With the GVC system present, the vehicle moves precisely as the driver intends, reducing the need for steering corrections, many of which are performed unconsciously. The driver feels more at one with the vehicle and more conﬁdent because the car follows his or her intended line precisely.
Fatigue steadily builds up as the driver continues to make minor steering corrections. Since GVC helps alleviate these corrections, it reduces accumulated fatigue over long distances. And by smoothing the transitions between g-forces, GVC suppresses the swaying of head and body experienced by vehicle occupants, enabling them to enjoy a more comfortable drive.
And because GVC simultaneously enhances handling and stability by optimizing the vertical load on the tires depending on driving conditions, it demonstrates even greater effectiveness in rain and snow and on poor road surfaces. It also stabilizes the vehicle during evasive maneuvers. In any driving scenario, the system offers an enhanced feeling of the tires gripping the road, giving vehicle occupants a greater sense of security.
As one would imagine, demonstrating this system in effect turns out to be a difficult process. In order to do so, Mazda provided a vehicle with a big red button that allowed them to turn the system on / off instantly. To ensure we were not feeling a placebo effect, they provided data, including steering angle graphs comparing a course driven with the system on and with the system off.
Driving the same course with cruise control enabled, Mazda then showed us the data overlays of our driving inputs with the system on and off. It was instantly clear that the system was providing an improvement by reducing steering inputs. After some initial exercises where we were not informed of how the system worked, I was already a believer. Once I knew the system was in place and I was more observant of the effects it became even more obvious when the system was enabled or disabled – that said, the differences are very subtle.
This system is not a “feature” you can purchase or one that can be enabled or disabled on the vehicle when it will be delivered as a product. But simply a system that Mazda feels is worth adding to their vehicles to enhance the driving experience in their pursuit of driving pleasure.
GVC is a small change that works together with the rest of the SkyActiv systems and will be first available in North America in the Mazda6, although definitive information has yet to be released. Expect it in the 2017 Mazda6 when it is released later this year.