G-Vectoring Control: Mazda's Latest Innovation
Vehicle Development Division
Linking SKYACTIV Technologies
A vehicle is made up of many different parts. The key parts are the engine, body and chassis, but the thing is, none of us ever thought about creating a synergy between those key parts. In the SKYACTIV Technology development process, Mazda made breakthrough innovations in different “hardware” in the car, like the body, chassis, engine and transmission. With GVC, we aimed at linking all of those innovative “hardware” to let the car unleash its full potential. In fact, creating a synergy between powertrain and chassis has been a critical theme for Mazda's internal project dedicated to technological integration.
Excellent responsiveness of SKYACTIV engine was the critical piece in the GVC puzzle.
Based on the driver's steering input, GVC uses the engine to optimize load control. The technology could not have been achieved without the SKYACTIV engine delivering excellent responsiveness. The engine being capable of excellent torque control, or more specifically minute traction control, was the critical piece in the total dynamics integration puzzle called GVC.
Both SKYACTIV-D and SKYACTIV-G are capable of extremely fast and precise control, which realizes optimum torque control requested by the driver's steering input. Having a set of robust hardware such as suspension, body, seats and the steering, that convey the driver's operation to the road surface, definitely enhances GVC's effectiveness. Because if the body cannot stand up to the request, the loads will not be carried through the system and reach the road surface. Going back to my previous analogy with professional athletes, simply improving the form will not get you more distance. You need to have good core strength.
Redefining vehicle motion dynamics
For Mazda, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY reflects a radical attitude not bound by limitation, and everyone at Mazda is encouraged to think outside the box. With GVC, Mazda was not bound by the norms of existing vehicle motion dynamics. What we have done is, for the first time in the automotive industry, to link and control longitudinal and horizontal G-forces (acceleration) which had been individually controlled. We dared to defy vehicle dynamics convention and embraced a radical methodology. That is why we are witnessing effects that no one could ever imagine.
The vehicle motion dynamic textbooks never talk about controlling longitudinal loads when making a turn, because that was considered to be a driver's responsibility. With GVC, we asked ourselves a question – what if we make it the car’s responsibility? We are hoping that GVC will generate an impact long-term so that one day, it will convince motion dynamics scholars to revise the textbooks.
Difference from conventional chassis control technologies
Experienced drivers know that some things are beyond their control. That is where GVC comes into play.Driving a GVC-enabled Mazda feels exhilarating and refreshing because the technology optimizes loads on each of the vehicle's four tires so that each tire's abilities are efficiently delivered. GVC is a technology that reduces excessive energy usage and maximizing the car's given performance to make driving a more intimate experience. The drivers feels that nothing stands between them and their car.
SKYACTIV engines are developed with the same principle in mind. That is to efficiently convert energy to motion. At Mazda, we believe that letting the driver feel the entire process, from the engine converting fuel to energy to that energy then efficiently travelling to the tires, is a source of “Jinba-Ittai” driving and the joy that comes from driving a Mazda.