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Old 22nd March 2022, 11:07   #1
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Default Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do

Are sophisticated soft roaders capable enough to handle large inclines and obstacles?

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-videocapture_20220322104812.jpg

That is what I went to find out at the Quattro drive at Audi Pune. It was just a short 10 minute drive over a few metal obstacles like ramps after a short briefing about the instructions.

The event was organised by Audi Pune in collaboration with instructors from a third party organisation. They were knowledgeable with offloading driving techniques but not with the exact specifications of the cars themselves.

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-20220320_122745.jpg

This was followed by some refreshments and a short video of visitors talking about their experience. A Q8 and ETron were kept as display vehicles.


We drove the Q7 as the Q5 was being used by other visitors. All in all it was a fun free open for all marketing event with quite a few visitors coming there on a Sunday afternoon even with temperatures above 37 C. Well organised and smoothly executed. I am sure these obstacles are not a real reflection of actual offroading and look much more sensational than they actually are but it showcases the Quattro system really nicely compared to 2WD

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-20220320_121856.jpg

Impressions:

What it looks from the outside is very different to what it feels from the inside. When we were observing other drivers on the course, the cars looked like they were at their limit.

2 wheels in the air and the other two wheels struggling to get traction, 30 degree steep inclines where the car looked like it would topple over at any moment.

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-20220320_121307.jpg

But once we sat on the driver's seat, it was just a case of making small steering wheel adjustments while maintaining a constant 1400 rpm. Once the wheel in the air or on the gravel spins and does not get enough traction, the sensors kick in and divert power to the wheels with more traction and the car easily chugs along over the ramps.

Add to that, the steering remains light as ever and from the inside you hardly notice all the extreme angles you are doing. Hardly felt any hard bumps and crashes inside even when we were literally tipping the car over on two wheels and landing back down on all 4.

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-videocapture_20220322105752.jpg

The highlight was a 30 degree steep ramp where the driver was a couple of feet higher than you when you sat in the front passenger seat and if you rolled down the window you could easily touch the ground with your hand.

Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-20220320_121440.jpg

That one was genuinely scary

Biggest Takeaway:

If a small Q5 and even Q3 can do all of this without breaking a sweat, what are Defenders, Gurkhas, Thars capable of?
Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do-20220320_121004.jpg

This has surely scratched my offroading itch now, one I did not know I had since our family has never owned an SUV.

But it made my belief that if I ever buy an SUV, it needs to drive all 4 wheels and have some offroading capabilities even stronger.

FWD pseudo SUVs that have flooded our market would never be able to do what these Quattro systems are doing...in other words, there is no place you can go in a Creta/Taigun that you won't be able to go in in a Verna/Vento.

Of course for older people ingress and egress may be a valid consideration in going for a crossover.

But I have a genuine question on what these FWD pseudo SUVs do with offroad modes. In the new Creta, there is a toggle to change offroad modes like snow, gravel, etc.

What changes does the car make if any when we change the modes? I seriously doubt changing these modes does anything at all. I may be wrong though. Would love inputs from all of you!

Cheers,

Saurav
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Old 22nd March 2022, 15:24   #2
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Default re: Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do

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Originally Posted by sauravpat View Post
But I have a genuine question on what these FWD pseudo SUVs do with offroad modes. In the new Creta, there is a toggle to change offroad modes like snow, gravel, etc.

What changes does the car make if any when we change the modes? I seriously doubt changing these modes does anything at all. I may be wrong though. Would love inputs from all of you!
Most of these FWD pseudo SUVs only alter the ECU maps at the flick of a button or turn of a knob. Typically, this alters throttle response only. Say you put it into sand mode, the car dulls down the throttle response so that there is a lesser chance of you spinning the wheels out. I believe the Seltos/Creta do this.

On the other hand, a few others like the Tata Harrier also make changes to how the ESP and traction control act. The TC might switch off entirely in some modes in order to aid an easier launch from slippery surfaces, while the ESP might assume a more aggressive nature and apply brakes proactively to a wheel that slips.

All said and done, this is the max a FWD "SUV" will do. There's nothing more that is possible anyway due to hardware limitations. AWD is the next best thing after these pseudo modes.
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Old 22nd March 2022, 16:47   #3
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Default re: Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do

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Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
On the other hand, a few others like the Tata Harrier also make changes to how the ESP and traction control act. The TC might switch off entirely in some modes in order to aid an easier launch from slippery surfaces, while the ESP might assume a more aggressive nature and apply brakes proactively to a wheel that slips.
True. It was fun feeliing the vehicle apply brakes ON and OFF aggressively in slushy surfaces and steep inclines.

Contrary to what Tata might have wanted, the sheer effectiveness of the Harrier's off road modes makes us feel angry at Tata for not offering AWD. Just imagine if the off road modes were paired with an AWD system.
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Old 22nd March 2022, 16:59   #4
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Default re: Attended Audi's Quattro Drive Event | Experienced what the Q5 can do

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Originally Posted by sauravpat View Post

FWD pseudo SUVs that have flooded our market would never be able to do what these Quattro systems are doing...in other words, there is no place you can go in a Creta/Taigun that you won't be able to go in in a Verna/Vento.
As far as I know Quattro nowadays is the standard AWD system as found in anything else.

Traction is not necessarily the big problem off road, its clearance for bits underneath, numbers are good to compare on the internet but just look underneath on a lift and you can see what`s the first thing you are going to damage. In case of european cars there is plenty of fragile bits hanging too low to the ground.

In other words these fancy vehicles can go off road as long as you carry a really big trashcan to collect all those fancy acoustic paneling underneath, and the bumper and the exhaust system etc when they fall off (the local crossovers like Creta will do much better here).

Cars made for India usually keep the fragile bits tucked away behind some cross member or some other steel structure.

A simple example - remove the bumper of a VW polo & an Alto , see which one is going to make ground contact with something important.
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