TRW’s third-generation electrically powered steering column drive technology is featured on two recently launched major vehicle platforms.

Annual volumes will exceed 1 million units for these platforms, which comprise the GAC Fiat Viaggio in China and, in Europe, the Volkswagen Polo, Up and e-Up; Audi S1; Skoda Rapide, Space Back, Fabia and Citigo; and the Fiat 500L.

The technology is based on a modular and scalable architecture which allows for greater freedom of packaging and design for a broad range of applications and helps lower lifecycle costs, the supplier says.

TRW offers two electrically powered steering systems to cover the full vehicle platform range, and consume power to any significant degree only when steering assist is needed. The first is the column drive unit mounted on the steering column inside the passenger compartment. The second is the belt drive where the assist is applied to the rack through a belt-and-ball-nut mechanism.

“Our Gen 3 EPS is tailored to our customers’ strategies to increasingly apply modular technology across global platforms,” Dirk Kesselgruber, TRW vice president-steering engineering, says in a news release.

“The beauty of these products is the building block nature of substituting motors, ECUs and other major items to fit the application without having to do a massive design tear-up. The value to our customers comes in the form of shorter times to market, and greater component reuse.”