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quattro®: greater traction, greater safety, greater dynamism

Over seven million models with quattro® technology have been built to date, making Audi the world’s most successful manufacturer of premium cars with permanent all-wheel drive. From compact cars to saloons to supercars, quattro is synonymous with legendary traction, sure handling and a unique and exclusive brand of driving pleasure.

Why only use two wheels when a car has four?


It doesn’t matter how mighty the engine is: its power first has to be channelled via the wheels before reaching the road. The quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system splits drive power between the front and rear wheels to optimum effect. This enables an Audi fitted with quattro to keep making safe progress with ease in situations where two-wheel-drive vehicles no longer have any forward traction, such as on slippery surfaces or loose terrain.

Legendary technology that has evolved with the times


Throughout its 30 years of existence, Audi has never ceased to explore new territory with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, whether it has been for compact models with transverse engines or for the Audi R8 high-performance sports car. This has resulted in a long range of innovations right up to today, spanning from the classic manually locking centre differential on the original “Ur-quattro” to the latest version to evolve in the form of the crown-gear centre differential fitted in certain Audi RS models from quattro GmbH.

Overview of quattro®

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Audi R8 Coupé

quattro with viscous coupling in the Audi R8

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive on the Audi R8 high-performance sports car has a pronounced rear-wheel bias. The transmission mounted behind the longitudinal mid-engine is fitted with a power take-off for a propshaft. This channels the drive power down one side past the engine to the front axle, where a viscous clutch distributes the torque. The basic power split is 15:85. If the rear wheels start to spin, an additional 15 percent is directed to the front in an instant. In this way, quattro once again provides the trademark Audi qualities: outstanding traction, acceleration with virtually no slip, sharper handling dynamics, improved straight-line stability – and, of course, a generous extra dose of driving pleasure.