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.