• Apr 14, 2011
This Audi A5 thinks it's a motorcycle – Click above to watch video after the jump

We recently tried to find all the April Fools-related automotive items that the Internet served up for 2011. We thought we had 'em all... but we may have just found one more to add to the list, courtesy of Spanish-language site Cochesafondo.com.

It reports that Audi is working on a suspension system that allows a car to lean into a turn. It's installed the setup into an A5, prompting a pair of engineers to bring a very stable cup of coffee along for a test ride. Of course, one bump and your lap would be pain soup regardless of the suspension being tested.

Click past the jump to watch the clip. Then sound off in the Comments and let us know if you think this is real or not.

[Source: Youtube via Cocheafondo.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      It would have benefit IF it kept the car level. all you want to do is prevent weight transfer from one side to the other. there is no benefit to actually leaning into, only in preventing a car from leaning out of a turn as they naturally tend to do.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There's no benefit for performance, but there is a benefit for comfort. leaning into the turn means that a portion of the lateral G's get converted into vertical G's, which means less sliding around in the seat.
      • 3 Years Ago
      hmmm...it is something I have thought about for a long time, however since I am no engineer I have no idea if it has any benefits, sure your body won't feel the same style of G forces, however the tires have not changed their contact with the road in any way, so I really don't know if it would matter. Either way it is kind of cool, and would be interesting to see it driving around
        • 3 Years Ago
        yeah the only benefit is really that the center of gravity shifts down maybe an inch or so and sideways even less, no difference really. The reason motorbikes lean is because they would flip over otherwise. With 4 wheels there is no reason to worry about that.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ever watch the monkey in motorcycle sidecar racing? That's the exact opposite of active suspension - active, predictive, dynamic CG shifting.
      • 3 Years Ago
      thats a pretty cool concept, i imagine it would allow for more cornering g's.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's very old tech - Lotus did this with active suspension 25 years ago.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Citroen has tried this also
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Lean wit it, rock wit it!" - Dem Franchise Boyz
        • 3 Years Ago
        That would allow the driver and the passengers to feel less lateral Gs while going through a turn, i.e. it would convert some lateral Gs into vertical Gs. But it would have very little effect on the maximum lateral Gs the car can hold, i.e. it wouldn't improve the lateral traction in any noticeable way.

        In other words, it does help you not to spill your coffee. But it doesn't help you to increase your lateral-traction-limited top speed while going through a turn.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Cant wait to add this to my m3 pickup!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Citroen's version was the Activa - pretty cool, my old man had one as a company car when I was kid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3YxqjD8Rh4
        • 3 Years Ago
        Brummie, the Virgin trains are the Italian Pendolinos, designed to go around the curves in the Apennines more quickly. In the case of the trains the tracks are already banked and the lean enhances the speed, and in a train this feels natural; roads are not always banked and an inward leaning car apparently feels wrong. The computer systems used in the trains have to be pretty sophisticated to counter sway and nausea in passengers when negotiating the esses.
        • 3 Years Ago
        And when Citroen did this thirty plus years ago with their oleo-pneumatic setup they decided that the inward roll was counter- intuitive and ultimately made for an unsettling driving experience. It worked, but natural roll is one of the subconscious indicators drivers use to measure slip and control.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The only way it allows for more corning Gs is if you're running ground effects that need to sit at a certain height front-rear and left-right. Active suspension allows the car to sit perfectly flat relative to the road for optimum downforce, translating into higher cornering Gs.

        Otherwise, it can give a slightly smoother ride, and/or somewhat reduced perceived lateral Gs on the passengers.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Every time a company develops a computer-controlled suspension they do a demo like this.

      As mentioned above, Bose did it a few years back on a Lexus LS.
      A decade before that, Infiniti showed it with the Q45a.
      IIRC, GM showed it before that and Volvo did it between Infiniti and Bose.

      Infiniti actually shipped their active suspension to customers, but without the leaning.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I recall reading the tests of a Corvette with Lotus Active Suspension (it also leaned into the turns) in the late '80's. It's a cool idea but expensive and heavy.

      I often thought about it when I lived by the California coast and would get tired of getting tossed left and right ad infinitum, driving Highway 1.

      The motorcycle analogy is apt: the experience of riding/driving a car like that would be revolutionary.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Forget about April fools! People from Audi have told us that they're really testing the device, and it works quite well in highway at speeds up to 130 km/h. However, it's still far from being used in current models.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love the idea of this, it just looks badass when driving around! Hopefully they build cars like this, then I wouldn't have a problem with so many people copying Audi, like the new lexus monstrosity.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's weird but I could get used to it
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not new and w-a-a-a-a-y too slow.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      this nothing new. i remember seeing BOSE suspension (yes, BOSE, one that makes speakers) uses electric controlled suspension on a LS400 to do all crazy things, such as jump over a spike and lean toward corner.

      and this was probably 6~7 years ago.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, they are still working on it actually. I've seen their two LS400s a couple of times around Honolulu. The car can also corner with literally no body roll. It's very, very impressive tech.
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