According to major auto retailers such as CarMax, 4WD and AWD systems are among the top 10 most sought-after features on vehicles purchased in the US. It’s one of the reasons why vehicles like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee continue to be so popular across the country. Whether people really need it or not, these four-wheel drive systems are the ultimate.
One of the best known names in the world of AWD systems is Haldex. You’ve probably heard of it or seen it on a vehicle’s specs and must have wondered exactly what it is. We’re diving deep into today’s blog to learn all about Haldex, what it is, the pros and cons, and much more.
Background: What is Haldex?
Haldex AWD systems are named for their creator company Haldex AB, a Swedish company currently owned by the parent company of the American multinational BorgWarner. The Haldex AWD system is quite interesting because what it actually does is take an existing FWD system and convert it to an all-wheel drive system using electronic sensors and a special differential to automatically redistribute power to the front and rear axles as needed. .
Different generations of Haldex AWD
In all, there have been five generations of Haldex starting in 1998, with the latest fifth generation systems appearing in 2012 and first created for new VW cars. Below are some details about each generation:
1st Generation (1998) – Haldex was first used in the Audi TT, as well as the Audi S3 8L and the VW Golf. It featured an electronically controlled hydraulic AWD system that engages the rear wheels whenever a skid is detected on the front wheels.
2nd Generation (2001) – An electronically controlled permanent 4WD with a special differential to determine how much power needed to be sent to the rear wheels. It distributed power to the front and rear wheels automatically depending on how much/little slip was detected.
3rd Generation (2006) – This generation was designed for better off-road response and first appeared on the new Land Rover LR2. It was also widely used in Volvo cars, known as the “Instant Traction” feature.
4th Generation (2007) – These systems feature strongly on Saab models, especially the 9-3 Turbo-X. They called it XWD (Cross-Wheel Drive).
5th Generation (2012) – It was first announced in 2009 that a new system would be created for 2012 and was implemented between 2012 and 2013. It is now distributed by BorgWarner TorqTransfer Systems and has been greatly simplified in its design. It now features an electro-hydraulic clutch actuator that distributes power between the front and rear wheels using a centrifugal wastegate.
Examples of models with Haldex AWD installed
Haldex AWD systems are fitted to a wide range of vehicles, including examples from the following OEMs:
- Volkswagen: Audi S3, Q3, TT; SEAT Leon 4, Octavia 4×4; VW Golf R, Tiguan and more
- Volvo: S40 AWD, V40 Cross Country AWD, S60 AWD, S80, XC90 and more
- Ford: Taurus, Mondeo, Kuga and more
- Land Rover: Freelander LR2, Discovery Sport and more
- Saab: 9-3 Turbo X, 9-5 Turbo 6 and more
- GM: Buick Lacrosse, Cadillac SRX and Open Insignia/Buick Regal
What is a Haldex controller? How it works?
For those people using Haldex 4Motion systems in more specialized worlds like drag racing for example, they will need a Haldex controller. In fact, the devices can be used on a wide variety of vehicles, but they have been used extensively in drag racing to give drivers full control over traction control.
The Haldex controller allows users to create an automatic program whereby the system will automatically activate from the start of the mark, but will deactivate when reaching a preset speed. When used on other cars, however, it can be used to reduce understeer, vary the slip angle and lean of the front or rear wheel, and ensure that traction transfer is disengaged when the car is shifted into reverse or when someone is braking. 🇧🇷
Pros and Cons of Haldex Vs. Traditional AWD
Pro – Gives OEMs easy access to AWD technology
As a third-party system, the Haldex system is easily applied to many existing vehicle designs, meaning OEMs can provide more affordable AWD options without having to invest millions in R&D to develop their own and then pass those costs on to their customers. for several model years until the technology pays for itself. Haldex can be fitted to virtually any FWD vehicle, so it’s a great choice for manufacturers.
Pro – Fuel Efficiency; Best of Both Worlds
Since the Haldex system is only driving 2 wheels most of the time, it helps to save fuel. If you look for a variant of a car with a permanent AWD option, you’ll first notice how much lower fuel efficiency is. It is always smaller, without exception. Haldex offers a method of enjoying the benefits of AWD, but without having to endure fuel consumption to the same degree as a permanent AWD system.
You essentially get the best of both worlds – the efficiency of an FWD drivetrain, but with the added traction of AWD when your car needs it most.
Pro – Great for Modding
If you have an older car that doesn’t have any AWD systems, you can usually add Haldex as long as the car is already an FWD drivetrain.
Counter – Understeer
When someone is traveling with a heavy load, the Haldex system can create a lot of understeer as the computer tries to keep up and send traction to the rear axle in time. For example, the Audi RS3 has always been known for its understeer issues.
Is Haldex AWD always FWD driven?
In short, yes it is. On their own, Haldex AWD systems are always biased to FWD. In a more real sense, however, it can be more RWD-biased, but only through the use of additional or third-party software and equipment. One example It’s called the Haldex AWD system setup, and it promises to deliver a more sports-car-like feel, especially when cornering.
If you are a car modification enthusiast and interested in trying RWD-prone Haldex systems, then you can give it a try. Under normal circumstances, however, FWD bias is the default setting on all systems.