GKN Driveline has begun production in the United States of an electronically controlled differential lock (EDL) for two- and four-wheel-drive vehicles. In ruts, mud or snow, vehicles equipped with the EDL can be rocked back and forth without disengaging the locker to shift from forward to reverse.
The EDL was introduced in Japan for Nissan’s Titan, Frontier and Xterra light trucks. It will debut in the United States during the 2007 model year as a standard feature on one OEM’s four-wheel-drive vehicle and an option on other vehicles from the same automaker. A second U.S. auto manufacturer plans to introduce an EDL version on one of its 2008 model light trucks.
Compared with pneumatic-based differential locks and other competitive products, the EDL eliminates the need for air pumps, mounting brackets and tubing. It is said to offer faster locking, respond better at higher speeds and lower temperatures, and be easier for drivers to use, requiring only the press of a button to handle difficult driving conditions. The system automatically disengages at higher speeds.