CARandDRIVER reports that Audi is supposedly seeking to reinvent the world of all-wheel drive with an all-new electric all-wheel-drive system, complete with an electric motor driving the rear axle. These words come from a supposed company source within Audi.
According to this source, Audi will be essentially employing the same system found in the A5 E-Tron Quattro Concept (Quattron?) prototype. Power is distributed through the brand’s new sports differential thanks to torque vectoring.
The electric motor on the rear axle acts as a completely separate entity from the normal gasoline motor. Gone is the traditional mechanical transfer case and driveshaft leading the rear-wheel, meaning there’s no mechanical connection between the internal combustion engine and the rear axle. The result is less weight and better packaging flexibility and cost. Though the confusing bit is that the unit will most likely have to utilize a set of batteries to some extent, which would eliminate the weight-saving differences.
According to the source, this new e-Quattro system would completely replace the conventional Quattro all-wheel drive system currently offered in its line of cars. The A4 and the A6 are most likely to be the first models to receive the new system. Though Audi will continue offering the conventional system as well alongside the e-Quattro system. Models such as the MQB platform-based A3 and the SUVs will also retain the traditional system.
Time frame? C/D reports roughly two to three years.
– By: Chris Chin