BorgWarner TorqTransfer Systems patented Interactive Torque Management I (ITM-I) on-demand four-wheel drive system will make its North American production vehicle debut on a front-wheel drive-based sport wagon, beginning in 2006.

“This first ITM application with a traditional North American manufacturer illustrates the continuing trend toward blending the functionality of all-wheel drive with the ride, handling and fuel economy of car platforms,” said BorgWarner Chairman and CEO Tim Manganello.

Manganello said the unnamed automaker expects a 60% installation rate for the all-wheel drive system. The BorgWarner system debuted in 2002 on the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The system uses electronic sensors and microcomputer controls to sense slippage in a vehicle’s front wheels and automatically transfers power to the rear wheels. Then, when the front wheels are no longer slipping, the system reduces or eliminates power to the rear wheels. This is claimed to provide efficiencies that enhance vehicle handling and traction and improve fuel economy.