GKN opens all-new innovation center

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Tier 1 supplier GKN has opened a new innovation center in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK. With OEMs continuing the electrification movement, the company is looking to develop state-of-the-art vehicle technologies and systems.

The facility, which will be central to the recently announced partnership with the Panasonic Jaguar Formula E team, will develop new components for the electric race car. This follows the inclusion of GKN’s custom fluid ports inclusion in the I-Type 2.

Thanks to expertise in electrified drivelines, lightweight structures, composite materials and additive manufacturing, the supplier aims to aid the development of lighter, quieter and more efficient electric vehicles.

Phil Swash, CEO at GKN Driveline, has high hopes for the development. “Our new UK Innovation Centre will develop an array of next-generation technologies that will deliver significant benefits to electric vehicle, motorsport and off-highway applications.

“No other company can apply aerospace experience to automotive applications in the same way as GKN, unlocking exciting opportunities for additive manufacturing and composites.”

In addition to working with the Panasonic Jaguar Racing Formula E team, the Tier 1 supplier will focus on developing a prototype increased capacity energy storage unit as well as a new TorqueShift system featuring a seamless dual-clutch feel for EV drivers.

“I’m particularly pleased to launch this R&D facility in the UK. GKN is a global business, but is proud of its UK roots,” said Swash.

“We are headquartered here, listed here, and our divisions manufacture from 14 sites across the UK. This facility complements our global network and we are excited to start developing the automotive technologies of the future here in Abingdon.”

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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