Technology transfer from Ferrari’s Racing Division has taken many forms in its 21st-century road cars. Gone are the days when a detuned version of a Formula 1 car engine could power a road Ferrari. But some of the advanced control strategies and systems used in Formula 1 can be adapted to road cars. One example of this is the E-Diff, which was introduced on the F430 in 2004.
The E-Diff features two packs of multi-disc clutches, each driving one of the rear axles. Pressing against each clutch pack is a hydraulic actuator. The hydraulic actuator’s valves are controlled by an electronic circuit. Sensors inform the actuator about the throttle-pedal position, steering angle, wheel rotation speed and yaw acceleration. Responding to these conditions, E-Diff decides how and when to allocate torque to each wheel.
One of the most sophisticated differential controls ever fitted in a road car, E-Diff has proven its practical value. Ferrari engineers gave it much of the credit for the F430’s ability to lap the Fiorano track three seconds faster than its predecessor, the 360 Modena. Sheer speed on the road highlights the value of all of Ferrari’s innovations, including E-Diff.