It was only logical for Audi, when drafting out this versatile concept vehicle, to include all its in-depth quattro driveline know-how and its experience with variable-height active air suspension. The development engineers’ brief was for the Audi Pikes Peak quattro to be able to tackle loose surfaces and poor roads just as supremely as fast sections of the highway.
In all driving situations and across all kinds of surface, quattro permanent all-wheel drive stands for optimum traction and dynamic stability.
The standard torque split between the axles is 50% to the front and 50% to the rear, but if wheelspin occurs at either axle the split is diverted to the axle with more grip.
The electronic differential lock (EDL) controls torque distribution between the two wheels on an axle. Then there is the Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP), which assists the driver when potentially critical driving situations close to the handling limit have to be mastered. Like all Audi quattro cars, the Pikes Peak quattro provides the best possible traction on all surfaces and in all conditions.
Variable-height pneumatic control at both axles responds automatically when the load carried by the vehicle increases, and restores its ride height to the standard level. The air springs support the entire load at each axle.
A highlight of innovative safety: the lane departure warning system
The lane departure warning system is a special function that actively supports the driver. By means of an optical sensor, this driver assistance system scans the road markings and issues an acoustic warning signal and a physical response in the form of steering wheel vibration if the driver departs from his or her chosen lane.
A warning that an unintentional lane change is taking place is then given to the driver as a means of avoiding a possible accident. Also installed on the Audi Pikes Peak quattro: adaptive cruise control, which not only performs the functions of a conventional cruise control system but also maintains the desired distance from the vehicle in front automatically.
Adaptive air suspension
A special feature of the Audi Pikes Peak quattro is its variable-height adaptive air suspension. This Audi system makes the Pikes Peak quattro into a most impressive all-rounder. Ample ground clearance – up to 11 inches (280 millimeters) for crossing rough terrain – can be preselected at the MMI; at high speeds, the body can be lowered so that its center of gravity is lower and its aerodynamics are optimized.
As road speed increases, the suspension is lowered and the shock absorber settings varied automatically, so that optimum dynamic stability is assured.
Audi is systematically exploring new paths
The concept chosen for the Audi Pikes Peak quattro unites the most varied demands that can be made of an automobile: it is a sedan with abundant sporty style, suitable for serious travel purposes, it is powerful off-road transport and it is a stimulating leisure vehicle with a versatile interior layout for passengers and loads.
The Pikes Peak quattro is further evidence of Audi’s proverbial technological lead as expressed in its slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Audi is systematically exploring new paths: quattro, TDI, FSI and Audi Space Frame are just some of the examples of its pioneering technical achievements.
When developing new vehicle concepts, Audi deliberately goes beyond conventional limits. Short-lived fashion trends are not the objective – Audi’s aim is to establish new milestones. The Audi Pikes Peak quattro is yet another example of this.
The Audi Pikes Peak quattro shows that the existing definition of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) must be modified, and new values added. It extends the activity component in this definition to include such typical Audi attributes as the quattro driveline with variable-height adaptive air suspension, and matches the dynamic road performance of many a high-class sports car. With its 4 + 2 seating system, which is operated electrically and therefore needs no manual effort, it adds a new quality to the term versatility. And in addition, its sporty, elegant styling is visually satisfying.
The Audi Pikes Peak quattro is therefore more than another SUV: it unites the best characteristics of several different automobile worlds at the very highest level, to achieve a hitherto unattained level of overall harmony.