Newell Coach Corp., a luxury motorhome builder based in Miami, Okla., recently announced that its new StabilRide active-suspension system is available on Newell motorcoaches to be delivered beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
According to a press release, StabilRide dramatically improves coach handling, stability, and ride quality to levels previously unattainable in a vehicle the size and weight of a Newell.
“StabilRide is a key reason ‘Car and Driver’ magazine (July 2012) recently said the ride in a Newell ‘approaches Lexus-like perfection,’” said Newell President Karl Blade.
Newell said that StabilRide is a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled active-suspension system that automatically adjusts the suspension firmness or softness at each of the six wheel positions every ten milliseconds.
When a soft suspension setting is required to absorb a road irregularity, the selected suspension damper or dampers adjust accordingly. When a firm setting is needed to control excessive vehicle movement, such as immediately following a bump or to keep the coach level when entering a turn or executing a quick lane change, the suspension adjusts to optimal firm settings.
The adjustments all happen automatically and almost instantaneously. The company said that they are also unnoticeable, except that the coach rides more comfortably, has much less “lean” in corners, and “porposing” action following dips in the road is eliminated. Excessive body movements are also eliminated.
Newell developed StabilRide in partnership with ZF, a world-leading motor vehicle component engineering and manufacturing company. Active suspension has been introduced on selected premium and high-performance passenger cars over the last two decades and has become increasingly popular on these vehicles. However, Newell is the only motorcoach manufactured in North American to feature an active- suspension system.
After months of development and preliminary testing by ZF engineers and professional test drivers, Newell and ZF conducted final testing of the Newell StabilRide system at ZF’s facility in Northville, Michigan, in late April.
Much of the testing was conducted on challenging, two-lane rural highways that have significant dips and side-to-side unevenness. With the conventional passive suspension installed on the test coach, maintaining a speed of 40 m.p.h. was uncomfortable, requiring two hands on the steering wheel and constant driver corrections.
After StabilRide was installed on the vehicle, the same roads could be driven comfortably and easily at 50 m.p.h. with one hand on the wheel. Although driving one handed is not recommended, this experience confirmed that StabilRide results in a ride and handling that are far superior to that of a conventional, passive-suspension system.
“With the combination of StabilRide and Newell’s standard, EasiSteer enhanced power steering,” said Blade, “a Newell coach now delivers a superlative ride, stable handling, and driving ease that other coaches of its type simply can’t match.”
For more information about Newell StabilRide, call Boyd Vanover at 1-888-3NEWELL (1-888-363-9355).