If you’ve ever driven a front wheel drive car with some power behind it then you already know what torque steer is. For those that haven’t however, let me give you a quick explanation. Torque steer occurs when power is transmitted to the front wheels of a vehicle in such a manner that the vehicle wants to pull to one side under hard acceleration. It’s a freaky feeling and one that can startle novice drivers who have never experienced it. Over the years front wheel drive automobiles have gotten so good that manufacturers have all but eradicated this condition from their front drive models. Take the upcoming 2012 Ford Focus for example, a car that comes standard with Ford’s new Torque Vectoring Control system.
Ford’s press release states:
• The all-new 2012 Ford Focus features standard torque vectoring control to increase vehicle stability in turns by applying slight braking force to one side
• Torque vectoring control is a Focus class-exclusive feature that serves as a confidence- builder for novice drivers, while pleasing enthusiasts with added control when cornering
• Torque vectoring control provides stabilizing braking force to an individual drive wheel in a similar way that a skier or board-rider would shift weight to carving edge when turning
• Slight braking force to the wheel and the tire that is subject to potential slippage to help the driver and vehicle gracefully negotiate the curve.
What the above excerpts mean (according to Ford), is that if you go out and purchase a new 2012 Ford Focus, that it will handle, accelerate and provide you with more enjoyment then other front wheel drive offerings currently on the market. Whether or not this is true is something that we have yet to determine. Rest assured though, that we’ll let you know as soon as we’re able to get our hands on a press version.