When it comes to ride comfort, the suspension of a car plays a very important role. A good suspension setup is not only responsible for helping us avoid the bumps of broken roads, but it also helps provide better body control.
However, the problem with most hydraulic suspension systems is their limited adjustability, as you can’t get both body control and soft ride at the same time.
While this isn’t a big problem for most cars, as they are designed with only one of the two goals in mind. However, it certainly is a big issue for luxury cars as their customer base demands both benefits from the vehicle.
To help solve this issue without the need for installing separate elements such as vertical shock absorbers, Audi has developed a new type of suspension system which instead makes use of electrical input to run the setup.
What we are referring to is the new Electromechanical Rotary (eROT) Suspension System, which uses electricity to separate the rebound and compression, thus being able to make individual tweaks to both.
Through this setup, the vehicle is able to enjoy soft compression damping and taut rebound damping at the same time, which are fancy terms for soft ride and superior body control.
In addition to all these benefits, what really gets us excited about this system is the fact that it also has the ability to harvest energy from each bump it goes over.
It does so by using the lever arms on the setup to absorb the movement of the wheel carrier, which is a fancy way of saying it captures the kinetic energy produced by the bump.
This energy is then transmitted to an electric motor through a set of gears. The motor then converts it into electricity which can be used instantly by the car.
The production is based on Audi’s 48 Volt Electrical Subsystem, which features a 0.5-kWh lithium-ion battery and a DC converter with link ups to a 12-volt primary electric system.
As you can expect with a system like this, the more bumps you go through, the more electricity you produce. In test conditions on bumpy roads, the prototype was able to generate as much as 613 Watts, which is quite impressive for a one of a kind prototype.
Audi’s focus will now move towards tweaking this system further, so that they can increase both the production capacity and the durability of the setup.
Eventually, this technology will be combined with regenerative braking systems to create a whole new type of power source for Audi cars. We will keep you updated on all the progress as more news comes forward about this.