Tenneco Automotive Inc. (ticker: TEN, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release

May 1, 2000

 
NEW MONROE KINETIC SUSPENSION TECHNOLOGY FROM TENNECO AUTOMOTIVE

'Sports car' handling and 'luxury car' comfort in one, cost effective package

Against a background of safety concerns resulting from a number of recent rollover incidents, Tenneco Automotive has launched a revolutionary new suspension system for passenger cars, 4x4s, sports utility (SUVs) and commercial vehicles.

Ensuring a near constant load on all four wheels, whatever the surface conditions, the new Monroe Kinetic suspension technology offers a simple, tested and cost effective solution to reduce the roll angle of a vehicle when cornering, improving both on and off-road control and driving performance.

Reducing the roll angle in conditions ranging from high speed motorways to rough, off-road terrain, the Monroe Kinetic suspension improves performance, without sacrificing vehicle comfort - a frequent problem with conventional suspension systems.

Development tests carried out on extreme off road terrain in Western Australia as well as on roads and test tracks, show significant reductions for roll angle of up to 40% when a Monroe Kinetic system is fitted to a vehicle - giving greater stability when cornering. Near equal wheel loading improvements of 60% prove the system's ability to improve traction, steering and overall handling. Vehicles equipped with Kinetic and operating in two-wheel drive were shown to out-perform conventionally sprung vehicles in four-wheel drive.

Tests also show Monroe Kinetic can reduce suspension 'single wheel' stiffness on a SUV by up to 43% in the front and 64% in the rear - improving ride comfort. Secondary ride comfort is improved through harshness reductions of between 25 - 30%.

Suited to every type of wheeled vehicle, including trucks, buses, all-terrain and heavy duty vehicles, Kinetic technology breaks the traditional design compromise between ride comfort and handling.

The innovative Monroe Kinetic suspension system technology is a simple system, featuring proprietary and patented connections between vehicle springs, combined with hydraulic actuators integrated into stabiliser bars. The suspension offers enhanced road-holding and comfort - previously only available on specialist vehicles for motorsport, military or agricultural use via costly, electronically-controlled and complex continuous power systems.

Explains Sandro Paparelli, Tenneco Automotive's European vice president responsible for ride control engineering, "The Monroe Kinetic suspension system technology reduces a vehicle's roll angle without compromising ride comfort. When, for example, the front left wheel of a conventionally sprung vehicle drives over uneven terrain or even a small bump or 'pot hole' at high speed, the movement is immediately 'felt' by the front right wheel, resulting in a serious loss of stability and safety as well as comfort.

"When Monroe Kinetic is fitted, fluid flows from front to rear, and the hydraulic support and roll stabilisation system smoothes out any imbalances, automatically maintaining near equal load pressure on the wheels at all times. Kinetic technology also allows the motion of a single wheel to be isolated from the roll movement - improving ride smoothness and comfort when driving over rough terrain.

"By introducing purpose designed Monroe shock absorbers to the suspension set up, even greater improvements in comfort can be achieved," he added.

Patented Kinetic components operate without the need for input from sensors, electronics or the driver. Kinetic technology simultaneously achieves ride and handling benefits and on-road and off-road improvements, rather than improvements in one area at the expense of another.

Note to editors: Tenneco Automotive acquired the Kinetic suspension system and safety technology with its acquisition of Kinetic Ltd of Australia in 1999, an advanced suspension engineering company based in Dunsborough, Western Australia.

Tenneco Automotive is one of the world's largest producer of ride control products and exhaust systems and supplies major car manufacturers including Ford, GM Opel, DaimlerChrysler and the Volkswagen Group. Tenneco Automotive has a turnover of US $3.3 billion and operates more than 90 facilities in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North/South America, and the Asia-Pacific region.

 

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