Following on the heels of the successful AWD adaptation of the Chrysler Pacifica, Borg Warner has been tapped once again to outfit the
Sebring and Avenger models with all-wheel motiviation. The Borg will supply the hardware as well as the electronic controls and support for integrating the system with the rest of the platform. BW has a line of products specifically aimed at adapting AWD to front-drive platforms. Known as iTrac, the suite of products is designed to interface with stability and traction control systems. With everything working in concert, the Interactive Torque Management (ITM 3e©) system is designed to offer the sure-footed dynamics of an AWD chassis with no fuel economy penalty. At highway speeds, power transfer to the rear wheels is reduced, lowering friction and allowing for better fuel economy.
Whether or not AWD is entirely necessary (a full suite of four snow tires and a prudent driver are often nearly as effective) remains to be seen, but it is popular. With the buying public being sold on AWD as a safety feature, it benefits manufacturers when they can offer it on more of their models, and it's a further benefit when the platform doesn't need much re-engineering for the extra hardware.
UPDATE: PRNewswire has issued a correction stating that the release should not have specified the Chrysler Sebring at all. The news applies only to the Dodge Avenger.
[Source: Borg Warner via prnewswire - Sub Req'd]