Ricardo Unveils Next Step in Automotive Safety

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Dec. 11/ -- Delegates at Berlin's 5th International Car Training Institute (CTI) Symposium, "Innovative Automotive Transmissions," were given the opportunity to be the first to experience Ricardo's new Cross-Axle Torque Vectoring(TM) demonstrator.

Based on an Audi A6 4.2l V8 Quattro Avant, the vehicle is fitted with the latest generation of Ricardo's Torque Vectoring technology that enables moment-by-moment redistribution of drive-torque in response to driver demand, vehicle speed and road conditions. In doing so, it enables the vehicle to follow the driver's intended path, ultimately leading to a potentially safer, more enjoyable driving experience.

The design of the Torque Vectoring unit is highly compact and can be contained with very limited intrusion into an existing differential packaging envelope. Its small size enables minimal reduction in drive shaft length and articulation. The arrangement allows the actuation system to be contained on one side of the pinion axis, providing improved packaging, allowing the unit's center of gravity to be located on the vehicle center line and ensuring side shafts of equal length.

System actuation is flexible depending on vehicle architecture, compatible with hydraulic, electro-hydraulic and electro-mechanical control strategies. The Torque Vectoring technology in the demonstration system is capable of delivering a cross-axle torque bias of 1,400 nanometers and differential wheel speed delta of 20 percent. Response time targets for the demonstrator vehicle have been set at a maximum of 50 milliseconds from request to start of torque activation and 100 milliseconds to achieve 90 percent full torque demand.

Ricardo aims to license Torque Vectoring technology to interested parties for incorporation in vehicle programs with anticipated production implementation as early as the 2009 model year.

"The Torque Vectoring system unveiled at the CTI-symposium underscores Ricardo's leadership in driveline and associated active safety technologies," said Ricardo Chief Executive Officer Dave Shemmans.

"The technology is available for automakers and tier 1 suppliers alike to license, offering them a means of accelerating time to market and significantly reducing development effort. Torque Vectoring once again demonstrates the future of automotive technology, where both mechanical and electronics engineering are exploited in an integrated manner to deliver tangible improvements in vehicle safety, while also enhancing the driving experience. Ricardo continues to work actively in these and other key areas in order to deliver robust, leading-edge technology and exceptional value to our customers."

With its North American headquarters in Van Buren Twp., Mich., Ricardo -- a world-leading vehicle system and powertrain technology provider for automotive manufacturers, heavy-duty manufacturers and tier one suppliers -- has been providing value through innovation and technology for 100 years.

Ricardo is the premium global deep-content engineering and management consulting partner for automotive, commercial vehicle and related industry sectors. The company provides complete engineering services from strategy through product concept, design release and validation, and all phases of the product lifecycle. Ricardo technical expertise lies in powertrain and driveline, vehicle engineering, hybrid and fuel cell technologies, controls and electronics, niche volume manufacturing and advanced simulation software.

Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge. A public company based in the U.K., Ricardo plc posted sales of $272 million in fiscal year 2005 and is a part of the FTSE techMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.ricardo.com/ .

CONTACT: Jessica Killenberg, jkillenberg@bianchipr.com , or Leslie Dagg, ldagg@bianchipr.com , of Bianchi PR, +1-248-269-1122

Web site: www.ricardo.com/

NOTE TO EDITORS: Electronic images of Ricardo's Torque Vectoring system are available by contacting Jessica Killenberg (jkillenberg@bianchipr.com ) at +1-248-269-1122.

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