First BEV with two speeds and torque vectoring on front axle


GKN Automotive has unveiled the world’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) to feature a two-speed transmission and torque vectoring on the front axle. The company’s ‘GTD19’ demonstrator vehicle, which is based on a Jeep Renegade, is equipped with an optimized two-speed ‘Seamless shift’ eTransmission and smart-shifting strategy, which are claimed to add the potential to extend vehicle range as well as to provide greater torque, faster acceleration and a higher top speed. Efficiency is further enhanced by the eAxle’s coaxial format, while vehicle stability and dynamic performance benefit from the torque vectoring capability of GKN’s eTwinster system.

The GTD19’s setup is related to the two-speed technology in last year’s ‘GTD18’ Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 test vehicle, which demonstrated the benefits of an eTwinster rear axle e-motor, two-speed eTransmission and torque vectoring by twin clutches; paired with a mechanical Twinster on the front axle. However, the GTD19 provides pure electric power with two-speeds, seamless gear shifts with minimal losses in power and torque, and the potential for faster acceleration, improved efficiency and a higher top speed.

The Twinster torque vectoring technology delivers advantages for vehicle stability, agility and safety. Aiding modulation of the high initial torque of the electric motor, Twinster governs acceleration to ensure it is delivered swiftly and smoothly, while also providing greater lateral control and optimized front-wheel driving dynamics for both safety and driver satisfaction.

Hannes Prenn, COO of GKN ePowertrain commented, “This new technology demonstrator showcases how we are evolving and improving integrated eDrive technologies to help OEMs further improve efficiency, safety and driving dynamics. Within the last year, we have seen a 40% increase in the value of our eDrive order book, rising from £2 billion at the end of 2017 to confirmed business now worth £3 billion. Our dedicated focus on production and development of electrified drivelines will enable us to support the rapid acceleration in demand for BEVs equipped with all-wheel drive systems in the coming years.”


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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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