In a world so driven by advances in technology and efficiency, especially in the world of the automobile, many enthusiasts have taken up issue with some of the minutiae that have fallen in priority to the bigger picture of automobile development – namely fuel economy and ease of manufacture. When it comes to issues like brake feel, suspension damping, and steering feel, a lot is riding on the details of new cars.
For many manufacturers, electrically assisted power-steering, or EPS, has begun to replace traditional hydraulically assisted power steering. And while EPS has proven to be extremely efficient and reliable, it has also numbed the connection that drivers once had to the front tires of a car. That feeling allowed a driver to sense exactly what the car was doing, and to be able to tell how much further the car could be pushed. Not to be confused with the weight or response of a car’s steering, which EPS does very well, steering feel is different.
Why Does Feel Matter So Much?
The most common complaints about lack of steering feel come from new high-performance cars. Cars built with traditional hydraulic power steering provided ample feedback about the car’s behavior through the steering wheel during aggressive driving. Because EPS has become so popular in new cars, drivers have had to re-learn how to feel what the car is doing through the seat, but if the car doesn’t transmit feel well through its chassis, you’re out of luck.
Possibly even more important than in high-performance cars, steering feel is critical for crossovers and SUVs that remain popular among all types of drivers. Electric power steering takes away the ability to tell when the front of an SUV loses grip over wet or frozen surfaces, making the learning curve for newer drivers much steeper.
EPS is undoubtedly a marvel of engineering, and the benefits it provides to new cars cannot be understated, but when enthusiasts and other drivers make such a fuss over minute details, those are the reasons why.
Whether your race car has hydraulic or electric power steering, we invite you to push it and yourself to the limits at one of our track events or high-performance driver’s education (HPDE) classes. Call us today at (407) 804-0892 with any questions.