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Sunday, January 25, 2015

GM developing a high-performance electric AWD system for next-gen Cadillacs

According to Edmunds, General Motors is developing a high performance electric all-wheel drive system for next-gen V-Series Cadillac models and maybe their crossovers. This system could make its way into other GM Alpha-platform-based vehicles such as the Cadillac ATS and Chevrolet Camaro, and possibly a Corvette derivative.

All-wheel drive has become a must-have for high-performance luxury car buyers, and Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are ahead of the game with their AWD-equipped vehicles. Cadillac, however, lags behind this trend, having just introduced the 455-horsepower ATS-V and 640-hp CTS-V, both rear-wheel-drive sedans. Cadillac is also lagging in its offering of electrified fuel-efficient models.

An electric all-wheel-drive system, known in the industry by the acronym e-AWD, can potentially boost fuel economy in many future vehicles and help expand their plug-in hybrid offerings, however, the system GM desires is many years in the future.

Joe Slenvak, director of powertrain electrification for North America at Robert Bosch, told Edmunds that adding electric all-wheel drive to the front wheels of a rear-drive car has challenges.

"When you put the electric axle drive in the front, you have a lot of crossmembers and things that are in the cradle that you have to work around. It would be a little bit hard to do (but) I think you could do it," Slenvak said.

Sounds like an application perfectly suited to in-wheel motors.

Slenvak said a vehicle could be retrofitted to add that system. He would not say if Bosch is developing an electric all-wheel-drive system for GM's rear-drive cars.

Source: Edmunds

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