Audi of America President Scott Keogh said that he hopes 25% of the brand’s US sales will consist of plug-in models by 2025. Given Americans’ love of SUVs, Audi’s e-tron quattro SUV, due out in 2018, is sure to be an important part of that equation.
Audi has a number of innovative features planned for its PSUV, and one of them is advanced vehicle dynamics control. In a feature article in the April 2014 issue of Charged, Tesla co-founder Ian Wright explained how EVs are uniquely suited to such systems, which can improve safety and handling. “People haven’t really figured out yet that the control aspect [with EVs] is so much better than what you can get with a traditional powertrain,” said Wright. “Once you start seeing cars on the road that have that, everyone’s going to want it.”
Tesla has made some interesting moves in this direction – its all-wheel-drive EVs use a torque vectoring differential mechanism. However, Audi intends to go further – its electric quattro powertrain features two motors on the rear axle, and its engineers believe that controlling these with advanced software can deliver an unparalleled ride and handling experience.
Audi’s new Head of Electric Powertrain, Siegfried Pint, who previously worked on the electric powertrains for the i3 and i8 at BMW, explained (via Green Car Congress) that current vehicle dynamics control (VDC) systems are designed to preserve vehicle stability under challenging conditions, but not necessarily to enhance vehicle handling.
Existing systems such as traction control, ABS, and stability control programs intervene only when an anomaly is detected, such as a sudden change in wheel speed or yaw rate. Audi’s system could be applied in regular driving to deliver exceptional safety and handling at lower speeds as well as at high speeds.
The e-tron quattro SUV can “turn like a hunting dog after a rabbit,” says Pint.
Source: Green Car Congress