Using magnetic fields, Audi magnetic ride adjusts the firmness of the dampers to the current driving situation within a fraction of a second. It also gives the driver a choice of basic setting for either a more comfortable or a sportier drive.
Drivers can choose between a comfortable and a sporty driving mode to suit the driving situation and their personal tastes. In both modes the suspension’s damping forces are continuously adjusted to the current driving situation to produce uncompromising road behaviour. The benefits are clearly appreciable both in terms of comfort and handling characteristics.
The sport mode delivers a direct feedback from the road. The car corners with agility and responds spontaneously to steering inputs. The normal mode is geared more towards comfort to help eliminate driving fatigue on long journeys.
With Audi magnetic ride, the liquid contained in the dampers has so-called magneto-rheological properties. Tiny magnetic particles are bound inside the basic oil which is used to fill the dampers. When a magnetic field is applied, the magnetic particles are aligned against the direction of movement of the damper. As a result, the damping force of the damper is increased depending on the strength of the magnetic field. This allows the firmness of the dampers to be increased or decreased within a fraction of a second.
A control unit computes the optimum damping force for the individual driving situation. It does so using information from the wheel travel sensors and communication with other systems such as the steering and ESP.
A switch labelled with a shock absorber symbol on the centre console is used to control Audi magnetic ride. It activates and deactivates the sport mode. The instrument panel indicates activation/deactivation of sport mode and an LED in the function switch lights up when sport mode is active.