Body reinforcements may have large influence in the handling perception of a professional driver. This paper presents testing and CAE techniques to approach and analyze the phenomena. A full vehicle multi body model correlated against test data was built. The model includes all vehicle subsystems: front and rear suspensions with rotating wheels and tire model in Magic Formula representation, steering line, powertrain mounting system and car body. Flexible components have been implemented for the car trimmed body, the front subframe and the rear twist beam suspension. A special vehicle set-up has been defined for the testing session, including the standard handling equipment and an advanced system measurement based on strain gauges located on the vehicle body. Strain gauge locations have been defined through support of the simulation. Several handling maneuvers (constant radius cornering, step steering at different lateral accelerations, ISO lane change and reverse ISO lane change) have been performed. Results from strain gauges have been obtained and analyzed. Advanced testing equipments are necessary to demonstrate the influence of body flexibility, which standard handling testing equipment does not allow. This represents the first step for understanding the advanced handling perception feeling due to the body deformation and for defining a systematical approach to correlate with objective measurements.

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