Audi Info

What Does quattro Mean on an Audi?

Adam Chinn

Last Updated:

If you’re an Audi driver, or just a fan of the brand, you may have heard the term “quattro” thrown around. But what does it mean? Is it just a marketing gimmick, or is there more to it?

In this article, we will investigate what quattro means on an Audi and identify the differences between the quattro system and competitor technologies.

So, what does quattro mean on an Audi?

The term ‘quattro’ refers to Audi’s all-wheel-drive system; a technology that is used on a variety of Audi models, both past and present. The quattro system is designed to enhance traction and stability, providing drivers with better grip and control when driving on slippery or uneven surfaces.

But is Audi’s quattro system any different to other manufactuerers’ all-wheel-drive systems, and what sets it apart from the competition?

When was Audi quattro introduced?

Audi first introduced the quattro all-wheel drive system in 1980, and it quickly became synonymous with the brand. The Audi quattro system was originally designed for rally racing, but it soon found its way into production cars.

Audi quattro rally cars
The quattro system was hugely successful in rallying

The game-changing technology gave Audi a major competitive advantage, and quattro-equipped models became some of the most sought-after cars on the road.

It quickly became popular for its excellent traction and handling in all weather conditions.

Today, the quattro system is used in a variety of Audi vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, and sports cars. If you’ve ever driven an Audi, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the benefits of the quattro system firsthand.

Why is it called Audi quattro?

The word “quattro” is Italian for “four,” referring to the four wheels that are powered by the system.

Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system should not be confused with the legendary road and rally car of the same name.

If it’s spelt with an uppercase ‘Q’ then it refers to the rally car, and if it’s spelt with a lowercase ‘q’ then it refers to the traction system.

Audi Quattro
The all-wheel-drive quattro system should not be confused with the Audi Quattro model from the ’80s

How does quattro work on an Audi?

Audi quattro uses sensors to constantly monitor the grip levels of each tire, and automatically adjusts the power distribution to ensure that all four tires have optimum traction.

The intelligent onboard software can detect how much grip each tire has, and also knows when wheels start spinning and when brakes lock-up.

This gives the driver more control on slippery surfaces, and can help to avoid accidents.

The Audi quattro system utlizes a torque-sensing differential. The differential uses a set of special bevel gears to route power to where it’s needed the most.

Audi RS6 Avant

Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is one of the most technologically advanced systems on the market today, and quattro-equipped Audis offer superior performance and safety in all driving conditions.

What is special about Audi quattro?

Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system is superior to other all-wheel-drive systems on the market because it continuously directs power to the wheels that have more grip, rather than only reacting once wheels start to slip.

Audi quattro is always working to keep you safe and provide optimum traction, even on dry roads. It’s constantly monitoring your grip levels and making adjustments to ensure that all four wheels have maximum traction.

Other all-wheel drive systems are only activated when they sense wheelspin, but Audi quattro is always one step ahead of the game.

It’s for this reason that quattro is widely considered to be the best all-wheel drive system on the market today.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro

If you’re looking for a safe and reliable car that will perform well in all driving conditions, then an Audi with quattro is the perfect choice for you. Quattro-equipped Audis offer unrivaled performance and safety, making them the ideal choice for drivers who demand the best.

Is Audi quattro always on?

The Audi quattro all-wheel-drive system is always on, and is always working to keep the driver safe and provide optimum traction, even on dry roads. There is no way to turn quattro off.

Audi knows that the quattro system is one of the most important safety features of their vehicles, and that’s why they’ve made sure that it’s always working, even when you may not think you need it.

It’s an essential feature, making quattro-equipped Audis the perfect choice for drivers who value their safety highly. It would be illogical for Audi to allow drivers to turn off such an important feature.

Does quattro make a difference?

Whether you’re driving in rainy, icy, or dry conditions, quattro will make a difference in your traction and safety. In slippery conditions, quattro can help you avoid accidents by ensuring that all four wheels have maximum traction.

Audi quattro has been praised for its sure-footedness in all kinds of driving conditions. Thanks to its impressive performance and reliability, quattro remains one of the biggest selling features of modern Audis.

Is Audi Quattro good in snow?

Snow and ice are some of the most challenging conditions for any car, but quattro-equipped Audis are perfectly suited to the task. When the car is fitted with winter tires, Audi quattro is unbeatable in the snow.

Audi quattro offers unrivaled traction and safety in all driving conditions, making it the perfect choice for those living in colder climates.

Audi Q2 in the snow

If you do live in an area with snow and ice, winter tires are a great addition. But quattro will still outperform most other cars, even without grippier tires.

Does quattro use more fuel?

Audi quattro uses more fuel than two-wheel-drive alternatives, however, any Audi quattro fitted with ‘ultra’ technology is more fuel efficient than its predecessors.

The extra fuel consumption is due to the fact that quattro has to power all four wheels, rather than just two. All-wheel-drive vehicles also tend to be heavier than their two-wheel-drive counterparts, although quattro is one of the lightest AWD systems.

Audi’s ‘ultra’ technology, introduced in 2016, helps to offset this by making the system more efficient. It claims to save 0.3l of fuel per 100km, compared to non-ultra quattro models.

Despite the higher fuel consumption, many drivers feel that the benefits of quattro make it worth the extra cost, especially given that there are still plenty of fuel-efficient Audis to choose from.

How can I tell if my Audi is a quattro?

A ‘quattro’ badge is located on the glovebox of every Audi quattro. Badges are also located on the grille, and on the trunk beneath the engine designation.

Audi quattro badge on the glove box
The quattro badge is often located on the glove box

If you can’t find a badge, then the easiest way to tell if your Audi is a quattro is to look underneath the rear of the car and see if you can spot a rear differential, as the majority of modern Audis that don’t have quattro technology are front-wheel-drive.

Is it worth getting an Audi quattro?

It’s worth getting an Audi quattro for anyone who wants the best possible traction and safety in all driving conditions. It’s also worth considering if you live in an area with challenging driving conditions, as quattro-equipped Audis are perfectly suited to all conditions.

Audis have long been known for their cutting-edge technology, and the quattro all-wheel-drive system is no exception.

Audis at Silverstone

As well as its impressive stability and traction, the quattro delivers a smoother ride and better handling than traditional front or rear-wheel drive vehicles. As a result, it’s no surprise that the quattro is one of the most popular features of Audi vehicles.

While Audis in general are reasonably expensive to maintain, the quattro system doesn’t add much in the way of maintenance costs. However, quattro cars will use slightly more fuel than non-quattro models.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the quattro before making a decision about whether or not to get one, but in our view, the benefits of the quattro system seem to vastly outweigh the drawbacks.

If you live in an area with challenging driving conditions, or use your car to tow a trailer or caravan, the quattro is a no-brainer.

Overall, the Audi quattro is a great choice for drivers who want the best performance and safety in all conditions.

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