When the Audi S8 made its debut at the beginning of the month, one of its main features highlighted in the press release was the predictive suspension able to limit body roll and boost comfort. It’s going to be standard on the hotter derivative, and now the Ingolstadt folks have announced it will be an option on the regular A8 models in Europe equipped with the TFSI engines.
Audi uses the word “initially” to talk about the suspension’s availability only with the petrol units, so from this we can likely understand diesels will also get the clever system later on in the A8’s life cycle. How does it actually work? We will allow Audi to better explain the nifty tech:
“There are compact electric motors located close to each of the Audi A8’s wheels, running off the car’s 48-volt primary electrical system and governed by power electronics. A belt drive and a compact harmonic drive step up the electric motor’s torque almost 200-fold to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) and apply it to a steel rotary tube. The latter is permanently attached to a preloaded titanium rod located inside it and capable of turning through more than 20 degrees. From the end of the rotary tube, the force is transmitted to the suspension via a lever and coupling rod – at the front suspension it acts on the spring strut, and at the rear suspension on the transverse link.”
Thanks to the air suspension, Audi argues the A8 handles pretty much like a sports car when the “Dynamic” mode is activated by reducing body roll from more than 5 degrees to just 2 degrees during fast cornering. Switch on “Comfort Plus” from the Audi Drive select and the air suspension will iron out all road imperfections to enable a silky-smooth ride worthy of a luxobarge.
The Audi A8’s predictive suspension works in tandem with a front-mounted camera able to detect uneven surfaces before you actually drive over them in order to prepare the car by pre-adjusting the suspension for maximum comfort. The camera is so fast that it gathers information about the surface up ahead 18 times a second, while the active suspension can lower or lift the saloon’s body by up to 85 millimetres (3.3 inches) within five-tenths of a second.
The predictive suspension comes with a benefit even when the car is standing still as it automatically raises the body by as much as 50 mm (2 in) when you use the door handle to enable an easier entrance. Fancy.
Available in Europe from August, the optional predictive active suspension will cost €5,450 (German pricing).
Gallery: Audi A8 with predictive active suspension
Multifaceted personality: predictive active suspension in the A8 flagship model
- Immense spectrum: maximum comfort or outstanding agility
- The electromechanical suspension system can actuate each wheel individually
- First-class travel experience: intelligently reduced longitudinal and transverse forces
Audi is now offering another high-tech innovation for the Audi A8 luxury sedan – predictive active suspension. Depending on the chosen settings, it gives the brand’s flagship model the supreme ride comfort of a chauffeur-driven limousine or the firm handling of a sports car. In Germany and other European markets, predictive active suspension can initially be ordered for the TFSI versions of the Audi A8.