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.