GKN reveals two-gear bolt-on hybrid system
GKN Driveline will begin on-road tests of a two-speed electric axle in early 2018, offering a ‘bolt-on’ solution to add hybrid drive to existing vehicles, or for developing new models.
The system uses a compact, coaxial electric motor and two-speed transmission into a single unit, which GKN claims is small enough to be used in everything from city cars to luxury SUVs, as well as in two and four-wheel drive applications.
Using two gears enables the system to provide strong off-the-mark acceleration, using the lower gear, then switch into the higher gear to minimise energy consumption at cruising speeds. The system can be calibrated to suit individual carmakers’ needs.
It’s also said to offer off-road capabilities, and features GKN’s Twinster torque-vectoring technology, which uses two clutches to manage the flow of torque to each wheel, providing better traction and more stable cornering.
GKN will show the new technology at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and expects to have demonstrator vehicles on the road at the end of 2017, ahead of winter testing early the following year.
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