Ford has filed a patent application for an all-wheel-drive system that uses three clutches to enable more precise control of how much power goes into each wheel.
According to filings from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the system will use one clutch to attach or decouple an Excel from the driveshaft, and the other two clutches to control the power flow to the separate half shaft of the second axle.
A controller will decide when to open and close these clutches, not just between the front and rear axles – like many current all-wheel-drive systems – but the ability to split an axis between the left and right wheels.
Patented image of Ford triple-clutch all-wheel drive system
In the filing, Ford noted that one of the goals of All-Wheel Drive is to “improve vehicle movement,” so it is possible that this setup will be used as an improved form of torque vectoring. It has become a popular tool to improve handling by deliberately sending more power to a wheel to help force the car to turn when cornering.
Torque vectoring can be achieved with a differential, similar to the Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, but many automakers use less-complex brake-based systems that apply braking pressure to individual wheels to change the power around. Not uncommon for the Ford complex all-wheel-drive system, the latest Ford Focus RS with a drift mode has been donated ধারণা an idea that could bring it back.
Ford cannot use its proposed system in a production vehicle, as patent filing is no guarantee of a commercialization plan. Blue Oval has been filing patent applications lately for a variety of concepts, from remote engine revolving to trailer side swipe avoidance technology. Some of these ideas could eventually produce it, but Ford could also try to protect potentially valuable intellectual property.