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Old 02-16-2016, 10:33 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default New Audi quattro ultra four-wheel drive system detailed

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Audi has unveiled a new version of its quattro four-wheel drive system that it claims provides a critical improvement in efficiency.

The new quattro system uses an electro-mechanically operated multi-plate clutch and rear gear set that combine to eliminate mechanical drag by completely cutting drive to the rear differential, and with it the rear wheels, when the driver only requires front-wheel drive.

To be marketed under the name quattro ultra, the new system abandons the widely used Torsen torque sensing system, as well as the central differential and rear differential hardware used by Audi in one form or the other since the inception of its original quattro four-wheel drive system back in 1980.

In its place is a fully networked set-up capable of analysing the driving conditions every 100 milliseconds and automatically providing either front- or four-wheel drive depending on factors such as longitudinal acceleration, engine torque, steering angle, yaw rate, prevailing traction and driving style.



Set to make its debut on the upcoming A4 Allroad prior to being fitted to the new A5 coupť and second-generation Q5, the contemporary new quattro ultra system will initially be offered on models based around Audiís MLB (modularen langsbau Ė modular longitudinal architecture) platform in combination with its new high compression turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox.

Unlike the old mechanical Torsen-based quattro system, which based its operation principally around existing traction levels, the new electro-mechanical system is influenced by a much wider range of information obtained by various sensors, as well as data relating to the road provided by the navigation system.

By combining this information, Audi says its new quattro ultra system can provide predictive operation by constantly sensing whether the driver requires front- or four-wheel drive and adapting the apportioning of drive to suit. In doing so, the new system is able to run in a more efficient state than the Torsen arrangement, which will continue to be used on more powerful Audi models, including upcoming RS models from the German car makerís Quattro division.



Mechanical developments brought to the latest incarnation of the quattro four-wheel drive system are similar those used on the four-wheel drive versions of Audiís transverse engine models, including the A1, A3, Q3 and TT.

They include a new electro-mechanically operated multi-plate clutch mounted on the end of Audiís seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox. Depending on the model, it consists of between five and seven pairs of clutch plates that rotate in an oil bath. When the plates are pressed together, four-wheel drive is activated. The contact pressure between each plate is used to distribute drive between the front and rear axles.

The front multi plate clutch works in combination with a newly developed dog gear style rear differential featuring a decoupler operated via a so-called claw clutch. When the decoupler is closed, the propshaft and differential are operated to provide drive to the rear wheels and thus provide four-wheel drive.

When running in front-wheel drive, the front multi-plate clutch disconnects the propshaft. At the same time, a decoupling device within the rear differential opens to reduce friction and associated drag losses.

Unlike the process used by the existing Torsen torque sensing quattro system, the only rear-wheel drive components engaged when running in front wheel drive are the bevel gears within the axle and gears within the differential Ė the latter of which compensate for differences in the speed of rotation of the wheels during cornering.



A passive torque vectoring effect is provided to the rear wheels via selective braking activated by sensors in the ABS anti-lock brake and ESC (electric stability control) systems.

The resulting reduction in mechanical drag along with revisions to the existing S-tronic dual clutch gear box are said to provide prototype versions of the A4 2.0 TFSI quattro ultra with fuel savings of up to 0.3l/100km in everyday driving conditions.

To activate four-wheel drive, the multi-plate clutch closes to operate the propshaft. In doing so, it accelerates the gears in the rear differential. When they are running at a necessary speed, the claw clutch closes via pretensioned springs to provide drive to the rear wheels, at point which an electromagnetically actuated pin disengages a locking lever.

All up, the quattro ultra system is claimed to weigh four kilograms less than the existing Torsen based quattro system.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:37 AM   #2
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I'll take the old system thank you.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:40 AM   #3
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Sounds complex for minimal benefit
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:46 AM   #4
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So would I, but Audi abandoned the original Quattro system long ago. They never did use it in everything, the original V8 was a computer controlled center clutch. Unless I've got my facts crossed, no Audi since 2009 has used a torsen center diff.

It'd be interesting to know how much drag such systems really save. Even if no engine power is going to the rear wheels, the rear wheels spin the rear diff/clutches. What exactly are the mechanisms and magnitude of reducing drag? Maybe Scooby 921 can weigh in.

Are they just re-branding the latest Haldex system as "Quattro Ultra"?
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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So ultra Quattro is basically haldex VI

OH man the haters are gonna hate.

Meanwhile my allroad just rolled 1000 miles and I am happy to report I am still alive and sunroof still opens and closes, and my radio still works, and I have yet to be strangled by a faulty seatbelt. By the way, Audi builds one amazing car.

As for the benefit of reducing the drag. Well I have heard many different reports on this. Subaru claimed back in the mid 2000
s that not powering the rear wheels all the time would only save you about .5 mpg.

My results are too new to mean anything. My WRX with 4000 miles was averaging 22.9 mpg. My allroad is getting 19mpg average per tank. The Subie made more HP and torque. Now the Allroad is heavier. But I know from my Golf R experience, my mileage will get better as things wear a bit. On the freeway I get close to 30mpg.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #6
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:09 AM   #7
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So ultra Quattro is basically haldex VI

OH man the haters are gonna hate.
Just like the Tesla, I don't hate the machine. (Not sure you're referring to me any way) What I do hate is Obsessive Branding Disorder (Link). For god's sake, give Haldex the credit. Of course it would ruin the sense of exclusive, highly competent engineering upon which Audi builds their brand if everyone knew that Volvo used exactly the same system designed and built by exactly the same people who are not Audi.

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Meanwhile my allroad just rolled 1000 miles and I am happy to report I am still alive and sunroof still opens and closes, and my radio still works, and I have yet to be strangled by a faulty seatbelt. By the way, Audi builds one amazing car.
Have the tires started roaring like a Lion with hemorrhoids yet? 1,000 mi is too soon, wait for 5,000.

Quote:
As for the benefit of reducing the drag. Well I have heard many different reports on this. Subaru claimed back in the mid 2000
s that not powering the rear wheels all the time would only save you about .5 mpg.
I certainly wouldn't trade the benefits of a simple, mechanical system like the original Quattro system for 0.5 MPG, but we live in a CAFE world.
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Old 02-16-2016, 11:27 AM   #8
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no not targeting you at all gpshumway. You are a voice of reason around here. I think haldex is great. I worked wonderfully on my golf R when I had it. Saw no discernible difference between that and the Quattro I have now. I am like you. I sort of give credit to a system that works. A Subaru system is a good one, but I think the CAFE numbers are going to make more and more AWD systems go this route. When you are looking to gain tenths of a mpg, every little thing helps.

It really does seem like we are making huge jumps in complexity to gain fractions of a mpg. Price increases, complexity increases and reliability goes down because of it. Just seems like spending a dollar to save a dime.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:03 PM   #9
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no not targeting you at all gpshumway. You are a voice of reason around here. I think haldex is great. I worked wonderfully on my golf R when I had it. Saw no discernible difference between that and the Quattro I have now. I am like you. I sort of give credit to a system that works. A Subaru system is a good one, but I think the CAFE numbers are going to make more and more AWD systems go this route. When you are looking to gain tenths of a mpg, every little thing helps.
I've always found it hard to manage handling balance in Haldex cars. Usually unrelenting understeer, but sometimes snapping into oversteer when the computer changed its mind. I autocrossed my best friends Audi TT 3.2 DSG back to back with my WRX once and the effect was pronounced. TT was just as fast, but not as manageable. Presumably the system has improved since the original TT DSG though.

Quote:
It really does seem like we are making huge jumps in complexity to gain fractions of a mpg. Price increases, complexity increases and reliability goes down because of it. Just seems like spending a dollar to save a dime.
Amen. Though I suspect many engineers involved might say that the solid-state control systems with these new systems are more reliable than all the moving parts in the old systems. Still, the nature of the failures of either system are different, and I prefer the more obvious and sudden failures of the old mechanical system.

Here's hoping Subaru continues to carry the mechanical AWD torch in their manual performance models. They don't sell in large enough volume to hurt CAFE much any way.
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
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I find the argument of mechanical vs Solid state electronics to be a bit of fallacy at times.

Take my old cars. Purely mechanical. well 99% mechanical to 1% electrical. They still work 45 + years later. Now look at the cars of the 80's and even 90's. Some have vanished (beretta/Corsica/eclipse, 1st gen) But all are basically so riddled with issues, you would not bother to repair them. Too much reliance on electrical controls. Todays cars are ALL disposable. All of these modern cars with their electronics while snazzy when they are new, mean they are practically unfixable 10-15 years from now due to cost or parts availability.

Disclaimer: Yes I know that modern day electronics are worlds better than they were in the 80's and it is not a 1:1 comparison. But they are still electronics, and while initial reliability is high, I think as they age, mechanical bits tend to overtake them in cost of ownership.

Disclaimer to my disclaimer: No I never plan to keep a newer car that long for it to matter to me personally, but some of you make smarter financial decisions than I do.
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:07 PM   #11
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I find the argument of mechanical vs Solid state electronics to be a bit of fallacy at times.
As with most arguments it becomes tribal. In this case mechanical vs. electrical engineers.

Quote:
Take my old cars. Purely mechanical. well 99% mechanical to 1% electrical. They still work 45 + years later. Now look at the cars of the 80's and even 90's. Some have vanished (beretta/Corsica/eclipse, 1st gen) But all are basically so riddled with issues, you would not bother to repair them. Too much reliance on electrical controls. Todays cars are ALL disposable. All of these modern cars with their electronics while snazzy when they are new, mean they are practically unfixable 10-15 years from now due to cost or parts availability.
I think that's true for the commodity cars, but for the truly interesting ones which people retain enthusiasm for, I don't think so. If the ECU for your 1987 Toyota MR2 goes on the fritz, you can substitute a megasquirt pretty easily and at fairly low cost. You can recreate the wiring harness from the schematic and the old harness.

On the flip side it's always been hard to get replacement non-electrical parts for most old cars. A reproduction dashboard for a 1967 Mustang is available because of the car's continued popularity, but how about a reproduction dash for a 1967 Falcon? How about control cables for the HVAC system in a '74 Nova?
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:42 PM   #12
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same argument holds true. Where there is enthusiasm there is a way. Any dash can be repaired, at a cost. Control cables are generic and can fit many cars or modified to fit others. (funny as I am doing that for my 68 Datsun roadster)

Your enthusiasm for the mark comment is paramount.

Still having driven many subarus (auto and MT), the Golf R haldex and the current Quattro AWD variants, I can tell you that bashing one over the other for a daily driver is pointless. They are all seemless and work beautifully. Zero difference on the road. Now when pushed hard in competition, I cannot compare all of those. THe only one I raced 'competitively' was my STI, and looking back that was the only one who had any business being in a timed event.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:27 PM   #13
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Sounds like it has to be FWD in reverse. I would have to see a diagram of the claw clutch. But typically a system like that is designed to load in one direction. Once engaged it holds itself in so you don't need large amounts of external power to keep it engaged. Based on the description, I don't see how the claw clutch can engage in reverse.

Anyone know? I will have to look up Haldex VI.

Peace,

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Old 02-16-2016, 02:34 PM   #14
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This seems like the opposite for what I'd want from the S or RS models. Sure, on the A models who gives a ****, but increasing the FWD bias for their sport models is just going to increase the poor handling Audis have a reputation for.

I dream of an AWD system where the ICE up front powers the rear wheels directly, and the front wheels each have an electric motor for traction and handling help. The batteries can go in the back to make the weight 50:50, and this way Audi doesn't have to put the engine in front of the front axle thus reducing that fat overhang.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
So ultra Quattro is basically haldex VI

OH man the haters are gonna hate.

Meanwhile my allroad just rolled 1000 miles and I am happy to report I am still alive and sunroof still opens and closes, and my radio still works, and I have yet to be strangled by a faulty seatbelt. By the way, Audi builds one amazing car.

As for the benefit of reducing the drag. Well I have heard many different reports on this. Subaru claimed back in the mid 2000
s that not powering the rear wheels all the time would only save you about .5 mpg.

My results are too new to mean anything. My WRX with 4000 miles was averaging 22.9 mpg. My allroad is getting 19mpg average per tank. The Subie made more HP and torque. Now the Allroad is heavier. But I know from my Golf R experience, my mileage will get better as things wear a bit. On the freeway I get close to 30mpg.
Lol, I still have my first Audi, 5000cs turbo 86 bought it after the lease was up that's how much I loved it. I learned to never open the sunroof and back driver side window. Because they may never close again. What a beast. Full lock center and rear diff, it's a tank.
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:43 PM   #16
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At least they're still hanging the motor way out over the front, right?
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
So ultra Quattro is basically haldex VI

OH man the haters are gonna hate.

Meanwhile my allroad just rolled 1000 miles and I am happy to report I am still alive and sunroof still opens and closes, and my radio still works, and I have yet to be strangled by a faulty seatbelt. By the way, Audi builds one amazing car.
Lol.....you must be referring to me. Good one! All of my issues have been resolved except my radio. Thank ya jeebus!

Still a piece of crap though (My car). It does feel solid riding down the road though and I do like the car.....just hate all the issues I had. Would I buy another Audi? More than likely I would if they offered something that appealed to me. Allroad appeals to me very much... as well as an s4 avant.

I hope your allroad treats you well scrappy
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Old 02-16-2016, 02:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rob1n1 View Post
This seems like the opposite for what I'd want from the S or RS models. Sure, on the A models who gives a ****, but increasing the FWD bias for their sport models is just going to increase the poor handling Audis have a reputation for.

I dream of an AWD system where the ICE up front powers the rear wheels directly, and the front wheels each have an electric motor for traction and handling help. The batteries can go in the back to make the weight 50:50, and this way Audi doesn't have to put the engine in front of the front axle thus reducing that fat overhang.
In paragraph 7 it says the old system will be used on the RS models. Not sure about the S. But it will be on the new A5 coupe.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by rob1n1 View Post
I dream of an AWD system where the ICE up front powers the rear wheels directly, and the front wheels each have an electric motor for traction and handling help. The batteries can go in the back to make the weight 50:50, and this way Audi doesn't have to put the engine in front of the front axle thus reducing that fat overhang.
Sounds like the system from a Porsche 918 or NSX with the engine relocated.

Audi has said they plan to do something like that, unfortunately the rears get the electric motors and the fronts get the ICE. So, more like a Nissan Cube AWD than a Porsche 918.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/...c-as-e-quattro
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...wd-system.html
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Still having driven many subarus (auto and MT), the Golf R haldex and the current Quattro AWD variants, I can tell you that bashing one over the other for a daily driver is pointless. They are all seemless and work beautifully. Zero difference on the road.
Spoken like someone who lives in Houston.

I can tell you this, on snowy streets my WRX and my Dad's 2010 Outback 3.6 are noticeably more controllable than my mom's 2013 Legacy 2.5i. WRX being easily the best. My dad's old A6 Allroad (6sp) fell between the Legacy and the Outback. The stability control in the AR was awful, nearly caused an accident once.

For the majority of drivers I absolutely agree though. The foul weather abilities of most systems are indistinguishable. It's us rally wanna-bes who can tell the difference.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:30 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
Lol, I still have my first Audi, 5000cs turbo 86 bought it after the lease was up that's how much I loved it. I learned to never open the sunroof and back driver side window. Because they may never close again. What a beast. Full lock center and rear diff, it's a tank.
My roommate in college had one. It sure was fun.

Peace,

Greg

Last edited by b4wantab; 02-16-2016 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Spell>me
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Old 02-17-2016, 07:46 PM   #22
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The traditional mechanical system will now be used only by Audi’s high-performance Quattro division, and even then only in cars that use the eight-speed ZF transmission, like the RS 6 and the RS 7.
Guess even the S4 will use this crap. Well Audi when I am tired of my Audi I will no longer be a customer. The greenies win again, front wheel drive with the engine hanging out front. Get lost. Done, I hope your share crash, but the average goof won't know right Audi. What if a don't want navigation, you got to pay 5k extra for it so your Awd system will work f u

Maybe you could trigger dynamic mode manually...

It remains in all-wheel drive for at least 30 seconds after each standing start as the system gathers data about grip levels, upcoming corners and driving styles. It also switches into all-wheel drive when the driver trips the software’s trigger points for ‘dynamic’ driving, then holds that for another 30 seconds before switching back to two-wheel drivE

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Old 02-18-2016, 10:51 AM   #23
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Default First drive: Audiís new, greener Quattro system

Answer my question , yes you can go into full time awd by turning off the nannies. Ok..What about stage 1 or 2 on the 2 liter turbo can it handle the extra twist?

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Whatís going on here then?

This is an Audi A4 with the brandís new Quattro system fitted. Quattro, youíll be aware, is the four-wheel-drive system made famous by its pioneer, a sports car of the same name.

That car put Quattro on the map by slithering around forests to give the dull and functional world of 4x4 transmissions a dusting of glamour. And now, itís evolved.

How is it different?

Audi has combined its two favourite model suffixes, Quattro and Ultra, the latter being what youíll find fixed to its tax band-friendliest models.

In short, itís a system that runs as front-wheel drive as much as possible, the rear axle only coming to life when road conditions or the driverís desires deem it necessary. The benefits of 4WD when theyíre needed, without the burden on fuel economy when they arenít. It even weighs marginally less than a regular Quattro setup.

The Haldex system youíll find on littler Audis (and numerous other cars) works in a similar way, but this is the first time Audiís full-strength Quattro setup has offered this approach, opening it up to cars bigger than A3s and TTs.

How does it work?

The idea is it all goes on beneath you, without you ever really knowing how many wheels the transmission is sending power to. Despite the switchover coming via the complex whirring of clutches, the change is meant to be imperceptible.

And itís all meant to happen predictively, rather than reactively. One hundred times a second, the carís electronic brain assesses all manner of parameters: how much grip the wheels have, how flamboyant the driverís inputs are, the outside temperature, and so on. It uses the resulting data to assess whether four-wheel drive is necessary, and will hook up the rear axle half a second before slip occurs.

If 4WD is activated, the power split between the axles varies to match whatís needed. As much as 100 per cent can go to the rear wheels.

Drifty goodness!

Not quite. This is for Audiís more sensible, lower powered drivetrains, and as such, you wonít get it on RS models. Itís all about safety and efficiency.

If you want to drive your 2.0-litre A4 like itís a Quattro rally car, however, then prodding the stability control off will keep the car permanently 4WD and free of intervention, to best indulge your inner Walter Rohrl.

Keep the electronic nannies on, though (as you doubtless will), and the car is always in charge of how many axles you use. Itís a useful way to save fuel in town and on motorways, where in all but the slipperiest conditions, you only really need the front axle to keep you moving.

Does it work?

Our test route took us through deepest Austria, on dry but near-freezing roads, yielding an experience indistinguishable from a permanent Quattro system. The only way to tell how many wheels were working away beneath us was via an iPad we were conveniently given to show us the drivetrainís activity (not something the customer will get, nor need).

An hour-long drive ended up split almost 50/50 between front- and four-wheel drive, but it included an uncommonly large portion of twisty back roads, upon which 4WD was always in use. Majoring on town and motorway roads - as most peopleís driving time typically does - and you can expect much more time driven by the front axle only.

The big question: how much fuel will this save me?

Audi reckons its development miles averaged a saving of around five per cent, or 3mpg on the 2-litre petrol A4 we tried it on. Itís not going to make you rich overnight. But in the lifetime of a car, itíll add up.

And itís only the start. Future developments of the system will embrace more technology: it will talk to the satnav to foresee twists and turns in the road ahead, and use car-to-car communications to get a heads-up on traffic, slippery conditions, and other things which can pre-empt the drivetrain into picking its most appropriate setup.

It sounds complex. I just want to get in my car and drive places.

Audi knows this, and top of the whole to-do list was making the whole thing free of driver inputs, and with the car always feeling like itís a proper Quattro. People pay more for 4WD to get off their drive in winter without pushing, and to get to work without nudging into a hedge, after all. This new Ultra-infused Quattro will still do that, itíll just cost you less in fuel when the frost thaws and four-wheel drive is unnecessary.

Fine. So what can I have it on?

It arrives in a drip-fed manner, debuting on the new A4 Allroad, before appearing on the A4 and the all-new A5 and Q5. It arrives initially on 2.0-litre petrols, with diesels to come. It wonít be an option, rather it will replace the previous, permanent Quattro system.

In the future, expect it on every Audi with a longitudinally mounted engine (basically, A4 or bigger) and without a big powered engine or sporting pretensions. Those, Audi promises, will remain fully focused on performance. Because buying an RS6 or R8 has never been about looking after the penniesÖ
.,?!'
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:04 AM   #24
SCRAPPYDO
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Sounds interesting. I guess I will have to settle for my archaic Quattro on my allraod.

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Old 02-18-2016, 11:12 AM   #25
b4wantab
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Regardless, A clutched based AWD system will not guarantee rotation. So that 20 or 30 seconds may be fully "locked" or "engaged" but, you still may not spin either of the rear wheels.

That is just the way it is going.

Peace,

Greg
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