GKN Driveline and ZF plan to jointly develop, manufacture and market rear-axle torque vectoring systems for rear and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

The cooperative agreement between the two companies calls for the integration of mechanical and electrical components and the development of system software.

The basic system under development 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 electronic control unit (ECU). The software, which communicates with the vehicle controller, ensures that vectoring torque requirements dependent on the driving condition of the vehicle are realized by the system.

The first production application, already announced as ZF's VectorDrive, is planned for BMW. The torque vectoring hardware units produced by GKN Driveline will be supplied to system leader ZF, which is responsible for final system assembly and the supply of the electric motors, the control ECU and programming, as well as the delivery of tested end-of-line 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.

Robert Paton, managing director for ZF's Axle Drive Division noted: "We have an attractive 'modular' system concept that is ready for application and specific development with original equipment manufacturers. BMW will be the first, but we have already begun talking to other customers and are excited by the prospects for this cooperation technology."