New Audi A8 Suspension Will Watch For Speed Bumps, Boost Crash Safety

Active suspension - system overview

Audi has revealed its next-generation A8 will have a fully active electro-mechanical suspension that will be able to adapt its performance to prevailing road conditions, promises nearly flat cornering, and help protect the car’s occupants in side impacts.

Some manufacturers already claim their high-end suspension systems do this, but Audi’s taking it to the next level by incorporating the car’s front camera, which will scan the road and tell the chassis what to expect. The result, says Audi, will be a suspension prepared to allow for just the right amount of travel in an effort to practically “eliminate vibrations and jolts.”

And if the car senses a side impact at a speed above 25 km/h, it’ll raise the suspension on that side as much as 80 mm (more than three inches) in half a second (!) to direct as much of the force of the impact as possible onto the strongest part of the car’s side structure. Audi says that will reduce the collision load force on the car’s occupants by 50 per cent.

Audi says it’s all made possible by the new A8’s 48-volt electrical system, which allows for an electric motor built into each wheel’s suspension assembly, along with gearing and titanium torsion bars that can exert a massive 811 lb-ft of torque on the car’s fancy suspenders.

The new A8 will be fully revealed July 11 at the Audi Summit in Barcelona.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.