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SAE TECHNICAL
PAPER SERIES
2007-01-0926
An Innovative 4WD Controlled Powertrain
for High Performance Vehicle
Federico Cheli, Andrea Zorzutti and Paolo Dellachà
Politecnico di Milano
Reprinted From: Transmissions & Drivelines
(SP-2134)
2007 World Congress
Detroit, Michigan
April 16-19, 2007
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Copyright © 2007 SAE International
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Copyright © 2007 SAE International
ABSTRACT
The potentialities shown by controlled differentials is
making the automotive industry to explore this field.
While VDC systems can only guarantee a safe
behaviour at limit, a controlled differential can also
increase the handling performance. The system derives
from a RWD driveline with a semi-active differential, to
which has been added a controlled wet clutch that
directly connects the engine to the front axle. This
device allows to distribute the drive torque between the
two axles. It can be easily understood that in this device
the torque distribution doesn’t depend only from the
central clutch action, but also from the engaged gear.
Because of this particular layout this system can’t work
in the whole gear because thermal problems due to
kinematical reasons. So the central clutch controller has
to consider the gear position too. The control algorithms
development was carried out using a vehicle model
which can precisely simulate the handling response, the
powertrain dynamic and the actuation system behaviour.
A right powertrain response required the development of
a customize library in Simulink.
INTRODUCTION
The driveline scheme is an adaptation of a real wheel
drive vehicle with rear engine and gearbox (Fig. 1, left)
to an all wheel drive car. The need of containing the
vehicle mass increment, which is common in all sport
cars, and the limited space under the engine bonnet
made the designers to think about an innovative
driveline scheme (patented) (Fig. 1, right). In this way it
was not necessary to design a new gearbox and rear
differential device to place the controlled clutch after this
one. This is very useful in term of industrial costs. In the
new 4WD vehicle the center differential, which is a
controlled wet clutch device, directly connects the
crankshaft with the front free differential. So doing the
mechanical scheme is very simplified because there are
no shafts which connect the gearbox (placed behind the
engine) with the front differential and which pass through
the engine space. This solution is very convenient from
the weight and complexity point of view, but involves not
negligible efficiency and thermal problems.
t
i
t
R
Engine
Gearbox Semi-active
differential
t
i
t
R
t
F
Engine
Gearbox Semi-active
differential
Controlled
clutch
Free
differential
Fig. 1 - Powertrain architecture.
KINEMATIC CONSIDERATIONS
Because of the presence of a constant gear ratio
between the front wheels and the center clutch, the
center clutch slip on the engaged gear according to the
following expression:
F whl F R whl R i F whl F engine center , , ,
e t e t t e t e e ÷ = ÷ = A
(1)
In the (1) t
i
is the gear ratio, t
R
is the rear differential
ratio, t
F
is the front differential ratio, e
engine
is the engine
speed, e
whl,R
is the rear wheel speed, e
whl,F
is the front
wheel speed. If the front and rear rolling radius is
approximately the same, the clutch slip becomes a linear
function of the wheels speed:
2007-01-0926
An Innovative 4WD Controlled Powertrain
for High Performance Vehicle
Federico Cheli, Andrea Zorzutti and Paolo Dellachà
Politecnico di Milano

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( )
whl F R i F whl F R whl R i center
e t t t e t e t t e ÷ ~ ÷ = A
, ,
(2)
The linear coefficient depends on the gear ratio and it is
inversely proportional to the gear number.
Thinking about how a clutch works, it’s easy to
understand that the plate connected to the engine
crankshaft has to rotate faster than the other one while a
torque transfer to the front axle is needed. If this
condition is required for every engaged gear, equation
(2) shows that the front differential ratio t
F
has to be
designed to assume a value less than the product t
i
t
R
even for the latest gear. If the difference in the brackets
in (2) has to be a little bit greater than zero when the
latest gear is engaged, its value would be too big in the
first gear. That means that thermal and consuming
problems would be very critical when the first gear is
engaged. Because of those considerations the device
has been designed to work in a possible 4WD
configuration only while the engaged gear is equal or
less than the fourth. So doing the front differential ratio
t
F
has been defined according to the (3).
R F
k t t t
4
= (3)
The k coefficient must assume a constant value less
than 1 (approximately 0.95 is enough) to guarantee that
the clutch plate connected to the crankshaft rotates
faster that the one connected to the front differential
even when the fourth gear is engaged.
This choice can appear limitative in comparison to a
common 4WD driveline because it doesn’t allow to
distribute the driving torque between the two axles when
a gear greater than the fourth one is engaged. Instead
this choice precisely satisfies the requested targets to
improve the handling performance of a sport RWD car.
SOFTWARE ARCHITECTURE AND
DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
The structure of the SW architecture, reported in Fig.5,
is basically composed of three parts:
1. Basic Software
2. Actuation Layer
3. Vehicle Controller Layer
CAN
ADC/
DAC
VC - Layer
Control Blocks
Verification/
Validation
Vehicle Dynamic
Controller
Operativ System
OSEK
Actuator layer
Interface to CAN
Diagnosis
Functional
Software
Basic
Software +
Hardware
Interface
CAN
ADC/
DAC
VC - Layer
Control Blocks
Verification/
Validation
Vehicle Dynamic
Controller
Operativ System
OSEK
Actuator layer
Interface to CAN
Diagnosis
Functional
Software
Basic
Software +
Hardware
Interface
Fig. 5. Software Architecture.
The Basic Software is an interface to the HW (Sensors
and CAN) that makes the operations of the Functional
Software almost independent from the HW
implementation. Actuation Layer and Vehicle Controller
(VC) layer are the main parts of the functional Software
and they will be described in details in the following
sections.
The SW development process is accomplishing in
accordance with the well-known V-model (see [12] and
[14]), shown in Fig. 6. After the definitions of systems
requirements a first design of the control algorithms is
done in an off-line simulation (all the components are
developed in Matlab/Simulink environments). The
Vehicle Controller algorithms have been developed
through co-simulation with a validated vehicle model. A
following rapid controller prototyping phase (with Micro
Autobox of DSpace) will allow to analyze and optimize
the controller calibration in the vehicle using real time
data. Afterwards the series code from the control
algorithm will be generated automatically (with the tool
TargetLink) in order to work on standard production
ECUs. Hardware In the Loop (HIL) tests and final
validations in the cars will be necessary in order to
control all the failure conditions.
Fig. 6. V Model: SW development process.
VEHICLE CONTROLLER LAYER
As said in the previous paragraph, the original rear
wheel drive vehicle was already equipped with a semi-
active [4], [5], [8], [9], [10]; so the only difference
between the two powertrain layouts is the presence of
the centre clutch (Fig. 1). Because of that the authors
have added a new logic for the centre clutch to the one
for the rear differential. Obviously the two subsystems
have to communicate each other (Fig. 2) to optimize the
improvements of the handling performance. The rear
semi-active differential logic has been adapted in regard
to the original release to make its intervention as a
function even of the torque transferred to the front axle.
Instead, the centre clutch logic has been completely
designed.
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ONBOARD
MEASUREMENT
SET 1
ONBOARD
MEASUREMENT
SET 2
CENTER
CLUTCH
LOGIC
REAR
DIFFERENTIAL
LOGIC
CENTER
CLUTCH
REAR
DIFFERENTIAL
Fig. 2 – Control logic architecture.
The approach (Fig. 3) adopted to define the reference
functions of the logic components was based on an
intensive numerical simulation campaign.
SENSORS
(TIME DELAYS)
CONTROL LOGIC
(SIMULINK MODEL)
ELECTROVALVES
(TIME DELAYS)
VEHICLE MODEL VEHICLE MODEL
Fig. 3 – Logic development approach.
Due to this fact, the performance of the feed-forward
components strongly depends on the reliability of the
vehicle model. For this reason a validated 14 degrees of
freedom model (IPG CarMaker
®
) has been used, and it
has been integrated with the actuators model and with
the control logic. The model has been validated
comparing its outputs to experimental data of a passive
demo 4WD vehicle with three differentials. In
Fig. 4 and in Fig. 5 the understeer curve (steer angle vs.
lateral acceleration) and the side slip curve (car side slip
vs. lateral acceleration) are respectively shown for an
ISO steering pad maneuver. The axis values are note
reported in all figures in this paper because of
confidentiality agreements.
Ay [m/s
2
]
s
t
e
e
r

[
d
e
g
]
Measured
Simulated
Fig. 4 - Steering pad constant radius. Understeering curve numerical
vs. experimental.
Ay [m/s
2
]
S
i
d
e

S
l
i
p

A
n
g
l
e

[
d
e
g
]
Measured
Simulated
Fig. 5 - Steering pad constant radius. Side slip curve numerical vs.
experimental.
CONTROL LOGIC MAIN ARCHITECTURE
The control logic structure reflects the primacy of the
semi-active differential on the center clutch. As like as it
was said in the previous paragraph, the authors haven’t
designed a new control logic for the rear axle
management, but they have kept the main structure and
philosophy of the original algorithm [4], [5], [8], [9], [10]
and they have adapted them to the presence of another
controlled device. Because of this planning choice, the
ideal two ways communication between the two device
controllers is a one way communication. In other words,
only the semi-active differential control logic has to know
what the center clutch is doing. The vice-versa is not
provided to prevent any algebraic loop.
Such strategy is particularly profitable because it reflects
the goals fixed at the beginning of the work. This AWD
wants to be a simple option to make the vehicle easier to
be driven and let the tires to transmit to the ground the
whole engine power every time a RWD wouldn’t be able
to do that. The aim is not to transform a sportive rear
wheel drive car in an all time four wheel drive one. The
vehicle must continue to be a RWD as much as
possible, and it has to be an AWD only when otherwise
the stability would be compromise.
The target quantity is constituted, both in the semi-active
differential logic (T
ref,R
) and in the center clutch logic
(T
ref,F
), as the sum of a feed-forward contribute and a
feed-back contribute whose parameters depend on the
vehicle state and the driving condition.
SEMI-ACTIVE DIFFERENTIAL LOGIC
The differential influence closely depends on driver
demands and driving torque sign: that means it is
different in power on and power off condition. Even if the
goal is always to maintain car stability also at vehicle
limit, the approach to achieve it is different in steady-
state/power on and power off situations. In the first case
a free differential is preferred; in the other case a locked
one is preferred. This distinction is a basic idea in control
logic too (Fig. 6). First of all the algorithm foresees that
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car state has to be detected. The system, then, applies
dedicated sub-algorithms, one for steady-state/power on
and one for power off, which results represent the
reference locking torque T
ref,R
. As previously explained
both algorithms define T
ref,R
as a sum of a feed-forward
(consisting in multi-dimensional maps) and a close-loop
component. This approach is very useful because
measured signals (lateral acceleration, yaw rate, etc.),
commonly used in vehicle control systems, are
consequences of driver inputs and are affected by time
delays due to vehicle dynamics. These delays practically
reduce control bandwidth. The approach adopted avoids
this problem: the feed-forward component guarantees a
quick system response, and the feed-back one
guarantees a precise control.
Car State
Recognizing
Steady-State &
Power On Strategy
Power Off Strategy
T
ref,R
Fig. 6 - Main algorithm of the semi-active differential logic.
STEADY-STATE AND POWER ON
The steady-state and power on strategy is based on
speed difference AV
X,ist
between inner wheel and outer
one. It is defined as:
( )
, , X ist RL RR R stat
V R ( ) sign e e ¢ A = ÷
(4)
in which e
RL
and e
RR
are wheel rotational speeds [rad/s],
R
Rstat
is the wheel static radius [m], and ¢ is the yaw
rate [rad/s]. This value is compared with a threshold
AV
x,threshold
coming from a function of vehicle state
( ) ( , ,
, , ,
X threshold X Y Eng ref F i R
V f V A T T
)
¢ t t A = ÷
(5)
whose values are defined by numerical and
experimental tuning campaigns. In (5) T
Eng
is the engine
torque, T
ref,F
is the transferred torque to the front axle, t
i
and t
R
are respectively the gearbox and the rear
differential ratios.
The difference between AV
x,ist
and AV
x,threshold
is the error
c, which is used by a PI controller to calculate the
reference locking torque T
ref,R
(7). The PI controller gains
are non-linear.
AV
X,ist
PI T
ref,R
-
+
-
+
INNER INNER
FEED FEED- -FORWARD FORWARD
OUTER OUTER
CLOSE CLOSE- -LOOP LOOP
Steady-State
&
Power On
Threshold
(3D map)
V
X
A
Y
AV
X,threshold
T
Eng
+_ +_
T
ref,F
t
i
t
R
Fig. 7 - AV
X,threshold
and T
ref,R
definition.
The AV
x,threshold
function is a non-linear one (in Fig. 8 is
shown an example of the map for a fixed lateral
acceleration value). Its shape increase when the
longitudinal speed, the lateral acceleration and the
differential incoming torque increase.
T
incoming
[Nm] V
X
[km/h]
A
V
X
,
t
r
e
s
h
o
ld
[
k
m
/
h
]
Fig. 8 – Steady-State & Power On strategy. Map of the semi-active
differential logic.
Because of the map shape the AV
x,threshold
decrease
when some torque is transferred to the front axle. So a
center clutch intervention makes the semi-active
differential action more severe, because the tolerated
wheel speed difference becomes lower and the
differential works as like as a locked one.
a b
Fig. 9 – Influence of torque transferring on the rear differential. Open
center clutch (a) and closed center clutch (b)
The effect from a handling point of view is the increase
of the oversteering moment introduced by the rear
differential (Fig. 9). This fact could seem contrasting with
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the aims of the semi-active differential, but it is not
negative because the contemporaneous torque
transferring to the front axle generates an understeering
moment on it that contrasts the rear oversteering one. In
the end, the global affect on the car is a greater traction
and lateral limit due to the AWD and a neutral behavior.
POWER OFF
A power off maneuver is really critical both from the
vehicle dynamics point of view and from safety one.
When car is close to the adherence limits, in other words
at high lateral acceleration, the load transfer to the front
axle, due to the power off, generates an oversteering
moment. Even if car doesn’t spin, its yaw rate suddenly
increases and its path gets into a closer trajectory. This,
at least, gives the driver an instability feeling. Therefore
a locking differential can be helpful because it introduces
an understeering moment on vehicle, which opposes its
natural oversteering tendency. Because of that, a
controlled differential should increase the locking torque
while car is approaching to its limit. In power off control
strategy, the locking torque is defined in feed-forward as
a function of vehicle speed and lateral acceleration (Fig.
10). A dedicated power off feed-forward algorithm is
necessary because a feedback strategy based on the
measurements would react to the power off too slowly.
There would be a time gap when controlled differential
would behave as a free one, not introducing any
understeering moment and not opposing to oversteering
car tendency. An open loop strategy, instead, can order
locking torque as soon as a power off condition is
detected. Power off starting and ending condition are
detected observing the driver input, with particular
attention to the torque demand.
V
x
A
Y
Power Off
2D map
T
ref,R
Fig. 10 - Power off open loop strategy.
CENTER CLUTCH LOGIC
The center clutch controller is based on an inner loop
constituted of a feed-forward subsystem and a feed-
back one (Fig. 11), and an outer closed loop.
|
|

Semi-active
differential
logic
Center
clutch
actuator
OUTER CLOSE OUTER CLOSE- -LOOP LOOP
FEED
FORWARD
FEED
BACK
+
X
eng
T
F ref
T
,
front to %
INNER FF + FB INNER FF + FB
RL
e
RR
e
R i eng
T t t
X
V
Y
A
FEED
BACK
Fig. 11 - Center clutch logic.
The feed-forward (FF) contribute confers a fast reaction
to the controller and the feed-back (FB) contribute
guarantees precision when the steady-state is reached.
The outer closed loop has to guarantee a proper
behavior in some particular conditions which happens
when the vehicle is at limit. The output quantity of both
FF and FB is a torque. These torques are summed each
other and the result represents the engine torque to be
sent to the front axle. The effects of a torque transferring
on the handling response can be understood thinking
about the tire behavior. In a RWD car the whole driving
torque acts on the rear wheels only so that the tires can’t
spend the friction to generate a lateral force (Fig. 12, a).
Instead, more friction of the rear tires can be spent to
generate lateral force when some driving torque is
transferred to the front axle (Fig. 12, b). In this way a
higher lateral limit can be reached without any
oversteering tendency.
Fx
Fy
Rear Rear Tires Tires
a
Fx
Fy
Rear Rear Tires Tires
b
Fig. 12 – Influence of torque transferring on the tires behavior. Open
center clutch (a) and closed center clutch (b)
STEADY-STATE AND POWER ON
FEED-FORWARD
The feed-forward is constituted of a map which is non-
linear function (Fig. 13) of the vehicle state (V
X
, A
Y
, T
eng
).
Referring to Fig. 13 the 3D map shows a transferred
torque trend which:
1. increases when the lateral acceleration (A
Y
);
2. increases for low longitudinal speed (V
X
), it remains
almost constant for medium speeds and it
decreases when the speed approaches to the 4th
gear limit, to guarantee a smooth transition to the
5th gear (the first one in which the center clutch has
to be fully open);
3. increases when the engine torque (T
Eng
) increases,
that is when the rear tire would be closer to the
adherence limit.
T
eng
[Nm] V
X
[km/h]
T
o
r
q
u
e
t
o
a
n
t
[
%
]
Fig. 13 – Steady-State & Power On strategy. Feed-forward map for
fixed (low) lateral acceleration.
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The feed-forward map has been tuned simulating many
kinds of maneuvers:
1. steering pad constant velocity
2. steering pad constant radius
3. power on constant radius
and varying the road friction coefficient.
FEED-BACK
The feed-back subsystem has mainly to assist the feed-
forward every time its intervention would be too soft. The
FB contribute to the transferred torque percentage
(called % to front
FB
) is the output of a PI controller (6)
which gets the difference c (7) between V (8) and V
ref
(9)
FB
% to front
P I
K K dt c c = +
)
(6)
( )
0
ref
V V c
>
= ÷
(7)
where V is a quantity which is connected to the rear axle
speed and V
ref
is a reference value. V quantity is
calculated (8) as the weighted average of the two
wheels, and the weight of each one is described by the
p
R,in
and p
R,out
parameters.
, , , ,
,
, ,
R in R in R out R out
stat R
R in R out
p p
V R
p p
e e +
=
+
(8)
In this way it’s possible to make more attention what
happens to the outer wheel, whose slipping causes the
rear axle lost. V
ref
is a threshold which represents the
maximum tolerable wheel speed (9).
( ) ( )
,
1 1
2
FL FR
ref X stat F
V V p R p
e e +
= + = + (9)
This value is calculated starting from the vehicle speed,
increased of a p percentage to take the maximum tire
slip into account.
The aim of this subsystem is not to modulate the FF
contribute to the transferred torque keeping the c always
close to zero, but it only has to avoid that V becomes
grater than V
ref
. Because of that the error is inferiorly
saturated to zero (7).
OUTER close loop
When the car is over the limit and it starts to oversteer,
because even the maximum intervention of the center
clutch and the semi-active differential is not enough to
keep a stable behavior, the lateral acceleration usually
decreases. In this very particular situation the only feed-
forward and feed-back subsystems can’t properly work.
In fact the lateral acceleration decrease cause a
reduction of the FF contribute (% to front
FF
) because of
the 3D map topology. In other words, the car becomes
closer to a RWD one again, amplifying the oversteering
tendency. Such logic reaction to the vehicle state is
dangerous because makes the car response change
just when the driver has to control the vehicle. The
vehicle is not predictable. The outer closed-loop has just
to manage this kind of situations, maintaining the center
clutch intervention as more constant as possible to make
the vehicle more predictable. This part of the logic is
based on the sideslip angle (
est
| ) and the sideslip angle
velocity observation (
est
|

). These two quantities are
estimated according to the (10) and (12), because they
are note measured onboard.
,
atan
Y est
est
X
V
V
|
| |
=
|
\ .
(10)
( )
, Y est Y X
V A V ¢ = ÷ dt
)

(11)
Y
est
X
A
V
| ¢ = ÷

(12)
The vehicle lateral speed is estimated referring to the
measurements of the lateral acceleration, the
longitudinal speed and the yaw rate (11). The integral is
annulled every time the lateral acceleration falls into a
dead-zone across the zero. When the sideslip angle or
its velocity are greater than a threshold value (
est
| and
est
|

), the transferred torque to the front axle is
prevented to decrease (13).
( ) % to front
v 0
est est est est
t
| | | |
c
> > ¬
c

> (13)
Fig. 14, Fig. 15 and Fig. 16 show the influence of this
part of the logic on the vehicle handling. The analyzed
diagrams refer to a turn end condition. In every figure
the solid red line refers to the logic with the outer closed
loop, and the dash blue line refers to the logic without
the outer closed loop. More in details, in Fig. 14 the two
trajectories and the center clutch logic intervention
points (green and magenta dots) are reported. The
trajectories show that the driver can more easily control
the vehicle, even if the lateral limit has been reached
and exceeded, if the outer closed loop is activated. The
good effects on the vehicle stability can be observed in
Fig. 15 where the sideslip angle vs. the curvilinear
abscissa is reported. The oscillation and the overshoot
after the curve escape (1122 m) are considerably
reduced.
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Fig. 14 – Turn end condition. Vehicle trajectory.
Fig. 15 – Turn end condition. Sideslip angle vs. curvilinear abscissa.
Fig. 16 – Turn end condition. Torque to front percentage vs. curvilinear
abscissa.
The reason of the easier control by the driver and the
more stable vehicle behavior at limit is due to the center
clutch intervention maintenance. In Fig. 16 the torque to
front percentage vs. the curvilinear abscissa is reported.
It can be noted that the outer closed loop maintains the
value constant (solid red line) till the vehicle is close a
critical condition and lets its decrease with a limited rate.
Instead, the logic without the outer closed loop lets the
torque to front percentage oscillate and go quickly down
to zero amplifying the oversteer tendency and making
the driver intervention harder.
POWER OFF
Considering all that has been said in the third paragraph,
it can be understood how any intervention of the center
clutch involves a transfer of positive driving torque only
(Fig. 17), whatever is the nature (driving or dragging) of
the engine torque, every time the engaged gear is equal
or less than the fourth one. In fact, in this conditions the
clutch plate connected to the engine is always faster
than the one connected to the front differential. The
torque distribution that would be generated wouldn’t
absolutely be acceptable, because a driving torque on
the steered wheels would cause an unsuitable
oversteering moment.
t
i
t
R
t
F
Open clutch
Closed clutch
Fig. 17 - Torque distribution in Power off.
On the other hand, in case of gear greater than the
fourth one the front wheel would be dragged, generating
an understeering momento on the vehicle. That could be
appear useful for car stability at high speed and lateral
acceleration, but it has to keep in mind that the
understeering torque generated by the rear semi-active
differential is enough to stabilize the vehicle. Because of
these considerations the center clutch must stay
unengaged during the power off maneuvers and it has to
transfer no torque.
NUMERIC RESULTS
The AWD controlled system has been tested simulating
a various kind of maneuvers. Besides, this work has
been repeated varying the road friction coefficient and
the tires cornering stiffness characteristic to better
evaluate the robustness of the developed logic. The
simulated standard maneuvers have been:
- stand-still start;
- steering pad constant radius;
- steering pad constant velocity;
- power on constant radius;
- power off in turn.
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Many laps on a high speed circuit and on a typical
mountain track have been simulated to verify the AWD
logic efficiency in general conditions and to estimate the
dissipated power and the heating of the center clutch.
STANDARD ISO MANOEUVRE
Steering pad constant velocity, steering pad constant
radius and power on constant radius have been
simulated to tune the logic, especially feed-forward
maps, and to verify correct operation.
Fig. 18 – Understeering curve in power on (full throttle) constant radius
(100m) maneuver.
In Fig. 18 is reported the understeering curve for a
power on maneuver on high friction road, fully throttle on
a 100 m radius. The RWD vehicle oversteers reaching at
last a 6 m/s
2
acceleration, while the car equipped with
the new AWD powertrain can remain stable reaching the
limit with an understeering behavior. The gain in
maximum lateral acceleration is approximately 30% in
regard to the RWD car.
3. TRACK LAPS
The AWD logic efficiency has been tested also
simulating many track laps on a high speed circuit (Fig.
19) and a mountain one. This part of the work has been
useful to verify the center clutch stress too, and to get
some information about its dimensioning.
Fig. 19 - High speed circuit. Center clutch interventions.
In Fig. 19 the high speed topology is reported; the
magenta dots refer to the zone of center clutch
intervention. It appears quite clearly that the torque
transferring to the front axle is needed above all at the
end of the turn, when the driver pushes the throttle to
make the vehicle accelerate. Fig. 20 ÷ Fig. 23 show the
trend of some vehicle quantity expressed as function of
the curvilinear abscissa to better compare the difference
between a RWD vehicle (solid green line) and the new
AWD one (dash blue line). The analyzed turn is the one
in the red circle of Fig. 19, which corresponds to a
curvilinear abscissa from 1110 m to 1140 m. In Fig. 20
the lateral acceleration is reported. The AWD vehicle
can reach a higher lateral level, which means a higher
speed, and it also able to align itself at the end of the
turn letting the driver push the throttle before.
Fig. 20 – Turn (Fig. 19) on high speed circuit. Lateral acceleration vs.
curvilinear abscissa.
Fig. 21 - Turn (Fig. 19) on high speed circuit. Gas pedal vs. curvilinear
abscissa.
Fig. 22 - Turn (Fig. 19) on high speed circuit. Longitudinal acceleration
vs. curvilinear abscissa.
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In Fig. 21 and in Fig. 22 the gas pedal signal and the
longitudinal acceleration one are respectively reported.
The vehicle with the new AWD powertrain can anticipate
the acceleration phase because of its better torque
distribution and its greater stability. In fact the throttle
position signal of the AWD car (Fig. 21) is higher
between 1110 m to 1140 m, as like as the longitudinal
acceleration (Fig. 22).
Fig. 23 - Turn (Fig. 19) on high speed circuit. Rear locking torque vs.
curvilinear abscissa.
In Fig. 23 the locking torque of the rear semi-active
differential is reported. Everything said in the paragraph
SEMI-ACTIVE DIFFERENTIAL LOGIC – STEADY-
STATE AND POWER ON can be note. In particular it
appears that the locking tendency on the AWD car is
higher because of the AVx, threshold decrease due to
the torque transferring to the front axle and the feed-
forward map shape. The vehicle doesn’t oversteer (even
if the semi-active introduces a greater oversteering
moment) because the center clutch action generates a
positive and stabilizing intervention.
Tab. 1 and Tab. 2 resume some of the meaningful
results. The time lap gain is 2.44 s (-2.5%) with the new
AWD vehicle Tab. 1. The system works only for 13.35 s
(14% of the lap time) with a mean slip velocity of 3380
rpm. The mean dissipated power in the whole lap is
really low (2.26 kW). This value increases and reaches
16.17 kW averaging it in regard to the closed clutch time
only. However the value is low enough to think about a
cooling system of the clutch oil in common with the
engine oil one.
V
X,mean
T
lap
2WD 103.57 km/h 97.83 s
4WD 106.22 km/h 95.39 s
Tab. 1
T
closed Aslip
mean
P
mean,lap
P
mean,closed
13.35 s 3380 rpm 2.26 kW 16.17 kW
Tab. 2
CONCLUSIONS
In the paper a control system for the handling of an
innovative 4WD vehicle, equipped with a rear semi-
active differential and a centre wet clutch, has been
presented. The algorithms for the control of each part of
the driveline has been illustrated and correlated to the
handling response. The control system has been tested
simulating both ISO and not ISO maneuvers. Beside,
many laps on a high speed circuit and a mountain track
for different road friction level to predict the centre clutch
stress.
Nowadays the authors are involved in the demo vehicle
preparation. From this point of view the work is focused
on many issues that can make the developed logic
robust not only on a virtual vehicle. The real CAN Bus
(with signal discretization, delay and sampling has been
reproduced) has been completely modeled, signal noise
and filtering (based on real acquisitions) have been
recently implemented to verify the system response and
its eventual fails.
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