Limited slip differentials (sometimes referred to as positraction, the name used by General Motors for their versions) are generally used on performance cars to improve handling and grip, and in some pickup trucks and SUVs, to maximize traction on slippery and loose surfaces. There are several ways to accomplish the transfer of power: some systems use clutches, while others use helical gears, but they all work by sending more power to the wheel (or wheels) with the most grip, and can be installed in any powered axle of a car, or even in the center differential in an all-wheel drive vehicle.
In some situations on slippery surfaces, a limited slip differential can be less predictable than an open differential (one that lets the wheel with the least grip spin freely), and for that reason, as well as their cost premium, they aren’t standard on many cars. While they can be added as an aftermarket option to a wide variety of cars, some models do come standard with them. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.