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New Hybrids Coming Your Way with Electric Torque Vectoring, Says GKN Driveline

GKN Driveline has announced it has developed a new electric torque vectoring system for hybrid cars. The British automotive supplier says its eTwinster system is going to make hybrid vehicles more efficient and more dynamic, and that several automakers are already testing it. Bring it on!
GKN demonstrates new electric torque vectoring technology 3 photos
GKN eTwinster Torque vectoring eAxleGKN demonstrates new electric torque vectoring technology
The company has organized tests for carmakers to experiment their torque vectoring technology on modified Volvo XC90 models.

The new driveline technology consists of a combination of the eAxle of the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine, also used by models like the Porsche 918 Spyder and the BMW i8, along with the twin-clutch torque vectoring technology utilized by the 2016 Ford Focus RS and the Range Rover Evoque.

By bringing together two technologies and refining the result, GKN Driveline has developed a solution that allows carmakers to offer electric all-wheel-drive with torque vectoring. This brings improvements in grip, agility, and handling for plug-in hybrid cars.

The prototype uses a 60 kW and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque e-motor, linked to an electric axle that has a transmission ratio of 1:10. According to GKN Driveline, the dual-clutch Twinster system then handles the resulting 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque between the rear wheels. The high value of torque comes from the unusually high transmission ratio.

Instead of traditional systems that limit torque on each wheel, the Twinster system that’s employed in the eTwinster solution from GKN Driveline does not bring any brake wear during usage, as it does not have to slow down any wheels through brake application. GKN even claims that “some torque vectoring systems can slow the vehicle down.” Naturally, their Twinster torque vectoring system claims not to be one of those, at it works differently.

For the time being, we do not know which carmaker will employ the new eTwinster solution. However, Ford, Porsche, BMW, and Volvo use components from GKN Driveline, and we would not exclude the possibility of an additional collaboration with these partners, as each of them has hybrids and plug-in hybrids in their ranges, and performance and dynamic response improvement is something any carmaker would never refuse.

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