BMW turns to aftermarket for 7 Series CV Joint

New sideshaft helps reduce weight, and noise, vibration and harshness.

Published: January 28, 2016, 4:30 PM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 2:50 PM

GKN LV3 sideshaft

BMW is turning to a leading aftermarket supplier to save weight in the drive components of its new 7 Series.

GKN Driveline, the world’s leading supplier of automotive driveline components and systems, is supplying the new constant velocity (CV) joint for the large rear-drive sedan, allowing the car to save more than 4 kg in weight and reduce packaging, thanks to a Monobloc Tubular Shaft and Face Spline connection to the wheel hub. Reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) helps create the refined driving experience BMW demands.

The 7 Series’ new VL3 CV joint increases torque capacity by up to 27% without increasing packaging, and with a plunging distance of 18 mm, it is claimed by GKN as the best choice for a rear constant velocity sideshaft for medium working angles with low axial forces and best in class minimum backlash.

“The VL3 joint helps automakers achieve a refined, luxury driving experience. We are delighted that it is debuting on the BMW 7 Series,” says Karl Berger, GKN Driveline Senior Director Product Technology of Constant Velocity Joints. “GKN already established the benchmark for rear CV Joints with our predecessor technology, but the VL3 sets the new level. We have developed a CVJ that is lighter, more efficient, stronger and delivers more torque in smaller packaging.”

Available in four sizes, the new VL3 furthers the GKN pioneering CounterTrack, using innovative track geometry with four pairs of opposed ball tracks which allow it to transmit more torque within the same packaging. Alternatively, users can choose to maintain torque capacity while reducing packaging by about 10%. Packaging is further reduced through the use of a diaphragm boot sealing system, instead of a standard boot and cap, which helps reduce axial packaging, grease volume and, again, weight.

“These latest innovations offer improvements in every area of importance for automakers, including strength, endurance, efficiency and weight, helping to produce a dynamic driving performance and optimising power delivery from the engine to the wheels. We have also minimised backlash, which leads to a refined driving experience,” concluded Berger

The VL3 sideshaft system is also up for an Automotive News 2016 PACE Award.