Audi is doing everything possible to avoid becoming stagnant, like some other German automakers we know, by constantly revealing new technology. Sometimes we see this technology at various auto shows, and other times we see it by way of patent leaks. Well this latest tech feature, which lays out an electric all-wheel-drive system, came to us by way of the latter.
As if Audi’s quattro AWD system wasn’t already awesome enough, the automaker is set to electrify the rear axle in its quattro-equipped cars. This system will have multiple benefits, with the most obvious being in the instantly available torque. The secondary benefit seems to be more of Audi’s focus, considering its patent is actually for software to control this rear axle.
This software will use wheel sensors to detect what speeds may lead to the wheels slipping and adjust the braking system accordingly. This means that Audi may be able to better control its regenerative braking system to avoid brake lockup in slippery conditions. This is a big deal because all current regen brake systems use fixed forces and are prone to locking up on slippery surface. This software will allow for brake regeneration without risking the wheels locking up.
In a nutshell, we may be looking at one of the most advanced and quickest-reacting all-wheel-drive systems ever dreamed up.
Click past the jump to read more about the next Audi Q8 E-Tron.
About Audi quattro
The quattro AWD system — yes, it is all lowercase letters — debuted in the 1981 model year on a model carrying the same name but capitalized. The Audi Quattro used the first-gen quattro system, which was open differentials on the front, center and rear, which led to the ultimate flaw of the car not moving at all is one wheel on both the front and rear lost traction.
The gen-II quattro system debuted in 1988 and saw use in various models through 1997. This system added in a torsen center diff and a default 50-50 split between the front and rear wheels.
V-8-equipped Audis between 1988 and1994 used the gen-III quattro system, which varied between auto and manual transmissions. On auto boxes, the system used a planetary gear center diff, an open front diff and a torsen rear diff. On models with a manual gearbox, the system torsen diffs on the front and center, and an open diff on the rear.
The generation-IV quattro system debuted in 1995, and it used torsen center differential with open front and rears that features Electronic Differential Lock for lightning-fast locking.
Gen-V debuted in 2007 on the RS7, and it used a Type-C torsen center diff that gave a 40-60 default split. The front and rear diffs were open with EDL. Torque vectoring made its way to the gen-V quattro system in 2008.
The most recent quattro system — gen-VI — debuted in 2010 in the RS5, and it used a newly developed "Crown Gear" differential that allowed 75 percent off the power to hit the front wheels and up to 85 percent to head to the rears.