Audi Celebrates Quattro All-Wheel-Drive Technology With New VideoMar 24th, 2012
New age. New ideas. When Audi first introduced Quattro in Group B rally racing nearly 30 years ago, people were stunned by the capabilities of all-wheel-drive. Fast forward to today, and Audi is once again implementing all-wheel-drive, this time in LMP1-class endurance racing. The video above is a culmination of Audi’s advancements in four-wheel-drive technology.
But those who are versed in FIA rules will know that four-wheel-drive isn’t allowed in LMP1. The clever loophole here is that the series allows up to 500kJ (approximately 70bhp) of stored energy to be transferred to the wheels between two braking ‘events at speeds above 120km/h (75mph).”
This is made possible by a hybrid kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) feeding electric power to the front wheels, gathered from otherwise wasted energy lost in braking. The 510 horsepower V6 TDI on the other hand sends its might to the rear wheels. And even though the hybrid powertrain adds weight, it’s actually offset by a lighter carbon-fiber gearbox housing, used for the first time in endurance racing.
Audi plans on entering two examples of the R18 e-tron Quattro at the high-profile 24 Hours of Le Mans in June and at Spa beforehand in May, alongside two of the R18 Ultras with conventional diesel power. Since both cars were developed together, they use mostly the same components, enabling more efficient race logistics for the team.
Notably, one does not have to be a race car driver to experience technology derived from racing. From the small A3 to the mighty Q7, owners can possess the power and efficiency found in Audi’s TDI turbodiesel engines. If Quattro all-wheel-drive is desired, one only needs to look towards the acclaimed A4, or even the awe-inspiring R8 supercar. And with this new technology Audi has ventured into with its racing program, we can only imagine what the technology of a TDI AWD Quattro system will transfer like from track to street.