Complete with a two-speed transmission
If you haven’t heard of GKN, that’s OK. It’s a company that supplies parts, not actually an automaker. But even if you’re not familiar with GKN, you probably know several cars that use its products. For example, the Ford Focus RS gets its famous drift mode thanks to a GKN-sourced all-wheel-drive system. And both the Porsche 918 Spyder and BMW i8 get their electrified front axles from GKN. For Frankfurt this year, GKN has something else to show off—a new electric drivetrain that it says is the most advanced in the world.
Called the eTwinsterX, the new driveline offers several advantages, according to GKN. First, it’s significantly smaller than other units that make equivalent power. That means it should be able to fit into a wide variety of cars, from full electrics to plug-in hybrids. It can be used in front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive layouts, and it’s also designed to be used with off-road-capable vehicles. To improve efficiency, the eTwinsterX gets a two-speed transmission that GKN says is better than typical single-speed units. Plus, its torque-vectoring capability should improve handling.
Don’t look for the eTwinsterX to go into production for the next few years, though. GKN plans to install it on demonstration vehicles later this year, but it still has to go through winter testing early next year.
“eTwinsterX will deliver unrivaled capabilities for the next generation of electric vehicles,” said Peter Moelgg, GKN’s head of electric drivetrains division, in a release. “It takes multiple award-winning elements from our GKN driveline portfolio and applies the principles in a single state-of-the-art electrified system. GKN is unique in being able to deliver an integrated e-motor, two-speed electrified transmission and torque vectoring within a complete eAxle system. GKN’s capability as a complete systems integration partner will also allow us to calibrate eTwinsterX to deliver fully brand-aligned experiences for our OEM customers around the globe.”