Every fifth new car has all-wheel drive
Audi was once one of the trendsetters when it comes to all-wheel drive. The Q8 is only offered as a Quattro
The range of four-wheel drive vehicles is growing all the time. And not just because of the boom in off-road vehicles. In the case of SUVs, a contrary trend can currently be observed.
E.There is a positive truth associated with the rise of SUVs: the number of all-wheel drive cars on German roads has increased enormously. The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has exactly 589,785 new registrations with all-wheel drive for the first ten months of this year off, that’s a share of 20.2 percent.
If you look back on 2004, the earliest year you can count on at KBA publicly read, there were only 205,615 all-wheel drive registrations in the comparison period, which at that time accounted for just 7.6 percent of the overall market.
179 of 324 passenger car models offered on the German market can now be ordered with all-wheel drive, i.e. more than half (55.2 percent). In 2004, on the other hand, it was only possible to buy 35.7 percent of all car models with all-wheel drive. Because back then there were only 49 different off-road vehicles and SUVs, whereas today that number has almost doubled to 97.
SUV no longer means all-wheel drive
Because they rarely or never get off-road, more and more SUVs are also being offered without all-wheel drive, in some cases even exclusively with front-wheel drive – this applies to all Peugeot models, for example, Citroen and DS. Other manufacturers are also going back this technical route, especially small and compact SUVs are often driven by just one axle.
At the Audi Q2, for example, so far this year only 3607 of 18,330 buyers have opted for a quattro model, and the front-wheel drive proportion also predominates in the Q3 (8566 versus 4996). As with most brands, the proportion of all-wheel drive at Audi increases with the size of the SUVs, the Q7 and Q8, for example, are only available as quattro.
Even Land Rover As an original off-road brand, today it also offers SUVs with front-wheel drive, namely the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. The abandonment of all-wheel drive technology is justified with lower consumption values, but Land Rover customers value credible all-wheel drive technology more: The front-wheel drive shares of Discovery Sport (2.4 percent) and Evoque (0.4 percent) are negligible. It is somewhat different with the Jeep models Compass and Renegade, 31.1 and 69.2 percent of which are sold with front-wheel drive.
All-wheel drive is indispensable here. Many SUVs, on the other hand, now only roll off the production line with two driven wheels
Source: picture alliance / imageBROKER
The largest all-wheel drive providers in Germany are the three premium manufacturers Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Most all-wheel drive models are offered under the good star, with the addition of 4matic to the name you can buy 17 of 20 Mercedes models, only the SL, SLK and the Citan van are always available without all-wheel drive.
BMW can also offer 15 of its 16 models as xDrive, only the electric car i3 eludes. In absolute terms, Audi sells the most all-wheel drive cars; by the end of October there were 102,113 units with the quattro logo. Being able to offer all twelve model series with all-wheel drive has always been a credit to Audi – but that is over with the second generation of the A1: After a long time, the small car will be the first Audi for which all-wheel drive is no longer available.
Still, you don’t have to worry about all-wheel drive technology: ten SUV models have been announced for 2019 that were not available before.
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