10 May How Audi is Eliminating Body Roll
While cars may seem very similar from one model to the next, don’t be fooled into thinking that engineers aren’t working hard to perfect the problems that hinder all cars. Take body roll, for instance.
Too much body roll can be a huge problem with cars. It isn’t just a safety issue, body roll can seriously impact the driving experience. But Audi is on a mission to change that. To tighten things up as much as possible, Audi is introducing a new system that features two electronic sway bars that virtually eliminate body roll.
This isn’t a revolutionary new system. It has been used before. But what Audi has done differently is to use a 48-volt system for better power and more control.
When a normal car takes a corner, the body will roll into the corner, and the suspension will compress on one side of the car. If we turn left, for instance, the suspension is compressed on the driver’s side. What Audi’s system does is to use the electric motor to produce up to 900 pound-feet of torque to counter the motion on the other side of the car.
When this torque is produced, the sway bar can twist and push the wheel away from the body of the car, even as the body naturally tries to compress it down. At the same time, the opposite side is compressed as a further counter to the action.
This is all automatic and the amount of torque applied is determined by the system that read’s the drivers steering input and the vehicle’s speed. That means the force is always sure to be equal to the force of the body roll. Too much movement the other way could be equally bad, after all.
That isn’t all Audi’s new system can do, however. The electronic sway bars can also help to control oversteer and understeer in real-time when driving. The bars will determine the amount of over and understeer and the system will distribute the load more evenly between the tires for a better, more neutral cornering experience.
That’s not to say there won’t be zero body roll. If you’ve ever driven in a car that manages to deliver this, you’ll know that it feels totally unnatural. Bentley managed this so successfully, for instance, that engineers actually had to dial back the system. What Audi will be searching for is a happy medium whereby body roll is significantly reduced but not to the point where it is eliminated completely.
How do you feel about body roll? Do you like more or less? If you need your Audi tuned to your preferences, we can help. As the leading Audi auto mechanics in Washington, we can provide the fine tuning that you need on your Audi.