American Axle and Manufacturing Inc., a large automotive supplier in Detroit, has announced that its EcoTrac Disconnecting All-Wheel-Drive is now available for the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Chrysler is a brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which has its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills.
AAM’s system senses when all wheel drive is needed and provides it in situations including cold temperatures, windshield wiper use, front wheel slip, heavy accelerations, electronic stability control activation, abrupt steering, and rough road conditions.
“AAM’s was first to market with a disconnecting all-wheel-drive system on the Jeep Cherokee,” says David C. Dauch, chairman and CEO of AAM. “We are now expanding the relationship with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and supplying this innovative technology for one of the company’s key vehicles.”
AAM’s Pacifica’s power transfer unit, rear drive module, and drive train control module are the heart of the Pacifica’s all-wheel drive system. It uses the vehicle’s sensor data to continually evaluate traction and aid the driver in navigating through difficult weather and challenging road conditions.
The power transfer unit splits torque from the nine-speed automatic transmission and routes it to the rear drive module. The drive train control module contains all wheel drive system software that provides enhanced handling and improved traction to the rear wheels via the rear drive module.
When the driver only needs front wheel drive, AAM’s power transfer unit disconnects and stops spinning the driveshaft, no longer sending power to the rear drive module. Less spinning helps increase efficiency and reduce emissions while still providing enhanced safety when needed.
AAM introduced the industry’s first disconnecting all-wheel drive system in late 2013. Since then, it has supplied more than 600,000 disconnecting all-wheel drive units that help make vehicles safer and more efficient.