GKN is developing a new intelligent electromagnetic all-wheel drive (AWD) coupling for SUVs and crossovers that will help make future AWD vehicles even more responsive and controllable on low-grip surfaces in low temperatures.
GKN will present the innovation at the company’s 25th annual Powertrain Forum event in Japan, where the country’s leading automakers at GKN’s testing ground in Tochigi to discuss the latest powertrain trends. The technology is expected to enter production during 2018.
The fourth generation of GKN’s popular GKN’s Electro-Magnetic Control Device (EMCD) can generate 90% of the target torque in less than 100 milliseconds when slip reaches just 3 revolutions per minute. The system’s drag torque will be less than 10Nm across the entire range of slip speeds, improving efficiency and increasing performance in very low temperature conditions.
Peter Moelgg, GKN Driveline AW&E Drive Chief Executive Officer, said: “The remarkable speed of this next-generation technology’s response demonstrates why GKN is the world’s leading developer of efficient all-wheel drive systems. This innovation will further improve the controllability of all-wheel drive vehicles on low-grip surfaces and in lower temperatures. We are thrilled to be giving customers their first test-drives of this next-generation AWD technology at our annual Powertrain Forum in Japan.”
GKN’s EMCD controls the driveline’s flow of torque to provide instant, on-demand AWD performance – and front-wheel drive efficiency at other times. The technology, suitable for applications with torque outputs of up to 500Nm, is also popular on rear-wheel drive platforms.
A GKN algorithm analyses vehicle sensor data to ensure power is balanced effectively between the front and rear wheels when launching, cornering or driving on poor road surfaces. When necessary, the device can send the requested torquefrom the front to the rear wheels to improve the vehicle’s traction.
EMCD is one of the smallest, lightest and versatile electronically controlled driveline and axle couplings available. The device uses precise electromagnetic control to continuously adjust the coupling’s clutch torque according to driving conditions.