Car Features You’ve Heard Of, But Have No Idea What They Do…
New cars keep getting more and more advanced with every model year. Power options used to be unheard of years ago, but now these features that were only available on high end cars in the 60s are now features on base model compact cars! So we all have become accustom to hearing these features now, but what about things like SYNC, and Cross Traffic Alert? What about Adaptive Steering? How about Torque Vectoring Control? Have we lost you yet? Ok… let’s explain what all this new Ford tech is.
Power steering was a fantastic innovation that allowed for ease of control when driving at low speeds, and less effort needed to turn the wheel. Now as technologies have become more advanced a mysterious new invention called “Adaptive Steering” has emerged. No, it isn’t controlled by some voodoo or magic power. But it is actually a steering assist that improves driving dynamics by varying the amount of steering effort required based on the vehicles speed. So as the vehicle travels at lower speeds, less effort is required from the driver which helps to make parking easier. At high speeds, the steering input becomes smoother making the car feel more stable. All of this creates an exciting driving experience and provides confidence for pulling into tight parking spaces.
No it’s not the 90s boy-band N’SYNC limited edition package. It’s a hands-free voice activated system that can help you play that artist… if you really want to listen to that. But anyway, this easy to use technology allows you to pair your Bluetooth enabled phone or compatible MP3 player/ USB drive to your car. That way you can stay connected by making hands-free phone calls, controlling music with voice commands, creating map destinations on your computer and have them sent directly to the vehicle’s SYNC system, and send/receive audible text messages from your compatible mobile phone. With cars that have SYNC and MyFord Touch, you can get these great features as well as voice/ touch activated climate control and 911 Assist that dials 911 on your mobile phone when you are unable too.
Cross Traffic Alert
On new vehicles with BLIS (Blind-Spot-Information-System) that alerts you when an object is in your vehicles blind spot, another system called Cross Traffic Alert can also be included. Now while this system sounds like it will let you know when you’re crossing the street, it actually does something a lot more useful. Cross Traffic Alert uses radar to watch traffic behind your vehicle when you are backing out of a parking spot or driveway. It can sense when a vehicle is approaching at speeds higher than 5 mph from up to 45 feet away. An audible warning, visual display in the sideview mirror, and a signal in the message center all alert you when a vehicle is getting near you. So back up with confidence knowing that your car can help alert you of the minivan that won’t wait for you to leave the spot and drive around you in the Stop ‘n Shop parking lot.
Torque Vectoring Control
Doesn’t it just sound cool? Like something that is super important to James Bond’s car in the chase scene. Well it could come in handy during a chase, but we don’t recommend getting in one in the first place. You know, obey traffic laws and all that. But Torque Vectoring Control is a carefully designed system that was introduced on the Focus. It is an electronic limited slip differential that adds the brakes to the inside wheel during a turn. This then slows that wheel and ensures that both front wheels are turning at the same rate. More engine torque goes to the outside wheel for added traction and to provide better handling as well as improved stability. All of this fancy engineering talk provides for an impressive driving experience from a car in its class.
Braking is something you rarely think about. You press the brake pedal and the brake system creates friction that slows the car down. On a normal vehicle, kinetic energy is lost to heat due to this friction from the brakes. However, Re-Generative Braking is a feature introduced in the Fusion Hybrid. This system recovers more than 90 percent of the energy lost when braking, and then sends it back to the Hybrid systems battery pack. So when you hit the brakes in a Ford Hybrid vehicle, the motor essentially works in reverse, and torque is transferred back to the battery in the form of mechanical energy. All this sounds like a lot to take in, but once you see the savings by having a more efficient vehicle it begins to make a lot of sense.