THIS VS. THAT: TORQUE-VECTORING SYSTEMS

sh-awd-technology-1

In this edition of THIS VS. THAT, we’ll cover active torque-vectoring systems — specifically brake-based systems vs. active differentials. What’s torque vectoring, you ask? Torque vectoring usually refers to the ability to actively control how an engine’s power is distributed between a vehicle’s wheels (typically between two wheels on the same axle), in order to help improve vehicle performance in corners.

But how torque is vectored makes a big difference, and it’s the reason why we’re covering this topic. Also, I find that people sometimes aren’t sure which type their car has (as evidenced by some of my car enthusiast friends). In fact, I hear stuff like this all the time: “Oh, my car totally has that torque-vectoring differential thingy. Yeah, it vectors the sh#t out of my car in corners,” to which I once replied, “Really? Because the last time I checked your Scion xA didn’t have it.” Then I ducked to avoid getting punched. In the interest of providing full disclosure, the Scion xA does have a traction control system that vectors torque (passively), but not the way we’re referring to here (actively). [Read more…]