car-engineer english version car-engineer version française

GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission fitted on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


The brand new GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission makes its debut on the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – the world’s first Twin Motor 4WD Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle with ability to charge on-the-go – being showcased at the Frankfurt Motor show this week.

Mitsubishi Motors’ new Twin Motor 4WD Plug-in Hybrid Electric crossover is powered by two 60kW electric motors, one in the front and the other one in the rear.  They are fed by a large capacity lithium-ion battery. A petrol engine and a generator are also fitted.

The GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission used as front transaxle operates in three different driving modes with two different power sources:

  • Pure EV mode, with the vehicle’s front axle and rear axle driven only by the electric motors, the front motor being attached to the GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission. Energy is sourced from the battery.
  • Series Hybrid mode, with the combustion engine driving a generator to charge the traction battery on-the-go whilst the car is still only driven by its front and rear electric motors;
  • Parallel Hybrid mode, with the combustion engine’s torque feeding through to the GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission to the front wheels via a hydraulic clutch which remains disengaged in both other modes. Front and rear motors then supplement the petrol engine. Battery charging still occurs too.
    GKN Multi-Mode eTransmission

GKN Driveline’s global engineering director Rob Rickell said: “In their quest to find appealing packages for low carbon mobility, the vehicle manufacturers are exploring all possible avenues.  With the new Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi Motors has broken new ground and we are excited to have played a key role helping make this innovation a reality.”

Source: GKN Driveline
Romain’s opinion:

Designing a transmission device in such configuration is really challenging as there are many design possibilities. A system approach needs to be taken in order to have a holistic view of the efficiency gains and losses on the complete system. Do you think GKN has been really involved in Outlander’s development? Or was it an on the shelf technology that was just bought and integrated?

Leave a Reply