Powertrain Technology: Acknowledging Advances
There is a lot going on in the powertrain arena, both in terms of new transmission technology that is being developed for not only the race tracks of the world, but for the street, as well as in the process and technology realm, where creating better performing product is paramount. Here’s a look at a slice of some of what’s been happening of late.
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Gearbox Developments: From the Race Track to the Driveway
Xtrac is a company based in the United Kingdom that specializes in the production of high-performance transmissions, particularly for use in motorsports series including Formula One, IndyCar, Touring Car, and Grand-Am. For the 2011 season, “The requirement for more fuel-efficient engines has increased the demand for new transmissions, leading to our highest-ever order book with more than 60% of our contracts coming from overseas markets. This includes brand new products developed to meet the latest technical regulations in endurance sports car racing and touring cars,” says Peter Digby, managing director of the firm.
So even in motorsports, fuel efficiency is something that is of more than slightly passing interest.
The company has actually developed new transmissions—or “gearboxes,” as they are known in that world—for the 2011 season. Included:
• 1046. This is a front-wheel-drive transverse gearbox specifically designed for the British Touring Car Association (TOCA) regulations for the Next Generation Touring Car. Xtrac was named the official 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship transmission provider and technical partner, meaning that it is the sole provider of transmissions to that racing series. Development on the 1046 began in May, 2010, with the goal of meeting a torque target of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) for the TOCA