The new VXR8 GTS
The new VXR8 GTS

High spec model uses latest BWI technology to deliver uncompromised ride and handling

The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS will use third-generation MagneRide suspension from BWI Group to combine trackday handling with road-car comfort, when it goes on sale later this year. The impressive new supersaloon, developed by Australian firm Holden Special Vehicles and sold in the UK as a Vauxhall, has a maximum power of 577bhp (430kW), peak torque of 740Nm, and employs BWI’s MagneRide in its Magnetic Ride Control system.

“Traditional suspension systems have to compromise between ride quality, road holding and body control,” said Alex Shnaider, the project’s lead development engineer and BWI’s Country Manager for Australia. “MagneRide overcomes this restriction, providing a comfortable everyday ride, precise body control for enjoyable handling on the track and real-time management of the tyre loads to make best use of all the available grip. The MRC system on the VXR8 is the latest edition of a well established relationship between HSV and BWI’s magneride, which has previously been seen on the HSV Senator and HSV Grange. ”

The key to MagneRide suspension is the Magneto Rheological (MR) damper fluid which contains tiny iron particles that can be quickly but temporarily magnetised by energising electrical coils in the damper piston. When the current is off, the particles are randomly dispersed and the damper is in its softest setting. Applying a current magnetises the particles, which then attract each other, in proportion to the strength of the magnetic field, increasing the resistance to flow and stiffening the damping. The result is an ability to vary the damping force almost instantaneously over a wide range, just by varying the current applied.

The latest generation, twin-wire dual-coil (TWDC) MagneRide units adjust their damping 1000 times per second to provide the optimum control and response, whatever the driving conditions. In the TWDC system the previous single electrical coil in each damper has been replaced by two smaller coils, providing quicker ‘current-off’ performance, to give the new system a faster transient response. The new dual-coil architecture also contributes to providing an extended dynamic range (a ‘softer soft’ and a ‘harder hard’) that is able to cope with the extremes of trackday driving without compromising the ride during normal use.

In addition to the system’s self-acting capability, drivers can select between Touring, Sport and Track settings using a Driver Preference Dial that also controls other aspects of the car, such as the exhaust note, steering calibration and traction control settings.

“The VXR8 GTS has a supercharged 6.2L V-8 with almost 580 horsepower, but balanced handling, comfort and safety were as important as straight line performance,” said Schnaider. “With MagneRide suspension, we were able to deliver precise control to suit the most enthusiastic track use, and the comfort for everyday driving.”

BWI Group

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 programmes. BWI Group’s engineering philosophy can be summarised 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 centres in North America, China, Japan, France and Poland and by applications support centres in Australia, Germany, India, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, complemented by hot weather and cold weather test centres in North America.

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