Audi’s all-wheel drive system is an integral part of today’s Audi vehicles. In fact, almost all of them are equipped with the Quattro system and have been for many years. But how was this system developed, and more importantly, how did it become one of the most powerful all-wheel drive systems on the market? Your Audi Lauzon dealer in Laval near the North Shore of Montreal tells you more about the Quattro system!
A military origin
While it is true that the Audi Quattro system was launched in 1980, the idea behind it originated a few years earlier. In 1977, Audi engineer Jörg Bensinger witnessed first-hand the power and off-road capabilities of military 4×4 vehicles during a trip to Lapland.
He immediately made it his mission to integrate a similar all-wheel drive system into a car, and shared his idea with the technical director at Audi, a man named Ferdinand Piëch. Piëch was sold on the idea and testing began soon after: this technology was tested out on many vehicles including the Audi 80, and eventually the Ur-Quattro system was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1980. Its superior traction and handling, combined with its light-weight construction, immediately made it a runaway success around the world.
The Audi Quattro system immediately made a splash in the world of motorsports: indeed, Michele Mouton became the first woman to win an international rally in 1981. Numerous other Audi vehicles also won many competitions over the years: Monte Carlo and San Remo (1981), the World Rally Championship (1982 and 1984), Pikes Peak (1987), the Trans-Am Series (1988), DTM (1990-1991), 24 Hours of Le Mans (3 victories), and many others.
A 40-year love affair
As the years went by, the Quattro system made its appearance in more and more Audi models. This gave the manufacturer a considerable edge over the competition, which lagged behind before offering similar systems in their vehicles. For example, all-wheel drive was introduced by Mercedes-Benz and BMW in 1985 and 1986, and many other manufacturers only followed suit much later.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2020, the 2020 Audi all-wheel drive system continues to improve and develop new state-of-the-art features. As always, it offers impeccable handling, stability and safety at all times, and Audi drivers can rest assured they can drive safely in all weather conditions.
Models with Quattro
Audi models with Quattro technology include sedans such as the Audi A4 Quattro, the 2021 Audi A3 Quattro and the Audi A4 Allroad, the champion of off-road driving.
The list of vehicles equipped with the Quattro system also includes the entire range of Audi SUVs as well as the electric e-tron models. The electric Quattro all-wheel drive system works almost instantaneously, distributing torque between the two axles in only 30 milliseconds, which is much faster than models equipped with a gasoline engine. In addition, the e-tron models can also distribute torque to all four wheels independently, to better respond to the needs of the vehicle at specific moments (changes in road conditions, cornering, skidding, etc.).
The future of Quattro
Over time, Audi’s Quattro system has evolved and improved. Recent changes include the development of numerous technologies such as Torsen, Haldex and Quattro ultra, which provide Audi Quattro models with incredible performance that is always superior to that of the competition. In fact, all-wheel drive Quattro models represent the industry benchmark, year after year.
With all these technologies and the development of more and more electric and hybrid vehicles on the market, the future sure looks bright for Audi Quattro. Whether for motorsports or for consumer vehicles, Audi is working hard to remain the industry leader in all-wheel drive systems.
To discover more about Audi Quattro technology and the vehicles equipped with it, to learn all about our ongoing Audi promotions or to take advantage of our enticing Audi financing rates, come visit us at Audi Lauzon in Laval today! We are easy to reach from Montreal and the North Shore.