Praxis Advanced Suspensions let drivers control vehicle performance with the "push of a button"

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Bridgestone/Firestone Vehicle Systems, a business unit of BFS Diversified Products, LLC (BFDP), has unveiled Praxis Advanced Suspensions -- the first aftermarket applications utilizing Dual Rate Air Spring technology and the Intelliride control-system developed by Firestone Industrial Products, another operating unit of BFDP.

This innovative pairing of technologies allows the driver to control performance with the "push of a button," says the company.

"Praxis systems represent our company's effort to bring technology and quality to the aftermarket consumer. Unlike individual components available in the marketplace, Praxis suspensions have been developed as a system, balancing key performance elements... from tire to chassis," says John Vincent, managing director, Bridgestone/Firestone Vehicle Systems.

"The automotive enthusiast simply has to push a button to change the performance of the vehicle. Most enthusiasts are not engineers. We did the engineering for the user, so they can take the driver's seat and enjoy the performance."

The Praxis system interacts with the driver through a cockpit-mounted control-module that provides the driver with the choice of three fully engineered and tuned operating modes -- touring, sport, or track.

Vehicle performance and appearance are transformed without resorting to the time-consuming and costly necessity of physically swapping-out parts, notes the company.

In touring mode, the Praxis suspension system has been engineered to replicate the character of the factory-produced vehicle. Ride and handling are finely balanced to provide a car that is comfortable for long-distance touring or weekday commutes, the company reports.

In sport mode, the vehicle transforms to accommodate a bit more aggressive use by automotive enthusiasts. Handling response is dramatically sharpened to suit spirited driving situations.

The Praxis system, when in sports mode, lowers ride-height by 25 millimeters. Spring rate is adjusted by engaging the progressive zone of the airspring piston, and damping is adjusted to a more aggressive setting.

The track mode setting radically transforms the vehicle. Ride-height is lowered 50 millimeters, damping performance is increased to precisely control body motions, and spring-rate is nearly doubled by adjusting the remote reservoir volume, the company notes.

Track mode prepares the vehicle for autocross and track events (note, this is not intended for highway use).

The Praxis suspension system will debut on the Subaru WRX platform at the SEMA show on Nov. 5, 2003.

Final marketing and distribution arrangements are expected to be completed by year-end for product release to the U.S. marketplace in the second half of 2003.

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