Based on a recent U.S. Patent and Trade Mark filing, Ford is working on a very exciting drift mode system for future products. This unique drift mode system from Ford will include both internal combustion and electric motors according to the patent filing by Ford.
Ford is no stranger to drift mode systems since their debut on the Ford Focus RS. This new U.S. Patent and Trade Mark filing by Ford goes into detail about how Ford’s next generation drift mode system will work, “A controller is programmed to, in response to the vehicle being in a drift mode, decouple the driven wheels from the actuator, engage the friction brakes to lockup the driven wheels, and place the actuator in speed control and command a torque to the actuator based on a difference between a measured speed of the actuator and a target speed of the actuator.”
This new drift mode system will be in both internal combustion and electric motors, “A vehicle includes an engine having a crankshaft, an electric machine having a shaft, a front-end accessory drive (FEAD) having a tension member operably connecting the crankshaft and the shaft, a drivetrain operably coupling the engine to driven wheels.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark filing states that when a vehicle is in drift mode it will decouple the driven wheels and use the brakes to lock them up to induce a slide. Then the system will add power to maximize the slide based on sensor data between current wheel speed and a target wheel speed that is optimized for drifting.
The current crop of drift modes offered by manufacturers are primarily found on all-wheel-drive cars like the Mercedes-AMG E63 or MK8 Golf R. These systems send additional power to the rear of the car where owners can create a slide much like a traditional rear-wheel-drive car. When we look at Ford’s patent, it's very clear that this will be a far different system thanks to the inclusion of friction brakes.
This innovative patent filing by Ford is the next generation of drift modes offered by manufacturers and we look forward to seeing it in action.