Lighter, more energy-dense motor is promised to make electric powertrains more flexible and potentially more powerful
Jimi Beckwith
4 September 2017

Powertrain supplier GKN has announced its latest development in electric motors; a lightweight eAxle which it calls “the world’s most advanced electrified driveline technology”. 

The system, which will be fully unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show later this month, is claimed to be far smaller and lighter than the current range of powertrains on the market, and can be adapted to front, rear or four-wheel drive applications. 

It features a two-speed transmission, which has been fettled to give maximum efficiency, as well as being fitted with GKN’s celebrated Twinster torque vectoring technology, already in production on the Ford Focus RS, Range Rover Evoque and Vauxhall Insignia GSi

GKN claims a wide range of potential applications for the technology, but the driveline’s light weight and compact stature makes it ideal for smaller EVs. It has previously been said that the heavy weight of electric powertrains makes them unsuitable for smaller cars, despite the success of the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf

The new unit also has production advantages, GKN claims, as its single-piece installation means a time saving over the multiple components of equivalent systems. 

GKN remains tight-lipped concerning which brands have shown an interest in the technology, but both BMW and Porsche have previously invested in the British company’s all-wheel-drive systems in the past, fuelling speculation that they may be among the first to implement it in the future. 

Read more: 

GKN: Future electric driveline tech will create super-agile EVs

GKN’s integrated electric drive system could transform the EV market

Autocar confidential: Ferrari, Kia, Honda, GKN

Autocar confidential: Porsche, Mazda, Mitsubishi, GKN

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Top-selling plug-in SUV gets major revisions to styling and suspension as Mitsubishi bids to keep its market advantage

Join the debate

Comments
1

5 September 2017

There's nothing small about a Nissan Leaf - it might looks like a smalling hatchback from a distance, but it's actually bigger than a Pulsar.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Golf MHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    VW's 48V mild hybrid technology is still a few years away from production, but we’ve sampled a prototype Golf fitted with it and are suitably impressed
  • Jeep Compass
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Jeep enters the competitive compact SUV market with its new Compass, blending ruggedness with contemporary styling and tech
  • BMW 1 Series Saloon
    We had a short drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    A brief drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive model shows the future is bright for the 1 Series when it makes the switch from RWD next year
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Toyota Prius PHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Does running a plug-in hybrid really make sense as a 500-mile-a-week driver? Six months with a Toyota Prius Plug-in should give a conclusive answer