German carmaker Audi is working on an innovative new type of suspension which helps enhance comfort and save fuel.
The new damper system called eROT, replaces the traditional hydraulic dampers with horizontally oriented electromechanical rotary dampers along with a 48V battery to harness energy and cut down on fuel consumption.
While undergoing tests in Germany, the eROT system (apparently short for electromechanical rotary damper) harnessed 100 – 150 watts on average while the test vehicle was being on a typical German road —ranging from just 3 watts on a freshly paved highway to 613 watts over a rough stretch of road.
Audi claims that this could translate to CO2 saving of up to three grams/ kilometre and future version of the eROT may be able to help customers save 0.7-litres of fuel every 100 kilometres.
To get these fuel and CO2 savings, the electromechanical rotary dampers are connected to a small 0.5-kWh, 48-volt battery. When the car moves over a bump, the wheels move in an up and down motion, which helps generate energy. The energy generated is sent to the battery pack.
The system also makes the car more comfortable than current suspension setups, as engineers can tune the compression and rebound strokes of the dampers independently of each other.
Another advantage of the horizontal orientation of the rear suspension's geometry, is that it frees up more space allowing for a bigger boot.