AWD as Needed from GKN

This is what the GKN Driveline all-wheel-drive (AWD) Disconnect system for small to medium-sized vehicles—it is a scalable architecture—looks like:

The system is designed so that when a vehicle is in steady-state cruising the clutch system disengages the rear section of the driveline. As a result, rotational losses are minimized. This means that highway fuel economy can be improved by up to 4 percent.

Said another way: When you don’t need all-wheel-drive capability, there’s no reason to keep it engaged, as it doesn’t enhance vehicle efficiency.

HOWEVER. . .when there’s wheel slippage or there is driver input that calls for it, the system reengages within 300 milliseconds. Think the proverbial blink of an eye.

The system features an active torque biasing function that provides control of the distribution of torque between the front and rear wheels, optimizing traction, stability and performance.

According to GKN, the system can be integrated into platforms with different sizes and dynamic requirements with minor hardware and software changes.

The system was initially used on the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X, and is now being deployed on the 2017 Jeep Compass, all of which share the FCA “small-wide 4×4 architecture.”