Audi takes AWD to the next level with quattro ultra

Audi allroad quattro
Audi allroad quattro
When the Audi A4 allroad quattro hits European dealerships this summer, it will boast an extra 1.3 inches of ground clearance, jagged new headlights, and a unique “offroad mode” that keeps the vehicle composed during tricky situations. That’s not the only new tech on the car though, because the allroad with also benefit from a trick all-wheel drive system called quattro ultra.

Instead of permanent AWD, Audi describes quattro ultra as “permanently available,” which means it uses a multi-plate clutch to disengage the rear axle when extra traction is not needed. When the computer deems it appropriate, another clutch in the rear differential can decouple as well, stopping the prop shaft from spinning and further reducing losses from friction. The result? Audi says quattro ultra is at least 5 percent more efficient than the standard quattro system, which will pay dividends for fuel economy as well as in reduced CO2 emissions.

Drive systems like this have been around for years now, however Audi’s technology is a bit different because of its proactive, predictive, and reactive capabilities. A bevy of sensors monitor variables like steering angle, throttle position, and lateral acceleration every ten milliseconds, activating the rear axle roughly 0.5 seconds before a loss of traction occurs. That’s the proactive level. On the predictive end, the car’s computer tailors itself to the driver’s habits, using data from the electronic stability system and drive mode select settings to accommodate a more dynamic motoring style. Finally, quattro ultra can act reactively as a last resort, channeling power to and from the rear wheels if the road conditions dramatically change, such as when the car hits a patch of ice, water, or dirt.

Quattro ultra is expected to show up in a variety of Audi vehicles riding on the brand’s modular longitudinal (MLB) platform, including the A4, A5, A6, A7, and Q5.

Product Review

Sony's underwhelming XZ2 Premium makes a better camera than a phone

Sony’s third flagship phone of 2018 is its first to ever feature a dual-camera lens. The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium can capture ultra-low-light video far better than the iPhone X or Galaxy Note 9, but is it worth the high cost?
Home Theater

Become a master caster with these Google Chromecast tips and tricks

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.

Volvo leverages the power of software to build more dynamic cars

Volvo has asked sister company Polestar to make its cars more dynamic to drive through a software update. Offered at an extra cost, the AWD optimization upgrade sends more power to the rear wheels when the driver turns on dynamic mode.
Product Review

The 2019 Audi RS 5 Sportback lets you have your 444-hp cake and eat it, too

Audi expanded the RS 5 family with a high-performance sedan named Sportback. It stands out from rivals like the BMW M3 with a shapely fastback-like silhouette, and it surfs the downsizing wave with a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 in lieu…

Live out your Steve McQueen fantasies with this souped-up Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford tuner Steeda teamed up with Chad McQueen, son of Steve McQueen to create the ultimate 'Bullitt' tribute car. It's an upgraded version of the recently launched 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt.

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Product Review

Grins come standard: Mazda's 2019 MX-5 Miata will plaster a smile on your face

We take Mazda’s updated 2019 MX-5 Miata on a road trip from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco to experience the updates. With a revised engine and more power, the already awesome Miata gets even better.
Emerging Tech

This robot arm could soon recharge your electric car, no driver effort required

Researchers in Austria have developed a smart robotic charger that can automatically plug itself into any electric vehicle, no driver effort required whatsoever. What could be simpler?

Can BMW’s rebooted 3 Series regain gold standard for sport sedans?

The BMW 3 Series lost its way in 2012; once the gold standard in the sport sedan segment, it disappointed by not living up to BMW's promise of delivering the ultimate driving machine. Can the new model right those wrongs?

Learn how Ford trains the test drivers who develop its hottest performance cars

Out of 11,000 Ford test drivers, only about 20 have achieved the elite "tier-four" status that qualifies them to work on performance cars. Here's how those drivers earn their stripes.

Sporty electrified Infiniti Prototype 10 concept headed to Pebble Beach

Infiniti will unveil a new concept car at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The Nissan luxury brand won't say much, but promises an electrified powertrain and an emphasis on performance.

Ford’s Mustang Cobra Jet strikes as quickly as its venomous namesake

The 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is a purpose-built drag racer that will run the quarter mile in around eight seconds, according to Ford. It will be as rare as it is quick, with just 68 cars planned.

How to watch Formula 1 online

There are plenty of Formula 1 races every year, many of which take place in some of the most beautiful cities in the world. Check out our brief guide on how to watch Formula 1 online, if you're looking to keep up on the action.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.