When active suspension first became mainstream back in the early 90's, it was regarded as a revolution in vehicle comfort and dynamics. Previously reserved for high-end luxury saloons, they've trickled down to mid-size sedans as well. Now, we might just be seeing yet another revolution in suspensions.
Audi has announced that they have made predictive active suspension and they say it can slacken or loosen the suspension even before it hits a bump. They add that it also has the ability to bank into turns to reduce body roll and can even raise or lower itself within five-tenths of a seconds. It's no concept either as Audi has made the technology available on their flagship sedan, the A8.
Now you're probably wondering how it works. Fitted to the A8 is a camera that scans the road surface ahead. From there, it sends information to the suspension system/s computer 18 times per milliseconds to ensure a smooth, level ride. Audi says the electronic chassis platform processes the road surface data and precisely actuates all suspension components almost in real time.
The predictive suspension works in conjunction with the 48-volt electrical system of the all-new A8. There are compact electric motors located close to each of the vehicle's wheels, which gains its energy from the car's mild-hybrid system. These motors then power various rods and hydraulic systems to keep the car planted.
With this tech, the A8 has the capability to lean into a corner by up to 3 degrees, similar to a motorcycle banking into a corner. Even more impressive is the fact that it can work up to 130 km/h. Audi is boldly claiming that the driver and passengers will barely notice cornering maneuvers, and that even a full cup of coffee in the cup holder will not spill. It even controls pitching and diving motions when the vehicle is under full braking or acceleration.
It's a pretty neat piece of kit, but it won't come cheap either. The Audi A8 isn't exactly 'affordable' to begin with, and this trick suspension can be added to the car for the cool sum of € 5,450, or about Php 312,000.
We wonder, however, how Audi's smart suspenion system will handle the worst of Metro Manila's rutted streets, given how rought it can be.