Back in the ’80s, Audi developed its first Quattro all-wheel drive system after watching its front-wheel drive cars get dusted in the snow by a slow-moving Volkswagen Iltis. Ever since then, Audi has built its brand on powering four wheels; for bad weather traction or on-road performance. Now, it has to use its all-wheel drive knowhow to make its electric vehicles more fun to drive, while also being safer and more predictable in treacherous conditions.
In this new article from The Drive, we get to learn about Audi’s process and how it tests its new electric vehicles on ice. The Drive writer Ronan Glon went out to Sweden, near the Arctic Circle, to join Audi in testing its new prototype ESC system on snow and ice.
“All of our models must be easy and effortless to drive, and they must always be controllable,” Carsten Jablonowski, the head of Audi’s driving characteristics development team, told Glon.
Control is what’s most important, as it allows the car to be safe when it needs to be but also a high-performance hooligan when the driver wants it to be. This new ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system is designed to help with the latter.
Cars like the Audi e-tron GT have three stages of ESC; Fully on, ESC Sport, and ESC off. However, Audi is currently working on a forth setting, to sit between ESC Sport and fully-off, designed to allow for more slip and more fun. So far, it seems to be working and it is quite fun but Audi isn’t entirely sure it’s going to make it available to the public. Hairy-chested hooligans might attempt stupid maneuvers with this system and that won’t be good.
One thing’s for certain, though — the possibilities are endless with electric motors. It’s as simple as fitting the electric motors; one to each axle, and then tuning the software to make them work properly in low-grip situations.
Go check out this article from The Drive, as it goes into detail about how Audi tunes its new electric Quattro systems and why they’ll be better than any gas-powered Audi’s.
[Source: The Drive]