What is 4MOTION?
Many of our Volkswagen models are available with 4MOTION, including the Amarok V6, Tiguan, Touareg and the Transporter, to name a few. We’ve had some new Volkswagen owners asking us to define exactly what 4MOTION means, and why it is beneficial to have in your vehicle. So we’ve put together this guide explaining what 4MOTION is along with its features and benefits.
4MOTION is Volkswagen’s permanent all-wheel drive system, which offers great grip on the toughest roads and in the worst weather (through rain, snow and hail). It also comes as a great benefit for those who often drive on country roads or hilly terrain (farmers and construction workers especially). 4MOTION ensures that the vehicle does not slip or lose control at any point. It constantly monitors driving conditions and reacts to the slightest wheel slip, delivering extra traction to the wheels with the most grip.
So, however treacherous the road surface, you can rest assured, with 4MOTION you get a sure-footed vehicle with huge levels of traction.
How does 4MOTION work?
The 4MOTION system is activated within milliseconds, through various control units which are linked to the car’s dynamic sensors, engine management system and gearbox. At the heart of the system is an inter-axle differential and the design varies depending on the particular system. The differential’s job is to share power between the front and rear axle, sending it where it’s most needed.
At the same time, the smaller differences in rotational speed, that happen when cornering or manoeuvring, have to be balanced to stop torsional stresses in the drivetrain. And the differential must be able to work with the car’s other active safety systems such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). In order to meet all these different demands, we offer our all-wheel drive system in three differential variants. They are called:
- Haldex Clutch
- Torsen Differential
- Lockable Centre Differential
The Haldex Clutch
The Haldex clutch automatically gathers information on the driver’s actions, engine performance, transmission and brakes, so it can control the transfer of torque. That lets it deal swiftly with all potentially dangerous or difficult driving conditions.
Whether you need maximum torque shift in tricky situations or when accelerating – or less when taking sharp corners or parking – the system keeps you safe while offering better performance and driving comfort.
The Torsen Differential is a mechanical self-locking centre differential which regulates power between the front and rear axles, using torque sensing. It responds to varying rotational forces between the front and rear axle, sending torque between them as needed.
On a Torsen Differential the two output gears are connected by worm gears. They limit high differential rotation speeds, but still balances the speeds when cornering.
Lockable Centre Differential
The advanced 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system on the Touareg underpins its impressive off-road capabilities. Linked to a lockable centre differential with a multi-plate clutch and low-range gear, it can transmit 100% of torque to either axle, giving your wheels the maximum amount of grip when you need it.
In normal operation, torque distribution between the front and rear axles is smoothly adjusted as a function of the amount of slip. The centre differential can also be locked to maintain a fixed drive torque split. Power is sent to the front axle by way of a bevel gear.
4MOTION in the Volkswagen Tiguan
If you’re thinking of purchasing the newly-released Volkswagen Tiguan, you’ll be pleased to know that it comes with Electronically-controlled 4MOTION, meaning that you can switch it on or off with the simple push of a button. This feature especially comes in handy for us New Zealanders, where towns and the country-side are in such close proximity, sometimes meaning quick changes in terrain.
To find out more about 4MOTION and how it functions, and which models it can be found in across our Volkswagen range, feel free to get in touch with our team.