Volkswagen is celebrating the 20th anniversary of ABS, a trend-setting safety system. In 1986 the Volkswagen anti-lock brake system was implemented first in the Passat and then, later in the year, in the Golf.

Market launch 1986: the first Volkswagen with ABS was the Passat

The democratisation of safety: ABS fitted to 25 million Volkswagen vehicles

Volkswagen thus once again democratised vehicle safety as the Golf and the Passat were two of the first affordable mass-market vehicles worldwide to be fitted with this safety system. The Volkswagen product was very nearly given a different name: in 1981 Volkswagen presented the research vehicle "Auto 2000" with numerous innovative safety features that looked ahead to the future.

One of the features was the "automatic brake-lock prevention system", known at the time as the ABV. It was launched five years later as the ABS in the Passat. Since this date, over 25 million Volkswagens have been produced with ABS fitted. This was possible thanks to the good cooperation of both system suppliers, Bosch and Conti Teves.

20 years of ABS at Volkswagen
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ABS in each Volkswagen vehicle: all Volkswagens are today fitted with the anti-lock brake system as standard. In the event of an emergency braking situation or when the vehicle is braked on a slippery road surface, ABS prevents the wheels locking.

The vehicle maintains its steerability and obstacles can be avoided: an invaluable and potentially life-saving feature. The ABS control unit allows the full brake pressure to be applied to each individual wheel several times per second until the locking point is reached. A solenoid valve then reduces the pressure to the point where the ABS sensors detect that the wheel is moving freely.

20 years of ABS at Volkswagen
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Integrated brake assist system: almost all Volkswagens also have a hydraulic brake assist system that is closely linked to the ABS control system. In emergency situations, the brake assist system immediately increases the brake pressure to ensure that the full potential of the brake system is utilized.

ABSplus for the Touareg: a special anti-lock brake system for off-road vehicles will be available for the Touareg next year. The system developed by Volkswagen is the first of its kind in the world and is capable of reducing the braking distance by up to 20 percent on loose surfaces such as sand, gravel and grass. New intermittent control causes the wheels to lock briefly on loose surfaces and thus build up a wedge of the loose surface material in front of the wheels.

20 years of ABS at Volkswagen
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This reduces the braking distance. As the brakes are continuously released so that the wheel can rotate freely, the Touareg maintains its steerability.

Blas Nicusor
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