Audi quattro Technology

What is quattro®

The quattro® all-wheel drive system has been part of Audi’s DNA for the past 30 years, benefitting both rally and on-road Audi vehicles ever since. This all-wheel drive system gives drivers a clear advantage over two-wheel drive systems.

In a traditional two-wheel drive system, power is transmitted to either the front or rear wheels. On a slippery surface such as a wet road, a car risks skidding as soon as the motorized wheels lose traction with the road. However, with quattro® technology, the power is variably distributed across the four wheels, allowing power to be directed to whichever wheels have the most traction. This power transfer between the wheels also helps to minimize the effects of both understeer and oversteer.

Improved Driving Dynamics

Audi quattro® all-wheel drive technology offers superior traction, acceleration, higher cornering speeds, improved straight-line stability and more tractive power for a difference in driving dynamics you can feel.


Superior Safety

Vehicles with quattro® all-wheel drive technology offer unrivalled handling and reliability for superior levels of active safety – even under bad weather and road surface conditions.


Self-Locking Centre Differential

Self-locking centre differential is the most common form of the quattro® all-wheel drive system. The mechanical differential is directly tied to the front and rear axles, allowing torque to be distributed instantly as the vehicle encounters difficult road conditions. It also gives you real-time feedback to deliver a more hands-on driving experience.

In normal driving conditions, the torque is split: 60% to the rear axle and 40% to the front (this permits high levels of traction and responsive handling characteristics). If one axle loses grip, up to 85% of the tractive power can be diverted to the rear axle and up to 70% to the front.

On certain models, we offer a sport differential option, which provides even more sporty dynamics by actively distributing power between the rear wheels. This differential is activated as you enter a corner, giving you greater traction and improved handling in the turn.

Multi-plate clutch

Audi uses a specially configured all-wheel drive system called multi-plate clutch for the Audi A3, Audi Q3 and Audi TT to ensure the optimal distribution of engine power between the front and rear wheels, when required.

The multi-plate clutch is an electronically controlled hydraulic system that works proactively, using advanced vehicle sensors to dynamically distribute the drive force between front and rear wheels. If the front wheels begin to lose traction, the multi-plate clutch channels power to the rear axle. This action occurs instantly, requiring no driver input, meaning no driver distraction.

Raising the benchmark

The most dynamic version of the quattro® all-wheel drive system, found in the Audi R8, is called viscous coupling. This allows the Audi R8 to act like a rear wheel drive biased vehicle, but with the superior handling of quattro® all-wheel drive. With more agility on tight bends, it delivers an exhilarating performance.

The Audi RS 5 uses Audi’s latest generation of quattro® technology, called quattro® with crown gear centre differential and torque vectoring. The centre differential features two crown gears, which are used to distribute the drive force of the engine between the front and rear axles. Sporty handling is further enhanced by quattro® with sport differential. The active rear differential calculates the most suitable distribution of torque to the wheels, creating additional steering effect in corners and adding confidence to every driving situation.

quattro® challenges