What Does the Powertrain Include?

by Andrea Stein

Cars rely on several mechanical components to generate power. This power must be converted into a form that can propel the car, or allow it to move. A powertrain helps with this function.


A powertrain is a group of devices in a car that create power. Powertrains also allow that power to be delivered to a surface, like a road.


A powertrain includes the engine, transmission and several other components that make up the car’s driveline. The driveline is comprised of differentials, or components that carry torque or the force of motion, driveshafts and the final drive.


Engines operate at a speed much greater than allowed by car tire rotations. Because of this difference in speed, a transmission is needed, which uses gears that help regulate how much torque is sent from the engine to the tires. The driveshaft in the powertrain is a durable rod that carries torque from the engine to the tires via differentials. Differentials are devices that use gears designed to drive sets of wheels with an equal rate of force, while enabling them to spin at different speeds. The set of drive tires is the final drive in a powertrain.


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