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How Driveline Technologies Enhance Your Driving Experience

January 4, 2023

For a lot of people, the driving experience is much more than just getting from point A to point B. Whether it’s electric vehicles (EVs), off-road vehicles (ORVs) or muscle cars, they often require specific components for specialized driving experiences – think the quietness of EVs, driving over rocky terrains in an ORV or going from 0 to 60 mph in a muscle car.

Nexteer’s driveline systems – which transmit torque from the engine to roadwheels – are key components to enhancing the driving experience in all these wildly different scenarios.

Our driveline solutions enhance driver comfort and control by enhancing vehicle handling and optimizing driveline performance on front wheel, rear wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. They enable best-in-class Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance – a smooth, quiet ride – which further adds to the driving experience, especially in EVs.


Driveline Solutions for Electric Vehicles & Trucks

Increasingly popular EVs spur demand for high-efficiency joints, as well as compact, lower mass and high-performance NVH halfshaft designs in drivelines. EV platforms have unique driveline challenges due to their weight, low noise level, high torque and need for maximum efficiency to extend battery life and reduce battery size and upfront cost.

For example, because EVs are so quiet, specialized joint types keep driveline components quiet as well, so drivers don’t hear powertain noises that are usually masked in traditional, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Halfshafts must also be able to withstand extended fatigue because of the added torque and regenerative braking demands of EVs.

Nexteer’s low mass, compact halfshaft designs also help accommodate packaging constraints and reduce vehicle weight – thus improving vehicle driving range. Our halfshafts with premium, specialized joints also meet increased NVH requirements, while our high efficiency joints support CO2 emission reductions and improve vehicle driving range.

Our compact, lower mass and high-performance NVH halfshaft solutions are also ideal for heavy vehicles such as trucks – both ICE and electric versions. So as many automakers make the transition to electric versions of their popular full- and mid-size truck platforms, Nexteer’s driveline solutions will help them maintain the performance capabilities and unique truck feel that their loyal drivers expect.

In addition, the shared mobility trend is also closely connected with electrification and automated driving. Whereas personal vehicles spend most of their lives sitting in driveways and parking lots, shared mobility vehicles will rarely leave the street and will be driven most of their lifetimes. Thus, electric shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) require higher durability designs for driveline due to massive increase of driving hours on shared fleet vehicles in shorter time periods. Our tailored solutions are helping OEMs prepare for the durability they need to overcome this challenge.

Driveline Solutions for Specialty Vehicles – ORVs & Muscle Cars

Specialized driveline systems are especially important in off-roading or overlanding, a popular hobby for drivers seeking the thrill of getting off the pavement and traversing dunes, climbing rocks or racing across deserts.

In off-roading and overlanding vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV Pickup or Chevrolet Silverado, Nexteer driveline systems must be equipped to handle the rocky road ahead. The connection between transmission and road wheels must be both flexible and durable to allow vehicles to operate properly when one or more wheels drives over uneven terrain. Plus, with our all-wheel drive driveline systems, OEMs can deliver a solution for when one wheel is driving over a deep hole or is stuck in the mud and isn’t providing adequate tractive effort.

For enthusiasts seeking thrills on the pavement, muscle cars deliver speed, performance and power for both the street and the racetrack. The term “muscle car” is used to describe intermediate-sized, high-performance vehicles powered by a V8 engine. Driveline components play an integral role in the performance of these specialty cars because muscle cars’ driveline systems must transfer power to the wheels as efficiently as possible to maximize acceleration.

As the industry continues its shift to EVs, our driveline solutions can help muscle cars equipped with high-powered electric motors continue to feel and drive like traditional muscle cars. For example, our low-mass, high-performance driveline solutions help automakers keep weight down without sacrificing efficiency to increase speed.

Nexteer’s wide range of driveline halfshaft technology solutions can accommodate various vehicle configurations – and we can also custom-engineer components to meet an OEM’s specific needs. So while the list of ways that driveline systems accommodate specialty vehicles can go on and on — our driveline solutions are quietly working behind the scenes delivering power and enhancing the driving experience in everything from ORVs to cutting edge EVs.

Harry Trost
Harry Trost is Driveline Product Line Executive for Nexteer Automotive.