Trans Axle

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This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2009) In the automotive field, a transaxle is a major mechanical component that combines the functionality of the transmission, the differential, and associated components of the driven axleinto one integrated assembly. Transaxles are near universal in all automobile configurations that have the engine placed at the same end of the car as the driven wheels: the front-engine, front-wheel drive layout, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout arrangements. Many mid- and rear-engined vehicles use a transverse engine and transaxle, similar to a front wheel drive unit. Others use a longitudinal engine and transaxle like Ferrari's 1989 Mondial twhich used a "t" arrangement with a longitudinal engine connected to a transverse transaxle, a design the company continues to this day. Front-wheel drive versions of modern Audis, from the A4 upwards, along with their related marques from the Volkswagen Group (which share the same automobile layout) also use a similar layout, but with the transaxle also mounted longitudinally. Contents

1 Front-engine, rear-wheel drive transaxles

2 Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive transaxles

3 Four-wheel drive

4 See also

5 References


rear-wheel drive transaxles

Csonka transaxle from 1908.

Front-engine, rear-wheel drive vehicles tend to have the transmission up front just after the engine, but sometimes a front engine drives a rear-mounted transaxle. This is generally done for reasons of weight distribution, and is therefore common on sports cars. Another advantage is that as the driveshaft spins at engine speed it only has to endure the torque of the engine, instead of that torque multiplied by the 1st gear ratio. This design was pioneered in the 1934 Škoda Popular, and then in the 1950 Lancia Aurelia, designed by the legendary Vittorio Jano. Since this placement of the gearbox is unsuitable for a live axle (due to excessive unsprung weight), the rear suspension is eitherindependent, or uses a de Dion tube (notably in the Alfa Romeos). Rare exceptions to this rule were the Bugatti T46 and T50 which had a three speed gearbox on a live axle. The Nissan GT-R is unique in that it uses a rear transaxle with an AWD layout, the transaxle in this case also contains the differential sending power back to the front wheels via a separate driveshaft. Notable Front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout vehicles with a transaxle design include:

1898-1910 De Dion Bouton

1914–1939 Stutz Bearcat

1929–1936 Bugatti Type 46

1934–1944 Škoda Popular and Škoda Rapid

1946–1952 Škoda Tudor and Škoda 1101

1950–1958 Lancia Aurelia

1951–1956 Pegaso Z-102

1957–1970 Lancia Flaminia

1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest

1964–1968 Ferrari 275

1963-1968 Ferrari 330

1968–1973 Ferrari Daytona

1972–1987 Alfa Romeo Alfetta

1974–1987 Alfa Romeo GTV/Alfa Romeo GTV6

1976–1988 Porsche 924

1976–1991 Volvo 300 series

1977–1985 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

1978–1995 Porsche 928

1982–1995 Porsche 944 and Porsche 968

1984–1987 Alfa Romeo 90

1985–1992 Alfa Romeo 75

1989–1991 Alfa Romeo SZ

1992–2003 Ferrari 456

1996–2005 Ferrari 550/575M

1997–up Chevrolet Corvette

1997–1999 Panoz Esperante GTR-1

1997-2002 Plymouth Prowler

1998-2005 Shelby Series 1

2003-2006 Chevrolet SSR

2003–on Aston Martin DB9

2004–on Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

2004–on Maserati Quattroporte

2005–up Aston Martin V8 Vantage

2006–up Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

2008-up Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

2009–up Lexus LF-A

2010-up Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG


rear-wheel drive transaxles

Volkswagen and later Porsche made extensive use of transaxles in their rear (and mid) engined vehicles, including:

1934-1936 Mercedes-Benz 150H

1960-1969 Chevrolet Corvair

1948–1965 Porsche 356

1963–present Porsche 911

1965–1969, 1976 Porsche 912

1969–1976 Porsche 914 (mid-engined)

1975–1989 Porsche 930

1938–2003 Volkswagen Beetle

1955–1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia

1950–present Volkswagen Type 2

1961–1973 Volkswagen Type 3

1968–1974 Volkswagen Type 4

Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout is also the preferred layout for Dune Buggy, Sandrail, and most other non-truck based race cars used in off-road racing.[citation needed]



All Audi cars with longitudinal engines and their 'trademark' quattro four-wheel drive (4WD) system, along with their related marques from the Volkswagen Group which share the samelayout, utilise a transaxle. This is mounted immediately behind the front-mounted engine (again, longitudinally) and contains the 'gearbox' (manual, automatic, DSG, or CVT), along with both the centre differential, and the front differential and final drive unit. Other 4WD applications include:

1984–1986 Ford RS200 – mid-engined, with the gearbox in the front;

2007–on Nissan GT-R – front-engined, with the gearbox in the rear.

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