Quattro electric all-wheel drive planned by Audi
Audi has disclosed some of its plans for the future, which include an electric-drive quattro system and aerodynamically-designed alloys. The two ideas, one of which is extremely simple and the other more complex, look set to get beyond the drawing board and go into a production model in the future.
The simple idea put forward by the luxury German car manufacturer is to use hinged flaps between the spokes of the alloy wheels. When the car speeds up, the flaps close to make a flat wheel cover.
The reasoning behind the hinged flap system is that it will improve the car's aerodynamics; when the car goes slower and eventually stops, the flaps open.
Audi's second patented idea is a new-generation 'all-wheel' drive system, which will use an electrically-driven rear axle. The idea is a logical progression for the quattro system, which combines a quick-reacting all-wheel drive with an electric drive; however, the patent description highlights the fact that Audi is looking for a software solution that will use wheel sensors to find the exact point that a wheel might lose traction if the surface is slippery.
The proposed new quattro idea is fundamentally an attempt to integrate a hybrid transmission with a 4x4 drivetrain, which could mean the birth of the most intelligent and fastest-reacting all-wheel drive system ever.