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by George Skentzos

Prodrive is a relative unknown outside the world of motorsport, however it has had a strong influence behind the scenes, developing technologies used by some of the world’s best handling cars.

Prodrive develops Active Toe Control

Closer to home, Prodrive manufacture up to 3,000 vehicles a year in Australia through a joint venture with Ford Performance Vehicles.

Still confused? Then allow Top Gear to give you a brief history.

It’s latest breakthrough is a new vehicle dynamics technology dubbed Active Toe Control, which actively adjusts the wheel’s angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle – that is, the toe angle.

Working on the rear axle, by adjusting the toe angle depending on the speed of the vehicle, it improves handling at lower speed and is much more stable and predictable at high speed.

To give a vehicle additional low speed agility, the wheels usually have up to a degree of toe-out at the rear axle, while to make a car more stable at higher speeds, for emergency manoeuvres like a lane change, then toe-in is preferred.

This behaviour is currently achieved through the use of expensive multi-link rear suspension. The benefit of the Active Toe Control system is that it can be fitted to the existing twist beam axle, which can give many of the dynamic benefits of a multi-link system, but at less than half the cost.






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