There is a growing demand for supercars, light trucks and SUVs equipped with advanced suspension systems that combine impressive on-road handling with exceptional performance and agility in a wide range of road environments.
According to the US-based Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a growing number of consumers is purchasing vehicles that enable them to combine daily use, utility, and adventure, including off-road driving, or “overlanding,” where the journey is as much the point as the ultimate destination. In both new vehicle purchases and in the aftermarket, off-road equipment retailers have seen robust demand throughout the pandemic.
Vehicle manufacturers and suspension suppliers such as Tenneco have responded to the increased demand with an array of new off-road-equipped internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) models. A BEV startup recently introduced an off-road-ready electric pickup that offers a 300-mile operating range, 11,000-pound towing capacity and is equipped with Tenneco’s Monroe® Intelligent Suspension (MIS) CVSA2/Kinetic® suspension technology.
This trend towards intelligent suspension holds true for ICE and BEV vehicles, providing potential growth opportunities for Tenneco’s Advanced Suspension Technologies (AST) business, which offers an array of semi-active suspension solutions covering virtually all passenger vehicle segments.
“CVSA2/Kinetic is an ideal response to rising demand for pickups, SUVs, and other vehicles that can operate without compromise in virtually any driving environment,” says Henrik Johansson, vice president and general manager, AST.
“As CVSA2/Kinetic-equipped vehicles become more prevalent around the world, they will help change consumers’ perceptions of what they can do and how much enjoyment they can gain in their driving adventures.”
CVSA2/Kinetic® technology offers exceptional comfort both on and off-road. It also provides enhanced handling behavior/control during dynamic road events and ensures excellent stability and traction when carrying heavy loads or towing a trailer to take your vehicle through the most demanding off-road terrain.
Continuously Variable Semi-Active Suspension (CVSA) with external valve technology senses the road and driving conditions to independently adjust four dampers in real time for a more comfortable and controlled ride.
An externally mounted electronic valve is linked to the vehicle’s driving mode control, so the system can perfectly match the driver’s needs. CVSAe technology allows drivers to switch between driving modes on demand to bring a more comfortable – or adventurous – ride experience.
CVSA2 is the latest generation of Tenneco’s suspension range with lightweight, semi-active dampers. Each damper features two electro-hydraulic valves. They control rebound and compression motions independently, delivering a larger tuning range for even higher levels of comfort and control. CVSA2 is scalable to the more advanced Kinetic® suspension system.
The CVSA2/Kinetic® suspension system delivers the lowest energy consumption in the high performance vehicle market, according to Tenneco. Its Kinetic® roll control system eliminates the need for roll bars, reducing car weight while giving superior drive performance. The system’s handling of roll and traction makes it the ideal solution for the demands of the off-road SUV and sports car drivers. The weight saving also makes it suitable
for the new generation of BEVs.
CVSA2/Kinetic suspension provides continuously controlled damping along with high roll-control forces without the need of conventional roll bars. As a result, the technology provides significantly better handling for both heavier and taller vehicles, including battery electric SUVs and pickups.
CVSA2 technology comprises lightweight semi-active dampers equipped with two externally mounted electro-hydraulic valves that independently control rebound and compression, providing an unmatched ride experience in a variety of driving conditions. The suspension can be adjusted to driver preferences, such as greater comfort for longer trips or tighter control in dynamic driving situations.
In addition to helping reduce vehicle weight through the elimination of conventional sway bars, the technology decouples single-wheel disturbances, providing better comfort and contact to the road. The Kinetic system has been used in World Rally Car (WRC) and Dakar rallies.
Mercedes-AMG SL equipped with intelligent suspension
Mercedes-Benz has selected two of the latest intelligent suspension technologies from Tenneco’s Monroe® Intelligent Suspension portfolio for the 2022 Mercedes-
AMG SL-Class of luxury roadsters.
Both systems for the Mercedes-AMG models are in production at Tenneco’s recently expanded ride performance manufacturing complex in Gliwice, Poland.
2022 Mercedes-AMG SL roadsters to offer Tenneco’s CVSA2 semi-active suspension or integrated CVSA2/ Kinetic® suspension.
Available as an option on the SL 55 but standard equipment on the range-topping SL 63, the CVSA2/Kinetic suspension combines all the benefits of CVSA2 technology with an innovative, active roll control system that reduces vehicle weight by eliminating the need for anti-roll bars.
Together the systems provide exceptional traction, steering response, brake balance and comfort as well as front lifting functionality for increased ground clearance.
“This has been an exciting project for our Advanced Suspension Technologies organization,” said Henrik Johansson, vice president and general manager, Advanced
Suspension Technologies, Tenneco.
“These impressive new models take the storied SL-Class to impressive new heights in terms of driving enjoyment.”
In addition to the new SL-Class, CVSA2 technology has enjoyed considerable recent success on Mercedes-AMG models, including the G-Class SUV and the AMG GT Black Series.