GKN Driveline's new countertrack PX propshaft technology that provides weight-savings and fuel-efficiency benefits will be added next year as a running change to some versions of the Chrysler Group's 2007 model year Dodge Ram and Dakota pickup trucks and Durango sport-utility vehicle.

GKN Driveline's countertrack is claimed by its maker to be the first major breakthrough in fixed, constant velocity ball-joint (CVJ) technology for the motor industry in 70 years.

Because of its unique track design, the countertrack system balances internal forces within a joint to improve operating efficiency by reducing energy losses due to heat and friction. Another design feature allows engineers to reduce overall package size.

While exceeding the durability requirements of current CVJs, the technology provides car makers with the potential to achieve a 10% smaller package size for a given power rating, a 25% reduction in weight over current CVJs, and more than a 30% increase in efficiency.

The propshafts for Dodge will be assembled at the company's Roxboro, North Carolina, plant from components produced in Spain. The company will ramp up production on the new propshafts during the first quarter of 2007. The completed units will be shipped to Chrysler Group plants in Newark, Delaware, Warren, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri.

In addition to propshaft applications, GKN Driveline has developed countertrack CVJs for sideshaft applications, named the SX joint. Originating as a concept at the company's advanced product development group, the SX joint was created in response to consumer trends toward increasing power ratings of multiple engines, while maintaining common suspension and platform dimensions.

The PX and SX joint designs have been patented in many countries and other worldwide rights are pending.