How does the Audi quattro system work?

audiquattroHow does the Audi quattro system work?

Audi quattro all-wheel drive, quattro four-wheel drive or quattro 4×4; whatever you want to call it, there’s no doubt the trademark Audi ‘quattro’ brand name is etched into drivers’ consciousness here in Canada and all around the globe. The name first sprung to prominence with the Audi Quattro rally cars which used 4×4 to great effect in the sport’s golden era in the 1980s. Since then the term quattro has been applied to various types of all-wheel drive set-ups used on Audi passenger cars. At HJ Pfaff Audi in Newmarket, we have a massive selection of Audi vehicles that include the Audi quattro system. In this blog, we talk about how the Audi quattro system works. 

What does quattro do?

We know quattro signifies four-wheel-drive, indeed quattro means ‘four’ in Italian’, but why is this a good thing in the first place? Ask an automotive engineer, and you’ll get a very complicated set of answers, but for our purposes, it’s enough to imagine the forces working on your car’s tires as they grip the tarmac.

In a ‘normal’ two-wheel-drive car, all the power is put through the front or rear wheels, depending on whether it’s front- or rear-wheel-drive, whereas all-wheel-drive or quattro means the work is shared by all four tires. As a result, whether you’re accelerating or cornering, the tires of a quattro spec Audi will provide a greater level of grip than a two-wheel-drive model.

This has obvious safety implications if you enter a corner or wet roundabout a little faster than is advisable, as you have a greater margin for error before the tires lose grip and skid off the road. It’s not just roundabouts either, as many Audi buyers choose quattro if they live in the countryside where roads are often muddy, or in remote or higher altitude parts of the country where snow and icy conditions are more common.

How does the Audi quattro system work?

There are three basic types of quattro set-up, and they have slightly different characteristics, although you have to be quite an experienced driver to notice a difference in practice.

The system fitted the A4, A6 and Q8 are most common, and here the quattro system has a default engine power split that’s biased 60% to the rear wheels and 40% to the front wheels. It’s designed to give the driving feel of a rear-wheel-drive car in normal use, but if the rear wheels begin to lose traction the system can instantaneously divert more power to the front wheels.








Is the Audi quattro system worth having?

The price differential between quattro all-wheel drive and rear-drive models is significant but not excessive, and if you’re considering it on a new Audi purchase, don’t forget you’ll likely benefit from a higher residual value when you sell the car on, used quattro models are in demand too with prices remaining strong for older cars. Whether you really need it or not, depends on your style of driving and the types of road conditions you’re faced with.

You can find an Audi vehicle with the Audi quattro system at our HJ Pfaff Audi dealership in Newmarket today! Click here to find our contact information, schedule a test drive, or to speak with a representative.