FROM ILTIS TO TORSEN
The prototype of the Quattro was the Bundeswehr all-terrain vehicle Volkswagen Iltis. The head of the chassis test department, Jörg Benziger, has infected his boss, then the chief designer of Audi Ferdinand Piech, with the idea of a passenger 4x4. In January 1978, two A1 prototypes were ready: a 160-horsepower five-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine - from the 200th series, a chassis and a body - from the Audi 80, an Iltis transmission with a redesigned transfer case.
Sales of cars with permanent all-wheel drive under the Quattro trademark began in 1981 in Europe and in 1983 in the USA.
The longitudinal arrangement of engines on Audi turned out to be the best for the installation of all-wheel drive transmissions. In the first generation of “quattro”, the central (center) and rear differentials were rigidly locked manually (separately or simultaneously) to overcome difficult sections. The next option was an all-wheel drive transmission with a viscous clutch that connected the rear wheels when the front wheels slipped.
In the next generation, the Quattro used the Thorsen worm central differential, invented by the American company Gleason. "Thorsen" reacts to a change in torque, not rpm, like a viscous coupling in the "plug-in" rear-wheel drive mode. Therefore, it allows all four wheels to rotate independently in the absence of traction, without interfering with the work of, for example, anti-lock braking systems.
In modern Audi Quattro, the torque between the axles is still distributed by the Thorsen worm, and the electronics are struggling with slipping: it slows down the slipping wheel. Thus, the car will move if at least one wheel maintains traction.
The Quattro concept has become a real springboard for Audi to take the brand as a whole to a new level. It is no coincidence that more than a quarter of the machines leaving the assembly line are equipped with all-wheel drive transmission. However, in the history of Audi, the combination of “springboard” and “quattro” is also found in the truest sense of the word …
THIS IS A FILM
In 1986, when the Audi 100 CS Quattro came into being, its extraordinary capabilities were touted with a photograph depicting a ski lift. Now, on the occasion of the silver anniversary, the Quattro decided to shoot an entire movie. A place at the wheel was offered to Harald Demuth, the hero of the photo shoot of eighty-six. But while the carpenters were hammering, changing the casing of the springboard, which had been idle since 1994, Harald managed to break his leg. The driver did not dare to control one left in such a responsible race …
Finally, the springboard was repaired, a platform for a helicopter cameraman was built, a powerful crane is ready to lift Audi to the start. What if at the end of the road the motor fails? After all, the parking brake is clearly not designed for a slope of 80%! A simple calculation showed: roll the car down, at the time of separation it will gain 110 km / h! But the parachute is not in the list of options of the “A6 4.2 quattro” version. They came up with a safety device by placing it on the bottom.