Always ahead of the curve

For 35 years, our legendary quattro® all-wheel drive has pushed vehicle performance - and the thrill of the ride.The Audi quattro system's history is an exciting tale for the car industry. This innovation and its continuous improvements have truly changed the game for drivers, both in efficiency and in safety.

In 1980, Audi first debuted the now iconic rally car, the Quattro. The Audi 'Quattro' - which literally translates to 'four' - was hugely successful in racing competitions and even won two world rally championships. While the competitors' cars were still using two-wheel drive, the Quattro was fitted with a revolutionary all-wheel-drive system difficult to keep up with. Acknowledging the tremendous benefits of the Quattro, Audi quickly began the process of filtering the same system down into road cars.

(Fun fact: The rally car, the Quattro, its spelled with an upper case 'Q,' while the Audi quattro System itself is spelled with a lower case 'q.')

So how does the famous Audi quattro System work, exactly? A set of rotating gears with two output shafts directs the engine's turning force, or torque, to both the front and rear wheels. Audi engineers knew they needed to develop an all-wheel-drive system that wasn't heavy, and that could fit and work well in smaller cars. They succeeded in creating units that were more compact, lighter, and more efficient than conventional transfer boxes. The Audi quattro System enhances your car's roadholding ability (and thus, your safety) by providing extra grip yearround and in both dry and slippery driving conditions.

Smaller Audis, like the TT and A3, also feature a device called a Haldex unit. This unit sends most of the engine's torque to the front wheels while driving in normal road conditions. But as soon as a slipping wheel is detected, a secondary clutch kicks in to divert the torque to the rear wheels.

The most recent discoveries and developments in Audi's all-wheel-drive system continue to push through previous driving limitations even further. With its ultra technology, the quattro system reacts quickly to changing road conditions to keep you moving in a straight line. In traditional, two-wheel drive vehicles, all the horsepower obtainable is divided and forced into just two wheels. But with Audi, your car's horsepower is split evenly between all four tires, providing you with a smoother and better distribution of horsepower. Audi's quattro System saves fuel, cuts CO2 emissions, reduces wear and tear on your engine and gearbox, and handles easier. Especially for those tackling winter weather conditions, this increased safety and stability on the road could make all the difference in the world.A gripping proposition quattro® all-wheel drive isn't just designed for wet weather. With its legendary grip and available torque vectoring technology, quattro® significantly enhances handling and cornering performance in dry-weather conditions as well.

The always on, all-weather, all-wheel drive

When the weather shows you its worst side, our legendary quattro® all-wheel drive shows you its best. By intuitively sending power to all four wheels, quattro® delivers power to the wheels with the most grip, maximizing traction in wet-weather conditions.

One size does not fit all

Unlike some other all-wheel drive systems, Audi tailors each quattro® system to the specific vehicle it's found on. For example, our high-performance models are available with a unique version of quattro® that differs from our SUVs. By tailoring the system to each vehicle's intended purpose, quattro® can provide enhanced performance and traction benefits.

The legend of quattro®

Thirty-five years ago, Audi quattro® became the first permanent all-wheel drive system for passenger cars. Since then, it's inspired many imitations - but no equal.

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