Powering through

Transmission engineering group Antonov said it is on track to commercialise its automatic gearbox technology despite its losses widening to over £3m last year.

Antonov is working with firms within and, increasingly, outside the automotive sector in a bid to bring its system to full-scale production.

The company has been developing the technology since the early 1990s, claiming it offers weight and fuel efficiency benefits over conventional automatics.

Antonov unveiled a loss of just under £3.1m for 2004, up from £2.1m the previous year, claiming this was in line with expectations. The company said increased spending on development, including higher prototype costs, accounted for the widening deficit.

Antonov’s six-speed AAD gearbox is due to go into series production with tier one supplier Powertrain in 2007, and has already been demonstrated in an MG Rover Streetwise vehicle.

Antonov has also completed initial development work on its dual-clutch DCA system for automatic or manual vehicles larger than 2 litres.

In addition to its automotive focus, Antonov is working with Danish company Rotrex to commercialise a two and three-speed fully-mechanical gearbox system called the Antonov Mechanical Module (AMM). Aimed at both automotive and non-automotive applications, this small stand-alone step-up drive module is designed to adapt engine output to the optimum input of a supercharger.

The AMM prototype is being bench-tested and will be delivered to Rotrex soon, said Antonov.