Center of gravity (CoG) - brief information

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added in General terms by LC Marshal

[img] wider wheelbase vehicle. Land Rover Defender 130 Wolf RHD Ambulance (2020)

The center of gravity (CoG) in a vehicle is the point where its mass is concentrated. Similarly, in the human body, it's typically near the second sacral vertebra. In a car, it's often just ahead of the vehicle's midpoint.

Your vehicle's center of gravity is most influential during turns, especially at higher speeds. The vehicle's momentum shifts the load, causing the car's body to lean in the direction of the turn.

Cars with a higher center of gravity are more prone to tipping over when taking sharp turns at high speeds because the center of gravity can't counteract the body lean, leading to rollovers.

You can manage this lean by either lowering the center of gravity or widening the car's wheelbase. Components like springs, anti-roll bars, and roll center heights are valuable tools to prevent rollovers and reduce leaning.

Fast cars like McLaren and Bugatti, designed for high-speed turns, feature a lower center of gravity that keeps them grounded during turns, compensating for the lean.

In contrast, 4x4 vehicles for off-roading, such as the Land Rover Defender and Ford Bronco, have a wider wheelbase that offsets body lean during turns and enhances stability on rough terrain.