Some upcoming high-performance electric vehicles—such as those with Tesla’s upcoming Plaid powertrain—are positioning a second electric motor at the rear axle to assure accurate torque vectoring, and improved handling.
If the new Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch unit from the supplier BorgWarner works the way it’s intended to, it could create some of the same dynamic advantages without the cost and weight (or even space) of an additional motor.
BorgWarner Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch System for electric vehicles
The system takes advantage of BorgWarner’s experience with all-wheel-drive systems and incorporates two clutches—one inner, one outer—to finesse torque delivery left to right and handle nearly 1920 lb-ft at each clutch.
When torque isn’t needed at the rear wheels, the system disengages completely to reduce mechanical losses and help increase driving range.
Although three-motor systems so far mainly look headed for handling-centric performance models, we could see such a system aiming for off-road applications as well. BorgWarner notes that production will start in the first half of 2022, and the system is already on the way into “a major, global OEM’s electric vehicle.”