Performance electric vehicles are already quarter-mile monsters, but Ford’s working on a way to make them launch even harder. CarBuzz recently found a filing with the United States Patent And Trademark Office that could grant Ford a patent on a burnout mode for EVs. That sounds like a great way to heat up the tires without resorting to the sort of antics you see in the photo above. If you thought that battery pack weight and instant torque is hard on tires, it seems like we’re barely seeing the start of it.
So how does this patented system work? According to the filing, “A sequential maneuver that spins tires of the first axle followed by tires of the second axle may be performed by specified manipulation of the brake pedal and accelerator pedal.”
Basically, this burnout mode would let the driver light up both the front and rear tires and get them properly gooey for ferocious all-wheel-drive traction. A flowchart included in the filing suggests that burnout mode could officially be called “Heat Tires” and reside in a track apps function like the conceptually-similar line lock does on a Mustang coupe.
The flowchart also gives us some interesting things to note. Using this burnout mode, tires on each axle can be spun for up to five seconds, considerably shorter than the 15-second line lock window offered on the combustion-powered Mustang coupe.
In all-wheel-drive applications, the function heats the rear tires before heating the fronts, and there’s a provision to kill burnout mode should the car want to push through the locked tires. Ford’s patent application also claims that this technology can be applied to single-motor rear-wheel-drive EVs, dual-motor all-wheel-drive EVs, and quad-motor all-wheel-drive EVs, which should cover all the bases.
So what could this system be going into? Well, Ford used illustrations of a Mustang Mach-E in the patent drawings, so it’s highly plausible that burnout mode could come to current variants of the electric crossover. Alternatively, Ford could be planning some sort of eventual halo high-performance variant that burnout mode is more suited to, or this function could go into another EV entirely.
This is all well and good, but it begs a question: With Ford patenting this EV burnout mode, will Stellantis include a burnout mode of sorts in its upcoming electric muscle cars? While a sequence like this would be tough to implement if Ford’s patent application is approved, variance in control methods could allow Stellantis to implement a similar system without stepping on Ford’s toes. Control of axle braking may be by steering wheel switch, for example. It’s an interesting problem that Stellantis will likely need to solve to keep quarter-mile fans happy in the electric age.
Ford’s EV burnout mode represents part of a new frontier in electric car development. EVs are already ruthlessly quick and feature reasonably long ranges, now they just need to be fun. The Ford Mustang Mach-E already exhibits some classic Mustang character by throwing its ass out on corner exit and the Porsche Taycan is a chassis tuning masterpiece, but most performance EVs are more capable than they are emotional.
With toys like burnout mode and drift modes, it feels like the industry is figuring out how to make performance EVs engaging, albeit outside of lawful street driving parameters.
(Photo credits: Ford)
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Burn out mode. Nice. Does it come with a horn that plays Dixie and a YETI window decal?
Hmmm, interesting wording in the claims. The claims explicitly recite wheels of a first axle and wheels of a second axle, implying two or more wheels per axle. So an electric 3-wheeler should be able to take advantage of this without infringing the claims. Note to Morgan legal dept., I’ll send my bill to you next week.
Also, the claims recite an explicit intent, to spin the wheels of the un-braked axle. So Stellantis could do the same thing, just claiming a different intent, such as to test adhesion of the tires on the un-braked axle. Note to Stellantis legal dept., I’ll send my bill to you next week.
Is it burn out mode, or just the battery?
It’s amazing how the main way manufacturers try to make EVs cool is with some feature or option that goes against the “green” purpose of EVs.
Tesla started the problem and anyone that believes EM’s real purpose is saving the planet should plan on moving to mars with him.
Yeah, replace your ICE carbon footprint with a carbon tire print…
I’m not interested until I can make it do burnouts with the key fob so everyone in the parking lot knows how massive and American my wiener is
Incidentally, I believe “Massive American Weiner” is the title of Green Day’s next album.
So, a couple of things when talking about patents. First, a patent application is filed, not a patent. It doesn’t become a patent until it is review and allowed by an Examiner at the USPTO. At that point, it will “issue” as a granted patent. The invention is not “patented” until it is granted and the scope of what is actually patented is not everything described, but rather is defined by the claims at the end of the patent. The claims, therefore, are the legal definition of the patented invention.
You can tell the difference between a published application and a granted patent by the number. A published application will be identified by the year of publication and then a sequential number. For example, a published patent application would be – 2023/0123456. A granted patent is given a sequential patent number that continues from year to year and we are nearly at 12 million. For example, a granted patent number would be 11,123,456.
I was going to post this very thing…thank you!
Interestingly, this one has been allowed so while technically it is not yet a patent, it will be soon.
Also, finding a published application (starting with the year as you post) doesn’t mean it hasn’t been patented – you just have to do a bit of looking to find out whether that publication later became a patent.
It’ll be able to do a burnout back to the dealer after being autonomously repossessed.
Damn you beat me to it
COTD right here lol