Through some technical patents, Audi has made evident the kind of technology it may press into production in the near future. Two major ideas have come to the fore.
The first is using hinged flaps between the spokes of an alloy wheel. The flaps move radially over the spokes as the wheel speeds up, creating a completely flat wheel cover. According to the carmaker, fully enclosed wheels smooth airflow at speed and improve the car’s overall aerodynamic performance.
The second one involves an all-new all-wheel drive system that uses an electrically driven rear axle. Audi’s innovation appears to allow brake regeneration forces – usually fixed in an electric car – to vary according to road conditions. Even though this new quattro proposal is primarily designed to incorporate a hybrid transmission into a 4x4 drivetrain, it could also result in the most intelligent and quickest-reacting all-wheel drive system yet.