GKN’s acclaimed eAxle technology is used in the Porsche 918 Spyder, Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine and BMW i8. Now, it appears another candidate is on the cards: the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
Fresh from announcing its intentions to spread the technology downmarket and to other carmakers, the 2 Series will debut a new Gen II version of the patented differential, which uses a two-speed geartrain featuring an electric motor and electromagnetic dog clutches.
The dimensions of the eAxle are 229mm wide by 259mm tall, with a weight of 20.2kg. Instead of powering the front wheels like it does in the BMW i8 hybrid supercar, the new module sends power to the rear wheels, while the 1.5-litre turbo triple still sends power to the front hoops.
Unlike the normal 2 Series Active Tourer all-wheel-drive, the plug-in hybrid’s rear wheels don’t need a propshaft; just the eAxle unit, which takes power from the lithium-ion battery pack. GKN Automotive president of engineering Peter Moelgg said:
“GKN’s eAxle technology is passing a key milestone in its evolution at a time when the demand for all-wheel drive and plug-in hybrids is strengthening. This latest system advances the business case for electric all-wheel drive capability in hybrids. A number of automakers are introducing our technology on their premium models and starting to transfer eAxle hybrid versions of higher volume models.”
GKN plans to spread its eAxle technology across more C-segment cars of various manufactures. The British component manufacturer also supplies a trick ‘Twinster’ rear differential clutch pack system for the Focus RS, which facilitates its highly acclaimed ‘Drift Mode’.