Audi quattro® Explained

The famous Audi quattro® permanent all-wheel drive system was first officially shown in 1980.

The "Ur-Quattro" (German for original) was the first rally racing car to take advantage after the then- recent changes in the rules for competition off-road racing with all-wheel drive. It won race after race for at least two years. Eventually, Audi quattro® was banned from the rally racing world as no other competitor could keep up with the superior technology.

Audi's chassis engineer, Jörg Bensinger, had the idea for a high-performance four-wheel-drive car in 1977. Bensinger's idea was to start developing an Audi 80 variant in co-operation with Walter Treser, Director of Pre-Development.

Audi still uses the quattro® permanent all-wheel-drive on their cars, in fact, most of them come stock with it. The all-wheel drive system brings the most power to the wheel with the most grip on the street, together with the ESC (electronic stability control) you are able to drive in every weather situation or performance demand without sliding around.

Audi is well known for its quattro® system and it was surprising to learn that 35 out of the 99 imported "Ur-Quattros" sent to Canada (where the road conditions are far more inclement than here) are still driving on the roads.

Of course, you can turn off all the stability features and go crazy with quattro®, but it is quite amazing to have an Audi and drive it on dry asphalt or in the deep snow - almost without feeling the difference. 

Audi has become really famous for their quattro® all-wheel-drive commercial, where different Audi's are driving UP a ski ramp, take a look at those pictures!


Each of the different models uses the quattro® differently.

For example, the Audi R8 - 80% of the power is going to the rear wheels and the other 20% to the front but whenever the car doesn't have enough traction, it changes dynamically and puts up to 40% of the power to the front wheels. While the Q5 has 60% of it's power on the rear wheels and 40% on the front, it is more equally spread out and gives you much better traction when performance driving.

Other models are more like 50/50 distribution, but the point is this: give the power to the wheel with the most grip. If three of your four wheels are on ice, quattro® can still get you going. Or, if you're driving 50mph though a curve that's meant to be driven at 20mph, quattro® connects you to the pavement like nothing you've ever felt.