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28th September 2020

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Torque Steer

What is it?
Torque steer is the tendency of a high-performance front wheel drive car, when the power is applied, to turn particular direction because more torque is being delivered to one wheel than another.
This problem only occurs on front wheel drive cars, where the drive shafts are drifferent lengths this is normally due to the sittuation of the engine and gearbox. Under accelleration the power gets to one wheel quicker than the other. The resulting imbalance pulls the car to one side as the torque from the engine steers the vehicle, hence the name Torque Steer.
Torque steer was not wide spread until the Hot hatchbacks of the 1980s came along, up in till then all performace car were rear-wheel drive so did not suffer.
The effects can be worse if the car has worn suspension bushes, allowing the front wheels to move backwards and forward relative to one another and when the car set off because of the weight shifting to the back, reducing the load on the front wheels.

What can be done to stop it?
Convert to rear-wheel drive! Manufactures now fit high performace front wheel drive cars with equal length drive shafts to over come the basic problem. Many also install complex suspention setup to stop the back forth movment of the wheels. Audi has fitted a mulit-link suspension system tot he new A4 to further reduce the effect.
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