GKN Driveline makes all-wheel drive even more responsive in winter conditions

25 October 2016

GKN Driveline makes all-wheel drive even more responsive in winter conditions

Tochigi, Japan, 26 October 2016: GKN is developing a new intelligent electromagnetic all-wheel drive (AWD) coupling for SUVs and crossovers that will help make future AWD vehicles even more responsive and controllable on low-grip surfaces in low temperatures.

GKN will present the innovation at the company’s 25th annual Powertrain Forum event in Japan, where the country’s leading automakers at GKN’s testing ground in Tochigi to discuss the latest powertrain trends. The technology is expected to enter production during 2018.

The fourth generation of GKN’s popular GKN’s Electro-Magnetic Control Device (EMCD) can generate 90% of the target torque in less than 100 milliseconds when slip reaches just 3 revolutions per minute. The system’s drag torque will be less than 10Nm across the entire range of slip speeds, improving efficiency and increasing performance in very low temperature conditions.

Peter Moelgg, GKN Driveline AW&E Drive Chief Executive Officer, said: “The remarkable speed of this next-generation technology’s response demonstrates why GKN is the world’s leading developer of efficient all-wheel drive systems. This innovation will further improve the controllability of all-wheel drive vehicles on low-grip surfaces and in lower temperatures. We are thrilled to be giving customers their first test-drives of this next-generation AWD technology at our annual Powertrain Forum in Japan.”

GKN’s EMCD controls the driveline’s flow of torque to provide instant, on-demand AWD performance – and front-wheel drive efficiency at other times. The technology, suitable for applications with torque outputs of up to 500Nm, is also popular on rear-wheel drive platforms.

A GKN algorithm analyses vehicle sensor data to ensure power is balanced effectively between the front and rear wheels when launching, cornering or driving on poor road surfaces. When necessary, the device can send the requested torque from the front to the rear wheels to improve the vehicle’s traction.

EMCD is one of the smallest, lightest and versatile electronically controlled driveline and axle couplings available. The device uses precise electromagnetic control to continuously adjust the coupling’s clutch torque according to driving conditions.

GKN has supplied the EMCD for over 10 years and manufactures the technology in Tochigi, Japan, and Bruneck, Italy.




GKN plc is a global engineering group. It has four divisions; GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline, GKN Powder Metallurgy and GKN Land Systems, which operate in the aerospace, automotive and land systems markets. Over 55,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries. GKN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN) and recorded sales of GBP7.7 billion in the year to 31 December 2015.



GKN Driveline is the world’s leading supplier of automotive driveline technology and systems. As a global company serving the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, GKN Driveline develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of automotive driveline technologies – for use in the smallest ultra low-cost car to the most sophisticated premium vehicle demanding the most complex driving dynamics. GKN Driveline is a leading global producer of CVJ Systems, AWD Systems, Trans Axle Solutions and eDrive Systems and operates in 23 countries at 46 locations employing approximately 25,500 people.


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Michael Clarke, Media Manager

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Email: michael.clarke@gkndriveline.com


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