GKN makes all-wheel drive more effective in low temperatures

System improves responsiveness

GKN wants to make its all-wheel drive technology more responsive in low temperatures and on low-grip surfaces and the supplier is developing a new intelligent electromagnetic all-wheel drive coupling to meet its targets.

Designed for SUVs and crossovers the fourth generation of GKN’s electro-magnetic control device (EMCD) can generate 90% of the target torque in less than 100 milliseconds when slip reaches three 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.

GKN automotive’s engineering president Peter Moelgg 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 on-demand all-wheel drive functionality and front-wheel drive efficiency at other times. The device uses electromagnetic control to continuously adjust the coupling’s clutch torque according to driving conditions and is suitable for applications with torque outputs of up to 500Nm.

Algorithms analyse 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 torque from the front to the rear wheels to improve the vehicle’s traction.

tags: GKN Driveline Drivetrain