Types of Differentials

Differentials are of many times types, car companies choose the type of differential considering factors like road condition, terrain type, mode of driving(i.e sports, drift, normal, rally etc). Let’s see some types of differential below.

Open differential.

It is the most basic type of all differential, both the axles get an equal amount of torque while the tyre with less traction gets more torque. Due to its simplicity, this differential imbibes less cost.

Locked differential

The purpose of this differential is to maintain a constant speed between two wheels. This type of a differential is mainly used in off-road cars due to its ability to transfer up to 100 % of torque to the wheel which is in high traction.

Viscous Limited Slip Differential(VLSD)

It is one type of limited differential but has some drawbacks compared to other forms of LSD. It cannot fully lockup that is an additional speed differential is required to transfer torque. But it is most easily operated differential of LSDs.

Mechanical clutch type LSD

This type also has subtypes like one way, 1.5 way, two way, electronic etc. The basic working fundamental is same for all the subtype which is to lock the differential and allow torque to be sent to the wheel with most grip. It can also lock the system when throttling is done. This type of differentials are not too cost friendly and need constant maintenance like oil change and clutch replacement due to its complex design.

Torsen differential 

Torsen differential also locks up the system in order to transfer to the wheel with more grip. it is more responsive compared to the VLSD. But the disadvantage of this differential is that it acts more like an open differential when one of the wheels is hanging in the air.

Torque Vectoring Differential

It is the most complex of all differential and requires programming. Due to its programmed working, it also provides most control to the driver. This differential cost more money due to its complexity.


Feature Image Courtesy: Car Throttle