The GKN is showcasing its new electric torque vectoring “eTwinster” technology to customers at its Wintertest proving ground in Arjeplog, Northern Sweden. GKN Automotive says that the eTwinster tech will make hybrid vehicles more efficient and dynamic to drive.
The eTwinster is a plug-in hybrid module that makes it simpler for vehicle platforms to offer electric all-wheel drive and torque vectoring, says GKN. The driveline combines eAxle technologies used in the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, Porsche 918 Spyder, and BMW i8 plug-in hybrids and the twin-clutch torque vectoring technology that’s featured in the Ford Focus RS and Range Rover Evoque.
The torque vectoring technology is being showcased in a premium SUV prototype equipped with an 80-horsepower electric motor producing 177 lb-ft of torque driving an electric axle with a transmission ratio of 1:10. A dual-clutch eTwinster system then vectors the resulting 1,770 lb-ft of torque between the rear wheels, significantly improving dynamic response and handling.
“We have been building the momentum towards electric torque vectoring for some time,” says Peter Moelgg, GKN president of technology. “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 forecasts that 40% to 50% of vehicles will have some level of electrification by 2025, with a greater proportion of hybrids’ power delivered from the electric motor. The eTwinster could be programmed and integrated into a vehicle platform for production within the next three years.
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, according to GKN, but the company expects small, powerful, torque-vectoring electric axles could deliver 60% to 70% of the power in future vehicles.