WABCO Holdings Inc. a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced that the company has developed and will supply breakthrough electronic control technology and an innovative high performance air supply system for original equipment manufacturer AUDI AG. WABCO’s content will be equipped on the air suspension of the Audi A8 2010 model, Audi’s new flagship luxury sedan.
Enabled by WABCO’s pioneering engineering, the new Audi A8’s adaptive air suspension with controlled damping responds softly and silently to even slight unevenness in the road surface. Integrating Audi’s unique damping algorithms, it determines the most effective damping level based on road surface, load, speed, and vehicle body movement. It increases passenger comfort through constantly adapted vehicle ride height. Speed sensitive lowering of the vehicle body also improves vehicle safety while reducing fuel consumption.
WABCO’s electronic control unit for the new Audi A8’s state-of-the-art air suspension features FlexRay(TM) technology, marking a breakthrough in data networking for in-car control systems. It is the passenger car industry’s first application of air suspension using FlexRay, a new standard for in-car communications, resulting in faster and more highly reliable integration with the vehicle’s other controls and sensors. It further improves performance of the new Audi A8’s air suspension through optimal sensitivity and continually adaptive damping that reduces vehicle vibration and prevents it from increasing.
Continuing WABCO’s 23-year track record of innovative air suspension systems for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, the company’s newest generation of high power compressors enables WABCO’s air supply system to increase air pressure capacity by 40 percent. It significantly boosts performance for the new Audi A8’s front and rear axle air suspension by more quickly lowering and raising the body, reducing drag and stabilizing the vehicle. WABCO’s air supply system enables virtual silence during air suspension performance due to its enhanced air management and substantially improved acoustics of WABCO compressors.
“WABCO’s breakthrough electronics and innovative air supply modules provide an outstanding opportunity for car makers to boost air suspension performance, enable smoother running, increase vehicle safety and enhance passenger comfort while improving fuel efficiency,” said Mike Thompson, WABCO Vice President, Car Systems. “We are passionate about continuing to deliver innovative, cost-effective and easy-to-install solutions to meet the strongly growing global demand from car makers and end-users alike for air suspension systems in passenger cars.”
In 1986, WABCO introduced its first electronically controlled air suspension (ECAS) system for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Today WABCO offers a range of electronic control units and air supply modules for air suspension systems that can be adapted to luxury, midsize and compact passenger cars, sports utility vehicles, and compact vans. Original equipment manufacturers increasingly seek additional functionalities such as speed sensitive adaptation of vehicle body height, which improves vehicle safety while reducing fuel consumption.