Ford has filed a patent software for an all-wheel-drive system that makes use of three clutches to allow extra exact management of how a lot energy goes to every wheel.
In line with a submitting with the USA Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO), the system would use one clutch to couple or decouple an axle from the driveshaft, and the opposite two clutches to regulate energy stream to particular person half shafts on the second axle.
A controller would determine when to open and shut these clutches, splitting energy not solely between the entrance and rear axles—as on many present all-wheel-drive techniques—however between the left and proper wheels on one axle.
Ford triple-clutch all-wheel drive system patent picture
Within the submitting, Ford famous that one aim of all-wheel drive is to “enhance car maneuverability,” so it is potential this setup could be used as an enhanced type of torque vectoring. This has turn into a well-liked instrument to enhance dealing with by deliberately sending extra energy to 1 wheel to assist drive the automobile to show in when cornering.
Torque vectoring could be achieved with a differential, as in Acura’s Tremendous Dealing with All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, however many automakers use less-complex brake-based techniques that apply braking stress to particular person wheels to shift energy round. Ford isn’t any stranger to complicated all-wheel-drive techniques, having endowed the latest Ford Focus RS with a drift mode—an concept it might be bringing again.
Ford might not use its proposed system in a manufacturing automobile, as patent filings aren’t any assure of commercialization plans. The Blue Oval has been submitting patent purposes for all kinds of concepts currently, from distant engine revving to trailer sideswipe avoidance expertise. A few of these concepts might make it to manufacturing finally, however Ford can also simply be making an attempt to guard doubtlessly priceless mental property.