GKN Driveline Extends 4x4 Technology On The Range Rover Sport

GKN Driveline, the world leader in automotive driveline components and systems, has demonstrated its newly enhanced systems and component capability on Land Rover’s new Range Rover Sport.

This latest model from Land Rover relies for its all-round refinement on an ‘intelligent’ advanced driveline system for which key mechanical and electronic elements were developed by GKN Driveline.

Sharing some of the driveline components developed for the recently launched Discovery 3, the new Range Rover Sport is the latest example of GKN Driveline’s extended product capability following its development of a range of class-leading, all-wheel-drive technology systems which play a crucial role in delivering high standards of on-road and off-road performance.

Graeme Walford, Managing Director, GKN Driveline Torque Technology Group said: "For GKN these two vehicles represent a milestone in the way we have developed a new systems expertise which embodies advanced electronic control technologies - an expertise which builds on our long established leadership in constant velocity jointed driveshafts and propshafts.

"Our work in all-wheel-drive technology places us in a strong position to provide class-leading research & development and product supply for this important market sector. We place enormous value on our long-standing relationship with Land Rover and our work on the new Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport took our technical collaboration to new levels."

Electronic torque management

GKN Driveline’s Electronic Torque Manager (ETM), adds to the vehicle's performance by delivering enhanced traction and mobility in challenging on-road and off-road conditions. The ETM, an electronically controlled differential, is offered as an optional extra on some vehicles fitted with Land Rover's Terrain Response System (TRS). When needed, the ETM activates without driver intervention and controls torque distribution between the rear wheels to provide enhanced traction and stability. Key to performance are a smooth and immediate engagement (mechanically pre-emptive), an excellent release response time and high control accuracy, all of which are ensured by the ETM's 'smart' actuator, made up of an electric motor, ball ramp mechanism and clutch pack together with proprietary control software.

New constant velocity joints (CVJs)

One of the most significant differences between the new Land Rovers and their predecessors is their all-independent double wishbone suspension. Independent suspension places very high demands on the performance of the CVJs in the sideshafts as they have to accommodate much larger shaft angles than those of conventional road cars. To accommodate this exceptional wheel travel, GKN Driveline developed a new version of its six-ball, double-offset CVJ specifically for the new 4x4s.

Published 13 May 2005 Melanie Carter

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