2012 Ford Focus: the first model to get torque vectoring control

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 29, 2010

A new class-exclusive Ford technology that uses downhill skiing and snowboarding moves to improve vehicle stability in turns will be first seen on the all-new 2012 Ford Focus. The confidence of the novice driver will be boosted as the next-generation Focus is engineered to have a finer sense of control in curves.

Enthusiasts will also like the addition of a vehicle stability control system that had previously only been used on premium sports cars. Rick Bolt, program manager for the Ford Focus, said that the new Focus is the first North American Ford vehicle to feature torque vectoring control. Bolt said that this technology has been seen on high-end sports cars but Ford is offering it as standard on their new small car.

Bolt cited that when a downhill skier or board rider shifts weight to their outside edge in transition from schuss to edge (adding balance and stability to carve through a turn), torque vectoring control provides the slight braking pressure applied to just one driven wheel that is imperceptible to the driver.

As a result, the driver feels an improved sense of stability and control throughout the curve. Bolt is confident that the increased vehicle stability in cornering situations will be liked by enthusiast drivers.

Torque vectoring control uses the Focus braking system to duplicate the effect of limited-slip differential, continually balancing the distribution of engine output between the driven front wheels to suit driving conditions and road surface.

As the vehicle accelerates through a tight corner, the system applies an imperceptible degree of braking to the inside front wheel. In effect, additional engine torque is sent to the outside wheel, resulting to more traction, better grip and improved vehicle handling.

Press Release

FORD TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS NEW FORD FOCUS TO CARVE THROUGH TURNS LIKE DOWNHILL SKIER

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus is the first beneficiary of a new class-exclusive Ford technology that employs downhill skiing and snowboarding moves to increase vehicle stability in turns.

Engineered to increase novice driver confidence by adding a finer sense of control in curves, the next-generation Focus will please enthusiast drivers as well with the addition of a vehicle stability control system previously reserved for premium sports cars.

"The new Focus is the first North American Ford vehicle to offer torque vectoring control," said Rick Bolt, program manager for the Ford Focus. "This is a technology that has been offered on high-end sports cars, yet Ford is making it standard on their new small car."

Just as a downhill skier or board rider shifts weight to their outside edge in transition from schuss to edge – adding balance and stability to carve through a turn – torque vectoring control provides

The slight braking pressure applied to just one driven wheel is imperceptible to the driver. The behind-the-wheel experience is an improved sense of stability and control throughout the curve. This increased vehicle stability in cornering situations is sure to please enthusiast drivers yet serves as a confidence builder for novice drivers as well.

Torque vectoring control uses the Focus braking system to imitate the effect of limited-slip differential, constantly balancing the distribution of engine output between the driven front wheels to suit driving conditions and road surface. When accelerating through a tight corner, the system applies an imperceptible degree of braking to the inside front wheel, so that more engine torque goes to the outside wheel, providing additional traction, better grip and improved vehicle handling.

The system is designed to delight experienced and enthusiastic drivers but also to provide less- experienced drivers with confidence and a better sense of vehicle control, especially in difficult driving conditions.

"Torque vectoring control elevates the dynamic capability of the entire Focus model range, from an S series sedan through a Titanium Sport Package hatchback," said Bolt, an automotive enthusiast, frequent road course track-day participant, instructor, former Sports Car Club of America racer and – not surprisingly – downhill skier.

"Because torque vectoring control is on all our Focus models, it will elevate skill sets across a broad range of drivers," Bolt said. "The new Focus is differentiated from other vehicles in the segment by style and design, the technology it contains and the superior driving experience it provides."

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