2012 Ford Focus comes with new brake-based torque vectoring control

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The 2012 Focus is going to be available with the latest vehicle stability control system, which uses torque vectoring to enhance the car’s handling. The 2012 Ford Focus will go on sale in the U.S. early next year, and the torque vectoring system will come as standard equipment.

The principle of the torque vectoring systems on the 2012 Ford Focus is simple. Basically, the torque vectoring system attempts to divide power across the two driven wheels to optimize grip and improve performance. It applies a slight quantity of braking towards the inside wheel to push more power to the outside wheel, as a result, this helps rotate the car thru a turn.
According to Ford, the system was inspired from downhill skiing and snowboarding techniques.

“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”.

While the torque vectoring setup is a cheap alternative for traction and power control, there is a slight negative side effect. From other similar brake-based systems, they have a pattern to overheat the pads, rotors and fluid when driven long enough.

“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.

The 2012 Focus will be firs car to implementation the torque vectoring control on a Ford model in North America.

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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.”

The all-new 2012 Ford Focus goes on sale in early 2011.

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