How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive

Menus

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

The “Urquattro” from Audi with permanent all-wheel drive was unbeatable in rallies

Source: picture-alliance / dpa

When you hear the term Quattro, you immediately think of Audi. However, the manufacturer is now giving up an essential feature of its legendary all-wheel drive in order to save three percent fuel. The EU is to blame.

D.his is a story about psychology. And about the effort that engineers now have to take to get the cars used to the last gram of carbon dioxide emissions. We tell this story using the Audi Quattro.

Of course there isn’t just one of them, on the contrary. A remarkable triumph began in 1980, when the so-called Urquattro came onto the market. Seven million all-wheel-drive Audis have now been sold, in 2015 four out of ten newly registered models bore the Quattro logo, and all-wheel drive is available in every model series down to the A1.

What the Audi salespeople always proclaimed with a certain pride: The Quattro is permanent. It is always there, it is not switched on at some point when the car is in the mood for it, no, an Audi Quattro is driven by all four wheels at any time. It was also this argument, underpinned by many Quattro victories in motorsport, that supported Audi’s rise to a premium brand.

The Abt RS3 can compete with a Porsche

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

1 of 7

It’s not as if the Audi RS3 Sportback doesn’t have too little horsepower – but more is always possible.

Source: Dept.

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

2 of 7

The tuner Abt has added 63 HP to the standard 367 HP of the five-cylinder in the most powerful A3.

Source: Dept.

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

3 of 7

Thanks to an additional control unit and specially developed software, the compact sports car now generates 430 hp – a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS can do just that.

Source: Jakob Hoff

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

4 of 7

Together with the torque increased to 530 Newton meters, the increase in performance is of course reflected in the driving values: The standard sprint to 100 km / h succeeds with the getunth RS3 in 4.1 seconds (series version: 4.3 s).

Source: Jakob Hoff

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-legendary

5 of 7

He could even pull off the 911 (between 4.4 and 4.0 s depending on the equipment). The top speed increases to 285 km / h.

Source: Jakob Hoff

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

6 of 7

Abt has hardly changed the appearance of the compact sports car, only the 19-inch rims and the four-pipe sports exhaust are new.

Source: Jakob Hoff

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-changing

7 of 7

4290 euros are due for the tuning, the RS3 costs 52,700 euros ex works. However, the fun you experience with this vehicle is priceless.

Source: Jakob Hoff

And now? All over. Strictly speaking, Audi is now also building a so-called hang-on all-wheel drive, at least that is what engineer Heiko Hanickel admits, with whom we undertake our test drive in an A4 Avant 2.0 TFSI.

Hanickel holds an iPad in his hand, and with it he shows exactly when the mid-range station wagon is changing from a front-wheel drive to an all-wheel-drive car. And why. There can be many reasons for this, such as sudden acceleration, slipperiness or wetness on the road, hectic turning into a curve.

Later on, Hanickel will evaluate the journey precisely on the computer: over a distance of 58.4 kilometers we were only 56.7 percent on the road in four-wheel drive, for the rest, for example the section on the autobahn, it was sufficient, only the front axle with the Drive to deal with.

0.3 liters less consumption per 100 kilometers

The interesting thing is: You don’t notice how the all-wheel drive switches itself off or on – 29 times during the test drive, by the way. You don’t miss anything, the car drives as you would expect from a Quattro: precise, predictable, safe. And more economical, at least that’s the point of the whole exercise.

Audi cannot yet come up with standard consumption values ​​because the future A4 Allroad, the first production car with the new Quattro drive, will not go on sale until the summer. The homologation has not yet been completed, and the A4 Avant that we drive is a test car with a special permit, and here, too, no standard measurement is required.

Nevertheless, there is a language rule for the consumption advantage: 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers, in everyday use. 0.3 liters, that doesn’t sound that impressive at first. After all, 0.3 liters currently do not cost 40 cents, and if an A4 Allroad with a 252 hp petrol engine consumes ten liters in everyday life, then 0.3 liters would only be three percent.

This spider vehicle can get through any terrain

Is it a spider A recumbent bike? A quad? All in one. The off-road vehicle from a French company is light, manoeuvrable, electrically powered and should be able to master any terrain. Source: N24

For engineers, however, three percent is important. If Heiko Hanickel had an idea that would save three percent fuel at a reasonable cost, he would get an appointment with the boss straight away. Maybe even with the board of directors.

Because three percent less consumption also means three percent less carbon dioxide emissions. And the year 2020/21 is getting closer and closer, when the new, significantly stricter limit values ​​for the fleet consumption of the cars actually sold come into force. Therefore, all developers try very hard to find the last percent of potential savings somewhere, even if only three.

Hanickel and colleagues, for example, worked on the new design of the all-wheel drive for a full five years. That was very time-consuming and not free, but due to the high proportion of all-wheel drive cars at Audi, it should also bring something. Especially since the new technology, now given the nickname Ultra, will not initially be built into the top models, but into more affordable versions.

With all-wheel drive there is only a small potential for savings

Audi starts in the A4 range with manual and dual clutch transmissions and then moves upwards – but all highly motorized cars with automatic torque converters are initially left out because, due to the high performance, the all-wheel drive proportion is very high in operation anyway, and the potential for savings is more likely small amount.

"All-wheel drive is my thing, I would really like to stay there." Heiko Hanickel is quite enthusiastic about what he has developed. The enthusiasm is not only due to the fact that he can do test drives in the Arctic Circle several times a year, where he sometimes drifts on snow and ice.

Hanickel is one of those modern engineers who program more than forge gears; he just loves to work out the various scenarios for switching the all-wheel drive on and off.

Audi’s first SUV with a plug

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

1 of 5

Economical SUV – isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Actually yes, but Audi is trying to teach us better with the Q7 E-Tron.

Source: Audi

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-changing

2 of 5

It is the world’s first plug-in hybrid car with a six-cylinder diesel and permanent all-wheel drive.

Source: Audi

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

3 of 5

Thanks to a system output of 371 hp and 700 Newton meters of torque, the Q7 E-Tron accelerates to 100 km / h in just six seconds and reaches a top speed of 225 km / h. Not bad for a colossus that weighs 2.5 tons.

Source: Audi

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

4 of 5

The MMI navigation including internet connection should be integrated into the hybrid management of this SUV. According to Audi, fuel consumption should be just 1.7 liters. At the first test caseheard the car swallowed more like five liters.

Source: Audi

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

5 of 5

Above all, customers who want to buy this SUV have to save. The Audi Q7 E-Tron will hit the market in spring 2016 and will cost at least 80,500 euros.

Source: Audi

Previously, he was responsible for the cylinder deactivation of the V8 engines; here, too, it was about inconspicuous technical processes that help save a little fuel, but should never let the customer know what is happening.

The all-wheel drive technology, which now goes by the name Quattro Ultra, is not just software. The developers also devised new mechanics, because in order to achieve the desired consumption benefits, it is not enough to uncouple an axle, as is the case with conventional hang-on systems.

There are still the so-called drag losses: Normally in a car with a front-wheel drive base, such as the A4, the rear axle would be separated from the engine. However, the rear wheels did not rotate freely, but instead moved the differential and cardan shaft.

Permanent becomes proactive all-wheel drive

The engine also works for this completely pointless dragging along, which is why Audi has provided a new separating clutch on the rear axle for the Quattro Ultra drive. It decouples the rear wheels from the differential and the cardan shaft, the components rest, but are fully back within 0.2 seconds if necessary.

The electronics of the car determine this need in three different ways: proactive, predictive or reactive. These are three wonderful new words that can now be used because the word permanent will be missing from the line of argument in the future (even if Audi now describes all-wheel drive as "permanently available").

Proactive means that the car can use its own driving data, which is collected 100 times per second, to calculate when the inside front wheel has reached its grip limit. The all-wheel drive is activated about half a second beforehand, the car remains stable and the person behind the wheel thinks they are good drivers.

This BMW 3 Series should only consume 1.9 liters

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

1 of 8

After the X5, BMW now also offers the recently revised 3 Series (photo) and the Active Tourer with plug-in hybrid technology.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-changing

2 of 8

Both models are powered by a combination of a combustion engine and an electric motor, and their batteries can be plugged into a household socket, …

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-quattro

3 of 8

… Refill BMWi wallbox or public charging station.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-legendary

4 of 8

In the 3 Series, the 184 hp petrol engine and an 88 hp electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic are combined.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-audi

5 of 8

In the 330e sedan, the 252 hp system output is transferred to the rear wheels.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-audi

6 of 8

The 330e accelerates to 100 km / h in 6.1 seconds. The top speed is 225 km / h.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-drive

7 of 8

Because the battery is integrated above the rear axle, the trunk volume remains unaffected. BMW specifies the average consumption at 1.9 liters per 100 kilometers. Here duhowever, it should be a theoretical value.

Source: BMW

How Audi is changing the legendary Quattro drive-audi

8 of 8

The starting price for the 3 series with power connection is 43,500 euros.

Source: BMW

In addition, the control unit that Hanickel and colleagues developed draws conclusions from the driving style, the choice of the drive program in the Drive Select system (comfortable or sporty) and from other things that it can interpret before cornering.

In this way, a predictive, i.e. predictive, decision about switching on the rear axle is possible. And all-wheel drive is rarely reactive, for example when the car unexpectedly lands on a sheet of ice and the grip on the tires suddenly deteriorates.

It’s a bit like tuning in simulation games

But the technology does not end there: once enough cars are networked in such a way that car-to-car communication can be used sensibly, vehicles following behind will of course be warned of ice sheets. In this way, they would not only inform their driver, but also activate the all-wheel drive before the slippery spot.

It’s a bit like PlayStation, like tuning and tweaking racing cars in simulation games. The only difference is that this electronic development can influence real cars and their mechanics and also do it fully automatically.

This is of course nothing for purists who like to drift computer-free on the streets. But that’s another question of psychology. In fact, no matter how well-founded mechanical nostalgia for the carbon dioxide issue comes up. Even if it’s only about three percent.

Related articles

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment