Mazda’s New Torque Vectoring Doesn’t Use Braking or a Fancy Differential –

Posted: Friday, June 10, 2016

Torque vectoring, where varying amounts of torque are sent to individual wheels to aid in more nimble cornering, is an increasingly common tech in today’s performance cars. The new Acura NSX, Ford Focus RS, and Lexus RC F feature it prominently, and now Mazda will put it in its cars. Except, Mazda’s system is quite different than the aforementioned ones.

As reported by Autocar, Mazda recently showed off G-Vectoring Control (GVC), which uses slight variations in torque sent to the front wheels to reduce the need for steering corrections and lateral acceleration on the driver. The constantly variable torque applied to the front wheels allows the car to maintain a steady cornering speed, which Mazda says helps improve driving dynamics.

Mazda says the maximum reduction of torque possible with this system is only 22 lb-ft, which is subtle enough that the driver wouldn’t immediately notice it, but enough to help maximize the efficiencies of the tire. Unlike other torque vectoring systems which use clever differentials (Ford Focus RS), braking of individual wheels (all modern McLarens), or electric motors (Acura NSX), Mazda simply reduces the engine’s torque output by recording steering angle and speed.

In a preview drive, Autocar said GVC didn’t feel significantly different than a normal steering system, but data recorded during its drive revealed the driver made less steering corrections with the system activated. That subtle reduction in steering effort is thought to reduce driver fatigue both mental and physical on a long drive.

Mazda also says it will install new seats in its cars that will hold the driver in more snugly to reduce the muscle exertion needed to hold oneself in during cornering. Autocar’s report doesn’t reveal any specifics on the seat, but they sound like the seats in the new Miata, which use a spring-less hammock-like structure to hold drivers in without gripping them too tightly.

GVC sounds like a very interesting repurposing of a go-fast technology for comfort. We’ll be getting a preview of this tech ourselves in the coming weeks, so watch this space for more info.


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