• Jul 11, 2009
Delphi MagneRide Engine Mounts - Click above for high-res image gallery

The same magneto rheological damping technology that allows Chevrolet, Cadillac and Ferrari to control 500-plus horsepower in a car that's comfortable to drive on city streets will soon make its way to the engine bay of the 2010 Porsche 911 GT3. In this latest application, Delphi's engineers have made it possible to fine-tune the way engine mounts react to the various situations presented when driving a car.

For instance, these MagneRide engine mounts can automatically adjust their stiffness when the engine is initially started or when the transmission is shifted into Drive or Park. In the case of the 911 GT3, Porsche expects these engine mounts to improve traction and stability during hard acceleration and cornering.

Future applications are likely to include luxury automobiles with stop/start or full hybrid powertrains, as well as performance cars whose engine mounts can be tied to the other various active systems, perhaps stiffening when a vehicle is put into a sport mode. Hit the jump for the official press release.



[Source: Delphi]


PRESS RELEASE:

INNOVATIVE NEW POWERTRAIN MOUNTS USE MAGNETO RHEOLOGICAL FLUIDS TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE, SAFETY AND REFINEMENT

Now entering production for a prestigious European supercar, the new mounts use computer-controlled fluid to absorb more engine vibrations and help control powertrain movement during rapid direction changes

Paris, France – A ground-breaking new powertrain mount has been developed by Delphi Corporation (PINKSHEETS: DPHIQ). Using magneto rheological (MR) fluid that can change its dynamic rate in real time, the new MR Mount prevents the build-up of resonance in a system by maintaining control of the mounted mass across all appropriate frequencies. As well as significantly reducing powertrain noise and vibration, the new mount can improve vehicle performance and stability and help isolate the occupants from torque step events such as those generated by start-stop operation.

"This is the first technology that allows precise real-time management of the relevant frequencies created by an automotive powertrain, including the challenging low frequencies and higher amplitudes caused by transient torque events," says Delphi's MR Mount manager Timothy Schlangen. "Vehicle manufacturers working closely with Delphi have been excited by the wide range of benefits that MR Mounts can bring and by the increasing list of ways they can improve performance, safety and refinement through vehicle-specific tuning." The first application will be for engine mounts in the new (2010) Porsche GT3, helping to improve traction and stability for one of Europe's most outstanding driver's cars.

Powertrain mounts provide a wide range of functions. As well as suspending the mass of the engine and transmission, the mounts provide a reaction point for torque and isolate the body of the vehicle from powertrain noise and vibration. With conventional technology it is impossible to optimize the way the mounts behave for each function and each dynamic state.

Delphi was one of the first companies to address this problem of engine mount optimization, introducing glycol-filled mounts that can be tuned to control one main frequency, typically the primary engine bounce mode. The latest magneto rheological technology almost completely eliminates the need to compromise the way the mounts behave for each function and each dynamic state by allowing the stiffness to be tuned to control appropriate powertrain frequencies in real-time.

The system uses magnetically soft iron particles suspended in a base fluid, held within a cavity in the rubber body of the mount. When a magnetic field is applied by a coil, the particles become aligned, increasing the sheer stress and therefore the resistance to flow. The stronger the magnetic field, the higher the dynamic rate (effectively the stiffness) of the system.

The current is controlled by a processor that receives data already available on the vehicle data bus. This data can include throttle position, road speed, engine speed, temperature and any other information required to deliver the level of control specified by the vehicle manufacturer. Closed loop feedback is provided by direct measurement of the fluid pressure in the system, ensuring real time compensation for changing conditions as the system components age.

Benefits include improvements in powertrain isolation, vehicle stability and traction. "The level of sound and vibration transfer can be greatly reduced," says Schlangen. "It also opens new opportunities for brand-specific tuning and vehicles whose character changes depending on the driver's requirement, perhaps linked to other active systems such as dampers and a sports exhaust to transform the noise and feel at the flick of a switch."

The system also provides a solution to the refinement and stability issues associated with torque transients created by events such as engine start (useful with stop-start systems), sudden wide open throttle, braking, gear changes and moving an automatic transmission into drive. It can also improve traction, stability and occupant comfort on rough roads by managing the low frequencies created by the movement of large powertrain masses. For hybrid vehicles, it provides an affordable damping system for the wide range of frequencies generated by two different power sources.

MR Mounts also bring manufacturing and logistics benefits because the same component can be electronically tuned for a wide range of applications, allowing the parts count to be reduced. Its ability to reduce powertrain-related noise and harshness also means that other systems for sound and vibration absorption can be simplified, further reducing weight and simplifying assembly.

In the GT3 application, Porsche is using the technology to improve traction and stability during hard acceleration and cornering. The control unit will stiffen the mount when torque is applied, reducing 'power hop' that can momentarily reduce the tyre contact patch. Stiffening will also reduce engine roll and maintain balanced torque transfer across the vehicle.


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  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this technology in these cars today almost makes me wish they would just make a simple car again with a big engine, a 6 speed manual transmission, 2 doors, 2 seats, 4 wheels and tires and maybe a basic radio with maybe a CD player and that is it for a cheap price.

      No traction, no ABS, no Bose, no Brembo, no electronic fuel injection, nothing. You can race it, beat the snot out of it and it would be cheap to repair and get back on the road.

      Today you need to be a rocket scientist to fiz your car, lol.

      Even when you open the engine bay all you see is a big plastic cover over the engine, you can't even see the engine anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I know. :(
        • 5 Years Ago
        You don't have to be a rocket scientist to fix modern cars either. Fuel injection, ABS, all that is relatively simple. It is just people refuse to even try to learn it at all. They see a bunch of wires and immediately give up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aloysius,

        The Viper fits almost all those criteria except the fact that it is not cheap.
        And that is the main problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So you want a really fast car with crappy brakes and no way to get out of trouble? And you want to deal with the hassle and inferior performance of carbs? I'm confused...

        Any ways, these mounts sound cool, I think it will be interesting to see what impact they will have on handling. I don't think they will be $1k a pair, they're engine mounts not shocks, big difference.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "big engine, a 6 speed manual transmission, 2 doors, 2 seats, 4 wheels and tires and maybe a basic radio with maybe a CD player "

        Kind of like a Viper, yeah?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will suck $$$ when the fluid leaks and the mount fails. No one has been able to field a failure-free hydraulic mount...this is no exception. I'll bet the sucker will cost $1,000 plus labor (and remember, step one on Porsche maintenance is 'remove the engine assembly."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome-ness. How heavy is it though?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a great idea. If they're affordable, I can't imagine how any higher end sports car (which comprise most of the sports car market in the US) would go without them in their next redo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        agreed. in the same way we've seen magneto rheological damping technology debut in much cheaper cars then the two examples mentioned during the initial release year, and now everything as cheap as a golf or a scirocco, I can't imagine there will be any huge delay in these being adopted down the line fairly rapidly.

        very coo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually think it would be a travesty if they became really cheap and affordable because manufacturers would probably use these to compensate for lazy engine balancing work, lol.
        thecoolpapajips
        • 5 Years Ago
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      Aubs
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is cool technology, but I suppose it will continue to remain in higher priced vehicles due to the eventual replacement costs. It would be my assumption that these are probably not repairable (come as an entire unit), and that replacement costs are high.

      What do you think? $1,000 for both engine mounts? Here are all the shock absorbers for the XLR from GM parts direct:
      shock absorber, xlr
      Year:04-07 List:$1,010.70 Cost:$525.65
      shock absorber, xlr, right, 4.4l
      06-07 $793.16 $412.44
      shock absorber, xlr, right, 4.6l
      06-07 $855.81 $444.90
      shock absorber, xlr, left, 4.4l
      06-07 $791.12 $411.38
      shock absorber, xlr, left, 4.6l
      06-07 $960.52 $499.54

      GAH!

        • 5 Years Ago
        @Aubs
        When it goes, feel free to replace it with a standard mount.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Aubs
        Sounds about right, it's a $2550 option on the A3, bringing the cost to just below $30,000. I doubt we'll see either on anything significantly cheaper, but it's nice to have access to it at some level below $100,000.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nifty? Yes. Expensive and potentially ruinous? Yes.
      Its a balancing act but it sounds like our reasons for loving fast cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nothing like good ole GM technology making Porsche a better car!

      You import fanboys should take note!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chemistry gave me hell in school. I suspect that no one really knows what's going on in chemistry. Don't be surprised if this thing malfunctions. If you enjoy a good car, you are behooved to not get a car with this system.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tyler, as this technology's been available on cars like the TT for three years now, I'm curious what systemic failures you're aware of which haven't received much press?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If no one understands chemistry, how can we trust any car which depends on oxidation (combustion) to work?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You all don't know what's up. I don't believe in chemistry, that's why I don't have any internal combustion engines. You see, I don't believe that one can truly know the heat of a hydrocarbon's combustion. But, I am safe. Luckily, electric cars have nothing to do with chemistry. That's a good thing too. Because ion configurations, ionic and covalent bonding, chemical equilibrium, and viscosity are too sciency to be trusted.

        Yes, I know that there's batteries in electric cars. And I know that Delphi has this figured out. I know that the principals behind this idea pertains more to physics. Jeez, you all need to laugh more.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Luckily, electric cars have nothing to do with chemistry."

        http://www.howstuffworks.com/battery.htm

        Inside the battery itself, a CHEMICAL reaction produces the electrons. The speed of electron production by this CHEMICAL reaction (the battery's internal resistance) controls how many electrons can flow between the terminals. Electrons flow from the battery into a wire, and must travel from the negative to the positive terminal for the chemical reaction to take place. That is why a battery can sit on a shelf for a year and still have plenty of power -- unless electrons are flowing from the negative to the positive terminal, the CHEMICAL reaction does not take place. Once you connect a wire, the reaction starts. The ability to harness this sort of reaction started with the voltaic pile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tyler,

        I have a tiny suspicion that Delphi hired people who knew a thing or two about Chemistry and Physics. You know, people who have a Ph.D in those subjects and not some schmuck who couldn't pass high school chemistry...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry to ask, but are you dumb?

        Oh and btw, that's physics, not chemistry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Vega----Did you really need to ask?

        And Tyler, there is absolutely nothing that would behoove me, dare I say anyone, to not buy the new GT3 if the money were available.
        • 5 Years Ago
        dude , we are all laughing . at your expense. do you also torture scientists and burn "witches" in your free time ?
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