Ford Has Built A Performance AWD System With Three Clutches

Rumor / 12 Comments

No more crowd-plowing Mustangs.

Ford recently filed a patent for an all-wheel-drive system with three clutches. The patent was filed with the USPTO, and while it may seem like overkill, we can see how useful it could be.

According to the patent sketches, one clutch would be used in an old-fashioned way. In other words, to couple or decouple an axle once the AWD system detects either the front or rear wheels losing traction.

The second set of clutches controls the power being sent to the half shafts on said axle.

In short, this AWD system is not just able to send power to the front or rear but also from side to side on one of the axles.

2018-2022 Ford Mustang Coupe Side Angle Driving Ford
2018-2022 Ford Mustang Coupe Front View Driving Ford
2018-2022 Ford Mustang Coupe Side View Driving Ford

An electronic nanny would obviously be in charge of a system like this, which Ford says is meant to improve maneuverability. It could also be helpful in crossovers and SUVs in a cross-axle situation, but a system like this would most likely find its way into a sporty car.

To us, this sounds like a more complex version of torque vectoring. Torque vectoring is usually brake-based to keep costs down and is meant to make a car feel more agile by lightly applying the brakes to whatever wheel will help the car feel more agile. Brake-based systems can be pretty good, but they tend to boil the brakes reasonably quickly on a track.

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If we had to guess, a system like this is most likely meant for the all-new Mustang. We know Ford will be introducing ICE, hybrid, and BEV variants. And, naturally, performance versions will follow.

As most German manufacturers have turned to AWD to put colossal amounts of power down, Ford may be thinking of doing the same thing. It should at least keep Mustangs from going crowd hunting.

Let's not forget that Ford developed a performance AWD system before. The now-defunct Focus RS was equipped with AWD and a rather unforgiving drift mode.

This system could be an easy way to keep the Mustang's RWD feel while having a mechanical backup system to keep an overenthusiastic driver out of trouble.

2016-2018 Ford Focus RS Front Side in Motion Ford
2016-2018 Ford Focus RS Rear Angle in Motion Ford
2016-2018 Ford Focus RS In Motion Ford

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