Developed in Japan, GKN Driveline's Helical LSD provides improved traction, handling and all-around dynamic performance for high-performance cars. The company has been supplying Japanese manufacturers with the differential since 1995, but the Renault Megane F1 Team-R26 project is the first application for a European manufacturer.
The Helical LSD fits inside the transmission of the 230-horsepower, front- wheel-drive Megane F1 Team-R26. The differential provides consistent performance, low backlash and compatibility with antilock-brake and electronic stability-control systems.
"Renault first contacted us about the specifications needed for the limited slip differential in March 2005, which is a pretty short lead time for a project such as this," said Graeme Walford, managing director of GKN Driveline Torque Technology. "We were able to modify an existing unit and produce the right package for Renault on time."
During GKN Driveline's initial design study, the company's engineers noticed that Renault's gearbox was similar to one already in use by Nissan. The Torque Technology Group's European Engineering Centre in Lohmar, Germany, modified its existing Helical LSD design for use by Renault on the Megane.
GKN Driveline delivered prototype units to Renault in late 2005 and testing confirmed that the Helical LSD gave a performance boost to front- wheel-drive cars such as the Megane F1 Team-R26.
"The successful Renault project demonstrates that GKN Driveline has the global presence where we can take our specific product strengths -- in this case from our Japanese operation -- and make products available for our other customers," Walford added.
The Megane F1 Team-R26 was shown for the first time at the 2006 Paris Motor Show this fall. Production of the nearly $36,500 limited-edition vehicle has begun and will continue as long as customer demand warrants, according to Renault.
GKN Driveline is a global enterprise with 21,000 people working at more than 40 locations in over 30 countries. The company recorded sales of $3.8 billion in 2005. Recognized as the auto industry's leader in the design and production of driveline components, GKN Driveline provides driveline solutions for the smallest front-wheel-drive vehicles up to the most sophisticated four- wheel-drive models. The company has a commanding share of the global market for CVJ (constant velocity joint) sideshafts and also is a leading global producer of all-wheel-drive PTUs (power transfer units) and torque management devices.
Further information is available on the Internet at http://www.gkndriveline.com/ .
Source: GKN Driveline