Ford patents way to reduce turning radius on future vehicles

Ford patents way to reduce turning radius on future vehicles

Some automakers have turned to all-wheel steering steering to make vehicles more maneuverable, but Ford is looking to patent an alternative solution.

A patent application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) describes a way to reduce turning radius on future vehicles by varying torque to individual wheels.

Ford turn-assist mode patent image

Ford turn-assist mode patent image

 

In the proposed system, an onboard controller would monitor factors like steering angle and wheel speed to determine if turning-radius reduction will be helpful. This is referred to as “turn-assist mode” in the application.

When activated, this mode reduces torque to the inside rear wheel, generating added yaw, or sideways movement. It then applies more torque to both front wheels to help balance out that yaw and pull the vehicle out of the turn. That sounds a bit like the torque-vectoring systems already used in some production cars to improve handling, but specifically aimed at decreasing turning radius.

Ford turn-assist mode patent image

Ford turn-assist mode patent image

 

The torque reduction for the inside rear wheel could be achieved via braking, so this system could be used in front-wheel drive vehicles without driven rear axles, Ford noted in the application. In all-wheel-drive applications, the rear axle could also be disconnected from the front axle in turn-assist mode, the application suggests.

As with all patent applications, it’s unclear if Ford will put torque-based turn assist into production. But this isn’t the first application for a patent of this category from the automaker; earlier this year it filed for a tank turn feature, and it has filed others describing the use of four-wheel-steering to turn the front and rear wheels in opposite directions for an off-roading crawling feature. These in turn seem to build on a four-wheel-steering patent application published in 2019.

Lamborghini Aventador successor, 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63, 2023 BMW Alpina XB7: This Week’s Top Photos

Lamborghini Aventador successor, 2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63, 2023 BMW Alpina XB7: This Week’s Top Photos

Lamborghini’s successor to the Aventador was spotted this week. With a new V-12 engine and hybrid technology, the redesigned supercar will move Lamborghini into the next era.

Brabus P 900 Rocket Edition G-Class

Brabus P 900 Rocket Edition G-Class

Brabus unveiled a wild pickup truck based on the Mercedes-Benz AMG G 63. Called the P 900 Rocket Edition, just ten examples will be built, each packing 888 hp.

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S E Performance

2024 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S E Performance

Another AMG in the headlines this week was the redesigned 2024 C 63. The sport sedan houses a 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain generating up to 671 hp, though all those extra horses come with a weight penalty.

Delage D12 Speedster

Delage D12 Speedster

Historic French marque Delage has been revived and the first product is a hypercar dubbed the D12. The hypercar was first shown two years ago with a jet fighter-style canopy, but the company this week revealed two open-top designs on offer.

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group Gen.Travel concept

Volkswagen Group unveiled a concept which claims to have a Level 5 self-driving system. The concept imagines what private vehicle ownership might be like in the future, and while it won’t make it into production, we may see some of its features appear in showrooms.

2023 BMW Alpina XB7

2023 BMW Alpina XB7

German tuner Alpina, now fully part of BMW Group, revealed its updated 2023 XB7 based on the BMW X7. The high-performance three-row SUV will reach the U.S. in early 2023 with a twin-turbo V-8 and hybrid combo good for 630 hp.

2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car

2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car

BMW also showed off the livery for its new 2023 M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car. BMW will field two of the cars in the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship, and in 2024 the car will also compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

And finally, Dodge revealed its penultimate model in the “Last Call” series celebrating the end of the Challenger and Charger lines. The latest honors Detroit police officer Godfrey Qualls and his 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE known as the Black Ghost.

Nissan Z, Volvo EX90, “Last Call” Dodge Challenger Black Ghost: The Week In Reverse

Nissan’s new Z has a problem, the Volvo XC90 successor received a name, and another “Last Call” Dodge was revealed. It’s the Week in Reverse, right here at Motor Authority.

Nissan issued a stop-sale order for the 2023 Z. Specifically, only the Zs optioned with an automatic transmission are affected. The vehicle’s transmission may not engage the parking pawl when shifted into park, which could lead to the Z rolling away. A remedy is being developed.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S E Performance broke cover with a plug-in hybrid powertrain featuring a turbo-4. With 671 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque the new C 63 won’t lack for power, but down four cylinders, it might lack the fire and fury when it comes to its exhaust note.

The Volvo XC90’s electric successor will be called the EX90. Volvo confirmed the name and said the electric crossover SUV will be revealed on Nov. 9. Set to ride on the automaker’s next-generation SPA platform, the EX90 is aiming to be the safest vehicle on the road.

The 2023 Lamborghini Aventador successor continued testing on public roads. Spotted in prototype form, the next-generation supercar will feature a hybrid V-12 powertrain and evolutionary design. Expect a reveal to take place later this year or early in 2023.

The sixth “Last Call” buzz model came to light this week. The 2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost honors the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE with gator skin-style vinyl roof owned by Detroit police officer Godfrey Qualls. Only 300 units will be made all based on the Hellcat Redeye Widebody, but output has been bumped by 10 hp for a total of 807 hp.

Ford’s trademark of “Megazilla” may point to monster crate engine in the works

Ford already offers a V-8 nicknamed the Godzilla, and soon there may be a more potent offering with the name Megazilla.

A search through the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office reveals a trademark filing for “Megazilla,” which was made by Ford on Sept. 16.

It was specifically filed in the section for crate motors, covering both traditional internal-combustion crate motors as well as the new field of electric crate motors, something Ford has explored with the Eluminator electric crate motor it unveiled at the 2021 SEMA show.

Ford Performance Product Manager Mike Goodwin in 2020 mentioned a new crate engine derived from the Godzilla V-8, which he referred to as the Megazilla. It’s possible Ford is currently doing the prep work for the launch of the engine, though automakers often file trademarks simply to protect the name, perhaps from it being used by a rival.

The Godzilla is a 7.3-liter V-8 that debuted in the 2020 Ford Super Duty. It’s designed for trucks where longevity tends to rank higher in importance than outright performance, and as a result features a heavy-but-sturdy cast iron block. It’s rated at 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 10-speed automatic in the Super Duty and a 6-speed auto in Ford’s medium-duty trucks.

Will a future Megazilla version with forced induction turn up to dethrone the 1,000-hp Hellephant from Mopar? We’ll have to wait and see.

Penultimate “Last Call” Dodge honors a Detroit legend

Penultimate “Last Call” Dodge honors a Detroit legend

If you regularly cruised along Detroit’s famed Woodward Avenue late at night during the 1970s, chances are you may have seen a black 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE with gator skin-style roof vinyl racing away from the lights, with its 426 Hemi roaring away.

The car, owned by Detroit police officer Godfrey Qualls, became a legend known as the Black Ghost, as it would never stick around for long, and would then disappear for months at a time. In 2020, the Black Ghost, still owned by the Qualls family, earned a spot on the National Historic Vehicle Register, and now Dodge has honored the car with its penultimate Last Call special edition.

The Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars and their assortment of V-8 engines are going away after 2023, and Dodge is celebrating with seven special Last Call models built in limited numbers. The Last Call model honoring Qualls’ car is based on the 2023 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. Powering the car is the familiar Hellcat supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, with output bumped to 807 hp, 10 up from stock.

2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

2023 Dodge Challenger Black Ghost

A total 300 examples will be made, all in the same Pitch Black exterior and with gator skin-style roof vinyl. The cars will also come with black badges, black brake calipers, black hood pins, and 20×11-inch Satin Carbon Warp Speed wheels. The interiors will feature a mix of Alcantara, leather, and Dynamica suede, as well as a special instrument panel badge with a “Black Ghost” script.

Other cars in the Last Call collection include the Challenger Shakedown, Charger Super Bee, Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger, and Charger King Daytona. The seventh and final car will be revealed at the 2022 SEMA show starting Nov. 1. Order books for the cars will open later this fall.

Even if you miss out on one of the Last Call cars, all 2023 Challenger and Charger models will feature special goodies signifying them as the last of their kind. While this will vary from model to model, all will come with a commemorative plaque under the hood bearing the scripts “Last Call,” “Designed in Auburn Hills,” and “Assembled in Brampton.” Popular color options will also return, including B5 Blue, Plum Crazy, Sublime, and Destroyer Gray.

2023 F1 calendar grows to record 24 races

Formula 1 will see a record 24 rounds held next year, one more than the record 23 rounds of 2022, and three of them will be held in the U.S., highlighting the sport’s growing popularity here.

The calendar for the 2023 F1 World Championship was published by the FIA on Tuesday and includes the new Las Vegas Grand Prix first announced in March.

Scheduled for Nov. 18, the race will take place on a Saturday instead of the usual Sunday schedule. It’s the penultimate round and will take place at night to show off the lights of the famous strip which will form part of the circuit.

Also included is the Miami Grand Prix which held its first round this year, as well as the more established United States Grand Prix in Austin.

The new calendar also sees the return of the Chinese Grand Prix, a round that hasn’t been held since 2019 due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. The Qatar Grand Prix also returns after a 1-year hiatus.

The French Grand Prix didn’t make the calendar, although organizers are keen to host future races. Meanwhile, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy, which was originally added to the 2020 calendar to fill in for missed rounds during the height of the pandemic, looks to have become a permanent fixture on the calendar with its continued repeated inclusion.

2022 Formula One World Championship calendar:

March 5 – Bahrain Grand Prix
March 19 – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
April 2 – Australian Grand Prix
April 16 – Chinese Grand Prix
April 30 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix
May 7 – Miami Grand Prix
May 21 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
May 28 – Monaco Grand Prix
June 6 – Spanish Grand Prix
June 18 – Canadian Grand Prix
July 2 – Austrian Grand Prix
July 9 – British Grand Prix
July 23 – Hungarian Grand Prix
July 30 – Belgian Grand Prix
August 27 – Dutch Grand Prix
September 3 – Italian Grand Prix
September 17 – Singapore Grand Prix
September 24 – Japanese Grand Prix
October 8 – Qatar Grand Prix
October 22 – United States Grand Prix
October 29 – Mexican Grand Prix
November 5 – Brazilian Grand Prix
November 18 – Las Vegas Grand Prix
November 26 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix