The power train is one of the most important components in any car. Here are the most innovative solutions!
What is the drivetrain responsible for?
The power train is at the heart of every car. As its name suggests, it is responsible for powering the vehicle and more specifically for transferring the mechanical energy from the engine to the wheels. The drivetrain is made up of a number of very important components, some of which include:
- drive shaft.
Each of the above mentioned parts performs a specific task in the car. Engineers are constantly trying to improve each of them, so that driving a car is even easier and more enjoyable. However, the most important thing is compatibility and full cooperation of individual components. This is necessary for the proper and smooth functioning of any vehicle
Types of drive systems
Depending on the type of vehicles, several types of transmission system can be listed. In two-axle cars, there are rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive 4 × 4, which is very common in SUVs and off-road cars. In three-axle cars, you can find rear-wheel drive in 6 × 2 or 6 × 4, and all-wheel drive, or 6 × 6. In four-axle cars, as in other cases, you can distinguish rear-wheel drive in 8 × 2, 8 × 4, 8 × 6, and all-wheel drive, or 8 × 8
Modern drive systems
The automotive industry has always developed rapidly. Even now, when it may seem that things can’t get any better, engineers are still developing new technologies. New technical solutions for the construction of individual car components are being developed all the time. It is no different in the case of drive systems. Hybrid and electric systems, among others, are becoming more and more popular. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Analyzing the results of car sales in recent years, you can see that hybrids are becoming more and more popular every year. There are cars on the market with the so-called soft hybrid system and plug-in hybrids. Depending on the power of the electric unit and its share in the total vehicle power, a distinction can be made between full and partial hybrid systems
Full hybrid system
The former enables the use of the electric drive over much longer distances. It can be series, parallel or series-parallel. A series-parallel arrangement requires two electric drive units, but the most common is a series-parallel arrangement with a central planetary gearbox. This solution has many advantages, including improved performance, economy and durability of the entire system
Partial hybrid system
In the case of incomplete hybrid systems, the battery is recharged during braking. The electric unit assists the combustion engine by increasing torque, among other things. The combustion engine is automatically switched off by the Start&Stop system. What are the main advantages of such a drive system? First of all, even with a relatively weak combustion engine, the car can enjoy really good performance thanks to the support from the electric motor
Plug-in hybrid system
The above-discussed full hybrid system can be found in a plug-in version, i.e. with the possibility of external battery charging. This solution has many supporters due to its countless benefits. A plug-in hybrid allows you to travel long distances using only an electric unit. Unfortunately, every solution has its drawbacks. In this case, it is the higher weight of the vehicle, due to the large batteries.
Toyota’s innovative ideas
One of the pioneers when it comes to the most innovative technical solutions is undoubtedly Toyota. In 2021, the new Harrier 2021 model will be unveiled, which will be a variation of the popular RAV4. Harrier will be available with two powertrains. One of them is dedicated to those who appreciate innovative solutions, while the other is for traditionalists. Customers will be able to choose between a hybrid model with a 2.5-litre petrol unit and a standard version with a petrol engine, but of a slightly smaller capacity. In both versions the engines will work with a modern CVT transmission.