Posted on March 22, 2016
Just what is torque vectoring? Despite the somewhat technical-sounding name it’s quite simple to explain – it’s employed in a vehicle’s differential, transferring engine torque to the wheels, with the torque vectoring offering the differential the ability to specifically vary the power to each wheel.
Often this is featured on vehicles with all-wheel drive, though, it can (and is) used on newer models of front-wheel drive vehicles in a much more basic manner. Expectations, as they are, suggest that given the way the technology works that we’ll be seeing it become a standard, as it allows wheels to grip the road better and improves handling.
Subaru utilizes this technology, which they refer to as “Active Torque Vectoring” or ATV (not to be confused with All-Terrain Vehicles), on many of the 2015 models onward. Included on this list you can find ATV on the Outback, Legacy, WRX, STi, and even the 2016 facelift for the Forester XT.
Functionally speaking, the technology uses a braking system in the inner front wheel to contribute towards turning and front-rear transfer of power.
What does this really mean? Well, it means that the torque generated can be distributed to the front or rear wheels in the same manner as all-wheel drive vehicles are designed while also distributing the energy to a specific wheel from left to right on any given axles.
ATV is a component of the Subaru Vehicle Dynamic Control (ADC) system – a monitoring process that analyzes how you are driving and the speed at which the four wheels are rotating. Collectively, the ADC system helps to prevent skids, reduce engine power and apply brake pressure to individual wheels if it notes you are experiencing difficulties because of sand, ice, rain, ad everything beyond or in-between.
Other members of the Subaru family have additional features that have similar effect – such as the STi, which has a limited-slip front differential to make handling sharper and controls more responsive. That system, however, adds weight and cost, so we can be glad that Subaru researched and developed a way to have comparable results from pre-existing features.