'Stylishly smooth ride' with new active suspension for Audi A8

The new Audi A8 is set to prove itself to be a versatile performer on the road

Motoring Correspondent


Motoring Correspondent



The new Audi A8

The new Audi A8

The new Audi A8 is set to prove itself to be a versatile performer on the road, thanks to its active suspension, which will provide comfort-oriented customers with a highly-automated saloon, as well as a stylishly smooth ride.

This flexibility is made possible thanks to a new active suspension based on the 48-volt electrical system, which will be used for the first time as the main electrical system.

The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona today. (July 11)

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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 a front camera, the luxury saloon will be able to detect bumps in the road ahead and predict any adjustments needed to the active suspension.

The preview function developed by Audi transmits the relevant distance to the actuators and actively controls the car’s suspension.

In this way, the suspension reacts precisely at the right time, virtually 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, which has been fine-tuned for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an entirely new driving experience in this way.

Notwithstanding the high level of comfort, the new luxury saloon sits close to the road with a dynamic driving style.

The active suspension specifically influences and minimises rolling movements, such as cornering and pitching movements when braking or accelerating, for instance.

The Audi A8 is designed to allow customers to drive dynamically while keeping the vehicle under control.

The innovative combination of dynamic and rear axle steering combines agility and stability through dynamic all-wheel steering.

The steering characteristics are sporty and direct while ensuring a high level of handling stability.

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 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, the suspension actuators raise the body of the car on the exposed side by up to 80 millimetres within half a second. As a result, the impact of the collision is directed to the even stronger areas of the luxury saloon, such as side sills and floor structure. The load on the occupants is therefore reduced by up to 50 percent, compared with a side impact where the body is not raised.