Developments in Transmission and Driveline Technology

Clean air policies in Europe and the UK Government pledging to make all new cars and vans effectively emission-free by 2040, have driven manufacturers to re-design drivelines and transmissions in a range of vehicles. These latest policies require motor manufacturers to increase efficiency, minimise vehicle weight and achieve the demanding CO2 targets required by legislation.

Speaking at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) conference on, “Developments in Transmission and Driveline Technology”, Xtrac’s Principal Engineer and Associate IMechE member Adam James, along with Senior Design Engineer Torsten O’Brien, explained how over 30 years of high performance motorsport design and manufcature are being applied to designing highly integrated, power dense and efficient transmissions for the latest hybrid and EV automotive transmissions. Xtrac Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle (ILEV) transmissions are being developed by Xtrac with many of these units already with an array of customers, most recently with Aston Martin for their first all-electric production car – the Rapide E.

Integrating elements of a vehicle’s systems such as the E-motor and transmission, can contribute greatly to minimising part count and powertrain weight, thereby improving efficiency. The integration is not only focused on packaging of e-machines into transmissions to form the latest high technology e-axles, but on how the development of high specification materials, lubrication systems, low friction seals and specialist structures with the ability to withstand crash, suspension and aerodynamic loads, all provide a mass benefit without reducing functionality.

Xtrac are continuing to invest heavily in the engineering and manufacturing reosurces needed to support the demanding high performance automotive (HPA) market, with hypercar and ILEV transmission projects underway for multiple OEMs who are all benefting from Xtrac’s unique blend of transmission knowledge coupled with a world class flexible manufacturing and assembly facility in Thatcham, Berkshire.

The ImechE conference was held on 4 October at the newly opened MIRA Technology Institute (MTI), which is a global skills centre located in the Eastern sector of the MIRA Technology Park.

Principal Design Engineer Adam James MEng AMIMechE
Senior Design Engineer Torsten O’Brien MEng (Hons)
P1227 Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle Gearbox