Good news. The new Ford Focus has a torque vectoring control system. No, stay there - this is more interesting than it sounds. This fantastic technology is associated with high-end performance cars, but it is now a standard feature on every third generation Focus. In simple terms, it operates on the two driven front wheels. Its purpose is to minimise under-steer and help this small family workhorse maintain its intended course on tricky corners.
Let's consider an example. Dandy Derek, who is driving a car without torque vectoring, throws his machine into a wet corner. The outside front tyre loses traction and the vehicle runs wide. This 'under-steer' can send cars significantly off-line. Derek then tries the corner again in the new Ford Focus. This time the vectoring system recognises slippage and partially applies the brake to the wondering wheel only. This tugs the vehicle back in line.
The new Ford Focus' torque vectoring system is best perceived as the new traction control. The advantage over its predecessor is that it feels less intrusive as it cannot reduce engine power. Furthermore, there should be no significant increase in brake wear and it may actually extend tyre life. Sounds like a win-win situation. Told you torque vectoring is more interesting than it sounds. Prices for the new Focus start at £16,000.
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