• Sep 21, 2006

The headline of Chrysler's press release pretty much says it: "Chrysler's First SUV is Industry's First Full-Size SUV With Trailer Sway Control." Many automakers have loaded up their SUVs with ways to make hauling trailers easier and safer, like General Motors' Quadra-Steer technology (which unfortunately went by the wayside starting with the 2006 model year), but Chrysler claims that this innovation is the first of its kind.

Like Electronic Stability Control, sensors monitor a driver's intended path and compare that with what the vehicle is actually doing. When the trailer following the vehicle starts to sway, the sensors gauge whether the sway is as a result of the driver's intended steering input, and if not, engages the opposing front brake to counteract the sway. When the sway continues on the other side of the vehicle, the other front brake is applied, eventually eliminating the problem.

The Aspen hit the floor of the North American International Auto Show earlier this year with mixed reviews -- many critics thought the beast was ugly and represented a bad move for Chrysler as SUV sales tanked thanks to high gas prices. Chrysler dealers were clamoring for an SUV, however, and the sharp interior, distinctive Chrysler styling (complete with Crossfire-esque ridges on the hood) and high level of utility may go a long way in giving Chrysler the edge it needs to make a profit comeback for the second half of the year.

Trailer Sway Control will also be extended to the Aspen's stable mate, the 2007 Dodge Durango.

[Source: Chrysler]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Well, I can tell you, that won't SWAY him.
      He owns an import, so he's superior. All he wants is your approval, so you'd best give it to him."

      "All companies do that. So who's the "fool" now.
      I bet you think non-American companies "care" about you as a person too.
      So caring...so considerate...so loving..."

      Jamie it's snowing like it is in Aspen in that picture, we should all be happy about that!

      • 8 Years Ago
      Please... can we not turn yet another thread into a childish import-vs-domestic debate?

      It doesn't matter how much the Passat could tow. It's the technology itself that's important--it can be applied to any vehicle once developed. Was it a reinvention of ABS the first time someone put anti-lock brakes on a truck?
      DriftPunch
      • 8 Years Ago
      Trailer Sway Control was standard on a Passat? Even if it was, do you really think a trailer capable of being pulled by a Passat is heavy enough to have much sway?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Autoblog commenters ingenuity continues with this post:

      "Chrysler obviously does not understand trailer sway. There is a reason it is called TRAILER sway. The trailer is swaying, not the tow vehicle. Applying the vehcile brakes will accentuate trailer sway and flip the trailer. I talk to people annually who have done just that."

      Wow man. I bet they didn't even think about that! You should send them an email before this starts killing people.

      Seriously, do you actually think that you understand this better than their engineers? I guarantee you that they have tested this extensively to make sure that it actually does improve trailer stability.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #11,

      I'm thinking even Chrysler actually tests the performance and effectiveness before they sell it?

      I do wonder how much of an increase in brake wear there would be?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Like that wasn't standard five years ago in the VW Passat in Europe.

      Like Bart Simpson said, 'were behind, so to catch up were going to go slower, coo-coo'
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yay,it's snowing like in Aspen, thats cute.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, you see that's the problem with the US and towing entirely. The fact that across the pond people tow with a Passat (#1), and pretty large recreational trailers at that, is genius. People don't need a large gas-guzzling SUV to tow in Europe. I've even seen a Benz E-Class towing a boat. Probably has the diesel. Surprise, surprise. It's because diesels aren't offered over here in cars (save VW and Mercedes)! I've answered my own question! Oh and so that my comment is actually relevant, I think vehicles like the Aspen, simple rebadged variants of other gas-guzzlers, are the reason why the US auto industry is in the dumps.
      • 8 Years Ago
      MikeW appears to be correct. But you always have to read the fine print when American companies claim a first: "Chrysler's First SUV is Industry's First Full-Size SUV With Trailer Sway Control."
      Note the phrase "First Full-Size SUV". They're always doing this to make it sound like they invented something when they didn't.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chrysler obviously does not understand trailer sway. There is a reason it is called TRAILER sway. The trailer is swaying, not the tow vehicle. Applying the vehcile brakes will accentuate trailer sway and flip the trailer. I talk to people annually who have done just that.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Aspen?No thanks.I'm waiting for the CORR-DO BAH.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chmeee,

      Yes, man, I do understand this better than their engineers and have the testing to prove it. By the way, I am also an engineer, in the TOWING industry.

      And, NO, I don't think they tested it extensively to see if it increased trailer stability because applying vehicle braking does not have any positive affect on trailer sway. That is a fact. It is impossible to apply vehicle brakes and control a swaying trailer.

      Sorry, man, but they are wrong.
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