What makes GKN Automotive the technology leader in driveshaft systems

GKN Automotive’s continuous development of CV Joints makes them lighter, smaller and more powerful.

GKN Automotive produced the world’s first constant velocity joint more than 60 years ago. Now every car has them and the company remains the world’s largest CV joint supplier, producing billions of units over the years. After so many decades of development, do innovation opportunities become limited?

We believe that our position as the industry leader in driveline systems is the result of pursuing competitive advantage relentlessly, continuously improving every factor in a vehicle’s torque delivery. GKN Automotive’s new family of lightweight “VL3” CV joints for rear-wheel drive platforms demonstrates how the company creates these technological wins.

The sideshaft system enables rear-wheel drive platforms to remove around 4.2kg from the back axle. They represent a step forward in efficiency, performance and refinement for premium vehicle platforms.

It’s all about handling the torque better. The VL3 is a monobloc joint that builds on GKN Automotive’s development of Countertrack fixed joints. It uses an advanced, new geometry that enables it to transmit up to 27% more torque within the same packaging space.

VL3 enables engineers to deliver 3300Nm to the rear wheels, instead of 2600Nm. If the additional performance isn’t needed, they could instead make the CV joint’s package space 7% smaller.

Small advances like this matter a lot. Automotive News’ panel of experts selected the technology as a finalist in the Automotive News PACE Awards. It surprised some that a CV joint could be such a strong contender in industry awards for innovation. For GKN Automotive however, innovation isn’t about novelty – it’s about delivery.