Vehicle Systems

This feature is included in Vortex® Studio Academic edition for non-commercial use only. Please see Feature Set Comparison for more information.

The Vehicle Systems extension provides an easy way to define a complete vehicle powertrain using the Vortex Studio Editor by using presets that you can add to your vehicle mechanism and customize.

In Vortex, a vehicle is a mechanism containing a chassis and wheels which are created by importing a 3D model of the vehicle and creating a chassis part. Where the vehicle mechanism differs from other mechanisms is that there is a whole dynamics component defined through the Vehicle Systems Add-on which allows you to set up and configure a special preset that represents a vehicle's powertrain and creates wheel parts for the mechanism.

Before proceeding with any of the instructions in this section, you should have already imported a 3D model and built a chassis Part from it. Then you can follow the instructions for adding one of the powertrain presets to an existing vehicle mechanism. Once the powertrain is connected to the vehicle mechanism, you can adjust the preset parameters to customize how it behaves when simulating a vehicle.

The presets that are available offer a choice of heavy industrial equipment (trucks, excavator, etc.) and cars with choices for wheeled vehicles (all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, etc.) or tracked vehicles:

Preset Name Transmission Type Wheels Tracks
Car AWD automatic 4 --
Car FWD automatic 4 --
Car FWD (Manual) manual 4 --
Car RWD automatic 4 --
Flexible Track Torque-Divider Transmission (Tank) divider -- flexible
LAV 8X8 automatic 8 --
Packbot automatic -- rigid
Skid Steering automatic 4 --
Hydrostatic Transmission Track (Excavator) hydrostatic -- rigid
Track Torque-Divider Transmission (Bulldozer) divider -- rigid
Trailer 2 Axles -- 4 --
Trailer 3 axles -- 6 --
Truck 2 axles automatic 4 --
Truck 3 axles automatic 6 --
Vortex provides vehicle demos which you can acquire by downloading and installing the Vortex Studio Demo Scenes installer from the CM Labs Account Page (

Creating a Vehicle from a Vehicle Preset

How to create a new vehicle from a new or existing mechanism.

Configuring the Vehicle's Dynamics

How to connect the power-train to the chassis.

Adding Tire Models

Describes the Tire Model feature that captures the interaction between the wheels of a vehicle and the ground surface material.


Vehicle Tuning Guide

Learn how to tune a vehicle to achieve your desired performance or behavior.

Modular Vehicle Systems

This technical preview demonstrates how to build vehicles from a library of vehicle templates.

See Also
Building Assemblies from a 3D Model (importing 3D vehicle models)
Building Parts from a 3D Model (creating parts for wheels and chassis)
Creating a New VHL Interface (creating external controllers)
Adding Extensions (connecting external controllers)