Automotive

Unique electric torque vectoring tech enters real world

Unique electric torque vectori...
With ratios, a total production of 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque is sent through the dual-clutch eTwinster system
With ratios, a total production of 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque is sent through the dual-clutch eTwinster system
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With ratios, a total production of 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque is sent through the dual-clutch eTwinster system
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With ratios, a total production of 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque is sent through the dual-clutch eTwinster system

GKN Automotive has entered its eTwinster technology into the real world, as automakers test the torque vectoring electric drive system. The plug-in hybrid module is being showcased at the company's Wintertest proving ground in Sweden as an all-wheel drive driveline option.

The eTwinster is meant to offer automakers a combined solution for hybrid and plug-in all-wheel drive platforms. It's a combination of the eAxle technologies GKN provides for companies like Volvo, Porsche and BMW, and the twin-clutch torque vectoring features the company created for vehicles from Ford and Range Rover.

GKN built a prototype vehicle for testing based on a premium SUV. The prototype utilizes a 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) electric motor and gasoline engine. With ratios, a total production of 2,400 Nm (1,770 lb-ft) of torque is sent through the dual-clutch eTwinster system. Vehicle dynamics experts from several leading automakers are currently test driving the prototype vehicle. The high amounts of torque mean that the prototype receives more propulsion power from the electric motor than it does the combustion engine.

The company says that the eTwinster will be ready for production vehicles within the next three years and predicts that by 2025, about half of all vehicles produced will have some fort of electrification (hybrid, plug-in). To that latter end, GKN is developing a range of electric-drive systems meant to augment or boost the power produced by the electric motors in hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

Source: GKN

9 comments
MackIntheBox
how does it work? it sounds cool and all but this article is extremely lacking in substance and detail...
The Bishop of D
Hybrid technology renders torque vectoring differentials a solution in search of a problem. Put an electric motor in each corner, and every torque vectoring requirement can be mapped in software: no gear box, no front differential, no rear differential, no transfer case.
This isn't innovation; it's foot dragging.
Mel Tisdale
I, like MackIntheBox, would like some more information regarding its operation. In particular I would like the performance details for the I.C.E. I am trying to figure out what benefit, if any, results from the ability to mechancally multiply the electric motor torque by a factor of 10. As it is, The Bishop of D seems to have a valid comment. It sure does look complex and three years to get it into productions seems to confirm it.
Kpar
The Bishop is quite correct. However, a few years ago, Volvo tried to build one (Popular Science cover story "1oo MPG Volvo" with an electric motor on each wheel, but they were unable to build the software to prevent torque steer (at that time, anyway).
That is where the future is headed...
Bruce Miller
At this juncture in automotive history these efforts are among the last of the "mechanical' solutions before the genius of the Far East provides us with all electric, computer controlled, efficient drive systems with minimum parts counts for ease of manufacturing and to keep prices closer to the greater part of the population's ability to pay. Thank goodness for these, the basic, the primitive steps to an astounding future of practical electric cars that can run exclusively on renewables, freeing the world of the 'Oil Wars" and leading us to a higher level of civilization.
Augure
Wish I could understand any of that. Anybody knows where to start if one wants to understand how motors work?
kmccune
I have to agree with the motor on each corner crowd ,electrics have suitable for that ,for a long time . Ever add up all the petroleum based products in a current car ?
Michael Wilson
In wheel torque vectoring motors have a ways to go before they reach mainstream. One of the problems is that unsprung weight causes handling and ride quality issues. Both ideas have their places. When we see smaller electric motors and greater battery density, you'll probably see more in wheel motors.
MQ
Mel Tisdale: Multiplying the torque of the electric motor, allows an electric motor with a smaller cylindrical diameter. Torque and electric motors are related by the enclosed area of the windings (essentially how "fat" the motor is), a higher-'reving' lower-torque motor with the required power (kW) output (less windings, higher current (Amp) flow) allows easier (slimmer) packaging. The torque delivered to the differential, is the actual torque required (designed) to to the job at hand.
The Bishop of D:Yes, a motor in each corner is an elegant solution for an all electric propulsed car, but for a parallel hybrid (with tunable options of either pure electric, or mechanical shaft power in a variety of forms according to the driving conditions ), we are going to end up with slightly more mechanical complexity at the drive axle(s) with the advantage of less complexity, or elimination of the conventional gearbox (a single variable torque coupling at the engine, and one at each driven wheel allows for maximum flexibility. . No more swapping cogs or slipping clutch packs, either elecrically, hydraulically or manually, no need for a torque converter or a physical clutch, all of these things can be simulated to any enthusiast's heart's content.
kpar: Eliminating torque steer when using electric motors at each driven wheel, just requires more modelling, and calculations to provide the required outcome, we are approaching true drive by wire, all you need to tell the car (if manually controlling it) is where you want the car to go, and how fast, how it achieves this is not for the driver to worry about. (except when it goes wrong, but then of course it will be the driver's fault for outputting mixed messages.. lol.