Two of Detroit’s best-known companies — General Motors Co. and American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. — today announced they are partnering on a new Independent Rear Drive Axle for future SUVs.
American Axle developed the new axle for GM’s full-size SUVs, including the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon Denali, and Cadillac Escalade.
GM and American Axle worked together to replace the prior generation rear beam axle with a newly designed three-mount independent rear drive axle module. The new design features a light-weight aluminum carrier housing and a low-offset hypoid gearset to provide improved efficiency and industry leading noise, vibration, and harshness performance.
“AAM and GM partnered to develop a new axle that is incredibly efficient and increases passenger comfort while still maintaining vehicle performance,” says David C. Dauch, chairman and CEO of American Axle. “Developed and tested at our Advanced Technology and Development Center in Detroit, this system provides top-notch performance coupled with unparalleled durability.”
Offered in a 9.5-inch or 9.76-inch, the IRDA comes standard with a mechanical limited slip differential, providing enhanced traction, and trailering performance up to 8,400 pounds.
American Axle also supplies front and rear axles for GM’s full-size, light-duty, and heavy-duty pickup trucks. The company recently was named a GM Supplier of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
The auto supplier designs, engineers, and manufactures driveline and metal forming technologies for multiple vehicles. The company has approximately 20,000 employees operating at nearly 80 facilities in 17 countries.