It appears as though Audi is looking to tech up its legendary quattro all-wheel drive with a jolt of electricity. That’s the word coming from a recent report issued by British motoring publication CAR, which outlined the new system to include three total powerplants: one petrol-powered, 292-horsepower internal combustion engine, one 54-horsepower electric motor installed in the transmission housing, and another 116-horsepower electric motor to power the rear wheels. While it is possible those figures could combine additively to form around 460 horsepower, it is more likely they will work in parallel. CAR speculates total output to be closer to 408 horsepower.

The system, which is currently labeled e-Quattro, would allow for variable drive modes to suit a range of conditions, not to mention improved torque vectoring for better handling. High-speed freeway travel would employ gas power at the front wheels only, while electric power in the rear would better suit stop-and-go city cruising. Of course, a hybrid, all-wheel combination would be used when grip levels drop, as well as for those times that call for maximum performance.

In addition to the new hybrid system, rumors persist that the marque is investigating the use of inductive charging to power it. Utilizing powerful magnetic fields, inductive charging tops off batteries without the use of wires, similar to the technology currently used on mobile phones.

It’s believed that the new A4 and a possible up-and-coming TT coupe crossover will be the first models to pioneer these new features for Audi.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s Future e-Quattro System.

Why it matters

According to CAR, Audi is debating whether or not the e-Quattro system is too heavy and complex to properly implement. This harkens back to the original quattro all-wheel drive, which, like this new system, was considered too heavy and complex to be used in the real world. However, the tireless four ring engineers did eventually manage to stuff the tech under the skin of Audi’s rally cars, thus creating the original Quattro sport coupe in the early 1980s.

Representing one of the first large-scale production vehicles to bear permanent all-wheel drive, the Quattro coupe championed the technology that we now see as vital for any vehicle traveling over less than ideal surfaces. Perhaps the new e-Quattro system will see history repeat itself.

Audi TT Offroad Concept

2014 Audi TT Offroad Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Years of speculation and rumor have built quite an aura around the TT Offroad concept. Some place the crossover as the first iteration of a TT sub-brand, while others see it as a possible addition to Audi’s lineup of Q SUVs.

Either way, this sporty-looking four-door certainly appears to play the role of niche vehicle quite well, with a low, sloping roofline, high stance, beefed-out fenders, and large, aggressive wheels. The 2+2 interior doesn’t offer much in terms of space, but does give plenty of entertainment options, like an MMI terminal, 12.3-inch color display, and three Audi Smart Display tablets for DVDs and streaming TV.

The addition of a hybrid drivetrain and inductive charging would make the TT Offroad both relatively quick and efficient, further solidifying its position as an “in-between” type of vehicle. CAR predicts availability in two years’ time.

Source: CAR

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