New Astra To Showcase Most Advanced Chassis In Class | Part Three

New Astra

Vauxhall Astra

IDSPlus chassis system

Vauxhall’s version of IDS (Interactive Driving System) first appeared on the Vectra and has been refined for use, as an option, in Astra.

The company is promising new levels of ride quality through the adaptive IDS Plus suspension system – a complex electronic network which incorporates such features as Continuous Damping Control.

The CDC-system in the new Astra comprises four hydraulic shock absorbers, that continuously adapt to the vehicle ‘condition’, the road surface and the driving style. The aim is to keep the car’s body stable by permanently minimising its rolling, dipping or vertical movements. A network of sensors including three body and two wheel acceleration sensors deliver all the information required for the best possible damping to the electronic control unit.

Vauxhall claims a further breakthrough with the integration of CDC, ABS and ESPPlus. The ESP has been refined further and is now two-stage, so that when it comes into play it firstly adjusts the damper forces at each wheel then, if necessary, applies brakes to one or more of the wheels. The result is a significantly more sensitive ESP operation.

Fifteen and sixteen inch brakes with discs all round deliver strong braking. In the event of ‘emergency’ braking a dual-rate brake booster immediately increases the brake pressure, thus shortening the braking distance.

Other technical highlights of the Astra chassis include Understeer Control Logic (UCL) where if understeer occurs, road speed is reduced automatically by closing the throttle and then braking on two wheels; Hill Start Assistant (HSA) where pressure in the brake system is maintained for 1.5 seconds to enable easy drive off on uphill gradients, and a tyre deflation Detection System (DDS) which detects loss of pressure in a tyre by measuring its circumference. A warning signal is given if pressure loss reaches 30%.

Published 15 December 2003 Melanie Carter
 

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