A while back, we mentioned that an Audi A4 Hybrid model could be sporting an electric all-wheel drive system called e-Quattro, which uses an electric motor to power the rear wheels under certain circumstances. The German automaker now plans on incorporating that technology in various other models within the next three years.
For decades, the word quattro has been synonymous with Audi performance, and it’s only natural that the technology would evolve. Audi has been working on the electric all-wheel drive system for upcoming models to hopefully phase out the traditional all-wheel drive system. The big question is whether or not the pros will outweigh the cons, considering the additional costs of an electric motor and batteries to power the e-Quattro setup.
We don’t expect to see the e-Quattro to be in a production model until the next-generation A4 and A6 are revealed within the next three years. It does appear, however, that the German automaker intends to offer both the standard quattro and e-Quattro systems even when the new technology is introduced, though it’s also unlikely that e-Quattro will find its way onto the automaker’s MQB-platform based vehicles like the Audi A3. Chances are also that the heavier SUV models will only be offered with the conventional quattro system.
There are numerous benefits to the e-Quattro system however, one of which is an improvement to fuel efficiency. It will be interesting to see how it performs in real-world situations without a driveshaft connecting the front and rear wheels.
[Source: Car and Driver]