A patent was filed with the USPTO recently.
The real question is: “What’s it for?”
Most regular AWD systems, be they on cars or SUVs, are front-wheel biased. In other words, the front wheels do most of the pulling only to then engage the rear axle for an extra push. This system, typically reliable, will not split power between the rear wheels. Ford’s just filed a patent that would see two clutches fitted to do exactly that.
The first clutch in this system will engage the rear axle from the transmission. The other two individually control the amount of power sent to the rear wheels. In this scenario, it’s conceivable that torque vectoring, or increasing or limiting the amount of power sent to a wheel, is the goal. This isn’t a setup usually fitted to a “regular” AWD vehicle no matter the class.
The big question is what Ford plans for this triple-clutch AWD system are. The best we can do is approach this using the process of elimination. Based on the image shared by CarBuzz, we can clearly see a transverse-mounted engine, in this case, a 4-pot. The engine’s position vis-à-vis the transmission and front differential rules out any longitudinal powertrain layout such as what we have in today’s Mustang or any Bronco, Ranger, or other Ford truck.
This then leaves the likes of the Maverick, Bronco Sport, and Escape, all of which share power- and drivetrains, and non-ST Edge SUVs. Unless Ford and its engineers rotate the motor 90 degrees in the engine bay, it’s not for an AWD Mustang. Perhaps a Bronco Sport or Maverick ST then?