Modern all-wheel drives have been in use at ŠKODA since the introduction of the OCTAVIA Combi 4×4 in 1999 and have enjoyed a large fan base ever since. The current fifth generation of the 4×4 drive technology based on an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch works fully automatically, highly efficiently and extremely economically, coming into its own, especially on wet or snow-covered roads. The variable power distribution between the front and rear axles increases driving safety and driving performance in every season and on any terrain.
From the 1999 market launch of ŠKODA’s first all-wheel-drive model – the OCTAVIA COMBI 4×4 – to the end of 2019, ŠKODA delivered more than one million vehicles with 4×4 drive. In 2019 alone, ŠKODA AUTO produced more than 157,000 4×4 vehicles in the OCTAVIA, SUPERB, KAROQ and KODIAQ series. Around 60% of all customers opt for the 4×4 variant of the KODIAQ, a higher percentage than any other ŠKODA model.
Gravel, mud and snow are no longer the sole domain of all-wheel-drive technology; ŠKODA’s modern 4×4 drive also ensures safety on dry asphalt. In terms of traction, driving stability and handling, it is advantageous when not only the front axle but also the rear axle of the vehicle is driven. Under normal driving conditions, only the front wheels are driven. If there is a risk of losing traction, the electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch automatically transfers a percentage of the drive torque to the rear wheels within fractions of a second so that propulsion is maintained. This means that the power always goes where it is needed without the driver needing to step in.
Electronic control interventions within milliseconds
ŠKODA’s all-wheel-drive system is interlinked with the most important assistance systems such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESC (electronic stabilisation control), the electronic differential lock EDS and its extension XDS +. As a result, the control electronics can react to changing driving conditions and critical situations within milliseconds, for example, when cornering at high speeds or on surfaces with a different grip. To keep the vehicle safely on track, the electronics also selectively control individual wheels. This is the case when cornering quickly, and the load shifts off the inside wheel, a percentage of the drive torque is transferred to the opposite wheel to stabilise the vehicle. ŠKODA’s 4×4 technology also supports the vehicle’s dynamic control systems to ensure safe and smooth handling on dry, wet or slippery surfaces. Many drivers who travel with trailers or caravans, in particular, appreciate this feature; when pulling away and on hill starts, the all-wheel-drive offers noticeable advantages thanks to its excellent traction. In addition, ŠKODA 4×4 variants can tow loads up to 25% heavier than comparable vehicles with front-wheel drive.
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