GKN Demonstrates New Electric Torque Vectoring Technology To Automakers

2 years ago by Mark Kane 19

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

GKN demonstrates new electric torque vectoring technology

GKN demonstrates new electric torque vectoring technology

GKN Automotive forecasts that by 2025, 40-50% of vehicles will have some level of electrification, with a greater proportion of hybrids’ power being delivered via an electric motor.

One of their latest solutions for the upcoming electrification is the eTwinster torque-vectoring electric drive system, with 60 kW of power and 240 Nm of torque distributed between the wheels after gear ratio 1:10 (up to 2,400 Nm).

GKN Automotive demonstrates the eTwinster to automakers using prototype SUV and encourages that it could be “programmed and integrated into a vehicle platform for production within the next three years”.

As of today, three automotive groups used GKN solutions in their plug-ins – Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, Porsche 918 Spyder and BMW i8.

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

“Automakers are test-driving a new torque-vectoring electric drive system by GKN Automotive that will make hybrid vehicles more efficient and dynamic. The ‘eTwinster’ technology is part of a range of new hybrid electric technologies GKN is showcasing to customers at its Wintertest proving ground in Arjeplog, Northern Sweden.

The eTwinster is a plug-in hybrid module that makes it simpler for vehicle platforms to offer electric all-wheel drive and torque vectoring. The driveline combines eAxle technologies proven in the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, Porsche 918 Spyder and BMW i8 plug-in hybrids and the twin-clutch torque vectoring technology that features in the Ford Focus RS and Range Rover Evoque.

Automakers’ vehicle dynamics experts are test-driving the technology in a premium SUV prototype. In the vehicle, a 60kW, 240Nm electric motor drives an electric axle with a transmission ratio of 1:10. A dual-clutch Twinster system then vectors the resulting 2,400Nm of torque between the rear wheels, significantly improving dynamic response and handling.”

“The eTwinster is part of a range of new eDrive technologies that GKN is developing to help shift the balance of power from engines to batteries in the next decade. Current mass-production vehicle platforms can only draw around 30% of their energy from a battery. GKN expects small, powerful, torque-vectoring electric axles could deliver 60-70% of the power in future vehicles.”

GKN Automotive President of Technology Peter Moelgg said:

“GKN is the industry leader in eAxle technology with all our core eAxle and torque vectoring technologies now in production and proven expertise in integrating complete driveline systems. We have been building the momentum towards electric torque vectoring for some time. We believe our prototype torque-vectoring eAxle system represents the next step forward for the industry: a production-ready way to create higher performance hybrids that are more rewarding to drive.”

“GKN is focused on developing technologies that can achieve this crucial tipping point for electric drives in mass production. More powerful, dynamic electric drives from GKN will help put batteries in the driving seat and create new electric driving experiences for customers. The success of our eAxle systems in cars for Porsche, BMW and Volvo demonstrated how the right kind of hybridisation creates new value propositions for the driver. Torque vectoring is the next step and we are excited to be demonstrating this technology during Wintertest.”

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxle

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19 responses to "GKN Demonstrates New Electric Torque Vectoring Technology To Automakers"

  1. Anon says:

    Hub motors simplifies this idea down to just two moving parts per axle…

    1. pjwood1 says:

      So, true. And I’m wondering if 60kw of torque vectoring would be useful? Limited slip is nice, if you’re trying to apply 150-400+ KW in a tight turn, but who’s breaking traction with 60kw??

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      You don’t want hub motors. The added weight is a bad idea.

      However, individual motor driving each wheel like the Rimac design is wonderful…

      But extra set of motor driver will add cost.

      So, it comes down to the trade off between weight, cost and packaging.

    3. Pwowk says:

      Hub motors don’t work for two reasons. 1. Unsprung weight sucks. 2. Is really hard to get more than 20 hp into each wheel without making it insanely heavy due to the low speed of wheels.

    4. BG says:

      Hub motors are bad idea because when you hurt the bearing after bump the motors could die.

    5. Steven says:

      The unsprung weight of the hub motors will kill your handling.

      Unless you want vehicles where handling doesn’t matter.

  2. Sopfu says:

    I can’t see the benefit of mechanical torque vectoring when two independent electric motors would provide much faster and control in a more simple package. Can those clutches engage faster than an electric motor can change torque output?

    1. MikeM says:

      I’m guessing two smaller motors with their drive electronics and cabling are larger and more expensive than one bigger one.
      (So mechanical stuff is cheap and light. Yeah, right!).

      But, you’re right. Four independently controlled motors sounds like the ultimate expression of EV the drive train.

  3. Doug B says:

    A hardware solution for a software problem.

    1. Bone says:

      How would You do it without hardware?

  4. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

    All cars nowadays have a certain degree of electrification.

    Even my 30 year old ducato has approximately 1 kWh of battery and 1.2 kW power in ludicrous mode. (ludicrous mode is somehow an Easter egg… when I put in the 1st gear do not push the leftmost pedal and turn the key into start position) it’s astonishing that I can even drive without any Diesel (you have to remove just one relay to do so)

    After 5 minutes the fun gets scary as smoke comes out from the starter motor (water cooling design sucks in that car, just some lousy drops from the ice cooler drop steadily to the electric motor and then get lost… I have to refill after each 500km)

    (disclaimer : if you own a ducato and activate the described Easter egg ludicrous mode be aware that it shortens the lifespan of your starter motor (mainly due to cooling issues). However if you like fun. It works astonishingly powerful…(due to gear ratio…))

    1. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

      Oops I forgot to mention the risk of fire in the disclaimer…

      On the other hand it should be common knowledge by now that all EV burn down all the time. 😉

    2. Mxs says:

      Tell me you are kidding???

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I think it more likely that post was a result of a chemically altered state of consciousness, also known as PUI (Posting Under the Influence). 😉

        1. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

          I do admit that my consciousness might have been chemically altered by some -ine ending substance but I would like to add that this must have been a legal one (caffeine, nicotine or theobromine) or one that I produced within my body (adrenaline, nor adrenaline, more adrenaline, serotonine, dopamine)

          I’m quite sure that therefor PUI is more common than most people are aware… 😉

      2. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

        No. Not this time 😉

    3. Bone says:

      In older cars with stick shift there was no such relay. Driving with starter motor was possible, but there is only a fraction of kWh available in the battery and motor overheats very fast. But it was a good trick if the engine stops in a bad place like in the middle of a crossroad.

      1. HeisenberghtNUTS says:

        I was not referring to the relay that inhibits using the starter in automatic cars when set to D or R…

        I was referring to the diesel (gate) relay… Which exists in my sick drive ducato (mine even has some special randomization circuit making it sometimes work and sometimes not… It even has a Murphy’s law amplifier included! Fiat was really innovative 30 years ago… )

  5. Tman says:

    This might seem superfluous, but ironically it is the more robust solution. That’s why Tesla uses a single motor and a mechanical differential per axle and not a two motor two reduction gear setup.

    With a single motor per wheel setup, each wheel is limited to its Max torque, while a single motor per axle can share close to 100% torque to any drive wheel.

    Let’s compare.

    Dual motor per axle;
    30Kw and 120NM per motor.
    Total axle power= 60Kw, 240NM.

    *Max torque vectoring potential
    Wheel 1= 0Kw,0NM
    Wheel 2= 30Kw,120NM

    Single motor plus mechanical torque vectoring;
    60Kw and 240NM
    Total axle power = 60KW, 240NM.

    *Max torque vectoring potential
    Wheel 1= 0Kw,0NM
    Wheel 2= 60Kw,240NM

    Now you can achieve a similar effect with a lock-up clutch connecting both motors in the dual motor setup, but then again you end up with a bulkier more expensive system.