Mercedes announced they are working on a new 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system to be introduced in the yet to be revealed Mercedes CLA and CLA 45 AMG, before becoming an standard option for the C-, E-, S-, CLS- and CL-Class, as well as all the SUVs and crossover.
The highlight of this system is that it’s designed based on the front-wheel-drive architecture with transversely mounted engines, and features fully variable torque distribution. What that means in plain English is that it comes in a compact package, it is more agile than previous 4×4 systems, and of course it is much more efficient.
The variable torque distribution system works in tandem with the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission and the rear-axle gear with integrated, electrohydraulically controlled multi-disk clutch. It’s a torque on demand system, which means when the clutch is open, the car is front wheel drive. The clutch engages only when the car’s brain decides it should.
It uses sensors and stuff and gather data from other electronic system such as the ESP to engage and disengage the clutch. It is sensitive to understeer and oversteer, and can neutralize both. n SPORT or MANUAL mode the activation times are shortened and more torque is distributed to the rear axle in the interests of a dynamic, sporty driving style. On the AMG versions, adaptation of the 4MATIC controller takes place in accordance with the three-stage ESP.
The new 4MATI system is indeed brilliant, but you wouldn’t want to get an AMG car with that has it. Based on what Mercedes is saying, this system results in absolutely perfect handling, which is great in a normal car. But what is the point of an AMG car that you can’t slide?