Discover the different types of quattro and how the technology works
The Audi quattro system makes use of a centre differential, a component that enables the engine’s torque to be divided between the wheels even if they are rotating at different speeds. When a slip is detected, torque is split 50:50 from the front to the rear in order to provide greater stability.
Hydraulic multi-plate clutch
Designed for those Audi models with the engine mounted across the chassis. In normal driving conditions this system has a front wheel bias. Continually reviewing the traction and adapting accordingly and when required this state of the art system can send 100% of the power to the rear wheels.
Available on: A1, A3, Q3 and TT models
Self-locking centre differential
The new self-locking centre differential is used in many Audi models today and has a 50:50 power bias that is equally distributed to the front and rear wheels. The system’s ongoing analysis of the road conditions means that 100% of the power will be sent to the front or rear depending on what is required.
Available on: A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7 models
R8 quattro all-wheel drive
The Audi R8 is a mid-engined car that warrants its own quattro system. The R8 quattro all-wheel drive system sends the majority of the power is sent to the rear wheels but will adjust to the road conditions and will send 100% of the power to wherever needed.
Available on: R8 models
Ready when you are. quattro on-demand can switch between all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive instantly by analysing driving dynamics, road conditions and driver behaviour. The switch can be done in a fraction of a second ensuring you have a smooth drive. By switching between the two modes you can improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
Available on: A4 allroad quattro and Q5
History of quattro
Audi’s Vorsprung Durch Technik philosophy really broke through with the launch of Audi quattro in 1980 and since then quattro has come a long way. It was also in this year that Audi introduced the world’s first volume produced four-wheel drive high performance car.
In 1981 the Audi quattro was the first rally car to take advantage of the recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing when they entered into the World Rally Championship. It won competition after competition over the next two years. This was the car that redefined Audi.
In 1982, the Audi 80 quattro started to offer all-wheel driving to a wider audience and by 1984 there were quattro version of every Audi model in the range.
As the years passed, quattro developed and 2010 marked the 30th anniversary for Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, as well as the car that first brought quattro to market. Ever since it was launched, Audi have continued to enhance their all-wheel drive technology to provide superior grip and traction and ever since drivers have been enjoying it.
Since it was launched in 1980, there has been more than five million Audi's built with permanent all-wheel drive.
Experience quattro for yourself!