GKN Starts Production Of AWD Disconnect System In China For The Jeep Renegade

When it comes to all-wheel-drive systems, GKN Driveline is a leading name in the industry. From the Range Rover Evoque to the Volvo XC90, Ford Focus RS to the BMW i8, the British automotive company happens to be very good at what it does.
GKN and SDS commence all-wheel drive disconnect production 6 photos
Photo: GKN Driveline
Hell's Revenge (one-off based on Jeep Renegade)Hell's Revenge (one-off based on Jeep Renegade)Hell's Revenge (one-off based on Jeep Renegade)Hell's Revenge (one-off based on Jeep Renegade)Hell's Revenge (one-off based on Jeep Renegade)
As SUVs get more popular with each passing year, the peeps over at GKN Driveline find it increasingly hard to keep up with demand for the GKN AWD Disconnect system. And so, the company decided that the time is definitely right to start production in China with the help of its local partner, SDS.

Shanghai GKN Huayu Driveline Systems is tasked with rolling out the all-wheel-drive system at its facility in Shanghai. From the power transfer unit to the rear drive module, propshaft and sideshafts, as well as the software control unit, the entirety of the AWD Disconnect system is made in China.

This move will benefit GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the city on Guangzhou, where FCA’s joint venture produces the Jeep Renegade. Speaking of the smallest Jeep money can buy these days, GKN Driveline highlights that the software alone necessitates 300,000 lines of code to work properly.

“GKN has capabilities to manufacture sophisticated all-wheel drive systems on a global basis and that’s why automakers choose to partner with us on their mega-platforms,” explains Phil Swash, the chief executive officer of GKN Driveline. “The demand for all-wheel drive vehicles is growing at a rapid rate in China and GKN and SDS have a number of localization and domestic programs in the pipeline for the coming years,” he concluded.

The secret to GKN's disconnecting AWD, as the name implies, is its ability to switch from front- to all-wheel-drive very smoothly. This is made possible by a clutch pack that disengages the rear axle with minimal rotating losses.

Compared to a standard all-wheel-drive system, GKN Driveline says that its solution improves highway fuel economy by up to four percent. And when the going gets rough, the AWD Disconnect system is capable of engaging the rear section of the driveline within 300 milliseconds (0.3 seconds).
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories