BMW says the new 2019 BMW 3 Series, which debuted last month in Paris, “moves the game on once again in terms of driving dynamics.” So, to learn the tech behind what makes the new car handle better than its predecessor, I spoke with dynamics engineer Robert Rothmiller. Here’s what he told me. The head of functional design and integration for driving dynamics of the new G20 3 Series broke down the main changes to the car’s handling into three categories: weight and track width, body and chassis stiffness, and technical systems. The first of those promises to give the car better grip in turns, the second could improve chassis response and comfort, and the last supposedly yields a better driving experience thanks to changes in the steering system and in damper technology. I’ll begin by discussing technical systems, specifically steering. This is an area where the 3 Series has received significant criticism since the current generation F30 model launched with electric power steering, inspiring articles like Car and Driver’s “Steer Me, Feel Me: Exploring Why BMWs No Longer Excel in Steering Feel.” But Rothmiller says his team has made improvements. Technical Systems Steering Feedback Not long after the current-generation F30 BMW 3 Series launched to much criticism about steering feedback-a term defined as how well a car communicates grip to the driver via the steering wheel-Car and Driver hooked the car up to a $3 million kinematics and compliance machine and compared it to its predecessor. The conclusion? “The… [Read full story]
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