Quaife has a long and illustrious heritage, with an emphasis on motorsport activity across numerous disciplines that helps drive technological improvement and new product development. This involvement also helps us to better understand the specialist requirements of our markets, both domestically and globally.
Across the decades Quaife has been fortunate to work with some very famous marques and personalities both in motorsport and the OEM automotive sector. The firm has also made a substantial impact with its own high profile motorsport programs, many of which produced some memorable moments...
RT Quaife Engineering Ltd has a long and illustrious heritage...
The business was created in 1965 by Rod Quaife, initially operating from a small workshop near Penshurst in Kent. The company initially focused on producing close ratio five-speed gearkits for Norton and Triumph motorcycles.
As the business flourished, it swiftly relocated to larger premises in Tonbridge, Kent; while the pedigree of the products at Quaife was being proven with victories at the prestigious Daytona Speedway and the Isle of Man TT.
The new decade heralded bigger markets and challenges for Quaife. Despite ongoing motorcycle market success with the emerging Japanese manufacturers, the decline of the British motorcycle industry coincided with enormous growth in four wheel motorsport.
Quaife soon diversified into the car market, successfully transferring its drivetrain expertise to four wheels and beginning a long association with the Ford marque that continues to this day.
As the 1980’s progressed, Quaife introduced a new range of purpose designed motorsport transmissions to its product portfolio, as well as the famous ATB Differential.
Reliable and effective, it was soon used in a diverse number of applications, covering everything from the Maserati Biturbo to Gehard Berger’s Benetton F1 car. Indeed, the Quaife equipped Benetton won the 1986 Mexico Grand Prix.
Attracted by its high profile and liberal technical regulations, Rod’s son Michael Quaife entered the British Rallycross Championship to both promote the brand and empower developments at the cutting edge of motorsport. The car of choice - the Vauxhall Chevette.
The 1990’s was met with the build of a series of fearsome and fast four-wheel drive rallycross Escorts. Developed in conjunction with Gordon Spooner Engineering, the experience gathered was fed directly back into the development of four-wheel drive transmission technology and sequential shift mechanisms.
A switch away from the mud of rallycross to circuit racing saw Quaife build a high powered Ford Escort based Thundersaloon race car. This knowledge enabled Quaife to embark on its most ambitious project yet, to build its own V8 powered, four-wheel drive British GT Championship contender, designed to act as a developmental test bed for new technologies.
As the 1990’s progressed, Quaife relocated to its current 16 acre site near Sevenoaks, Kent. This offered considerably more expansion potential. It proved a shrewd move, as more OEM projects would later show.
During the 2000’s, Quaife enjoyed OEM supplier status to the world’s major car manufacturers. They came seeking the firm’s unique drivetrain expertise to add driving excitement to their niche high performance models.
In the last decade Quaife has delivered volume turnkey ATB differential packages to exacting quality standards to Daimler-Chrysler, GM and Ford, most notably on the Mk1 & Mk2 Focus RS.
With the twin demands of continued growth and in order to house large scale multi-pallet robotic CNC machinery to deliver the capacity for large volume OEM projects, Quaife invested in a new plant in Gillingham in 2006.
This modern site offers 23,000 feet of additional production and quality control facilities, enabling Quaife to offer it’s diverse range of high performance drivetrain products to a constantly evolving global market, creating a new chapter in the Quaife heritage story.
Quaife continues to supply OEM products for a number of high performance models. These performance cars include the Lotus Evora 400, Mk3 Ford Focus RS Edition and even the latest 2018 Fiesta ST. Radical Sportcars, Morgan Motor Company and Caterham Cars also benefit from Quaife driveline components.
We are continually looking forward and reacting to market demands. The electric vehicle sector is growing exponentially, and Quaife has developed a range of different projects specifically for bespoke applications in the EV market. From small drop ratio transfer units for use in go-karts, up to complete twin motor differential drive units for electric powered and autonomous-ready commercial vehicles, we are trusted in the development of electric vehicle drivetrain solutions. We’ve even developed our signature ATB differential for use in the Tesla Model S!