4WD Market Trends in Vehicles & the Adaptations of New Technology in the International Automotive Community 1999-01-1264
This paper will show the trends in the 4 wheel drive vehicles, technologies, and the move to systems approach rather than the independent supplier approach. The trends show how the transfer case and other drive train components are changing using the latest technology. These changes are making more system adaptations possible. There are three directions that the current changes are moving into. 1) Continue to optimize current designs 2) Redesign with new devices and 3) Design new 4WD systems. Examples of future 4WD designs are Hybrid Electric Vehicles with motors at all four wheels, and CVT's. Specifically this paper will show the latest trends from 1994 to 1998 and some predictions into the future. The focus will be the U.S. Market but some references will be made to the world 4x4 market. Brief references will be made to the basics of traction and directional stability as they relate to the 4WD technology. The structure given in The 4WD Building Block Approach SAE Paper #952643 will be used to understand and predict future 4WD systems.