Predictive active suspension – I guess the name says it all. This fully active system is now available in the Audi A8 luxury sedan, and with electromechanical actuators which adjust the suspension to suit driving needs. The compact electric motors are located close to each wheels running on the car’s primary 48-volt electrical system. So yes, the active suspension can control the suspension of each individual wheel.
Ride height can go 85mm either way (up or down) from its default central position within five-tenths of a second. The result is a flatter cornering posture (in Dynamic profile) – when taking corners fast with 1g lateral acceleration, the Audi Predictive active suspension keeps the body roll at just 2-degrees compared to a standard suspension which could result with 5-degree of angle. Pitch when accelerating or braking is also kept to a minimum.
In Comfort Plus profile, meanwhile, the system ropes in the camera to work together. So the camera monitors the road surface just ahead of the A8 and identifies when to adjust the correct positioning travel and actively adjusts the damping. Naturally, all this is done very quick with the camera generating information about road surface 18 times a second.
Comfort Plus also reduces angle during cornering (something like in Dynamic profile) by raising the outer wheels and lowering the inside ones so that the A8 leans into a bend by up to 3-degrees. Audi claims that the effect is especially impressive between speeds of 80kph to 130kph and at up to 0.4g of lateral acceleration, and apparently says that a cup of coffee will not even spill during a cornering maneuver.
The system does not just work when the car is moving too because the vehicle is raised by up to 50mm when the A8’s door handle is operated, thus making entry and exit easier.
Also, predictive active suspension works for vehicle safety together with the “pre-sense 360” safety system. If it senses that a side impact is imminent with speeds of more than 25kph, the side where impact will happen is raised by up to 80mm. What this does is optimise use of the sill in absorbing the impact energy. Audi reckons that deformation of the cabin and loads acting on the car passengers (especially to the chest and abdominal areas) can be reduced by up to 50 per cent when compared to a similar condition when the side is not raised.
The Audi A8 with predictive active suspension is available for buyers in Europe from August 2019, for an additional EUR 5,450.