In a preview of three detailed papers to be presented at the SAE World Congress in April, Tim Grewe, GM’s General Director of electrification, and Pete Savagian, GM General Director of electric drives and systems engineering, provided a technical overview of the new rear-wheel drive PHEV propulsion system for the... Read more →


Continental and Fallbrook to collaborate on new CVTs for urban mobility incorporating Fallbrook NuVinci technology

Continental has entered into licensing and engineering services agreements with Fallbrook Technologies Inc. (Fallbrook). The central focus of the collaboration is Fallbrook’s NuVinci transmission technology. (Earlier post.) This innovative continuously variable planetary (CVP) is a new class of continuously variable transmission (CVT) utilizing rotating balls that allow the transmission ratio... Read more →


Schaeffler has developed a new P2 (parallel, two-clutch) high-voltage hybrid module—arranged between the internal combustion engine and transmission—that can transmit engine torques of up to 800 N·m (590 lb-ft) to the transmission without having to incorporate a commensurately expensive clutch.The new generation P2 hybrid module can be used in both... Read more →


GKN Driveline has developed new electric drive technologies as part of its role in the Concept_e project, a £16-million (US$25-million) UK Government-backed initiative to develop advanced hybrid and electric powertrain systems. The two-year collaborative research and development project has designed and developed three research technology demonstrators to showcase next-generation technology... Read more →


Evolute Drives, incorporated as a separate entity by its sister company Drive System Design (DSD) (earlier post), will present practical test results for its high efficiency 3-speed MSYS electric vehicle transmission (earlier post) at the upcoming CTI Symposium in Shanghai (16-18 Sept). In independent tests, a B-class demonstrator vehicle fitted... Read more →


BRUSA Elektronik AG is offering its Planetary Traction Drive DTSP1—a fully integrated electric vehicle drivetrain combining motor and gearbox—with its higher power HSM1-10.18.22 Hybrid Synchronous Motor, offering 220 kW (295 hp) maximum power (145 kW/194 hp continuous) and up to 460 N·m (339 b-ft) peak torque (270 N·m/199 lb-ft continuous).... Read more →


Magna International Inc. signed an agreement to acquire the Getrag Group of Companies for approximately €1.75 billion (US$1.9 billion). This represents an enterprise value of approximately €2.45 billion (US$2.7 billion) less proportionate net debt and proportionate pension liabilities, which together are estimated to be approximately €700 million (US$762 million) at... Read more →


Audi has unveiled the new-generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant, developed with a high priority on the reduction of CO2 emissions. Among other developments, the new A4 is the launch vehicle for the new high-efficiency 2.0L TFSI based on Miller cycle, introduced by Audi earlier this year at the Vienna... Read more →


Evolute Drives, incorporated as a separate entity by its sister company Drive System Design (DSD) (earlier post), is seeking investors to help commercialize its high efficiency MSYS multi-speed transmission system for hybrids and electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) The MSYS transmission was originally developed under a 3-year Technology Strategy Board (now... Read more →


Ford investing $2.5B for new engine, transmission plants in Mexico

Ford is investing $2.5 billion in new engine and transmission plants in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Guanajuato, respectively. The investment covers three projects: a new engine plant in Chihuahua; expansion of Ford’s I-4 and diesel engine lines in Chihuahua; and a new transmission plant—Ford’s first in Mexico—in Guanajuato.... Read more →


Honda is enhancing its new third-generation MY2016 Pilot mid-size SUV with a new, more powerful direct-injected 3.5-liter engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology producing 280 horsepower (210 kW) @6000 rpm and 262 lb-ft (355 N·m) of torque @4700 rpm, and new 6-speed and 9-speed (a Honda first)... Read more →


Daimler is investing about €1 billion (US$1.07 billion) in the Mercedes-Benz plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim and is transforming it into a center of competence for highly efficient engines, hybrid powertrains and the production of fuel cell systems. From 1 June, Untertürkheim will assume responsibility for a facility in Nabern in the... Read more →


Kia Motors Europe will unveil a new Kia cee’d GT Line specification at the 85th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 3 March. In addition to a range of visual upgrades, the new cee’d GT Line features the debut of Kia’s all-new downsized 1.0-liter T-GDi (turbo gasoline direct injection)... Read more →


Electric drive axle module with two motors and integrated power electronics. Groschopp AG. Click to enlarge. The ESKAM (Electric Scalable Axle Module, Elektrische SKalierbare AchsantriebsModule) consortium in Germany, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is completing the development of an optimized electric drive axle module... Read more →


ZF showcasing second-generation 8HP 8-speed transmission at NAIAS; additional 3% boost in fuel savings

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, ZF is presenting its broad technology portfolio including the second generation of the 8HP 8-speed transmission. The new generation offers further developments ranging from lower drag torques and higher spread to an improved torsional vibration absorption. Compared to the already... Read more →


Eight-speed transmission housings move down the assembly line at Kokomo Transmission Plant. Click to enlarge. With sales of vehicles equipped with the popular eight-speed transmission growing, FCA US LLC (the new name for Chrysler Group LLC) will invest an additional $266 million in its Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.) to increase... Read more →


UK automotive engineering consultancy Drive System Design (DSD) suggests the next breakthrough in CO2 emissions reduction will come from more aggressive weight reduction in major powertrain components. Analysis by the company has identified both near-term and medium-term solutions for the manufacture of items such as transmission casings using advanced composite... Read more →


Transmission specialist Oerlikon Graziano is showcasing its range of hybrid and electric transmission systems, including the OGeco torque infill unit that integrates a 6-speed automated manual with a 120 kW electric motor through a 2-speed epicyclic transmission, as well as a new 2-speed automated manual drive system, at the the... Read more →


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun sales of the all-new Grace hybrid sedan at dealerships across Japan. The Grace is equipped with Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD one-motor hybrid system that enables the driver to start in EV mode and realizes fuel economy of 34.4 km/L (81 mpg US or 2.9... Read more →


Toyota Motor to consolidate development and production of diesel engines under TICO; manual transmissions under Aisin Seiki; brake systems under Advics

Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will consolidate their joint diesel engine development and production under the control of TICO. The purpose of this decision is to strengthen the competitiveness of both companies by bringing the development and production of diesel engines under one roof and enabling... Read more →


GKN has developed the first two-speed eAxle; the technology has entered production on the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, (earlier post) in which it provides power to the front wheels from a 96 kW, 250 N·m (184 lb-ft) electric motor. (A 170 kW/231 hp three-cylinder combustion engine in the... Read more →


New Unipiston clutch piston technology in series production; enables better fuel economy

Federal-Mogul Powertrain’s new high-modulus injection-molded Unipiston clutch pistons are now in series production at the company’s facility in Chivasso, Italy. The technology was a 2013 Automotive News PACE Award Winner in the process category. Unipiston is a one-piece, rubber-to-metal bonded piston that hydraulically engages clutches to activate the gearshift. The... Read more →


Volkswagen begins production of latest-gen DSG at new plant in China; 1.2M unit capacity by 2016

Volkswagen started production of the latest generation of its advanced dual-clutch gearbox (DSG), the DQ380, at its new Tianjin components plant in North China. Initially, the new Volkswagen plant will have an annual production capacity of 450,000 units, which will be increased to 1.2 million units by 2016. Volkswagen has... Read more →


Later today at the Detroit Economic Club, General Motors CEO Mary Barra will confirm that its Warren Transmission Plant will build the new electric drive unit—the GM Voltec 4ET50 Multi-Mode EDU—for the upcoming second-generation Chevrolet Volt. As a result, most major Volt powertrain components—from the battery cells to the new... Read more →


The lightweight torque vectoring transmission is applied in a Visio.M test vehicle. Click to enlarge. As part of the Visio.M project in Germany, researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM), along with their colleagues in the consortium, have developed a lightweight torque vectoring transmission with characteristics that are optimally adapted... Read more →


EPA released the latest edition of its annual report on trends in CO2 emissions, fuel economy and powertrain technology for new personal vehicles in the US. Among the top-level findings was that Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 mpg (9.76 l/100 km)—a 0.5 mpg increase over the... Read more →


GKN has developed the first Disconnect All-Wheel Drive System for A-, B- and C-segment vehicle platforms. The innovative disconnect function enables vehicles to combine the enhanced traction, dynamics and stability of all-wheel drive with improved on-highway fuel efficiency. The system responds to driver inputs and road conditions, connecting and disengaging... Read more →


2015 Honda CR-V. Click to enlarge. Honda has given its 2015 CR-V compact SUV, which launched in US dealerships on 1 October, the most significant mid-model cycle refresh in the 17-year history of the model. The 2015 CR-V offers a new direct-injected Earth Dreams Technology i-VTEC engine and new continuously... Read more →


MANs TGX hybrid concept at IAA. Click to enlarge. At the IAA, MAN (part of the Volkswagen Group) presented a concept diesel-electric parallel hybrid version of its long-haul TGX truck. (MAN showed the Metropolis research truck, a range-extended electric refuse collection truck developed in collaboration with Benteler Engineering Services for... Read more →


Rendering of friction plate. Click to enlarge. BorgWarner is supplying its high-performance wet friction technology for Volkswagen Group’s DQ 400e dual-clutch transmission (earlier post)—the Group’s main near-term gearbox for all hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications that are transverse. (Earlier post.) Current examples include the Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-tron.... Read more →


The Cruze Diesel is identified by a discreet badge on the trunk. Click to enlarge. US buyers hunting for a non-premium diesel passenger car (i.e., not a truck or SUV, and not a vehicle from BMW, Audi, Porsche or Mercedes-Benz) have until recently only had Volkswagen-brand cars as an option:... Read more →


2015 Hydra-Matic 8L90 (M5U) Eight Speed RWD Automatic Transaxle Click to enlarge. GM is offering a version of its new GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L90 paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission in the 2015 Corvette Stingray (earlier post) and Z06. The 8L90, the replacement for the venerable 6L80 six-speed in GM’s lineup, is offered... Read more →


Allison Transmission unveils integrated stop-start technology for Cummins ETHOS E-85 engine

Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. announced new integrated stop-start technology in conjunction with Project ETHOS, an ultra-low carbon powertrain program created by Cummins Inc. to demonstrate the potential of alternative fuels for carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions in medium-duty commercial vehicles. The Cummins ETHOS 2.8L engine is designed specifically to use E-85... Read more →


2015 Ram ProMaster City. Click to enlarge. Chrysler’s Ram brand introduced the 2015 Ram ProMaster City commercial van. The Ram ProMaster City is based on the Fiat Doblò, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold. The new, smaller van joins the ProMaster... Read more →


I-Shift Dual Clutch provides seamless power delivery. Click to enlarge. Volvo Trucks is now launching I-Shift Dual Clutch, the first transmission on the market with a dual clutch system for heavy vehicles. With power-shift gear changes without any interruption in power delivery (with the exception of the range-change, which takes... Read more →


Kinetics’ NexDrive EV3-850 + PowerPhase HD electric drive system. Click to enlarge. Kinetics Drive Solutions Inc. and Portugal-based Efacec Electric Mobility, S.A. are collaborating to deliver full-vehicle propulsion systems for electric buses. This solution is engineered to provide bus OEMs a fully integrated and optimized system that can be implemented... Read more →


Fallbrook Technologies Inc., inventor of the NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission technology (earlier post), and TEAM Industries (TEAM) plan for the near-term commercialization of NuVinci technology in a transmission suitable for a small, low- to medium-speed vehicle. Initial production units should be available by the end of 2015 or... Read more →


EV3-850 combined with PowerPhase HD220. Click to enlarge. UQM Technologies Inc. and Kinetics Drive Solutions Inc. are collaborating to offer an integrated electric motor and multi-speed transmission system for commercial vehicle applications that will benefit from a full system approach. This system is engineered to provide commercial vehicle manufacturers with... Read more →


2015 Outback. Click to enlarge. Subaru of America, Inc. introduced the 5th-generation 2015 Outback. The 2015 all-wheel drive Outback offers the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history. New for 2015, all Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which... Read more →


Torotrak-led consortium wins $4M towards manufacturability of core variable drive technologies

A consortium of British high-technology companies led by Torotrak PLC has won £2.4 million (US$4 million) in funding from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board towards the development of an optimized manufacturing route for key components of the company’s variable drive systems. Called S-CONTACCT, the program, with a total project... Read more →


Design of the Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz’ new 9-speed 9G-TRONIC, the first rear-wheel drive nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter, is making its debut in the E 350 BlueTEC as the standard transmission paired with the 185 kW (252 hp) V6 diesel. Announced in 2013 (earlier... Read more →


2015 Jeep Renegade. Click to enlarge. Jeep unveiled the new 2015 Jeep Renegade small SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Designed for global markets, the Renegade offers 16 powertrain combinations globally and the segment’s first nine-speed automatic transmission. Leveraging 4x4 technology from the new Jeep Cherokee, the Renegade offers a... Read more →


Kia’s 48V mild hybrid system uses a lead-carbon battery. Click to enlarge. Kia revealed a new mild hybrid powertrain as well as its new 7-speed DCT at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) Developed by Kia’s European R&D centre, the new hybrid system employs a 48V lead-carbon battery, which powers... Read more →


The UK’s Technology Strategy Board has awarded Torotrak, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars, a grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) technology for integration into a manual gearbox. (Torotrak completed its acquisition of Flybrid in January. Earlier post.) The project... Read more →


Nissan’s 1-motor, 2-clutch parallel hybrid system (1M2CL), first introduced in 2010 for the rear-wheel drive Infiniti M35 Hybrid (earlier post), has since grown into its second-generation rear-wheel drive system as well as spawned a front-wheel drive variant with CVT (earlier post). The system and its offshoots are now applied in... Read more →


Compared to a single-speed EV or HEV transmission, DSD’s MSYS 3-speed system provides a 40% weight saving and 10-15% lower energy consumption. Click to enlarge. UK-based Drive System Design is developing a new EV powertrain based on an alternate approach to powershifting (no torque interrupt) achieved by separating the existing... Read more →


MAGSPLIT is intended to replace mechanical eCVTs with a combination motor/magnetic gear. Source: Magnomatics. Click to enlarge. At the SAE 2014 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego, Chris Kirby, founder and Managing Director of UK-based Magnomatics, presented an overview of the company’s second-generation MAGSPLIT (Magnetic Power Split)... Read more →


Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a voluntary recall of the all-new Fit Hybrid (earlier post) and Vezel Hybrid (earlier post) produced in Japan from July 2013 through February 2014 due to a problem with the software program controlling the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) which could cause non-engagement of gears,... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $49.4 million to projects to to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies. The new program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000991) (earlier post), was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Washington Auto Show. The funding opportunity will contains a total of... Read more →


2015 Chrysler 200. Click to enlarge. Chrysler introduced the revamped new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan at the Detroit Auto Show. The mid-size sedan segment is one of the largest segments in North America, with more than 2 million sales annually. The 200 is the industry’s first mid-size sedan with... Read more →