Audi AG has recently produced its 8 millionth quattro drivetrain with the all-new Q5 mid-size SUV finished in Garnet Red at the brand's new plant in Mexico.
The quattro technology first made its debut in 1980 at the Geneva International Motor Show. Now, more than 100 model versions are available to cater each of the brand's model.
For the compact model series with transverse-mounted engines, an electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch is mounted at the rear axle. On the R8 mid-engine sports car, the multi-plate clutch is mounted on the front axle.
The self-locking center differential used in many Audi models with a longitudinally installed, front-mounted engine, is a purely mechanical planetary gear. Meanwhile, the sport differential is available on the rear axle with some of the top-of-the-range engines.
The automaker said that the latest phase of development for their quattro system is their new ultra technology. Specially designed for models with a longitudinally mounted engine, it is equipped with an actively controlled multi-plate clutch which distributes the torque variable between the drive axles in all-wheel drive operation.
Meanwhile, a decoupler in the rear axle can additionally open the connection to the rear wheels. Audi said that both clutches are also opened in driving situations where the all-wheel drive doesn't offer any advantage.
In addition, the system's control also uses a multitude of data to produce a model of the car's status porjecting about half a second into the future. With this, the automaker claims that the new concept boosts efficiency without diminishing both traction and driving dynamics.
Audi said that the quattro all-wheel drive system comes as standard in the Q7, A4 allroad quattro, A6 allroad quattro, A8, R8 and all S and RS models. Meanwhile, it is available as an option in all other model series.