Geneva 2012 New Car Reveals Confirm GKN Driveline Sector Leadership

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Geneva Wednesday 7th March 2012: With a record-breaking line-up of over 70 new cars and concepts launched, Geneva 2012 shows the industry’s global trend and for GKN Driveline, with over 65% of the mainstream launches featuring their technology, the annual showcase confirms the engineer’s position as the global driveline leader.

“Geneva 2012 is an emphatic display of our global position,” comments GKN Driveline global engineering director, Rob Rickell. “With a broad range of new cars from face-lifts to global firsts to concepts, this show is a glowing indictment of the industry’s determination to meet new challenges and we are pleased to play our role in this, exploring new driveline technology to reduce the weight, mass and drag of our components while delivering more power and torque for our customers.”

In addition, the vehicle manufacturers are seeking greater sophistication of driveline performance and many of the Geneva launches feature the latest GKN Driveline technology to achieve just this – some examples:

  • Electronic Torque Vectoring (ETV): on the new BMW X6 M50d, this is an active torque management device designed to overcome the tendency of vehicles to under-steer under power in corners.  The ETV applies an additional yaw rate to the vehicle to improve agility, handling and to stabilise the vehicle under power. This yaw rate is realised by distributing drive torque individually to both wheels of one axle through the ETV.  At Geneva, BMW launched three new versions of their M Performance X6, also fitted with GKN Driveline CVJ systems.
  • Electro-Magnetic Control Device(EMCD®): a key component in the driveline of the new high performance MINI JCW Countryman ALL4, the EMCD is an actively controlled coupling in on-demand and full-time all-wheel drive mode controlling the driveline power flow for 2/4 wheel drive vehicles to provide optimum performance when needed.  At extremes, up to 50% of the power can be sent from the primary driven axle to the secondary driven if necessary.  Most often the EMCD®will be working to provide optimum apportionment of power between rear and front wheels in a wide range of driving manoeuvres.  For instance, when accelerating from a stop, enhancing control in corners, adapting to poor, varied or ice and snow road conditions.
  • Power Transfer Unit (PTU): GKN Driveline is now a global leader in the specialised area of PTUs as fitted to Ford’s new Kuga and MINI’s new high performance JCW Countryman ALL4 – both revealed at Geneva.  An integral part of all-wheel-drive vehicle systems, the PTU helps to optimise traction by transferring drivetrain torque to the vehicle’s rear wheels to improve traction — a vital feature for driving in conditions such snowy, icy or wet road.  The Kuga is also fitted with GKN Driveline CVJ systems while the MINI also features the company’s EMCD – see above.
  • Electronic Torque Manager(ETM®): fitted to the new BMW M6 Coupe revealed today, the new ETM on all M series is a rear axle differential with an integrated active differential that provides greatly enhanced vehicle traction and stability through high speed optimal torque allocation to the powered wheels.  Its integrated electronically controlled direct actuation makes it a highly suited module for improving dynamic performance in performance cars in all road conditions. The new M6 Coupe is also fitted with GKN Driveline CVJ systems.
  • Direct Torque Flow (DTF): as fitted to Audi’s third generation A6 Allroad Quattro and the Audi RS4 Avant. The DTF is a means of connecting the car’s transmission with the rear differential in a way that saves weight, assembly time, space and cost on the longitudinal shaft.  With GKN Driveline’s DTF technology, manufacturers can do away with bolts, washers, flanges and one stub shaft and be assured of conveying the power and torque of the gearbox output to the rear differential in a way that greatly reduces the risk of NVH and shaft imbalance. The new Audi also has GKN Driveline CVJ systems.
  • Electric all-wheel drive – eAxle: as fitted to a growing number of new PSA HYbrid4 cars on display at Geneva, GKN Driveline’s eAxle with motor and sideshafts is a break-through technology that is in increasing demand from vehicle manufacturers.  The eAxle provides a simple, flexible and cost-effective solution that addresses two key requirements from the vehicle manufacturers: firstly, reducing emissions and improving fuel economy and secondly achieving all-wheel drive capability.  By creating a hybrid electric powertrain, the system can deliver a 30% improvement in fuel economy, while at the same time providing on-demand all-wheel drive – with no need for a mechanical link between the combustion engine and the rear axle.

Rob Rickell adds: “With legislation and consumer preferences demanding significant advances toward greener mobility, the pressure is on all – vehicle manufacturers and suppliers – to deliver more efficient components with reduced mass and weight.  We think that at Geneva this year, GKN Driveline has demonstrated its sector-leading capability as expressed through a spectacular new car launch schedule in which our technology is playing an increasingly important role.”

GKN Driveline’s Product Segments include:

CVJ Systems

  • GKN Driveline’s constant velocity joint systems provide space, weight and fuel savings with greater all round efficiency.
  • GKN Driveline supplies the most extensive range of CVJ systems – used in the smallest ultra-low cost car through to the most sophisticated premium vehicle.

AWD Systems

  • GKN Driveline has full all-wheel drive systems capability.
  • GKN Driveline’s all-wheel drive couplings improve vehicle handling, stability and traction by intelligently distributing power, and disconnecting technology can supplement low drag and inertia for ultimate efficiency.

Trans Axle Solutions

  • GKN Driveline produces highly durable open differentials and has the most extensive range of limited slip differentials (LSD), from the smallest Super LSD to the largest electronically controlled axle locker.
  • For the ultimate capability, GKN Driveline’s torque vectoring solutions provide the answer.

eDrive Systems

  • GKN Driveline’s pioneering electric drive technology is used in 250,000 vehicles today.
  • GKN Driveline’s eDrives are designed for the new generation of fuel efficient, low emission electric and hybrid vehicles.

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