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      12-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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BMW's to get new torque vectoring rear-axle (moving away from open rear differential)

For quite awhile, BMW has been disappointing many consumers by only offering limited slip differentials on their M-badged models. Competitors such as Lexus and Infiniti have at least offered LSD options on their vehicles, but BMW's argument is that their traction control system is sophisticated enough to fight wheel slippage rendering the extra cost for an LSD unnecessary. But it looks like that long-standing policy at the German automaker will change in the very near future.

The latest news out of GKN Driveline and ZF Friedrichshafen AG is that they have joined forces to produce a torque vectoring system that will be implemented by BMW. The system utilizes two electronic torque managing units that are essentially clutch type differentials, with the plate pressure controlled by voltage supplied to two electric motors. It will be able to independently adjust the torque split between two wheels, without the need for wheel slippage to occur initially. The technology is being dubbed VectorDrive and it's configurable for AWD and RWD vehicles. It's about time BMW joined the bandwagon in moving away from the open rear differential.


Press release:

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PRESS RELEASE:

GKN Driveline and ZF Torque Vectoring cooperation CTI Symposium, Berlin

Berlin, Germany 4th December 2007

GKN Driveline and ZF announce an extended cooperation in the field of torque vectoring systems. The cooperation agreement covers the joint development, manufacturing and marketing of torque vectoring systems in rear axles for rear and all wheel driven vehicles.

Key technical content of this collaboration is the integration of mechanical and electrical components and the development of the corresponding software.

Mechanically this agreement includes two torque vectoring units flanged to the final drive, and two electric motors which drive the brakes to operate the torque vectoring units. The motors are controlled by a central ECU. The software, which communicates with the vehicle controller, ensures that the vectoring torque requirements dependant on the driving condition of the vehicle are realised by the system.

The first production application is planned for BMW, already announced as being ZF's VectorDrive. The Torque Vectoring hardware units produced by GKN Driveline will be supplied to system leader ZF, who is responsible for the final assembly of the system and the supply of the electric motors, the control ECU and programming, and the delivery of the EOL-tested units to the customer.

"The joint development is a significant step forward that allows us to bring the specific competences and know-how of our two companies together, develop cutting edge, high performance driveline technology and make it available to our customers as broadly and competitively as we can," said Graeme Walford, Managing Director of GKN Driveline Torque Technology.

Commenting on the announcement, Robert Paton, Managing Director for ZF's Axle Drive Division said: "We have an attractive 'modular' system concept that is ready for application and specific development with the OEMs. BMW will be the first, but we have already begun talking to other customers and are excited by the prospects for this cooperation technology. "
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      12-06-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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Apparently there is no engineering challenge that BMW can't solve by throwing a bunch of electronics at, along with the associated teething issues and costly repairs down the road.

How much could a decent mechanical LSD cost BMW at their production volumes? Or are they really expecting to see a great leap in performance by going this direction?
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      12-08-2007, 06:33 AM   #3
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This technology is also the start with 2008 model Audis with Quattro. I believe it's a join thing between BMW and VAG in association with GKN Driveline and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Does anyone know when BMW are to start using the technology in their cars?
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      12-08-2007, 07:54 AM   #4
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Does anyone know when BMW are to start using the technology in their cars?
First car with DPC will be the X6.


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      12-08-2007, 08:09 AM   #5
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First car with DPC will be the X6.


Best regards, south

That explains a lot as the reports coming out concerning the technology in the Audis is that it's brilliant in combination with Quattro and as X-Drive is also awd this should mean the X6 will also be brilliant. But why only the X6 first, I would have thought the X5 and X3 deserve it too.
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      12-08-2007, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footie View Post
That explains a lot as the reports coming out concerning the technology in the Audis is that it's brilliant in combination with Quattro and as X-Drive is also awd this should mean the X6 will also be brilliant. But why only the X6 first, I would have thought the X5 and X3 deserve it too.
BMW decided to start with X6 because it's the more "sporty" version of X5. My understanding is that other cars will follow (maybe even RWD cars). So next gen X3 might get it also.


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      12-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
BMW decided to start with X6 because it's the more "sporty" version of X5. My understanding is that other cars will follow (maybe even RWD cars). So next gen X3 might get it also.


Best regards, south
It is interesting to see that two great rivals are working together for the same goal of producing the finest handling cars available.

And better still they are both my two favorite brands.
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      12-08-2007, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
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It is interesting to see that two great rivals are working together for the same goal of producing the finest handling cars available.

And better still they are both my two favorite brands.
They're not really working together. Both "develop" similar systems, BMW's DPC comes from ZF, Audi's Sport diff is from Magna Powertrain.


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      12-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #9
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ZF ftw. Love their transmissions.
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      12-08-2007, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
They're not really working together. Both "develop" similar systems, BMW's DPC comes from ZF, Audi's Sport diff is from Magna Powertrain.


Best regards, south
Well that is so unusual for two German manufacturers to both develop two very similar systems at exactly the same time.

Is it a case of great minds thinking alike or fools that seldom differ.
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      12-08-2007, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Is it a case of great minds thinking alike or fools that seldom differ.
LOL
Guess that depends on the system's benefits. First previews on DPC were quite good, though.


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      12-08-2007, 04:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
First car with DPC will be the X6.


Best regards, south
I was just reading about that in Roundel while on the toilet, then I come and find this thread. How serendipitous!
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      12-08-2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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Too much information.


Best regards, south
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      12-08-2007, 06:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southlight View Post
LOL
Guess that depends on the system's benefits. First previews on DPC were quite good, though.


Best regards, south

Great to hear it, I don't think there has being any previews on Audi's system as of yet. It will be interesting to see if it's as good but with what I understand about the technology I can't expect anything different.
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      12-08-2007, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I was just reading about that in Roundel while on the toilet, then I come and find this thread. How serendipitous!
Whoa, I was just on the toilet too!
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