Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Ford Focus delivers industry first technology that can predict and prevent skids

Ford Focus
Ford Motor Company is launching a new technology that can predict when a car might skid – and by stepping in early could prevent the driver from losing control in the first place.

The industry-first production car system called Enhanced Transitional Stability debuts on the new Focus and can calculate when a skid is likely to take place from a combination of the car’s speed, the position of the steering wheel and the speed at which the steering wheel is being turned.

Ford Focus
Ford Focus

If the system identifies that a skid is imminent, braking of individual wheels is applied – often before the driver realises that anything is amiss – by activating the advanced Electronic Stability Control; enhancing safety and helping deliver smoother journeys.

“By recognising scenarios that will lead to a loss of driver control before an incident has developed, the Enhanced Transitional Stability system is setting the recovery process in motion quicker than ever before, and improving safety and comfort for driver and passengers,” said Norbert Kessing, vehicle dynamics manager, Ford of Europe.

Enhanced Transitional Stability is just one of the new and improved chassis control technologies that enhance driving dynamics and safety on the new Focus. Ford engineers also have made revisions to the Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) to make Focus feel more connected to the road – and even easier to drive.

Engineers have retuned the EPAS system to reduce the amount of effort required to steer, eliminate neutral zones from the steering operation, and deliver almost instantaneous feedback from the road surface to enable more instinctive steering.

“The Ford Focus has long enjoyed a reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and handling and the new Focus is even more fun to drive, while at the same time delivering its best-ever comfort, stability and security on the road,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.

The driving experience has been further enhanced through new levels of quietness achieved with thicker side window glass and carpets, new front wheel arch liners and door trims, and more absorbent acoustic seals around the air extraction system, mirror hinges, and tailgate. These help Focus achieve best-in-class interior quietness to deliver a relaxing and stress-free environment for driver and passengers.

Ford engineers have also improved the front end structural stiffness of the new Focus by increasing the thickness of two brackets within the engine bay and using a stronger metal arc welding technique to reduce body flex during cornering, delivering sharper responses and greater agility. New Multi-Tune Valve Damper technology offers improved shock absorber performance and durability, as well as enabling engineers to deliver the optimum balance between body control and driver comfort.

In addition, the suspension geometry on the new Focus has been fine-tuned and the rubber lower control arm suspension bushes have been increased in stiffness by over 20 per cent. This reduces the amount of flexibility between the metal mounting surfaces during high-load conditions – such as when cornering – and minimises unwanted wheel movement. The front bushes also now feature flared edges that clamp over the suspension hub and chassis mounting points, further reducing movement of the connected components.

The all-new Focus is built on Ford’s C-Car global platform that also supports the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, and last year underpinned over 1 million Focus models registered worldwide, including more than 87,000 registrations in the UK.

Ford Press