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Volkswagen 4MOTION Explained

2024 Volkswagen 4MOTION

Volkswagen 4MOTION is an all-wheel drive system exclusive to VW models. It provides seamless drivability and predictable, safe traction in a variety of conditions. Whether you’re traveling down a dirt road and hit a patch of mud or navigating a steep slope in slippery driving conditions, Volkswagen 4MOTION sends power to the front and rear axles as needed in real time.

All-wheel-drive systems have been available for decades on numerous automakers’ vehicles – some AWD systems feature full-time wheel engagement, others are strictly on-demand, and still others are designed so that all four wheels don’t rely on a central mechanical coupling. So, what sets VW 4MOTION apart from the others? Read on to learn how it can improve your overall driving experience, then visit Gunther Volkswagen Fort Lauderdale to experience it yourself.

What Is Volkswagen 4MOTION?

What Is Volkswagen 4MOTION?

You can think of 4MOTION as a power distribution system. Sensors monitor the speed of each wheel, and when the processor detects one wheel spinning faster than the others as it loses traction, it sends less power and torque to that wheel. This is tied in with vehicle traction control, stability control, and anti-lock braking systems, which also rely on monitoring wheel speed and detecting wheelspin to manage traction.

In older vehicle designs, 4WD would be engaged using a lever or switch, sometimes with a low-range feature that would help enhance traction in difficult conditions. Even older 4WD truck systems required the driver to jump out and manually lock in the front hubs.

4MOTION is an entirely different system governed by an electronic processor and requires no action from the driver. The end result is a system that enhances your vehicle’s control, safety, and manners across a range of road conditions, terrain, and weather, all without you ever having to lift a finger.

How Does 4MOTION Work?

How Does 4MOTION Work?

Volkswagen 4MOTION can come in two forms – not including the VW 4xMotion permanent four-wheel drive – relying on a self-locking center Torsen differential or an electronically controlled multi-plate Haldex clutch system.

A mechanical Torsen differential manages torque distribution between the front and rear axle, shifting power when it senses slipping on one axle. It can make all the difference in your vehicle’s traction and control in rain or wintry conditions. The one downside of this full-time AWD system is that it typically makes your model heavier and, therefore, less fuel-efficient.

The alternative system is an electronic unit known as the Haldex, which takes over traction and torque management. It generally functions as a front-wheel-drive system, making it a more fuel-efficient option since it mostly distributes power to the front axle in normal driving conditions. However, it works to always send power to the axle that has more traction, so it can quickly respond when road conditions become slippery or dangerous.

In either case, 4MOTION only employs AWD when needed. In regular highway conditions, the vehicle will always operate in two-wheel drive mode. The 4MOTION’s engagement is seamless enough that the driver will never even notice when AWD kicks in – in practice, it’s nearly impossible to even notice a difference in your driving experience.



Before responding, we first have to answer this question: What is the difference between all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive? These terms are not interchangeable.

An all-wheel drivetrain sends a variable amount of torque to each axle. In other words, it responds to the sensor telling it how much is needed at any given moment, and sends a proportional amount of force to each axle. This sophisticated system prevents wheel slips from happening for a smooth ride despite bumpy or slippery terrain.

On the other hand, four-wheel drive (also referred to as 4×4) systems are not automatic and typically need to be switched on and off by the driver. It sends an equal amount of power to the front and rear axles, making it ideal for extreme off-road conditions and towing.

What’s the Difference Between 4MOTION and AWD?

4MOTION is a more efficient and advanced AWD system. Technically, 4MOTION is an AWD-on-demand system, as the 4MOTION processor only engages it when it detects a loss of traction. There’s no switch or button in the cabin where the driver can engage 4MOTION – it will kick in and start providing power to all four wheels automatically or cut power to a wheel that is starting to lose traction and slip. Volkswagen 4MOTION has got your back and can anticipate road challenges before you ever even notice them.

Although there’s no way to manually engage 4MOTION, the Active Control system does allow the driver to select Snow Mode, On-Road Mode, Off-Road Mode, and Off-Road Custom Mode. These settings vary transmission shift points, engine power, Hill Descent Control, and other factors to optimize traction and safety. In terms of your everyday driving experience, though, 4MOTION is an intelligent system that works behind the scenes for the smoothest drive possible.

Which Volkswagen Vehicles Are Available With 4MOTION?

For the 2024 model year, here are the models with Volkswagen 4MOTION:

On all six vehicles, the 4MOTION system can be mated to various powertrains, underscoring powerful performance with its smooth ride quality.

Performance and Comfort Paired With Volkswagen 4MOTION

Of course, in true Volkswagen spirit, the six models that offer 4MOTION are designed around attention to safety, including driver-assistance features, safety cages, stability-enhancing systems, post-collision braking, intelligent crash response systems, and more. 4MOTION partners with these systems to become an entire safety suite for the peace of mind, confidence, and security of you and your passengers.

When you hit the pedal in your Volkswagen Golf R AWD model to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds, 4MOTION smooths over any little bumps or imperfections in the road beneath your tires. Likewise, your agile crossover Volkswagen Taos shoots down the road while 4MOTION keeps it steady and engaged, regardless of conditions underfoot.

Beyond stunning performance, there is plenty more to enjoy when you’re behind the wheel of a new model such as a Volkswagen Atlas AWD or Volkswagen Tiguan AWD. In 2024, many Volkswagen models come standard with the advanced suite of driver-assistance systems known as IQ.DRIVE. Explore a new Tiguan for sale if you want to enjoy premium features in an SUV that can be customized with either five or seven seats.

Volkswagen All-Wheel Drive

A strong alternative to 4MOTION can be had on the new VW ID.4. This all-electric SUV comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an optional upgrade to all-wheel drive. These models add another motor, upping the horsepower to 335.

Unlike 4MOTION, this system has no mechanical connection between axles. Instead, each of the front and rear motors links to your wheels through a combined differential and single-speed gearbox system. Put simply, this means your SUV uses only its rear motor for the majority of the time and engages the front motor when necessary. This helps balance performance with battery efficiency.

A new VW ID.4 also comes standard with heated front seats, 10-color adjustable ambient lighting, and Park Assist Plus with Memory Parking, for a luxurious drive elevated by the AWD system.

Visit Gunther Volkswagen Fort Lauderdale Today

You deserve exceptional design, comfort, and convenience in your ride, and Volkswagen automakers deliver. If you’re in the market for a Tiguan or a new Atlas SUV for sale, you can now make a truly informed choice, armed with a little more knowledge about 4MOTION all-wheel drive! Reach out to Gunther Volkswagen Fort Lauderdale today to claim your next auto upgrade.

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