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Old 09-29-2002, 10:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
Unit 5302
Registered Member
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 5,246

I disagree with conventional brakes being superior to anti-lock when dry pavement straight line braking is concerned. Take a look at road tests and reviews. The stopping distance on ABS cars is much shorter because it's just too hard to modulate braking pressure perfectly on most production cars to keep the brakes applied to the maximum capability without lockup.

To back this up, I submit the Dodge Viper. At 3300lbs, shod with massive, ultra-high performance tires it should have been one of the best performing cars in stopping distance. It was the poorest in it's class. Review after review cited it was too hard to bring the Viper down to a stop under heavy brake application without lockup.

There was a full article on the subject I read where they tested 2 identical cars. One with the optional 4 wheel ABS, and one with conventional brakes. All the other specs on the brakes were the same. I believe it may have been Mercedez Benz.

The results were favorable on ABS for stopping only on dry pavement, where it did enjoy a marginally better performance. On any weather condition other than dry pavement, the ABS was significantly to massively worse. Snow and ice being the worst case scenerio. 60% longer stops with the ABS system. They also said ABS was superior because it allowed them to turn to miss objects while the brakes are being applied. My question is, would they have even had to turn at all if they would have had conventional brakes?

The article was shocking, as all the articles I had ever seen said ABS would be so superior to conventional brakes on snow/ice because it would be able to modulate the pressure, and pulse the brakes way faster than any human. My experience before I read the article said the complete opposite. ABS cars were just plain dangerous as the computer would get too confused on slick surfaces, and attempt to avoid lockup by applying almost no braking pressure. The article mearly backed that feeling up with numbers.
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