► New electric Quattro 4wd coming
► Contactless battery recharging by 2017
► No need to plug in with inductive top-ups
Vorsprung durch Technik is epitomised through two new Audi technologies coming soon: the Quattro system is succumbing to the electrification trend and soon you won’t have to plug your car in to top up its batteries.
Audi’s new e-Quattro system
Coming to a raft of new Audis, including the new 2015 A4 and 2017’s TTQ coupe-crossover, is the latest iteration of the Quattro four-wheel drive system - and it’s going to be battery powered.
The hybrid drivetrain employs three powerplants to generate a combined output of up to 408bhp in high-performance models, although lower-powered versions will also be available.
CAR has seen an outline spec for a range-topper, combining a 292bhp combustion engine with two e-motors: a smaller 54bhp unit integrated in the transmission housing and a second 116bhp motor driving the rear wheels.
The cars will therefore be able to run in front-wheel drive mode at higher speeds under internal combustion engine power alone; as pure electric rear-wheel drive mode around town; or a combination of the two for Quattro four-wheel drive when the going gets slippery.
Sounds like Peugeot’s hang-on Hybrid4 system!
It does, conceptually. Audi engineers dub the system e-Quattro, and insist that their electronics will allow far greater torque vectoring and control of individual wheels.
The debate at the moment is whether the application is too heavy, complex and expensive to be integrated in the relatively compact MQB architecture for the mid-sized Audis.
Contactless recharging coming to Audis too
Another tech coming soon to roadgoing Audis is inductive charging for plug-in hybrids. This technology is already familiar in the mobile gadgets world, where inductive couplings are used to charge up batteries.
The same is coming to Audi cars; we understand that the TTQ coupe crossover we revealed last week will pioneer this tech on hybrid variants.
Any car calling itself a plug-in may need another moniker…