Driving can be a pleasure and for those who understand driving and the feeling it should give you the electric power steering systems (EPS) are nearly an affront to their senses. These EPS systems are meant to give you improved fuel efficiency and make the steering overall better, but the electric motor often takes away the feel that you want to have when steering a car, especially if you are looking for some excitement to go along with your ride of fun and engagement. What exactly is steering engagement or feel and how do you achieve it?
The trifecta of steering is effort, response and feedback which combine together to give you a great ride and control from the steering wheel. Some of the best names in this realm right now are Cadillac, Mazda and Porsche, which all let us take a look at the steering systems used in order to understand what great steering can be. The consensus is that the steering system should emphasize a great mechanical layout offering a stiff structure, great suspension geometry and a minimum of friction.
The various connections to the chassis cause delays in the response to the steering and the precision of the response. The feedback give to the driver can be less direct with a system that is meant to offer a smoother steering, but many drivers prefer to feel the car and steering to know what is going on. In order to provide a sharper response more of these companies offer swapped out parts to improve the response of the system in order to provide the system that is needed. The feedback we want in our steering systems many people don’t feel is right in the system, but it’s there on purpose. With a better friction ratio you can have the right feeling for driving.
Setting up the wheel alignment correctly with the right angles to each wheel to provide you with the best feeling of the car is also very important. You can enjoy the alignment of all the parts. When a steering system is done right you receive the response from the road back to you that you want in the form of feedback and the system will also change correctly for you instantly which is the response you will love from a system that is done right. This is why Porsche, Mazda and Cadillac are so great at building these steering systems, because they have perfected the geometry of the systems.
What does all this mean for you? It means you can have a drive in a car that is perfect for steering as you know what is going on at the wheels and the wheels respond well to the inputs you give it to offer the right driving feeling to be enjoyed. There are reasons why the Miata and 911 are so much fun to drive and the new CTS and ATS are right on the road in a way that is perfect for driving and the excitement you can have from the steering system.