Ford Patents “Drift Mode” Feature for ICE & EVs

2022 Ford Mustang Stealth Edition Appearance Package. Preproduction model shown. Available 1st quarter 2022

In a recent filing with the U.S. Patent Office, Ford is looking to add a new feature for some of its street and performance fans. According to the patent, “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.”

The “Drift Mode” feature would be available for 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.”

According to the patent, while the vehicle is in drift mode, the driven wheels would be decoupled and be locked by the brakes to create a slide. Then, additional power would be introduced to the slide according to data regarding the current wheel speed and the intended wheel speed to maximize the drift.

While there is plenty of drifting footage both in movies and on the internet, this potential new “drifting mode” could make even your typical Sunday driver ride like an action hero.

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