The specifications of ground vehicles considering requirements like maneuverability and footprint are mainly caused by the target traffic. Future population distribution is subject to rural exodus resulting in megacities with the corresponding rise of traffic density and immense parking-space shortage. The problems caused by the compromise between a small footprint due to traffic requirements and a large one due to safety reasons are well known by the automotive industry as urban concept cars from different automobile exhibitions attest [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. One of the known approaches is active tilt as it seems to be promising to reduce the vehicle’s dimension while coping with lateral acceleration demand and roll-over safety [4] [7]. But, active tilt represents only one solution for a situational adaptive chassis.

The proposed paper analyzes two alternative concepts, a variable track width and a variable height of the CG, and compares them to the known active tilt principle [8]. By using the exemplary maneuver of “steady-state cornering” the potential of each function concerning an increase of maneuverability and a decrease of the footprint is investigated. The results are promising and justify further investigation on the subject as for example dynamic simulation which has not been part of the study. The presented analytical examination of the influence on the yaw velocity gain and roll-over safety may open the discussion about the chances and risks of variable chassis design.

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