R.T. Quaife Engineering, Ltd. is a British manufacturer of automotive drivetrain products. It designs and manufactures motorsport and performance orientated gearboxes, gearkits, differentials, steering racks and axle kits, along with many other associated drivetrain products.
The company was founded in 1965 by Rod Quaife and is now run and owned by Michael Quaife (Technical Director) and his sister Sharon Quaife-Hobbs (Financial Director). Michael's son, Phil Quaife and Sharon's son Adrian Quaife-Hobbs are both professional racing drivers.
The early days at Quaife were spent manufacturing performance motorcycle gearkits, most notably close ratio 5-speed units for Triumph, BSA and Norton. Quaife also took on subcontracted work from AMC; the makers of Matchless and AJS motorcycles. Quaife gearkits were used to achieve victories in the Daytona Speedway and Isle of Man TT.
Based near Sevenoaks, Kent they have two sites, one in Sevenoaks and the other, their OEM production facility, in Gillingham. Prior to 2013, US customers were able to place orders directly through Quaife, however in early 2013 a contract was signed with Motovicity for sole distribution in the United States. From 2018, US customers can purchase Quaife products through companies including Mountune USA, VAC Motorsports and Taylor Race Engineering.
Quaife's signature product is its line of automatic torque biasing differentials, a form of limited slip differential that employ helical gears rather than clutch mechanisms that are controlled mechanically. These differentials are usually available as aftermarket items, but for some models are specified by automobile manufacturers as OEM equipment. Quaife's ATB differential is now available in over 300 different applications, covering everything from Alfa Romeo to Volvo. Originally developed in the 1980's, the ATB differential appeals to many performance and racing car enthusiasts for its mix of traction-enhancing abilities, reliability, smooth operation and its 'fit and forget' installation. Within many markets, the Quaife ATB differential also comes with a lifetime warranty; applicable to both road and race environments.
Aside from manufacturing precision engineered differentials, Quaife also produces highly sought after sequential gearboxes. The Quaife QBE60G and QBE69G heavy duty 6-speed sequential gearboxes are offered with several bell housings to fit a number of popular racing applications. Other sequential transmissions cater for applications including the Ford GT40, Land Rover V8, Mitsubishi EVO 4-9, Nissan Skyline GTR R32-R34 and Porsche 996 and 997. Quaife also offers many transmissions in synchromesh and dog engagement formats.
Quaife's range of motorsport gearkits replace the standard internals of many popular transmissions found in both classic and contemporary vehicles. Initially the company focused on classic British cars as well as those manufactured by Ford Motor Company. Over recent years, the company has expanded its gearkit offering by catering for many front-wheel drive vehicles including Honda K-Series, Volkswagen 02M/02Q and Getrag F20 applications.
Elsewhere, Quaife driveline components can be found in a wide range of vehicles, including those from Radical Sportscars, Caterham, Ginetta, Morgan Motor Company and Donkervoort. Quaife sequential transmissions help to power Mini JCW Challenge race cars, while the Ligier JS P4 manufactured by Onroak Automotive uses Quaife sequential technology.
Quaife has also briefly built complete road cars, with the R4 GTS in 1999 which also competed in the British GT Championship. The company has also produced the R40, a roadster with a rear-mounted V8 bike engine mated to one of the company's transaxle gearboxes. The 40 relates to the engine's 40 valves.
In autumn 2012 the company acquired the company Tran-X, and continues to serve its customers. Tran-X differentials use clutch plates, rather than the helical gears found in Quaife's ATB differential. These products are generally more popular in rallying, where the differential's locking action can be beneficial in loose gravel surfaces.
The 1988 - 1992 Maserati Biturbo / Racing (Tipo 331) used a Quaife designed differential, commonly referred to as the 'Ranger' differential.
The 1992 - 1998 Maserati Ghibli (AM336) followed its predecessor by using the Quaife designed 'Ranger' differential.
The 2002 Ford Focus RS was fitted as standard with a Quaife ATB helical gear limited slip differential
The 2003-2007 Saturn Ion features a Quaife ATB limited Slip Differential
The 2006-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt SS w/G85 option features an optional Quaife ATB Limited Slip Differential and revised suspension geometry to reduce torque steer.
In 2012 the Dodge Caliber SRT4 was offered an aftermarket Quaife ATB helical gear limited slip differential upgrade via RealTune.
The 2015-onward Lotus Evora 400 has been fitted with the Quaife ATB differential.
The 2016 limited-run Mini John Cooper Works Challenge was equipped with a Quaife ATB Differential.
From 2017, versions of the Mk3 Ford Focus RS featured the Quaife ATB differential, including RS, Race Red and Heritage Editions.
The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST is available with a Quaife ATB Limited Slip Differential as a factory fit option, as part of the Performance Pack.
- Galpin, Darren. "Quaife R4 GTS". The A-Z of Racing Cars. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- "Quaife Engineering acquires Tran-X transmission brand to expand drivetrain component range". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- Dodge SRT-4 - Short Take Road Test - Car Reviews - Car and Driver
- New Ford Focus RS unveiled with 300 PS inline-5