Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-36-0479

Prospects for Future 4WD and AWD Developments for Pick Ups, SUVs and Passenger Cars in Brazil 2010-36-0479

The purpose of this paper is to present the origins and the technology of the different types of AWD (All Wheel Drive) and 4WD (Four Wheel Drive) systems currently available and the wide potential to incorporate such technologies to the vehicles made in Brazil. In the Brazilian market the 4WD and AWD vehicle options are available only on expensive pickups and imported SUVs, which include only a small part of the total market. Conversely, there are a large number of 4WD & AWD technologies available in developed markets that are not currently available in the South American markets.
Most South American consumers regard vehicles with 4WD/AWD systems as off-road vehicles to be driven in the countryside, in an off-road environment. These markets still don`t have a clear understanding of the differences between 4WD and AWD, and the benefits of each.
This paper will describe the concepts, the architecture and the operations of such systems and point out the correct application of each ones. Some of these systems are more adequate for off-road usages while others are more focused on safety on slippery roads. Others are designed to enhance the driveability and vehicle control. On the other hand there are 4WD systems that are more efficient for commercial vehicles while others are more adequate for city traffic passenger cars. This paper will also encompass the main components that constitute the 4WD and AWD system and the interface of such systems with Engine Management Strategy, Transmission Management, ABS, Traction Control and Stability Control in order to provide more safety, performance and low fuel consumption. The paper will also present and explain low cost AWD system such as the PTU (Power Transfer Unit) usually applied at crossover vehicles and passenger cars. The cutting edge in AWD Technology, the Torque Vectoring, will also be presented. The message of this paper is to point out the large array of new 4WD and AWD technologies currently available on developed markets and the great potential we have to bring these technologies to the car makers in Brazil for the benefit of the customer and the Brazilian economy.


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