Perhaps the world’s most intelligent SUV suspension

How BILSTEIN eSuspension technology makes modern SUVs even more comfortable

The demands on the suspension of modern SUVs are immense. The so-called “Sports Utility Vehicles” often have to score with sharp driving dynamics, but must not neglect comfort. With our eSuspension technology, we take SUV driving comfort to a new level.

The active suspension struts that we developed jointly with Mercedes-Benz contribute significantly to the performance of the suspension. These are used also for the new Mercedes-Benz.

The system can be used to stabilise the bodywork when cornering, driving dynamically around bends or simply straight ahead on uneven roads

With the active suspension which is optionally available, it’s not just the spring and damper forces on each wheel that can be individually controlled. The system also allows for the active stimulation or stabilisation of the vehicle structure with the shock absorbers. “It’s like a combination of a conventional controlled shock absorber and an active hydraulic cylinder”, explains Klaus Schmidt, responsible at thyssenkrupp Bilstein for Innovation & Base Engineering.

The integration of so-called gas bags is also unique. This is a joint development by Mercedes-Benz, thyssenkrupp Bilstein and other partners, which won an Automotive Award 2019 from Internationale Gesellschaft für Kunststofftechnik in October: The gas bag received the Grand Award for development, with the most points from the panel members. The newly developed multi-layer composite film features very low nitrogen permeability, reliably separates oil and gas spaces and ensures maximum gas tightness with outstanding mechanical and chemical stability.

With the “E-Active Body Control” of Mercedes-Benz, each wheel is fitted with a damper inside the axle, which has an adjustable damping valve and a hydraulic accumulator on both working chambers. The damper is connected to a motor-pump unit via hydraulic pipes. By controlling the motor-pump unit, oil is displaced in such a way that a pressure difference is created within the damper, which quickly builds up an active force.

The active suspension struts that we developed jointly with Mercedes-Benz contribute significantly to the performance of the suspension

“The main focus of our e-suspension technology is on optimising comfort. However, it also offers dynamic advantages over the standard struts,” explains Adrian Hassel from our road trial division. The BILSTEIN expert is particularly impressed by the special curve tilting function: In “Curve” driving mode, the vehicle actively tilts in three stages, similar to a motorcycle. “By actively stimulating the body, this curve function, when activated, raises the suspension springs on the outside of the curve when cornering to minimise centrifugal forces on the passengers,” says Hassel from our Road Trial division. “The Curve function is an add-on that has only become possible with the active shock absorbers”.

Adrian Hassel from our road trial division

Thanks to a special camera, another innovative feature is possible, the so-called “Road Surface Scan”: the suspension reacts to bumps detected by the camera, controls the active suspension struts and largely compensates for unevenness when driving over.

Adrian Hassel sums it up: “The system can be used to stabilise the bodywork when cornering, driving dynamically around bends or simply straight ahead on uneven roads in order to minimise the acceleration on the passengers”.

Photos: Copyright BILSTEIN 2020. Reproduction is free of charge, provided the source BILSTEIN is named. Proof requested.

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