Audi quattro all-wheel drive defined

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Audi’s four-wheel drive system is referred to in quite a lot of methods; quattro all-wheel drive, quattro four-wheel drive and quattro 4×4. The one key phrase that options in all of these is the trademark ‘quattro’ model title, one that’s etched into the consciousness of many driving lovers around the globe.

The title was made well-known by the Audi Quattro rally automotive within the eighties, which used the system to nice impact in what was thought-about a golden age for rallying. Since then, quattro (be aware – the lowercase q) has been utilized in a spread of Audi’s manufacturing fashions.

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Within the model’s dwelling nation of Germany, round half of the vehicles Audi sells are fitted with quattro and it’s standard within the UK too. The quattro choice could be specified on nearly any mannequin line within the Audi vary. So if you’re shopping the ‘quattro on the market’ adverts you may discover loads of quattro-equipped fashions together with the A3, A4 and A5 to tempt you. Audi’s high-performance vehicles are specced with the quattro drivetrain as normal and we’re positive the affect of the unique ‘Quattro’ rally automotive nonetheless resonates with patrons of quattro RS fashions, which provides to their attraction. Even the model’s electrical fashions, such because the e-tron GT saloon and This fall e-tron SUV are geared up with the quattro system.

What does quattro do?

We all know quattro signifies four-wheel drive – certainly the phrase quattro means ‘4’ in Italian – however why is that this a superb factor within the first place? Ask an automotive engineer, and also you’ll get a really difficult set of solutions nevertheless it’s simpler to deal with the forces working in your automotive’s tyres as they grip the tarmac.

In a ‘regular’ two-wheel drive automotive, all the facility is distributed to the entrance or rear wheels – relying on whether or not it’s front- or rear-wheel-drive. In an all-wheel drive or quattro automotive, drive is distributed between all 4 tyres. Because of this, whether or not you’re accelerating or cornering, the tyres of a quattro-spec Audi will present a better stage of grip than a two-wheel drive mannequin.

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This has apparent security implications for those who enter a moist roundabout slightly quicker than is advisable, as you’ve gotten a better margin for error earlier than the tyres lose grip and the automotive skids. It’s not simply roundabouts both; many Audi homeowners select quattro in the event that they stay within the countryside the place roads are sometimes muddy, or for commuting in distant or larger altitude components of the nation the place snow and icy situations are extra widespread.

The identical precept of maximising traction applies to quattro efficiency fashions, that are able to quicker acceleration and cornering due to the extra grip that comes from having all 4 wheels pushed.

We must also point out quattro SUVs and off-roaders, as Audi additionally affords quattro Q3, quattro Q5 and quattro Q7 fashions. Once more the benefit is additional grip, important for anybody venturing off-road onto mud or gravel trails. That is additionally why quattro comes into its personal when towing, as you’re much less prone to lose traction.

How does the Audi quattro system work?

There are three fundamental kinds of quattro setup and so they have barely totally different traits, though you must be fairly an skilled driver to note a distinction in apply.

The system fitted to the A4, A6 and Q8 is commonest, and right here the quattro setup has a default engine energy cut up that’s biased 60% to the rear wheels and 40% to the entrance wheels. It’s designed to provide the feeling of driving a rear-wheel drive automotive in regular use however, if the rear-wheels start to lose traction, the system can instantaneously divert extra energy to the entrance wheels.

Audi A6 Allroad quattro estate rear cornering

Smaller fashions such because the quattro A3 and the TT quattro, which shares the compact hatchbacks engineering platform, have a set-up that reverses the bias. Right here, the quattro system powers the entrance wheels virtually solely till they begin to lose grip, at which level a multi-plate clutch diverts energy to the rear wheels – however they by no means get greater than 50% of it.

The Audi R8 quattro boasts supercar efficiency and the four-wheel-drive system sends 85% of its engine energy to the rear wheels throughout regular driving situations, once more diverting energy immediately to the entrance wheels when required to stop a lack of traction on the rear wheels.

Is quattro value having?

The value differential between quattro all-wheel drive and rear-drive fashions is critical however not extreme. If you happen to’re contemplating it on a brand new Audi buy, don’t overlook you’ll probably profit from a better residual worth if you select to promote the automotive on – used quattro fashions are in demand too, with costs remaining robust for older vehicles.

Whether or not you really want it or not depends upon your type of driving and the kinds of highway situations you’re confronted with; the vast majority of Audis with out quattro aren’t famend for crashing on moist roundabouts, in spite of everything.

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It’s additionally value remembering that tyre situation and specification are doubtlessly extra vital elements to contemplate in the case of grip and traction. Selecting to spend money on a set of winter tyres for snowy and icy situations, for instance, might carry better advantages than quattro alone.

Earlier than choosing quattro, take into account whether or not the additional value and marginal gasoline consumption enhance, attributable to additional weight, is value it for the superior dealing with advantages.

Do you wish to know extra concerning the Audi mannequin vary? Learn our in-depth opinions of the Audi A3 sportback, the Audi e-tron GT saloon and the Audi Q7 SUV.


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