The 2012 Focus will be available with a new vehicle stability control system, which uses torque vectoring to improve the car’s handling. 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”.
The principle is simple: the system will apply a slight braking force to the driven wheel facing the inside of a corner, thus preventing the slippage due to the fact that it travels a shorter distance, while doing the same number of rotations as the outside wheel.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not mistaking, as this is what usually a limited slip differential does, minus the brake pad wear. Still, the system is cheaper than a mechanical differential and should offer added safety for novice drivers.
“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 Ford Focus goes on sale in the U.S. early next year.
By Csaba Daradics