Opel Insignia: FlexRide: Customizable mechatronic chassis

The new FlexRide system enables drivers to choose a chassis setup that matches their own particular driving style. In addition to the comfortable Standard ride setting, FlexRide enables the driver to select a relaxed (Tour) or a firmer, more crisp suspension set-up (Sport) by pressing two buttons on the instrument panel. Deactivating the Sport or Tour mode returns the ride setting to the Standard mode. In all modes, the chassis management system automatically adapts damping in real time to the driving and road conditions.

In Sport mode, FlexRide provides a spirited driving experience. With the push of a button, the dampers stiffen and the accelerator offers a swifter pedal response. Moreover, it increases Variable Effort Steering (VES), raises the shift-points of the automatic transmission to a higher rpm and adjusts the Adaptive 4X4 system for more rear-wheel drive. In sport mode, the AFL system reacts more quickly. In addition, the lighting on the instrument panel changes from white to red to add to the driving experience.

In the customization menu, accessible via the infotainment display, the driver can personalize the Sport mode by specifying which functions are activated when the Sport button is pushed. For instance, the electronically controlled dampers, VES, and all-wheel drive can be added or switched off.

The core of the new chassis is the Driving Mode Control (DMC), This unit oversees and executes FlexRide selections allowing the car to react to sudden changes in driving style or emergency situations. For example, if an obstacle must be avoided when the car is in 'Tour' mode, various chassis sensors convey this to the DMC and the dampers are adjusted within a split second. The mode requests are not only based on the driver's selection via the buttons and the customization menu; they can also be automatically optimized according to vehicle state --including accelerating, braking, or cornering -- and driving style which DMC determines from vehicle dynamics information.

With the exception of the entry level gasoline and diesel variants, all Opel Insignia models can be ordered with the new FlexRide system, which comes as standard with the Sport equipment package and the V6 gasoline engine.

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