Mazda G-Vectoring System, Explained
Modern electronics can make everyday driving better for the mass market.
- Test Drives
In modern vehicle design, electronic control systems are central to, well, everything. Certain luxury car models are now equipped with upwards of 70 ECUs that are responsible for safety systems, stability control, and even moon roof operation. However, not all systems are designed for basic functionality. Mazda's engineering group has been working on variations of "GVC" (G-Vectoring Control) for the past decade.
After driving the latest Mazda CX-5 and Mazda 3 with "GVC" it was hard to identify what the system was doing. After studying "GVC" and understanding how it worked, I was able to get the vehicle in snow to further test it. I immediately summarized the operation of "GVC" as a "torque reduction system." The ECU of the vehicle is looking at reducing the torque output of the motor to help transfer a small amount of weight onto the front wheels during cornering which reduces the G-load on the passengers and also helps keep the vehicle on it's intended path. To most people the ECU torque adjustment is transparent however, driver steering effort changes. "GVC" is so intuitive that it helps reduce micro corrections or changes to the steering angle in the middle of the turn which is the primary reason for smoother driving.
The concept of "GVC" was to improve driver confidence through the study of human behavior. Mazda aimed to improve the sense of control in hopes to solidify the attachment the owner has with the vehicle. The final design focuses on engine control and changing output characteristics. Those changes also required subtle updates to the suspension to maximize the overall performance. ("GVC" is cannot be turned off and is baked into the engine programming.)
GVC maximizes tire performance by focusing on the vertical load on the tires. The moment the driver starts
to turn the steering wheel, GVC controls engine drive torque to generate a deceleration G-force, thereby
shifting load to the front wheels. This increases front-wheel tire grip, enhancing the vehicle’s turn-in
responsiveness. Thereafter, when the driver maintains a constant steering angle, GVC immediately recovers engine drive
torque, which transfers load to the rear wheels, enhancing vehicle stability.
This series of load transfers extracts much more grip from the front and rear tires, improving vehicle
responsiveness and stability according to the driver's intentions.