As we announced through the Social Networks, last week we were able to live an authentic experience in the snow thanks to Audi, a brand that for two days gave us access to a technology famous for its reliability, the dynamism it offers and As not, for its interesting history.
With the milestone of having emerged as the leading premium manufacturer in the sale of vehicles with four-wheel drive in Spain, the German brand invited us to the Audi Winter driving experience, driving courses that aim to improve safety and Driving technique, learning to master the vehicle in adverse conditions such as snow or ice and that is why we will devote this content to quattro traction.
Quattro, a success story
In 1980, the brand of the four rings presented at the Geneva Motor Show, a high performance and sporty vehicle that had a novel four-wheel drive system.
At that time, the Audi quattro was a model that could boast of being among the few in the market to offer this cutting-edge technology.
A year after its introduction, the vehicle did something that no one had ever achieved before. The Audi quattro, with its role as a touring vehicle and before its official participation in a rally, showed its outstanding character in a European championship race in which the Finn Hannu Mikkola at the wheel arrived at the finish half an hour before the winner…
In 1982, the already well-known system jumped to the street in the Audi 80 Quattro, the first vehicle of its type produced in series with permanent traction to the four wheels. From this moment, a vertiginous history begins that we summarize with the following chronology:
1983: Hannu Mikkola wins the drivers’ championship and Audi is runner-up in the world championship. The Audi Sport quattro is launched.
1984: Stig Blomqvist becomes the champion of the world and Audi wins the world-wide of brands. Audi wins the title of “Car of the year”
1985: Audi wins Pikes Peak thanks to Michéle Mouton.
1986: Bobby Unser returns to crown Pikes Peak in first position. The central torsen differential is presented.
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The central differential torsen provides a variable, automatic and instantaneous distribution of the propulsion force on the front and rear axle. Changes in road conditions and dynamic vehicle reactions are adjusted without driver intervention.
1987: Walter Röhrl repeats again the feat of the 4,302 meters of Pikes Peak. Audi expands the offer; the quattro system is now available in more models.
1988: Audi introduces the Audi V8, the world’s first high-class car with permanent four-wheel drive.
1989: Hans-Joachim Stuck becomes the most successful driver of the IMSA-GTO series with 7 wins.
1990: quattro turns 10 and celebrates its presence in more than 200,000 vehicles. The brand presents the Audi S2, the successor of the first quattro that closes its commercial cycle with 11,452 units sold. Audi wins the German DTM car championship with Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel of an Audi V8 quattro.
1991: Frank Biela returns to triumph in the DTM with the V8 quattro that counted on a central planetary differential with intermediate gear shift and electronic disc lock, as well as of a torsen rear axle differential.
1992 and 1993: quattro extends.
1994: Audi introduces the electronic differential lock EDS on the front and rear axle.
The EDS allows controlled braking of each of the wheels in a skid. This system together with the variable distribution of propulsion force in the rear and front axle maximizes the traction.
1995: World presentation of quattro plus TDI.
1996: Audi wins seven touring car championships.
1997: The combination of quattro and ESP arrives.
1998: Audi presents the electrohydraulic disc clutch and launches it in the Audi TT Coupé.
The electrohydraulic disc clutch adopts the function of the central differential and distributes the motor force permanently and variable in the front and rear axle.1999: quattro reaches the compact segment with the A3.
2000: 20 years of quattro are celebrated and a total of 820.000 vehicles sold with this technology are celebrated.
2001: 1 million quattro
From 2001 onwards everything was refinement and extension of the street and sport range until 2009, two new features arrived, quattro with sports differential and quattro with central differential of crown and selective management of pair and in 2012 the system debuted in LeMans.
The Quattro Traction System In Detail
Unlike other systems, quattro permanent all-wheel drive works purely mechanically.
The quattro® traction system constantly distributes propulsion power between all four wheels and results in increased traction, better acceleration, excellent cornering performance and directional stability, as well as outstanding maneuverability. All these aspects have been experienced on the frozen surfaces of the test track that the Germanic brand has prepared in Baqueira.
For more than 30 years, Audi has perfected this four-wheel drive system. Although Audi is currently working on the e-quattro traction system for its future street electric models in which a mechanical connection between the front and rear axles of the vehicle will not be necessary, the truth is that for the moment there are Four quattro technology concepts depending on the type of model.
Quattro® With Multi-Disk Electronic Hydraulic Drive Clutch
For the Audi A3, Q3, TT, S1 and S1 Sportback the power between both axles is distributed by means of a hydraulic multi-disc electronic clutch, which is located in the rear train to achieve a better balance of weights.
The Haldex quattro with clutch traction system activates before the wheels skid, almost completely preventing traction loss.
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With a low load or during the thrust, the propulsion is produced first through the front axle, leaving the rear axle decoupled. However, if necessary, the rear axle is connected in tenths of a second. This is produced by the Haldex clutch actuated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
Intelligent traction permanently calculates the ideal propulsion moment for the rear axle and regulates the closing of the multi-disc clutch through the excitation of the oil pump.
By means of the amount of pressure exerted on the clutch plates it is possible to vary the transferable torque without stepping.
Activation of the Haldex clutch occurs in relation to the torque required by the driver. At the same time, parameters such as wheel revolutions and steering angle are evaluated and, if necessary, there is the possibility of transmitting almost 100% of the torque to the rear axle.
In addition, the “EDS on all 4 wheels” is mounted. This integrated system in the stability control system acts as would a transverse differential that is, saving the differences.
The EDS system enables a stable transfer of the propulsion force through the counter wheel by breaking the wheel that it skids.
The strengths of this system are the fuel consumption that falls to the vehicle circulates, most of its time in front-wheel drive mode.
Quattro® with central mechanical self-locking differential with dynamic asymmetric distribution
This option is used by most cars in the range, and is used in models with the engine located in longitudinal position. It is the one that equip the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7 Sportback, A8, Q5 and Q7 . It is a central mechanical self-locking differential with dynamic asymmetric distribution, formed by a set of gears capable of distributing power instantly. Under normal conditions, 40% of the torque goes to the front axle and 60% to the rear axle, but this proportion can vary over a wide range depending on driving conditions and terrain, and with settings that depend on each model.
A5 gray coupe
The basic torque distribution is 60% to the rear axle and 40% to the front, which allows for high levels of traction and good maneuverability.
If an axle loses grip, it can deflect up to 85% of the pulling power towards the rear axle and up to 70% towards the front.
The vectoring torque vectoring allows the power of propulsion to be distributed to each wheel separately so that even in the worst case, at least one wheel will have traction.
The power and torque are redistributed immediately, even before the wheel starts spinning.
The power is distributed according to the situation and the driving style.
Thanks to this type we have better traction due to the rapid torque distribution. The vector torque distribution provides additional steering torque and the result we will quickly perceive is that we will need less steering effort and we will be able to face the curves at a higher speed.
Its millimetrically studied distribution will cause us to be less exposed to understeer when we circulate inside a curve and accelerate. In this case, the ESP system intervenes at a later stage and is much less intrusive than one might
Quattro® With Central Crown Differential
This third specific alternative for some of the sportier cars is an advanced center differential of crown, very light and compact, with individual management of torque in each wheel and able to vary the initial torque distribution set at a value of 40:60 up A ratio of 70:30 or 20:80 in the front and rear axles respectively depending on the conditions of adhesion. They carry the RS 4 Avant, the RS 5 Coupé and the RS 5 Cabriolet.
For even more sporty dynamic performance, Audi has designed the quattro system with sporty rear differential, which is particularly effective in cornering. It actively distributes power between the rear wheels by means of two overlapping gears
Distributes the traction torque in varying proportions between the rear wheels.
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If necessary, the full power of the rear axle is applied to one of the two rear wheels.
Instead of breaking the inner wheel, when entering or accelerating in a curve, more power is sent to the outer wheel.
In spite of being quite similar to the first, in this case the understeer is completely eliminated since the system literally forces the vehicle to enter the curve and follow the angle marked by the front wheels (the system literally pushes the vehicle into the radio).
The car takes the curves even more spontaneously and directly and maintains directional stability for a considerably longer time.
Quattro® With Viscous Coupling Differential
Finally, the R8 supercharged central engine has its own technology. It has a viscous coupling differential, which receives the force of the engine through a drive shaft, and that can send between 15% and 30% of the torque to the wheels of the front axle.
The Quattro Traction System In Figures
In 2014 Audi has marketed in the Spanish market 7,745 cars with quattro traction, a figure that represents more than 15% of total sales with four-wheel drive in the market, and that exceeds in 1,368 units to that obtained by the second brand in this ranking. Audi’s leadership in this field is indisputable, with a range where there are 155 versions that equip quattro technology of four-wheel drive. A system that is available for all models that are marketed, from A1 to A8, in addition to sports TT and R8 and, of course, vehicles belonging to the SUV segment: Q3, Q5, Q7.
Audi Driving Experience
When Audi started its program of driving courses thirty years ago, the courses were aimed at the technical staff of the competition department and the test department of the brand, with the idea of improving safety during the thousands of kilometers that the testers did during the tests in the validation days of the new models. The success of these training sessions encouraged the leadership of the brand of four rings to create the Audi driving experience, so that all drivers could take advantage of the lessons taught by true professionals. In these more than three decades since the first driving course; more than 300,000 drivers have enjoyed the Audi driving experience. Last year, some 700 courses were held, involving about 20,000 people,
Do you want to know everything about winter courses?
This season the Winter driving experience began on December 27th to 30th, resuming between January 2 and 4 and continues every Saturday and Sunday until March 15, in the incomparable setting of the Aran Valley.
The 2017 courses take place at the Baqueira Beret station; include theoretical classes, a practical course with various models of the brand and food at the Moët Winter Lounge. They are developed in a single day, which begins at 8:30 in the morning and ends at 14:00.
All the courses are carried out with models of the Audi range of last generation, in facilities adapted to realize different practical exercises and under the supervision of expert monitors. The range of models available for the different activities, all equipped with quattro traction system and winter tires, is very broad. Participants can test from the Audi S3, the A4 Avant and A4 Allroad , the range Audi A5 and A5 Sportback , the A6 Allroad or sports SUVs RS Q3 and SQ5 up to the new Audi TT .
The price of the course Audi Winter driving experience is 350 euros -290 euros for the customers of the brand.
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The courses consist of a theoretical basis, which explains to the students the different forces that act on the vehicle while driving, what their reactions are and how to act before a loss of control of the vehicle.
Driving Experience Audi
In the practical part, and with the supervision of experienced instructors, through different exercises designed to mechanize the reactions of the vehicle training the anticipation and the smoothness of movements the students will check the effectiveness of the traction quattro, will learn to take advantage of the different Safety systems and driving aids, and develop their ability to drive normally with greater ease and successfully handle compromised or dangerous situations. To do this, extreme skidding, limit braking control, cornering or swing and counterbalance maneuvers are practiced.