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GKN Driveline’s Viscodrive coupling for Suzuki’s new Wagon R

9th February 2009 Print
All-wheel-drive (AWD) versions of Suzuki's new Wagon R, recently launched in Japan, are being equipped with GKN Driveline Torque Technology's Viscodrive coupling.

The Viscodrive coupling is a compact and lightweight unit that provides on-demand AWD capability and improved vehicle traction without the need for costly on-board electronics or driver intervention. Additionally, it dampens undesirable driveline noise and vibration, is highly reliable and is designed to be maintenance-free over the complete lifetime.

This well-proven product consists of friction plates submerged in silicone fluid. When the drive (front) axle loses grip the relative speed difference between the plates produces a sheer stress that transfers torque from one plate to the other and redistributes it to the rear axle.

Graeme Walford, commercial and engineering director, GKN Driveline said: "Viscodrive couplings are an important foundation of GKN Driveline Torque business. They continue to have a respected position in our broad portfolio of torque management products and are an especially popular choice for ‘kei-cars’ in Japan."

‘Kei-cars’ (from "kei-jidosha" - ‘light automobile’) are cars with a maximum engine capacity of 660cc and power of 47kW (64PS). In Japan, these vehicles enjoy tax and insurance benefits. Suzuki has been the leading Kei-cars manufacturer in Japan since its introduction on the market in 1955 and at present Wagon R is the model enjoying the highest annual sales number in Japan.