. These occur, for example, when the wheels go from dry asphalt to a sheet of ice.