Befitting of the premium brand’s flagship luxury saloon, the all-new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the first ever Audi Summit on July 11 with a host of innovative new technologies that will again elevate it to the pinnacle of Vorsprung durch Technik.
One of the myriad new features available for the most advanced Audi model ever launched will be active suspension, which through the use of advanced camera technology linked to individual electric motors for each wheel can adapt incredibly precisely to changes in the road surface and provide a more finely differentiated balance than ever before between a cosseting ride for the driven and a rewarding experience for the driver. 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 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. The electric motor at each wheel 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.
Predictive and preventative
Thanks to the front camera, the luxury saloon 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 saloon sits close to the road even with a dynamic driving style.
The active suspension specifically influences and minimises 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 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 15mph the suspension actuators raise the body on the exposed side by up to 80 mm within half a second. As a result, the collision is directed to the even stronger areas of the luxury saloon, 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.