UK-based GKN Driveline announced it has created a new lightweight, high-speed propshaft joint for the all-new Audi Q5.
Thanks to the smaller rotating mass, the PVL joint is smaller, lighter and more refined than its predecessor, improving performance and efficiency, and helping to lower vehicle emissions.
“The PVL joint is smaller, lighter and more refined than predecessor technology, and represents a bespoke solution by GKN engineers to create a more compact joint,” said the company in a press release.
Its outer diameter is reduced by 7mm, representing an 8% reduction in the width and height of the space it occupies in the driveline. The smaller joint is also 350 grams lighter, representing a 23% weight reduction, yet there is no negative impact on torque capacity.
Refinement of the driveline has also improved. The PVL joint uses a 10-ball bearing design rather than the 6-ball setup of standard propshafts. The larger number of smaller balls leads to ‘finer geometry’ between the driveline components, and reduces the noise and vibration between the different elements.
Production of the PVL joint units for the Audi Q5 will represent the first time that GKN has built propshafts in its Mexico plants.