Mazda G-Vectoring Control is more than an upgraded steering system, and it’s more than a torque control system. Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control is a steering communication system. It finds the best way to interpret steering input while giving the driver a greater feeling of confidence. My description may seem vague, but that’s how our indoctrination to this system started.
Caution, technical information ahead. I will do my best to encapsulate the event and give you the facts.
We were brought to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California to experience the system and the philosophy behind the G-Vectoring Control system. It was a very unusual press event that was meant more for discovery than product gimmicks. Here is what happened.
1. We drove a Mazda CX-5, a Subaru Forester and a Honda CR-V back-to-back-to-back to experience different steering, ride and acceleration feel. We lapped the vehicles on a small course at 5 and 10 mph. It was arduous, but I definitely felt how each vehicle’s philosophy was vastly different.
2. We sat and learned about (in Japanese) ONHASHIRU YOROKOBI, (the joy of driving) or (the joy from driving). We also learned about (also in Japanese) ONJINBA ITTAI, “Unifying the horse and rider or Oneness between car and driver really…a car so natural and intuitive it feels like an extension of your own body.” – Mazda’s philosophy.
3. Then we learned how, working with Hitachi, Mazda carefully looked at how a human moves. This observation connected our natural movements with how humans react to the way a vehicle moves. Fascinating stuff. They connected the dots and began to show us how Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, which was eight-years in development, has augmented the driver’s talent.
4. We drove the Mazda6 both on the track and on the back roads with the system on and off. While the change is subtle, I was able to feel the better connection, the slight mitigation of sawing at the wheel and better control throughout the drive. I drove and sat as a passenger, forcing me to connect and observe. During track time, a battery of cameras and sensors tracked our movements – this information was later shown to each driver. It illustrated the motions during the back-to-back track runs. The graphs were very telling.
5. We were notified that Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system is entirely software and would not add or subtract weight before a Q-and-A session which concluded the technical portion of the event. Then Mazda let the journalists play in the Mazda6 and Mazda3 on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We had access to the whole Mazda team for any additional questions and concluded with one of the best French dinners I’ve ever had. What a hell of a way to finish.
The bottom line is: this system will make you a better driver. It will slightly and imperceptibly lower torque, allow for a bit of roll and reduce unnecessary inputs to get you around a snowy, icy, slick or dry corner. All of this is done without sacrificing steering quality and the joy of driving.
Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid and I learned a lot. It will be a benefit to a vehicle lineup that already is one of the best handling out there. The G-Vectoring Control system will first arrive in the 2017 Mazda6 before moving to the Mazda3 and then the rest of the Mazda line.
Stay tuned for a video recap coming soon.
Speaking of new Mazdas: