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Are Audis Good in the Snow? Winter Performance Guide

Are Audis Good in the Snow? Winter Performance Guide

If you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice, winter performance is one of the top priorities in a new car. 

Audi is a luxury brand that offers a wide selection of models. They are known for their plush interiors and excellent performance, but how well do they do when the roads turn treacherous? 

There is a wide variation in winter performance between Audi models, but overall, Audi typically ranks in the top 10 winter-performing vehicles. Audi offers unique combinations of transmission, traction technology, and gearing options specifically designed for increased winter performance.

Let’s explore Audi and its reputation for winter performance!

What Creates Good Winter Performance?

Regardless of the automobile manufacturer, winter performance comes down to a combination of traction and good winter tires. 

Traction is the way the car transfers weight as it accelerates. 

Many factors contribute to traction, and not all cars are created equal in this respect. 

Every model that Audi makes can be expected to perform differently in snow.

You would expect an Audi like the Q7 SUV to have better traction and performance in the snow than the sporty R8 Spyder.

When it comes to winter performance, Audi placed a different emphasis on each of its models. 

You would expect an SUV to have performance features that are designed to improve its traction, and you would expect a coupe to have different driving characteristics that place an emphasis on acceleration.

Factors such as balance, the overall weight of the vehicle, and whether it has all-wheel-drive contribute to vehicle performance in the snow. 

Audi began as a German brand and was made for driving at high speeds on the Autobahn during the winter. 

Audi is known for fine German engineering, and they include some of the most advanced systems to improve traction on their vehicles.

Audi Features That Improve Traction

The overall design of your Audi will be a major factor in its winter performance, but Audi has several systems that might be included to enhance traction. 

Many of these systems are found on newer models, and some of them are only offered as an option.

Each vehicle is different when it comes to which ones are standard and which features must be purchased separately as an option.

When you purchase your Audi, these options should be listed on the window sticker if it has them. 

Another way to find out if your vehicle has certain options is to call the dealership or Audi itself with your VIN number. 

You cannot always rely on the Owner’s Manual because they tend to list all available features and do not necessarily reflect which ones are on your vehicle. Here are some of the features available to improve Audi winter performance.

1. Quattro All-Wheel-Drive

Some newer Audis include the Quattro all-wheel-drive system that has been around since the 1980s. This system has continued to improve and become more advanced over the years. 

Now, Audi offers several different types of Quattro AWD systems that use different technology! 

The type of system on a particular model depends on whether the engine is mounted transversely or whether the power is biased towards the rear axle, as in sport models.

2. Audi E-tron

One of the newest advances in traction technology is the addition of the E-Tron system on some models. This system uses an electric motor on each of the axles. 

This system does not use a traditional gearbox, and each of the motors has a one-speed transmission. 

The system receives information through a series of sensors that sense things such as wheel slip, throttle position, and motor torque.

The system sends the right amount of power to each axle. All of this works seamlessly in the background. 

Some Audis have a selectable drive mode that allows you to change the way the system feels and the amount of grip according to conditions. You can choose a mode with more traction for winter driving. 

The Audi Q5 is an example of a model that has this feature.

3. Low Gearing for Off-Road

The Audi Q7 is one of the best models for the snow!

It offers a low-range gearing system that is specially designed for off-road adventures. It is also perfect for driving in the snow and ice.

4. Audi Traction and Control

Audi offers a traction control switch that allows you to engage the traction control system. 

When the system is engaged, if a wheel begins to slip, the system will kick in to automatically slow the speed of the tire. This allows it to regain traction. 

All you will usually feel is a slight jerk as the system kicks in and does its job!

The traction control system uses some of the same sensors as the anti-lock braking system to keep your tires from locking up and skidding. 

These two systems work in conjunction to improve traction in any weather. 

You can turn traction control off, but the anti-lock braking system is usually always on in case it is needed.

What Makes Good Winter Tires for Audi?

Every Audi has a recommended type of tire that will be listed in the Owner’s Manual. 

The first step to improving your winter traction is making sure that you have the right type of tires installed. 

It is also important to have them regularly inspected to make sure the tread does not become too worn. 

Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure is another important tip for improving traction.

The tires can arguably be considered the most important factor in winter weather safety. 

The tire transfers the energy produced by the engine to the pavement, which is what allows the car to move forward. 

Traction is the force that allows this to happen. 

By the simplest definition, traction is the resistance between the tire and the ground as a direct result of the torque being exerted on the wheel axle while it is being powered by the engine.

The purpose of the vehicle and the expected road conditions determine the type of tire that is appropriate. 

For instance, you expect a different type of performance from a family sedan as opposed to an SUV. 

It is also important to make sure you have tires that are designed for the season. 

Driving on summer tires in the winter can cause you to slip and slide.

Tires are one of the most important factors in Audi winter performance, and keeping them maintained will help improve traction on any Audi model. 

You should make a point to keep them rotated, properly inflated, and free from sand or gravel at all times. 

If you have a choice of tires for your Audi, look for ones that have a thicker, deeper tread for winter driving.

Overall Winter Driving Rank

When it comes to winter performance, there are wide variations in how the different Audi models perform.

It is also up to you to keep your Audi well maintained and make sure that your tires are the right ones for the road conditions. 

According to many sources, Audi ranks among the top 10 among all automobiles for winter performance.

If you are looking for a vehicle that performs well in the winter, Audi gives you many excellent choices. 

Of course, you might want to consider an SUV as your first choice, but even Audi sedans offer a more stable winter ride than many of their competitors. 

Overall, Audi’s German roots still hold true and make it an excellent choice for winter driving!

C Sullenberger

Wednesday 15th of November 2023

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!