What is Audi Quattro all-wheel drive?

  • How does Quattro all-wheel drive work?
  • Do I need Quattro all-wheel drive?
  • Parkers explains the tech

Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system is designed to generate optimum grip levels by distributing the majority of engine power to whichever axle has the most traction.

How does Quattro work?

Quattro uses a central differential to take power from the engine and distribute it whichever axle – front or rear – has the most traction.

If, for example, that the car’s rear wheels begin to lose traction as you’re rounding a corner – the Quattro system will detect this, and send the majority of torque to the front wheels. This enables safer and more stable cornering in challenging road conditions.

Click here for more info on all-wheel drive (AWD)

Once the rear tyres have regained grip, the standard power split will be resumed. For the majority Audis, this will mean the more significant proportion of power going to the front wheels. However, on larger and performance-focused models, almost all of the power will be sent to the rear wheels.

Do I need Quattro?

If you frequently drive in wet, wintery conditions then the benefits of Quattro all-wheel drive over two-wheel drive are clear – more traction and greater security. Bear in mind, though, that many Quattro-fitted Audis will return inferior fuel economy to their front-wheel drive equivalents.

Found on

Every Audi in the current model range, including the A3, A4 and A6.

Looking for more jargon-busting motoring meanings? Head over to our Parkers Car Glossary page and take a look at our other definitions