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For the new allroad, Audi has unveiled a new form of quattro with what they’re calling ‘ultra technology’, capable of uncoupling the rear driveline in the name of efficiency. Through use of a multi-plate clutch and networked system of sensors, the new unit constantly monitors road conditions to determine the amount of power going to the front and rear axles. Should rear wheel assistance be deemed unnecessary, like while highway cruising, a mid-mounted multi-plate clutch opens to decouple the driveshaft, shutting off power to the rear wheels. While this is happening, a separate decoupler mounted on the rear axle also opens, greatly reducing frictional losses. According to Audi, this all happens in mere milliseconds, and can decrease fuel consumption by about 0.3L/100km. While it’s not much, we can all agree that every little bit helps.
Also important to note, is that all driveline components are accelerated before re-coupling, meaning that transitions should be smooth and minimize wear and tear on the vehicle.
We’ll get to experience the system for ourselves when it launches on the new allroad later this year.