Audi says the shift to electric power won’t bring an end to its all-wheel-drive technology.
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German car maker Audi has reaffirmed its commitment to all-wheel-drive, even as it pivots with the rest of the car industry to electric power.

As Audi celebrates the 40th anniversary of its all-wheel-drive “quattro” system, the company says it is well progressed with plans to evolve the technology and apply it to pure electric cars.

Unlike mechanical all-wheel-drive systems – in which the front and rear drivelines are connected – electric cars power the front and rear wheels independently.

This means Audi needs to create a “virtual” all-wheel-drive system, by getting the front and rear independent electric motors to behave like an all-wheel-drive car.

The Audi e-Tron pure electric vehicle has already demonstrated such a system – which was honed on ice and dirt.

And the company says this is a sign of things to come on future all-wheel-drive electric cars. However, it stopped short of outlining exactly which models would follow.

Audi representatives in Germany told international media during a recent tele-conference its electric all-wheel-drive technology can react in just 30 milliseconds, which is faster than a mechanical all-wheel-drive system.

The company says such fast reactions help deliver better handling in adverse road conditions, or during high performance driving.

Audi says the technology also enables power to be sent primarily to the front or rear wheels, as required, depending on driving conditions.

While Audi has applied all-wheel-drive technology to electric cars since the e-Tron S was introduced in 2018, the company says more models are on the way.

“Going forward we will continue with that development, we will not rest on our laurels,” said Marc Bauer (pictured above), who led the chassis development of the Audi e-Tron S.

“The Quattro (electric) drivetrain will be developed still further. The Q4 e-Tron will also come with electric (all-wheel-drive); we will of course see how we can make (future cars) more dynamic."