GKN Driveline has been honoured with an Automotive News PACE Innovation Award for its VL3 constant velocity (CV) joint sideshaft system, which has debuted on BMW’s flagship 7 Series.
The Automotive News PACE Award, bestowed for more than 20 years, is acknowledged around the world as the industry benchmark for automotive supplier innovation.
Meanwhile, GKN was also recognised with an Automotive News PACE Innovation Partnership Award for its work with Ford on the Ford Focus RS programme. The Innovation Partnership Award showcases outstanding levels of collaboration between automakers and suppliers, highlighting the importance of strong relationships to commercialise key automotive innovations.
GKN’s new VL3 sideshaft system increases torque capacity by up to 27% with no increase in packaging size. Available in four sizes, automakers alternatively have the choice of maintaining torque capacity but reducing package size by approximately 10%. With a plunging distance of 18mm, the VL3 is the best choice for a rear constant velocity sideshaft for medium working angles with low axial forces and redefines best in class in terms of backlash.
GKN Driveline Chief Executive Phil Swash was part of the GKN contingent that picked up the awards at the Automotive News PACE Awards in Detroit yesterday evening.
He said: “GKN already established the benchmark for rear CV Joints with our predecessor technology, but the VL3 sets the new level. We have developed a CV Joint that is lighter, more efficient, stronger and delivers more torque in a smaller package. People have a misconception that there is no room for innovation in technology such as the CV Joint; we’re delighted that PACE has recognised that there is and that GKN is leading the way.”
In terms of the Partnership Award, GKN developed a new version of its Twinster torque vectoring all-wheel drive (AWD) system for the Ford Focus RS. An innovative combination of new gearing ratios and control algorithms over-speed the rear wheels, helping Ford to create a car with unprecedented dynamics, feel and handling.
Phil Swash added: “The Ford Focus RS has set a new benchmark in its segment, redefining the way a vehicle performs and handles. GKN’s Twinster all-wheel drive system is integral to its performance and to deliver such a ground breaking vehicle required close co-operation between GKN and Ford engineers, utilising both teams’ strengths to optimise the system.”
Peter Moelgg, GKN Automotive President of Engineering, said: “We are honoured to have received two PACE Awards, recognising our technology and how closely we work with our customers to successfully integrate systems and driveline technology. It takes a tremendous amount of work to bring leading-edge technology to the market, and these awards are a reflection on the efforts of our teams and OEM customers.”
GKN’s Twinster technology on the Ford Focus RS was also nominated as a finalist for a PACE Innovation award.