2018 Audi A8 (D5) features active suspension that scans street conditions and adjusts automatically

Article by Christian A., on June 29, 2017

As the premiere day of the Audi A8 (D5) comes closer, the company again gives us another preview of the luxury sedan’s new features before we see it in person in Barcelona on July 11. In this preview, Audi reveals that the range topper will feature an active suspension system that has the ability to sense bumps ahead and automatically adjusts its suspension, for a smoother ride overall.

You might be wondering how that works. Well, there is a front-mounted camera which enables the car to scan the road 18 times per second, and once the information has been sent to the suspension, it automatically pre-sets itself - the driver doesn’t even have to do anything.

The A8’s new feature will completely get rid of any “vibrations and jolts” and the company is very confident about the efficacy of this particular feature. The system is quick enough to react to the information that will be obtained by the camera once it sees a bump on the road, the suspension’s actuators will be programmed to provide the perfect amount of travel to actively control the electromechanical suspension system before hitting the uneven road.

To make this possible, each wheel will have to be equipped with an electric motor, which will be powered by a 48-volt main electrical system. This technology will help improve the overall stability of the car, as well as boost comfort when going over bumps, especially when cornering, accelerating, or braking. This suspension will be working hand in hand with a four-wheel steering system which also aids in the stability, while giving the A8 a turning circle smaller than that of the A4.

Another cool feature that the A8 has is that the sensors can detect an impending collision around the vehicle. So in case of an inevitable side crash at speeds of over 15 miles per hour (25 kilometers per hour), the suspension will automatically raise the vehicle’s body on the exposed side by 3.1 inches (80 millimeters) in under a second, with the stronger areas of the sedan such as the side sills and the floor structure being more prominent. As a result, it reduces the impact on the driver and the passengers by 50 percent.

With this technology, you wouldn’t even think that the roads are uneven, since the ride will be silky smooth. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep when you’re the one behind the wheels. The active suspension is indeed the ideal technology for those who enjoy going on long, out of town drives.

Apart from the July 11 debut of the A8, you will also be able to witness it in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming movie which will be soon be out in cinemas.

Press Release

Looking ahead to the new Audi A8: Fully active suspension offers tailor-made flexibility

The new Audi A8 proves itself a versatile performer on the road. Thanks to its active suspension, it provides comfort-oriented customers with a chauffeur-driven sedan offering a stylishly smooth ride. The enthusiastic owner-driver can relish the characteristics of a sports car. This flexibility is made possible thanks to the new active suspension based on the 48-volt electrical system, which is used for the first time as the main electrical system. The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on July 11.

The all-new active suspension on the Audi A8 is a fully active, electromechanical suspension system, which drives each wheel individually and adapts to the prevailing road conditions. Each wheel has an electric motor which is powered by the 48-volt main electrical system. Additional components include gears, a rotary tube together with internal titanium torsion bar and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) on the suspension via a coupling rod.

Thanks to the front camera, the luxury sedan detects bumps in the road early on and predictively adjusts the active suspension. Even before the car reaches a bump in the road, the preview function developed by Audi transmits the right amount of travel to the actuators and actively controls the suspension. In this way the suspension reacts precisely at the right time, virtually completely eliminating any vibrations and jolts. This complex process takes just a few milliseconds, with the camera generating information about the road surface condition 18 times a second. The electronic chassis platform (ECP) processes the road surface information and precisely controls all suspension components almost in real time. In conjunction with the air suspension fine-tuned for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an entirely new driving experience in this way. Irrespective of the high level of comfort, the new luxury sedan sits close to the road even with a dynamic driving style.

The active suspension specifically influences and minimizes rolling movements when cornering, and pitching movements when braking or accelerating, for instance. The customer can drive dynamically while keeping the vehicle under control or work undisturbed in the rear.

The innovative combination of dynamic and rear axle steering resolves the conflict of aims between agility and stability in the shape of dynamic all-wheel steering: The steering characteristics are sporty and direct while ensuring a high level of handling stability; the steering feel encompasses a wide spread from comfortable through to intense feedback. The turning circle of the A8 is smaller than that of an A4.

In conjunction with the Audi pre sense 360˚ safety system, the active suspension on the new Audi A8 takes passive safety to a new level. The system uses the sensors networked in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) to detect risks of a collision around the car. In the event of an imminent side impact at more than 25 km/h (15.5 mph) the suspension actuators raise the body on the exposed side by up to 80 millimeters (3.1 in) within half a second. As a result, the collision is directed to the even stronger areas of the luxury sedan, such as side sills and floor structure. Hence the load on the occupants is reduced by up to 50 percent compared with a side impact where the body is not raised.

Source: Audi

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Topics: audi, audi a8, technology

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