I Have an Audi with Quattro, Do I Still Need Winter Tires?

Often our sales team is asked if a driver should still purchase a set of winter tires even if they have the all-wheel drive Audi with the Quatrro system. The answer is a resounding yes.

There is no question the Quattro system will distribute the power to the tires in such a way as to maximize traction during acceleration. What about stopping and turning? The astute customer will recognize their Audi also has a great anti-lock braking system to manage the application of the brakes to prevent tire lock up, reducing the distance needed to stop while keeping the vehicle pointed forward. It's also common to have some kind of a stability control system that quickly detects a slide during a turn or corner and steps in to again maximize the available friction in an attempt to bring things back to normal. 

These systems ability to manipulate your vehicle's acceleration, braking and cornering capabilities is limited by the amount of traction provided by your tires. Test after test shows a dedicated winter tire provides additional friction on ice and snow compared to the best all-season tire. When we look at the broader market, we see cases where winter tires provide close to double the winter element capability.

We did an in-depth test showing the advantages of a dedicated winter tire on a modern vehicle equipped with traction management (not traction creation) systems. You can review this test by taking a look at "All-Season vs. Winter (Passenger Vehicle): The Difference Between Wintertime Gripping and White Knuckle Snow Slipping."

Even with the new traction management aids on newer vehicles, dedicated winter tires play an important role for driving on ice and in snow. While all-season tires may provide enough wintertime traction for drivers in areas of the country that receive occasional light snow, we feel there isn't a viable alternative to snow tires for drivers who encounter deep or frequent slush, snow or ice. Remember, tires are often the difference between wintertime gripping and white knuckle slipping!

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