Some of these may not be new, but are migrating from specialised cars to more mainstream models.
In the automotive world, advancements are constantly being made to improve cars with all kinds of innovative features that appeal to car enthusiasts. Here are some that are designed to improve the driving experience and sure to put a smile on your face.
Once the domain of expensive sports cars and supercars, launch control is now available on more affordable cars. This feature helps you quickly accelerate your car from a standstill without any of the potentially dangerous and out-of-control issues, such as wheelspin or even blowing an engine cylinder, especially after repeated launch attempts. Launch control makes sure your engine doesn’t over-rev and overheat. It detects wheel slip and adjusts the power to the wheels so that there is no wasted energy. Normally, there is a specific launch control button to deploy the feature — just make sure your tyres are suitable for this, and take the safety of other road users into consideration when doing so.Active Anti-Roll Bars
SUVs are all the rage, and they are getting bigger and heavier. If a driver fancies himself an F1 driver and tries to take a hard corner, there is a risk that the vehicle, riding higher, might roll or tip over. Anti-roll bars are designed to restrict the amount of differentiation of the car’s suspension across the axle to reduce body roll. An active anti-roll bar, unlike a normal anti-roll bar, can be adjusted on the fly as it utilises a motor in the centre of the bar that applies opposing torque on either end. This stiffens the bar in real time and allows the car to correct for any potential roll while cornering. Available in luxury cars, this safety feature may become more common in future.
Most cars are equipped with dampers made out of springs and struts, which provide sufficient suspension for day-to-day driving. A more advanced system, called the Magnetic Damper, uses smart electromagnetic fluids that alter the characteristics of the damper: activating the magnets in the fluid to firm up a ride while deactivating them softens it. This means that, at the push of a button, the driver can immediately vary the stiffness of the car’s ride — from plush and supple to firm and sporty.
Torque vectoring is a computer-controlled system that controls power distribution across the car’s axle, which in turn allows a car to corner faster and with more grip. Conventional differentials always transfer torque in an equal 50/50 split to the driving wheels. If one driving wheel cannot put down much power — say, because of slippery conditions on its side — the other driving wheel will also receive an equally low amount of torque. This can result in the wheels slipping and losing grip when cornering. Torque vectoring uses electronically controlled clutches to shuffle torque from one wheel to the next, limiting spin on one wheel and redistributing torque to the wheel with the most grip.
Active Engine Mounts
Engine mounts serve to isolate engine vibration from the rest of the car’s chassis, using rubber to absorb the vibration. Modern active engine mounts use smart technology that can change dampening levels to match different scenarios. The mount can be relatively soft at idle to absorb unwanted shakes, and stiffen up at higher engine speeds to limit engine vibrations. It really is the best of both worlds, giving drivers a significant boost to contain noise and vibration issues.