Auburn Hills-based GKN Automotive Develops All-wheel Drive System for Ford Focus RS


GKN Automotive, a global auto supplier with its regional headquarters in Auburn Hills, has developed a new version of its all-wheel drive system designed for the Ford Focus RS.

The Ford Focus RS uses a so-called Twinster twin clutch system, which is designed to deliver more torque to the rear wheels than previous applications, says Ray Kuczera, vice president of global product technology for GKN Driveline. He says GKN's technology can apply torque to one or both wheels independently, enabling the vehicle's to vary the power to each wheel across its entire speed range.

"The result of this partnership with Ford demonstrates how driveline innovation can influence vehicle dynamics and raise handling performance to a new level," Kuczera says.

Here’s how it works: In curves, the Twinster makes the rear end of the vehicle turn more sharply, while in the drift mode, the system delivers more torque to the rear axle so the wheels achieve a controlled drift through corners. 

GKN was awarded the Ford Focus RS contract 18 months ago, and worked with the automaker on new control algorithms for the torque vectoring system to give the driveline four different driving modes — normal, sport, track, and a special drift mode.

Ford Motor Co. debuted the car and the New York International Auto Show in April. This is the first time the Ford Focus RS will debut in the United States. The vehicles retails for about $36,000 and will be available in the spring.​