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Magna introduces 48V transfer case

Automotive supplier Magna is introducing a line-up of 48V products to help automakers meet increasingly stringent global CO2 and fuel-economy regulations. Among these is the new etelligentDrive eDS 48V High Performance System—one the first mild-hybrid transfer cases available to automakers.

Additionally, it’s a four-wheel drive system that provides CO2 savings of up to 10% and better fuel efficiency compared to a two-wheel drive system.

48V_ePS4_High Performance

Magna’s etelligentDrive eDS 48V High Performance System is the first four-wheel drive system to provide better fuel efficiency than two-wheel drive.

With our expanding portfolio of 48-volt products, highlighted by the new mild-hybrid transfer case, we’re giving automakers the flexibility to easily integrate 48-volt drives into their existing drivetrain layouts. Our electrification strategy is focused on the need to create powertrain efficiencies while also improving driving dynamics and safety for the consumer.

—Swamy Kotagiri, Magna CTO and president of Magna Powertrain



We're not told anything about WHAT makes this transfer case such a great thing, aside from alleged CO2 savings.  HOW does it produce them?

Reporting is more than republishing a press release.


ep, I agree that there is little or no information on how it works or even what the intended application is. Looking at it, it has lots of gears including a planetary, what appears to be a clutching mechanism and what I assume is a motor generator. Does it have a hi-lo range? Maybe. Is it a lock-in 4 WD or is it AWD?

Brian P

It looks to me like the motor is always coupled directly to the rear-axle-drive through a planetary reducer, and the whole deal can be engaged to the front axle or not through the multi-plate clutch. Surely the "better fuel efficiency than two-wheel-drive" is relative to a two-wheel-drive system without this transfer case, i.e. non-hybrid; something of an unfair comparison ...

A lot of the newer designs of automatic transmissions are designed to allow the torque converter and lock-up clutch to be replaced with a motor-generator and a clutch to couple or de-couple the engine. (The ZF 8-speed is like that.) Doing it that way removes the need to check off the "4 wheel drive" option box in order to get the "hybrid" option, but it means it has to be a "full" hybrid rather than a "mild" hybrid, since the motor-generator would then be responsible for all start-ups from a stop.

Chrysler did it a different way, with a belt-coupled motor-generator attached to the engine. Again, no need to check off "4 wheel drive" option box to get "hybrid". But, can't drive electric-only (at all) with that set-up.

4 wheel drive is almost becoming mandatory in that segment anyhow, so the distinction might not matter much.

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