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Car reviews - Holden - Cruze - 5-dr wagon

Transmission

Holden logo26 Sep 2002

By BRUCE NEWTON

THE fundamentals are absolutely small-car orthodox, with a five-speed manual transmission standard and four-speed electronically-controlled automatic. But the Cruze has the added twist of an all-wheel drive system. The powertrain has a power takeoff using a spiral bevel gear drive unit to transfer power via a propellor shaft to the rear. At the central under-floor location the prop shaft incorporates a viscous coupling which functions only when there is a differential in speed between the front and rear sections of the prop shaft. A rear differential and driveshafts complete the AWD package. In normal situations the Cruze is a front-wheel drive, just like any small hatch, but when the viscous coupling detects front wheel slippage via that speed differential between the front and rear sections of the propellor shaft, then it transfers drive to the rear.

Did you know?

Within the viscous coupling, the front and rear drive elements are connected to a series of discs, which are laid out in an alternating pattern through a bath of silicon fluid. The speed difference across the coupling causes these alternating disks to rotate relative to each other. The silicon fluid, however, resists this relative rotation. Thus torque is then transmitted from the front drive to the rear drive element of the coupling

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