Motorsports company Prodrive is developing a new vehicle dynamics system that actively adjusts toe angle (the symmetric angle that each wheel makes with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle) to improve vehicle handling. Dubbed ‘Active Toe Control,’ it works on the rear axle of front wheel drive cars to optimise the toe angle, depending on the speed of the vehicle. This helps overcome the static toe compromise of either giving a vehicle agile handling at lower speeds or making it more stable and predictable at high speed.

To give a vehicle additional low speed agility, the wheels usually have a certain degree of toe 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. Because of this there’s always a compromise between low and high speed handling.

Prodrive claims its new system can match the handling of a vehicle with a complex multi-link rear suspension using just a traditional twist beam set-up. “Active Toe Control, fitted to an existing twist beam axle, can give many of the dynamic benefits of a multi-link system, but at less than half the cost,” Prodrive engineer Matt Taylor explains.

Officials are now looking for a hardware partner to take the project to a working prototype.