Audi is considering redesigning the shock absorber and has begun development for a new electromechanical damper. Called eROT, Audi says it is an actively controlled suspension that changes according to the road surface and driver’s style.
Most cars on the road use the conventional tube-type damper and has been that way for many decades. Audi’s system sees the suspension arms being connected to rotary dampers. These rotary dampers then absorb the movement of the wheels which then transmits it through a set of gears to an electric motor mounted in the rear axle. In addition, Audi claims that eROT allows near-unlimited possibilities for suspension tuning as well.
Powering eROT is a 48-volt electrical system and a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity range of 0.5 kilowatt hours to 13 kilowatts. A DC converter then pairs the 48-volt electrical subsystem to the 12-volt primary electrical system and turns the kinetic energy into electricity. Audi adds that with this smaller packaging, interior and luggage capacity will be increased.
“Every pothole, every bump, every curve induces kinetic energy in the car. Today’s dampers absorb this energy, which is lost in the form of heat. With the new electromechanical damper system in the 48-volt electrical system, we put this energy to use”, said Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG.
Audi eyes another prototype of this system in 2017. The 48-volt system will be the primary electrical system in the Audi SQ7, Bentley Bentayga and a future Audi model. The automaker claims that this system offers potential gains in fuel economy with the smaller, lighter system.