GKN, long time drivetrain supplier for BMW and MINI is debuting a new and revolutionary new electric drive trains at the Frankfurt IAA later this month that could make its way into the MINI E. The system is substantially smaller and lighter than what’s currently on the market potentially allowing small cars to better package batteries for more interior room. This is one of the key engineering steps many automakers have been waiting for before bringing small electric cars to market. Considering MINI’s 2019/2020 timeframe for the new MINI E, the new eTwinsterX could be a crucial part of the equation.

Here are the details.

Press Release: GKN Driveline’s new ‘eTwinsterX’ system has capabilities beyond that of any current electrified driveline. It is uniquely adaptable to any vehicle type – front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The range of potential applications extends from entry-level electric city cars to plug-in hybrid luxury SUVs and fully electric all-wheel-drive hypercars. The technologies within the eTwinsterX system also mean that it is the first eAxle in the world that has full off-road capabilities.

GKN’s new ‘eTwinsterX’ axle offers three key advantages over conventional electric drivelines. Its coaxial format is significantly smaller than systems with equivalent power outputs, and enables easy integration into a multitude of vehicle platforms. With a unique two-speed transmission to deliver the drive motor’s power, the system also has industry-leading efficiency through an optimised shifting strategy. As the name suggests, the new eAxle incorporates GKN’s celebrated ‘Twinster’ torque vectoring technology, delivering significant advantages for vehicle stability, agility and safety.

The new concept showcases GKN’s eDrive packaging expertise with the main elements sharing a common housing, which has significant benefits for compact vehicle chassis applications. Bringing multiple systems together in this way also has clear advantages for vehicle assembly lines, where the technology to be installed is a single integrated unit instead of numerous individual components.

The new eTwinsterX system is envisaged to have innumerable bespoke applications. The company’s expertise in delivering brand-aligned driving characteristics means that it will be able to work with OEMs to tune and set specific parameters for how the electrified driveline performs. For example, it could be set up to prioritise thrilling performance, off-road traction or maximum efficiency in line with the vehicle’s specific market positioning. The new eAxle provides outstanding power density, delivering high output from a lightweight electrified system.

CEO of GKN Driveline’s AWD and eDrive business, Peter Moelgg, said: “The new eTwinsterX axle is a combination of GKN Driveline technologies that will deliver unrivalled capabilities for the next generation of electric vehicles. It takes multiple award-winning elements from our driveline portfolio and applies the principles in a single state-of-the-art electrified system. Furthermore, our capability as a complete systems integration partner will allow us to calibrate this eAxle to deliver fully brand-aligned experiences for our OEM customers.”

The global debut of GKN Driveline’s new eTwinsterX system will take place at the 67th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) on Tuesday 12 September.