The Audi quattro all-wheel drive system has always had a great reputation - some would say legendary - and now the all-new A4 allroad quattro is the first to get an entirely new one in conjunction with the 252PS version of the 2.0-litre TFSI engine powering the latest A4 allroad.
It's all to do with delivering some tangible benefits in terms of both fuel efficiency and CO2 output during every journey as the new system deactivates all-wheel drive when it is not needed - making sure that it is ready to be reactivated at a moment's notice - by using a highly intelligent networked sensor system that communicates with a multi-plate clutch and integrated decoupler on the rear axle.
Three other TDI engine variants in the A4 allroad range will also be available to order at the end of April, with first deliveries scheduled to begin in June.
The all-wheel drive system uses a comprehensive array of sensors and a continuous analysis of the driving dynamics, road condition and driver behaviour to look ahead and predict when it will be needed, always on the edge of readiness. Every ten milliseconds, the system acquires and analyses a wide variety of data, such as steering angle, lateral and longitudinal acceleration and engine torque (amongst others), and follows a three-stage strategy to work out if it is needed - and this strategy is proactive, predictive, and reactive.
On the proactive level, the control unit uses the data delivered by the networked systems in the car to, for example, compute the point when the inside front tyre will reach the limit of grip during fast cornering. If needed, the all-wheel drive system is activated.
With predictive activation, the quattro control unit will kick in , if required, based on the driver’s style, the status of the ESC, the mode selected in drive select, and on the trailer detection system.
With reactive activation, the system reacts to sudden changes in friction such as when the wheels go from dry asphalt to a sheet of ice.
Drivers can adjust the all-wheel-drive properties to suit their individual requirements by using the Audi drive select adaptive driving system fitted as standard to all A4 allroad models. In auto mode you find the best possible traction and balanced driving dynamics, and in dynamic mode, the best drive in conditions of less friction by sending power to the rear axle sooner.
The 2.0 TDI with 190 PS and the 3.0 TDI with 218 PS or 272 PS A4 allroad quattro engine s use the quattro drivetrain with a self-locking centre differential that is configured as a purely mechanical planetary gear with zero lag. During normal driving operation, the self-locking centre differential distributes the power asymmetrically, with 60% flowing to the rear axle and 40% to the front axle, increasing to a maximum of 70% up front and 85% to the rear when required.
The Audi A4 allroad quattro has always been an outstanding cross-country performer, and this reputation will be further enhanced in the new model with an extra 34mm of ground clearance, and an offroad mode available in Audi drive select.
Added to this we also find optional adaptive suspension with damper control, the customary robust underbody guards and contrasting wheel arches, unique single frame grille design and model-specific air intakes and roof bars.
Inside, as per all A4 allroad models, the Audi A4 allroad quattro will come equipped with the same home comforts and up-to-the-minute technological features that already make the A4 Saloon and Avant stand out. Highlights include xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, the Audi smartphone interface, rear parking sensors and electrically powered tailgate operation, plus protective equipment such as the Audi pre-sense collision avoidance system and multi-collision brake assist.
If you want extra, optionally available is the Audi Virtual Cockpit with its pin-sharp fully digital display, MMI Navigation plus with MMI Touch, a head-up display and Matrix LED headlights, as well as a folding tow bar with electric release.
And finally, as an Audi, you would expect the car to be fitted with some of the latest developments that you can get when it comes to helping the driver - and you would be right!
Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist will accelerate, brake and steer the car independently at speeds of up to 37mph, relieving stress on the driver in slow-moving traffic.
And, as part of the driver assistance pack you will find predictive efficiency assistant, which helps drivers to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% by using navigation route data to adapt the cruise control system’s preselected speed to the route and the speed limits for the most fuel efficient and comfortable journey.