BWI Group’s DualRide™ offers premium ride performance at a lower cost than traditional adaptive solutions
Advanced chassis technology supplier BWI Group has developed a cost-effective switchable two-position suspension system, DualRide. It allows price-sensitive vehicles to approach the all-around ride performance associated with premium adaptive suspension systems but at a lower price point. DualRide may also be used on vehicles with a range of damping requirements due to variable payloads.
Switchable between ‘normal’ and a higher ‘sport’ or ‘loaded/trailering’ mode, DualRide gives choice and control to drivers, offering personalized ride performance. “Driver-selectable ride controls shouldn’t be expensive,” explained Marla Hughes, BWI Group Controlled Suspension Product Team Manager. “DualRide provides a very comfortable normal mode while also offering a very different and higher secondary damping mode for increased road feel and control. A standard suspension system is usually outfitted with passive dampers,” says Hughes, “and those passive dampers – often with struts in the front and shock absorbers in the rear – offer a single damping performance characteristic. In many situations, that’s sufficient, but there are other situations where one damping level just isn’t enough.”
Using DualRide, the damping can be selected to suit the driver’s preference or needs. This damping mode selection can be made through the driver interface on the vehicle’s dash, or through a dedicated ride control switch. Additionally, if the vehicle manufacturer chooses to couple DualRide with an electronic suspension control module, some of this functionality can even be performed automatically.
A simple electro-magnetic control mechanism selects between one or both pistons in-series to create the two different damping modes. For vehicle OEMs, the great tunability of BWI Group’s premium passive twin-tube damper valving is maintained in the ‘normal’ mode, and a second valving system is used to provide the ‘sport’ or ‘loaded/trailering’ mode.
DualRide has initially been configured for twin-tube dampers of 32 and 36 mm in diameter. Future developments will include monotube applications and an ‘automatic’ feature that will select quickly and seamlessly between ‘comfort’ and ‘sport’ or ‘loaded/trailering’ modes. The system will then respond to driving style and chassis inputs ensuring that damping is optimally selected, this feature effectively provides the functionality of fully automatic adaptive suspension at a very competitive cost.
BWI Group is the strong and well-funded company that acquired the business of Delphi Chassis Systems on November 1st 2009. The product portfolio is split into two complementary groups: ride & handling technologies and braking technologies. In both areas, the offering ranges from high value items such as twin-tube dampers and brake system components, through to highly sophisticated active systems and the expertise required to integrate them with premium vehicle programs. BWI Group’s engineering philosophy can be summarized as ‘innovation with design simplicity’: a strategy that is clearly demonstrated in world-class technologies such as electronically controlled braking and stability systems, the MagneRide controlled damping system and the award-winning MR Powertrain Mount.
The substantial product portfolio is supported by technical centers in North America, China, Japan, France and Poland and by applications support centers in Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, complemented by hot weather and cold weather test centers in North America and China.