A new generation of the famous quattro all-wheel drive system from Audi is on its way – and it may even feature on future RS models. Super-efficient and able to improve economy, the new system will be named quattro with ultra technology.
The system is expected to be fitted to all of Audi’s longitudinally mounted front-engined vehicles, intelligently switching to just front-wheel drive when added rear traction isn’t required.
A Haldex clutch pack - fitted at the back of the gearbox - is able to decouple and re-engage the prop shaft to the rear differential seamlessly and quickly, facilitating front- or four-wheel drive, depending on the vehicle’s demands.
To further improve fuel economy, Audi has also developed a means of decoupling just one of the drive shafts, allowing one wheel to be powered independently. Again, this can be seamlessly reengaged to suit the vehicle’s demands.
To ensure that Audi quattro drivers can benefit from four-wheel drive exactly when it’s needed, the Bavarian brand has produced a system that is able to gauge when it’s required, using an on-board computer to analyse data collected from sensors, considering driver inputs, driving mode and external conditions. It even builds a driver profile to assist with future journey calculations.
Using the expanse of information being processed, the system is able to react to any loss of grip in the front axle and determine when four-wheel drive is required, with the Haldex unit almost instantly sending torque to exactly where it’s needed – as opposed to reacting to changes in wheel speed and grip, as the current quattro system does.
Regardless of quattro with ultra technology incorporating a complicated rear prop shaft, the new system is 4kg lighter than Audi’s basic quattro system, as a result of a simplified, lighter S tronic gearbox.
On which Audi will we see quattro with ultra technology debut? We shall have to wait and see, but it is sure to make waves on its arrival with its ability to enhance efficiency and improve economy, without compromising on ability and quattro capability.