December 8, 2006 Delegates at Berlin’s prestigious 5th International CTI-Symposium, “Innovative Automotive Transmissions”, were this week given the opportunity to be the first to experience Ricardo’s new Cross-axle Torque Vectoring demonstrator. Based on an Audi A6 4.2l V8 Quattro Avant, the vehicle is fitted with the very latest generation of Ricardo’s Torque Vectoring technology that enables moment-by-moment redistribution of drive-torque in response to driver demand, vehicle speed and road conditions. In doing so it enables the vehicle to follow more faithfully the driver's intended path, ultimately leading to a potentially safer, more enjoyable and rewarding driving experience.
The design of the Torque Vectoring unit is highly compact and can be contained with very limited intrusion into an existing differential packaging envelope, its small size enabling minimal reduction in drive shaft length and articulation. The novel arrangement allows the actuation system to be contained on one side of the pinion axis, providing improved packaging whilst allowing the unit centre of gravity to be located on the vehicle centre line and ensuring side shafts of equal length. System actuation is flexible depending on vehicle architecture, compatible with hydraulic, electro-hydraulic and electro-mechanical control strategies. The Torque Vectoring technology in the demonstration system unveiled today is capable of delivering a cross-axle torque bias of 1400Nm and differential wheel speed delta of 20 per cent. Response time targets for the demonstrator vehicle have been set at a maximum of 50ms from request to start of torque activation and 100ms to achieve 90 per cent full torque demand.
Ricardo aims to license Torque Vectoring technology to interested parties for incorporation in vehicle programmes with anticipated production implementation as early as the 2009 model year. For those unable to be present in person at the CTI-symposium, the company is inviting vehicle manufacturers and related system suppliers to register interest in evaluating the new cross-axle Audi A6 4.2L Torque Vectoring demonstrator vehicle during the coming weeks and subsequent Winter Test programme planned for the first quarter of 2007.
“The Torque Vectoring system unveiled today at the CTI-symposium underscores Ricardo’s leadership in driveline and associated active safety technologies”, commented Ricardo CEO, Dave Shemmans. “The technology of this system is available for automakers and Tier 1 suppliers alike to licence, offering them a means of accelerating time to market and significantly reducing development effort. Torque Vectoring once again demonstrates the future of automotive technology where both mechanical and electronics engineering are exploited in an integrated manner to deliver tangible improvements in vehicle safety while also enhancing the driving experience. Ricardo continues to work actively in these and other key areas in order to deliver robust, leading-edge technology and exceptional value to our customers.”