Audi Patents Details Active Aero Wheels, Electric Quattro All-Wheel Drive System
February 10, 2014 9:17 AM
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Patent also shows aerodynamic wheels
Although there are numerous patents that get filed and never applied to real-life products, a couple of a few patents from automaker Audi have turned up that are reportedly going to be used in a production vehicle within the next two years.
The patents are for “active” aerodynamic wheels and an electric all-wheel drive system. The patent for the wheels shows a hinged flap between the spokes that move over the spokes of the wheels as speed increases. Once fully deployed, the hinged flaps create a flat wheel surface, reducing drag.
Active Wheel Shutters on the Ford Atlas Concept
Audi says that the fully enclosed wheels smooth the airflow and help improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle. When the car starts to slow down, the flaps reopen. The flaps are also temperature sensitive and if the brakes become too hot, the flaps open to allow cooling air inside.
It's hard to imagine the extra complexity of this sort of wheel justifying any fuel efficiency improvements gained by better aerodynamics, but the Germans are known for using overly complex electrical/mechanical systems.
Ford showed a
similar active flap system with its Atlas concept truck at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show
, but that feature didn’t make it into the
all-new 2015 F-150
Audi Quattro LaserLight Concept
The other Audi patent is for electric all-wheel drive technology, outlining a system with an electrically driven rear axle. The patent is for software systems that use sensors in the wheels to detect when the wheels break traction on slippery surfaces.
The patent outlines a system that would use regenerative braking that varies according to road conditions. The sensors would detect speed differences between the front wheels and rear wheels to determine how much braking force is appropriate.
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RE: Complex nonsense!
2/10/2014 12:30:14 PM
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are solely that of my own and are not representative of Ford Motor Company or its affiliates.
Actually, regen braking systems works.
My Fusion hybrid's coming up on 25,000 miles, and so far, I think that I've only used about like 2% of the brake pad wear, so unless I start doing more panic stops, there's actually a fairly good chance that the only reason why I would have to change the brake pads/rotors is to give it a new surface for it to work on - otherwise, according to my best guestimate/calculations, I won't have to change my brake pads EVER (in the life of the vehicle) if I continue using regen braking the way I do now.
And if they're patenting the electric all wheel drive system for EVs, then the regen is going to be VERY beneficial to them. Think a la AMG SLS Electric that was on Top Gear last series.
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