American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) is supplying its award-winning EcoTrac® Disconnecting All-Wheel-Drive for Chrysler’s new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan with AWD. AAM’s system seamlessly provides AWD safety and performance only when the vehicle senses it is needed including during cold temperatures, windshield wiper use, front wheel slip, heavy accelerations, electronic stability control activation, abrupt steering and rough road conditions.
“AAM’s was first to market with a disconnecting all-wheel-drive system on the Jeep® Cherokee,” said David C. Dauch, AAM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are now expanding the relationship with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and supplying this innovative technology for one of the company’s key vehicles.”
AAM’s Pacifica’s Power Transfer Unit (PTU), Rear Drive Module (RDM) and the Drive Train Control Module (DTCM) are the heart of the Pacifica’s AWD system and use vehicle sensor data to constantly evaluate traction and assist the driver through difficult weather and challenging road conditions.
The PTU splits torque from the nine-speed automatic transmission and routes it to the rear drive module. The DTCM contains AWD system software that provides enhanced handling and improved traction to the rear wheels via the RDM.
When only front wheel drive is required, AAM’s PTU disconnects and stops spinning the driveshaft no longer sending power to the RDM. Less spinning helps increase efficiency and reduces emissions while still providing enhanced safety when needed.
AAM introduced the industry’s first disconnecting AWD system in late 2013. Since then, AAM has supplied more than 600,000 disconnecting AWD units that help make vehicles safer and more efficient.