LANDSKRONA, Sweden - A new approach to four-wheel drive developed for a race team will migrate into production cars this summer.
Haldex showed its invention, a limited slip coupling that weighs less than a standard differential, at the Geneva auto show and at the automotive trade fair Auto Teknik in Jonkoping, Sweden. The system was used last year by rally driver Kenneth Hansen in a Citroen Xsara.
Haldex has set up a new division, Haldex Traction Systems, to handle the product. The new division is recruiting workers and investing in production equipment.
Joakim Soderstrom, a Haldex executive, said the system will be introduced by a big volume carmaker customer in several months.
Several auto companies have tested the system, he said. Among others, it has been tested on a VW Golf.
The system combines electronics and mechanics. Project manager Per-Olof Davidsson said the processor involved has computing power equal to an Intel 486 computer chip.
The coupling consists of a hydraulic pump and a wet clutch unit. The pump is activated by the processor, which chooses how to distribute power to wheels based on differences in rotation speed. The coupling processor is linked to other processors on the car.
The system provides non-permanent four-wheel drive, adjusts for different wheel and tire sizes, and can be programmed to specification of different makers.