Audi Quattro Explained

Everyone’s heard of four-wheel drive.

Audi e-tron GT

Cars that can handle anything the British roads and weathermen can throw at them.

But Audi has its quattro system. So what is ‘quattro’? And how does it work? Let us explain....

It’s an all-wheel-drive system that was introduced in the early 1980s and provides the car with exceptional performance on all terrain – and it means your Audi grips the road like Velcro in the worst conditions.

And it works. So much so, that at Audi’s headquarters in Neckarsulum, Germany, 50 per cent of all cars that roll out are fitted with quattro technology. That’s how highly it’s rated.

Quattro offers much more grip than the two-wheel drive models, and helps when the car pulls away from stationary, when it’s braking, and when it’s accelerating around a corner. 

There are three types of Quattro Technology.

The most common is the self-locking Centre Differential, seen in cars such as the Q7, A4 and A6. This system usually powers the wheels 60-40 in favour of the rear wheels, giving these quattro models an even more sporty feel.

On cars such as the TT and A3, Hydraulic Multi-plate Clutch quattro technology is used. Power is transferred mainly to the front wheels in good conditions, but the clever technology used can send up to 50 per cent of the car’s power instantly through the multi-plate clutch to the rear wheels when needed. With us so far?

The third quattro system, used in the Audi R8, is the Viscous Coupling system. This sends 85 per cent of the power to the rear wheels, but that power can be instantly transferred to the front wheels if the car is being thrown around a corner – and, let’s be honest, if you’re driving an R8, you’re almost certainly GOING to throw it around a corner or two….

So quattro is much more than just a four-wheel-drive system. The technology senses when the brakes may lock or the wheels may spin, and transfers power across all four wheels when necessary and adjusts the car to deal with every situation, so the driver doesn’t have to worry.

Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself. Pop into your local Inchcape Audi dealer – they’re at Crawley, Bolton, Cheshire Oaks, East Kent, Macclesfield, Maidstone, Stockport, Swindon, Twtbury and Tunbridge Wells – and take one for a spin. 

The all-wheel-drive system was developed so your Audi excels in extreme conditions. But an experienced driver can also feel the benefit on a dry, clear day.

Most drivers, though, don’t even know when those clever Audi computers are working away. 

The beauty of the quattro models is they look no different than the rest of the Audi range. And you know how good they are.