The all-new active suspension on the Audi A8 is a fully active, electromechanical suspension system, which drives each wheel individually and adapts to the prevailing road conditions. Each wheel has an electric motor which is powered by the 48-volt main electrical system. Additional components include gears, a rotary tube together with internal titanium torsion bar and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) on the suspension via a coupling rod.
Thanks to the front camera, the luxury sedan detects bumps in the road early on and predictively adjusts the active suspension. Even before the car reaches a bump in the road, the preview function developed by Audi transmits the right amount of travel to the actuators and actively controls the suspension. In this way the suspension reacts precisely at the right time, virtually completely eliminating any vibrations and jolts. This complex process takes just a few milliseconds, with the camera generating information about the road surface condition 18 times a second. The electronic chassis platform (ECP) processes the road surface information and precisely controls all suspension components almost in real time. In conjunction with the air suspension fine-tuned for the A8, the innovative suspension concept delivers an entirely new driving experience in this way. Irrespective of the high level of comfort, the new luxury sedan sits close to the road even with a dynamic driving style.
The active suspension specifically influences and minimizes rolling movements when cornering, and pitching movements when braking or accelerating, for instance. The customer can drive dynamically while keeping the vehicle under control or work undisturbed in the rear.
The innovative combination of dynamic and rear axle steering resolves the conflict of aims between agility and stability in the shape of dynamic all-wheel steering: The steering characteristics are sporty and direct while ensuring a high level of handling stability; the steering feel encompasses a wide spread from comfortable through to intense feedback. The turning circle of the A8 is smaller than that of an A4.
In conjunction with the Audi pre sense 360˚ safety system, the active suspension on the new Audi A8 takes passive safety to a new level. The system uses the sensors networked in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) to detect risks of a collision around the car. In the event of an imminent side impact at more than 25 km/h (15.5 mph) the suspension actuators raise the body on the exposed side by up to 80 millimeters (3.1 in) within half a second. As a result, the collision is directed to the even stronger areas of the luxury sedan, such as side sills and floor structure. Hence the load on the occupants is reduced by up to 50 percent compared with a side impact where the body is not raised.
Mr Rast, how does it feel to be the current leader in the drivers’ standings? René Rast: “It’s obviously a great feeling, no question. I really did not expect it. Even the idea of it was still so far away for me. Then in a TV interview I was told that I was now leading the championship. Meanwhile it has started to sink in more and more, and of course it feels really good.”
Last weekend in Budapest you celebrated your first DTM victory already. Does this spur you on more or do you feel the pressure that comes with this success? “It drives us more as a team. Whether it’s starting on the first row on the grid in Hockenheim or the podium at the Lausitzring. The more success we have, the more motivated we become. This has given us all yet another boost. In Budapest, I had already driven a few laps for tire testing and therefore knew the track. When I was then close to all of my brand colleagues in the first free practice session, I knew that it could really go well. But I hadn’t even thought about victory by that point.”
Will you change anything about your preparation for this race weekend? Will you now work even more meticulously? “At the moment, we don’t have any reason to change the way we’ve been doing things. Because so far it has worked out well at all of the race weekends. So as far as I’m concerned it can go on the same.”
Both in qualifying and in the previous races, you are always amongst the drivers with the fastest lap times. The setup seems to be all good – is it now just down to fine tuning? “Preparing the setup for the upcoming events remains a major challenge. We couldn’t base it on previous successful events, but rather we have to completely specifically prepare for each race. In Budapest, we had tuned the car mainly with a lot of downforce, while the next DTM event at the Norisring will require little downforce. Every circuit requires its own setup. Fortunately, my team is able to be very well prepared before we get to the race track. At the last three race weekends, we as a team have always found a good setup, but this is still never a given.”
In addition to the Audi e-tron, the brand is integrating a second, completely new electric car into its existing production network – the Audi e-tron Sportback – and is thus enhancing its competitiveness in this important future segment. “With the decision on the Audi e-tron Sportback, we are showing that Audi takes the issue of electric mobility seriously. A second battery-electric model will lead to optimal capacity utilization at our plant in Brussels,” stated Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG.
The basis for the new e-automobile is the Audi e-tron Sportback concept design study, which the company unveiled at Auto Shanghai 2017. This versatile concept car is a four-door gran turismo with 320-kilowatt electric drive. The coupe’s design language combines Audi elements with groundbreaking details. The technology and package of the electric drive are tailored to fit the car’s architecture.
Fuel consumption of the models named above:
Audi e-tron Sportback: This vehicle is not yet offered for purchase. It does not yet have type approval and is therefore not subject to the directive 1999/94/EC.
Audi e-tron: This vehicle is not yet offered for purchase. It does not yet have type approval and is therefore not subject to the directive 1999/94/EC.
Nine victories at the infamous 24-hour Le Mans race, seven of which with an Audi – Tom Kristensen can look back on a long and successful racing career. Three years after his last race, Kristensen will be able to enjoy a special celebration in his name at this year’s Festival of Speed: motorsports aficionado and host of the event, Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, Earl of March and Kinrara, invites visitors to an exhibition featuring some of the most important racing cars from the motorsports history of the Danish driver, who celebrates his 50th birthday on 7 July 2017. Audi Tradition will be bringing three of Kristensen’s Le Mans cars to Goodwood: the Audi R8 LMP with which he won in the year 2000, as well as the winners from 2008 (Audi R10) and 2013 (Audi R18).
At this well-attended motorsports festival, a further racing legend will be accompanying Audi Tradition: Hannu Mikkola, known as the “Flying Finn”, brought home the legendary Group B world championship title in 1983 from behind the wheel of an Audi Rallye quattro – the first world championship title for the team from Ingolstadt. Mikkola will be pushing the Audi Group S prototype up through the bends of Goodwood. This vehicle was initially planned for use in the 1988 rally season as the new Group S regulation was intended to replace Group B. After a serious accident at the Portugal rally in which Audi wasn’t involved, this project was abandoned: For safety reasons the international sports association, the FIA, decided not to carry on rally Group B in the 1987 season. This also meant the end of the planned Group S and consequently that the Audi mid-engined rally prototype intended for use in that group was never actually used in a race. Last year, Audi Tradition took the sports car out of storage and, after comprehensive preparation work, ran it for the first time at the Eifel Rallye Festival in Daun in front of a huge crowd. Its second-ever drive sees the Audi Group S celebrating its debut in England.
Alongside vehicles full of history and tradition, the brand with the four rings will also be exhibiting current models from the Audi Sport motorsports range. For example, the Audi RS 5 DTM will be in Goodwood for the first time while another of these vehicles simultaneously takes part in the DTM race weekend at the Norisring. Bearing visible traces of its previous race, a further supercar from Audi will also be making its first trip to England: the green and white Audi R8 LMS from the Audi Sport Land team which won the 24-hour Nürburgring race in May and thus gave Audi its fourth victory at the ring. Winning driver, Connor De Phillippi will be behind the wheel and will wow the crowds with the V10 sound and speed of this modern GT3 sports car.