- Does a stiffer (less compliant) suspension burn more gas?
A year and a half ago, I installed a Bilstein B12 kit on my 2007 Corolla. The kit lowers the car by an inch with a set of Eibach springs with Bilstein B8 dampers. I seem to notice that on broken pavement, I have to push the gas more to overcome the potholes where as previously, the car was more likely to ‘glide’ over.
The way I explain this is to say that the forward momentum of the vehicle is interrupted by the pothole pushing the vehicle VERTICALLY UPWARDS. Thus this momentum (I’m not sure I’m using the correct physics terms here) which would have pushed the car horizontally to my destination, is being expended by lifting all that car weight upwards.
A more compliant suspension is able to absorb those bumps and carryon forward, which is more
fuel efficient (it’s not wasting energy with vertical momentum)
In the real world, this may end up being negligible but in theory this appears to be correct, right?
- For tiny cars, think: Smart Fortwo or Toyota’s discontinued IQ (or even a Honda Fit)
with short wheelbases, the question is: does increasing the vehicle’s track via aftermarket
wheels adversely affect handling (all else being equal)?
As an example, let’s say you put after market wheels on the Honda Fit, and since the aftermarket wheels are wider and have a lower offset than stock (stock offset being 53mm) this pushes out the wheels by 1.5 inches thus increasing the track by 3 inches total. All else being equal, this may adversely affect handling.
Another way to put it is that there may be an ‘ideal’ wheelbase to track ratio for best vehicle handling. Do you think this is correct?