Turning in tight parking spaces or city traffic is often a tricky business. A video has surfaced online showing how a BMW i3 electric hatchback turns almost instantaneously. Automotive News reports that it is a prototype equipped with technology developed by German auto parts maker ZF that allows the car to turn in a tight radius, potentially forcing the driver into tight spaces. Parallel parking and U-turns just got easier.
The technology, developed by the German auto parts maker and dubbed “Easy Turn Strut,” is a strut-type suspension axle that reduces the car’s turning radius to as little as 5,700mm, and the vehicle is also equipped with rear-wheel steering. This technology allows the front wheels to turn up to 80 degrees. This eliminates the need for the vehicle to make a three-point turn, making turning in tight parking spaces very convenient. ZF claims that in cars not equipped with rear-wheel steering, the technology can reduce the turning radius to 6,800mm, which is still much better than the vehicle’s average turning radius of nearly 10 meters.
Also read: Shimla declares war on unauthorized parking, over 30,000 vehicles to be towed
The technology claims to work best in rear-wheel-drive pure electric vehicles, which don’t have an engine or any other mechanical parts between the front wheels.
Parallel parking and U-turns in small spaces is an area that automakers have long studied. In recent years, several automakers have introduced various technologies to solve the problems drivers face when parking in congested areas. Crab walking is one of the technologies that automakers have been working on for quite some time. In fact, Hyundai has already shown off the Ioniq 5, which can crab-walk in tight spaces. The GMC Hummer EV is also equipped with similar technology.
First published date: Jul 3, 2023 at 10:57 AM CST