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Ford To Introduce Variable-Ratio Steering Photo:
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ford_adaptive_steering_01 Photo: tmr
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ford_adaptive_steering_02 Photo: tmr
 
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Tony O'Kane | May, 30 2014 | 2 Comments

Ford has announced that it will introduce variable-ratio steering systems to some of its models within the next year, though the auto giant has yet to confirm exactly which cars will receive the technology first.

Developed in partnership with Japanese tech firm Takata, Ford's variable-ratio steering rack actively changes the amount of steering input required to go from lock-to-lock depending on the vehicle's speed.

At low speed the ratio is faster, so that less steering wheel movement is needed to, say, dart into a car space in a cramped shopping centre car park.

At highway speed, the steering ratio increases to promote stability.

The technology is also designed to be easily adapted to existing models. It doesn't require any new steering rack hardware, just the addition of an actuator assembly immediately behind the steering wheel and the electronic brains to run it.

Ford is keeping mum on whether the tech will reach its sporty products like the Mustang, Focus ST and Fiesta ST first, but if other manufacturers who have already adopted the tech (like BMW and Audi) are anything to go by, it's highly likely that they will.

MORE: Ford News and Reviews

 
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