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Ford’s patented drift mode designed for internal combustion engines or electric motors

Ford may have found a way to survive in the age of electric cars.

First discovered by Motor1recently patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) showing that the drift mode is designed to work with an internal combustion engine or an electric motor.

Ford introduced drift mode on Focus RS, which uses a car’s all-wheel drive system to send more torque to the rear wheels — especially the outer rear wheels — to help create a slip. In 2017, the automaker also introduced an accessory Drift Stick electronic handbrake. But the drift mode described in Ford’s patent filing works differently from previous iterations.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021

According to the docs, this version of drift mode will detach the steering wheels, use the car’s friction brakes to lock them in and begin to slide, then add torque to continue drifting. The amount of torque will be determined by the wheel speed sensor data. A computer compares the actual wheel speed with a predetermined drift-friendly target.

The use of friction brakes sets this approach apart from previous Ford efforts, as well as the drift modes used by current BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG models, as well as CHEAP Volkswagen Golf. But will we see it on a production car?

Patent filing does not guarantee production planning. Automakers are quick to patent new technologies even if they don’t intend to use them in production vehicles that are about to be produced. But Ford has shown an interest in electric performance cars with Mustang Mach-E GTand a New Focus RS may appear at some point to the European market. So never say never.

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