GKN Driveline is planning to showcase its range of its advanced vehicle systems at Auto Shanghai 2017. This will highlight how the company’s driveline technologies are helping to make vehicles lighter, more fuel efficient and more fun to drive. GKN Driveline will be collaborating with its Chinese JV, Shanghai GKN HUAYU Driveline Systems (SDS), to participate in the show. The company’s complete all-wheel drive (AWD) drivelines, lightweight Constant Velocity Joint (CVJ) technologies, and advanced electrified drivelines, including a global debut eDrive concept technology will take centerstage at GKN Driveline’s booth at the show.
Many leading automotive manufacturers are focusing on offering plug-in hybrid technology on their small car platforms. When it comes to compact cars, space is at a premium and hence GKN expects to see increase in demand for the eDrive systems that are not only cheaper but also simpler to package and assemble. GKN Driveline will use the Auto Shanghai show as the platform to unveil an advanced technology concept for a revolutionary eDrive system. The design of the system will make it possible for OEMs to get electric drivelines at a lower cost and hance we are likely to soon see more affordable eDrive versions of mainstream vehicles.
China is now the fastest-growing market in the world for electric drivelines, and this is why GKN chose the Auto Shanghai show to showcase its world-leading eDrive technologies like Multimode eTransmission for hybrid vehicles, and the single-speed eAxle, which is meant to provide a secondary driven axle for C-segment plug-in hybrids.
A compact coaxial eAxle installed on a Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, the world’s first premium plug-in hybrid SUV will also be featured at the booth. The system comprises a semi-integrated gearbox and eMotor layout, which has been optimized to reduce transmission weight and make vehicle integration easier. The coaxial eAxle takes up about the same amount of space as the rear drive module on the standard AWD XC90, and this gave Volvo the flexibility to meet the customer demand mix between the various driveline options.
Another technology that GKN Driveline will be highlighting at the Shanghai Show is the AWD Disconnect technology which will be used in the all-new Jeep Compass. The AWD Disconnect system allows vehicles to combine the enhanced traction, dynamics and stability of AWD vehicles with the better highway fuel efficiency achieved by using two-wheel drive by facilitating seamless transition between two-wheel drive and AWD. When cruising at a steady speed, the clutch system disengages the rear section of the driveline, thus eliminating rotating losses and increasing highway fuel economy by up to 4%. In addition to the all-new Jeep Compass, the AWD Disconnect technology is also supplied to vehicles like the Range Rover Evoque, Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.
GKN Driveline’s Twinster torque vectoring system which is used in the Range Rover Evoque and Ford Focus RS, will also be displayed. This system uses two clutches housed in a bespoke rear drive module to distribute torque between the two rear wheels. In high-performance mode, Twinster has an innovative combination of new gearing ratios and control algorithms to over-speed the rear wheels.
The VL3 sideshaft for rear-wheel drive platforms, made its debut on the latest BMW 7 Series. When compared to other similar systems, it is smaller and more efficient, yet it delivers up to 27% more torque to the wheels. The system can help save over 4kg of weight from a vehicle’s driveline, and is able to reduce packaging size by approximately 10%.
The VL3 joint is the latest application of GKN Driveline’s unique opposed ball track CVJ technology, which will also be showcased at Auto Shanghai by the Countertrack SX8 joint. Compared to conventional Rzeppa type CVJs, GKN’s innovative Countertrack technology is able to increase maximum steering angles while reducing the friction and heat generation to improve the efficiency of the joint under load. The SX8 in particular is 50-60% more efficient that competitor technologies, around 15% lighter and 8% smaller. It also allows articulation angles of up to 52 degrees, setting a new benchmark for CVJs.
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