The 4MOTON systems go beyond a ‘one size fits all’ approach to all-wheel drive, employing a combination of hardware and software configurations unique to each vehicle and typical purpose.
Volkswagen’s 4MOTION range includes three different AWD set-ups, depending on the vehicle.
Torque-sensing 'Torsen'-type setup
Torsen-type setup with transfer case
While performance cars and urban SUVs like the Golf R, Tiguan and Passat use the electronically controlled AWD system, formerly known as Haldex, the all-new Touareg and venerable Amarok model ranges utilise a robust, mechanical torque-sensing, or “torsen”, all-wheel-drive.
For the Touareg, power is handled by a transfer box bolted directly to the 8 speed automatic gearbox. The asymmetric/dynamic torque distribution by the centre differential is based on a purely mechanical system. Locking power is generated in the centre differential in proportion to the drive torque. The locking power and basic distribution of the transfer box result in the drive torque that is transferred to the front and rear axles. Approx. 70% of the drive torque can thus be directed to the front axle or approx. 80% to the rear axle depending on the driving situation and road surface. Furthermore, the mechanical torque distribution by the centre differential works closely with the wheel specific drive torque regulation by the ESC.
The Amarok utilises a similar, but uniquely configured system, with a bolted-on transfer case housing the Torsen set-up that distributes drive forces variably between the front and rear axles; in the default setting, power is distributed 40:60, resulting in excellent vehicle dynamics and high traction. The system also works with the brakes to provide torque to the wheels with the most grip.
The other benefit of the 4MOTION system is its on-demand, rather than permanent nature, meaning that torque is sent to the required wheel or wheels in a split second and as required, to ensure maximum grip and stability, while reducing fuel usage.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out our recent 4MOTION technology test on the frozen plains of New Zealand’s Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground.