March 15, 2002
GM expands availability of StabiliTrak stability enhancement system for 2003 full-size SUVs
Beginning in the 2003 model year, General Motors will offer a refined, four-channel stability enhancement system – StabiliTrak – on all Chevrolet and GMC full-size utilities with the 5.3-liter V8 engine.
The four-channel StabiliTrak stability enhancement system will be available on the 1500 series Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche, GMC Yukon, Yukon Denali, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali XL, available in some combinations of two-wheel drive, 4X4 and all-wheel drive models. Previously, a two-channel StabiliTrak was exclusive in GM full-size trucks and on the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade EXT.
“We have a history of leveraging our vast size and technical resources to bring safety features to our customers,” said Terry Woychowski, GM’s full-size truck Chief Engineer. “With StabiliTrak, we’re able to capitalize on our large production volumes, and make the safety benefits of this technology available in more vehicles.”
The new four channel StabiliTrak operates in harmony with the antilock brake and traction control systems to selectively apply any of the four brakes in an effort to help the driver counteract and diffuse potentially dangerous handling situations, such as severe oversteer or understeer. This four-channel StabiliTrak system is designed to optimize vehicle contact with the road surface.
Stability enhancement helps a driver maintain control, increasing the odds of avoiding a crash. While loss of control is most likely to happen on ice, snow or wet pavement, these systems improve stability on a variety of surfaces and speeds, as well as in emergency lane changes or avoidance maneuvers.
“Stability enhancement increases the ability of the driver to control the truck,” Woychowski said. “GM’s systems are designed to feel natural and to provide smooth, transparent assistance only when it is necessary. In most cases, the driver doesn’t know that the system has been activated, except for an indicator light on the instrument panel.”
As impressive as these systems are, it is important to remember that they cannot override physics. There will be circumstances in which this technology will not be able to overcome gross driver error or other road hazards.