It’s a new day, so it comes as no surprise Audi has another A8 preview ahead of the plush sedan’s premiere set for July 11 in Barcelona. This time around, we get to find out the brand’s range topper will feature active suspension capable of automatically adjusting ahead of hitting a bump in the road. How is that possible? A front-mounted camera will be in charge of scanning the road up ahead 18 times per second and then send the gathered information to the suspension, which in turn will pre-set itself to ensure a silky smooth ride.
As you would expect, Audi is pretty confident in the efficiency of the A8’s active suspension as it promises it will “virtually completely eliminate any vibrations and jolts.” The system’s quick reaction based on the info obtained by the camera means the suspension’s actuators will be programmed to provide the optimal amount of travel to actively control the electromechanical suspension system before hitting the uneven road.
This will all be possible by installing an electric motor for each wheel, with all four motors powered by a 48-volt main electrical system. Not only will this boost comfort whenever going over bumps, but at the same time it’s going to enhance the car’s stability, especially when cornering and accelerating or braking.
The active suspension will work in tandem with a four-wheel steering system further increasing stability and at the same time giving the A8 a turning circle smaller than that of the A4. How impressive is that?
Another ace up its sleeve will be the plethora of sensors able to detect a collision around the vehicle. In case of an imminent side crash occurring at speeds of more than 15 mph (25 kph), the suspension’s actuators will automatically raise the A8’s body only on the exposed side by as much as 3.1 inches (80 millimeters) in just half a second. This way, Audi says the force of the impact will be directed towards the sedan’s stronger areas, like the floor structure and the side sills. As a consequence, the load impact on the driver and passengers will be reduced by 50 percent, so the risks of sustained injuries will drop significantly.
Ahead of its reveal in July, the all-new A8 will be previewed in Spider-Man: Homecoming set to hit the big screen at the end of this month.
Gallery: 2018 Audi A8 teasers
Looking ahead to the new Audi A8: Fully active suspension offers tailor-made flexibility
- Fully active suspension for maximum comfort and dynamism
- 48-volt main electrical system powers electromechanical suspension system
- Dynamic all-wheel steering resolves the conflict of aims between agility and stability
- Global first: Raising the body during a side impact improves passive safety
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.