Suppressing or limiting the differential action of the differential mechanism is the mostly adopted technique to avoid the skidding of a driving wheel of a vehicle riding on a poorly adherent surface. The devices carrying out this function unbalance the traction force distribution in the differential, generating a yaw torque acting on the vehicle as a secondary effect. If the unbalancing action is electronically controlled, this yaw torque can be used to affect the attitude of car as a torque vectoring technique.
In this paper, a purpose built differential is presented and its technical features are highlighted, including the electrohydraulic actuation. Moreover, its torque vectoring capabilities are discussed, basing on the numerical simulation campaign performed deploying this device in a 7 DOFs model of a race car with low ground effect.
The results of these simulations are compared with the behavior of the same vehicle equipped with a common passive locking differential, to show that the proposed one and its control logic (which relies on only measurable inputs) are able of improving the handling of the vehicle, in terms of both vehicle stability and linearity with the driver’s inputs. Therefore, this system could be considered as a completion of the common ESC (“Electronic Stability Control) systems to control the vehicle attitude when using the brake system is an inefficient solution.