From the April 2017 issue
We are often accused of focusing too unrelentingly on minutiae at the expense of the bigger picture. Indeed, we are terriers on a rat when it comes to the nuances of a car’s brake modulation, damping refinement, and steering feel. With cars these days, the story is in the details, especially when it comes to that last one.
We have been mostly merciless in our judgments against the new wave of hyper-efficient electrically assisted power-steering (EPS) units, bemoaning the way they sever and cauterize the nerves that, in unpowered or hydraulically assisted steering, reached from the steering-wheel rim all the way down to the front-tire treads. This is steering “feel,” as opposed to “steering weight” or “response,” both of which EPS does quite well. It’s much easier to program a perfectly linear steering-response curve in software; it’s a black art to do so with hydraulics. But it’s feel that really matters.