Audi A4 Allroad to feature new Quattro Ultra drive system

The all new 2017 Audi A4 Allroad with be the first vehicle coming to Canada and the United States with Audi’s new Quattro Ultra all-wheel-drive system.

2017 Audi A4
When I – or you – get up in the morning, we go through a routine. Our routines are all different, all individual. I do the same thing pretty much every morning, probably like you do. Our routines make us somewhat predictable. Believe it or not, the way we drive is much the same thing. It’s more our tendencies, like how we step on gas pedal – with authority or softly – how we steer, brake and our speed relative to the “posted” or advertised speed.
What Audi does and is doing with this knowledge is very interesting. I went to Innsbruck to learn about the latest Audi Quattro ‘Ultra’ system that will make its debut in Canada in the near future on the A4 Allroad.
As I learned about the system, and how it works, one of the more interesting parts of the presentation was how the car switches from two wheel drive to Quattro, or all-wheel drive.
What triggers the change?
The theory for the new system is to leave the car in two wheel drive – which is where the fuel savings are to be had – and only switch to all wheel drive when needed. The problem is that normally by the time a normal car recognizes you need the all-wheel drive, it can be a bit late…and dangerous.
But what if your car could predict the need for all wheel drive ahead of when you actually need it?
This is what Audi calls predictive actions, and it is what makes this system special. Essentially what happens is that the car learns your driving tendencies and then applies that knowledge to the data that the car is receiving from the multitude of sensors about road and weather conditions. Armed with all this knowledge, the Audi can make a decision when to switch to all wheel drive and more importantly, when it can switch back to two wheel drive.
For example, let’s suppose, well okay, I’ll use me as an example. I tend to be reasonably ‘deliberate’ on the gas, brake and steering operations (especially on mountain roads in Austria). So, my Audi would know this from my driving history with it. Now let’s say it started to rain on my drive home. The Audi Quattro Ultra system would then understand that Russ is kind of brutal on throttle application. The car would then think, and understand it would be wise to switch to all wheel drive sooner than if it were dry or dry and hot. What this predictive algorithm does is learn, and then apply that knowledge as you drive. The end result is that it will keep both you and it safer on the roads. Audi Quattro Ultra
When you are driving with the new system, it is near impossible to feel the switch from two wheel drive to all wheel drive. They sent a very nice (brave) Audi engineer with me to record what the car was doing when I was pounding, er….um, driving through the magnificent hills around the city. Needless to say there would be a lot of pure all-wheel drive mode if that had been my car. But even still, the Audi did do some interesting thinking as we went along.
It knew when I was on the highway and it relaxed a bit and changed to two wheel drive, but as soon as I turned my indicator on and moved to the exit lane of the highway, it instantly switched to all-wheel drive – almost like it knew what was about to happen on the off ramp (I love off ramps).
…and it was right.
The new Audi Quattro system will keep you safer on the road. The best part is that what it thinks, and what it knows, and what it does with that knowledge, doesn’t alter how you drive…and it saves you gas.