Audi drive select integrates the technical components that govern the driving experience - engine, automatic transmission, steering and the new adaptive shock absorber control - into a single system, and enables the driver to influence the way in which they operate by means of buttons on the centre console.
The driver can influence the operation of the various components by choosing from three main modes, from ‘Comfort’ to ‘Dynamic’. If the full version of this system is ordered, the driver can even compose a specific profile that suits his or her ideal personal preferences.
Three versions of Audi drive select are available. In each one, the engine’s response characteristic when the throttle is opened, the speed-dependent power assistance provided by the servotronic power steering and the automatic transmission’s shift points are all variable. To this, option one adds an adjustable continuous damper control system, while option two (available for six-cylinder models only) incorporates an advanced dynamic steering upgrade. Option three (also available for six-cylinder models only) is the full drive select package combining continuous damper control and dynamic steering.
The settings of all these features can be determined using three main programmed ‘maps’ that are quite different from one another in nature. The ‘comfort’ mode is ideal for relaxed progress on long journeys and over poor road surfaces; ‘auto’ is the most balanced setting and ‘dynamic’ the firmer, more focused stage in which the new A4’s running gear can fully demonstrate its abilities.
Changes from one characteristic to another are made at the touch of two arrow buttons on the centre console. The active mode is shown by an illuminated sign within the drive select console.
If the A4 is also equipped with MMI and therefore has a navigation system on board, the driver has access to a fourth set-up level known as ‘individual’, which enables the driver to tailor the car’s characteristics even more acutely to his or her personal preferences. This can be configured via the control terminal and afterwards activated at any time.
The central element in electronic shock absorber control is the new high-performance control unit, whose computer analyses the signals from 14 sensors continuously, and calculates the current for the electrically controlled shock absorbers at each individual wheel a thousand times a second.Published 9 February 2008