A component of a automobile that transfers energy from the flywheel(manual) or the pressure plate(automatic) through the differential to cv (continous velocity) joints on front wheel drive cars. Also see Tranmission
Note: People might refer to a transaxle as a transmission, although, a transaxle consist of a transmission AND differental encased together as a whole unit where as a transmission does not. For an example, a front engine rear-wheel drive car's transmission is connected to the external differental which is typically located at the rear of the vehicle via a drive shaft.
An example of a transaxle, is a front engine front-wheel drive car's transaxle has a INTERNAL differental. The differental is connected to the wheels via cv joints.
A transaxle is just as the name implies; a combined transmission and axle assembly. It can be mounted in the rear of a front-engine/rear-wheel drive vehicle or in unit with the engine in front-drive vehicles. It can also be installed in unit with the engine in a rear/rear drive vehicle.
1960s Pontiac Tempest and many european racing cars used a front engine and rear transaxle. Most of today's smaller cars have the front-drive system. Volkswagen, Porsche, and others have used the rear/rear approach.