Majority of luxury cars, and countless sports cars have adaptive suspension, or suspension that actively adjusts itself to road conditions, load, and other g-forces such as cornering, braking, and acceleration, all in the name of controlling body motions and improving handling in ways that traditional non-active suspension cannot.
And believe it or not, this technology has been around for over a half a century, all thanks to the one and only Citroen. While a few systems use pressurized air to fill shock absorbers on certain systems, such as Range Rovers, Citroen’s systems get their hydraulic function by special types of hydraulic oils, hence the name, hydropneumatic. Since they invented and introduced it in 1954, countless luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, and BMW–just to name a few–followed suit, adapting the design and system on their own cars to provide unparalleled ride quality and handling.
This is also the same system that made the Citroen DS models famous for their “magic carpet” or “cloud-like” ride, making it a symbol of luxury motoring. To this day, Citroen, as well as many other car makers, utilize active suspension systems modeled after the one created by Citroen.
Now, it appears the pioneers themselves will be retiring the technology, according to an announcement from PSA, Citroen’s current corporate parent.
Citroen’s CEO, Linda Jackson, described it as being considered “old technology,” meaning it’ll eventually be phased out. As a replacement, they’ve been working on a “more sophisticated” system that provides a comparable ride. However, suspension designs are one of those things where if they’re kept simpler, the better for weight and long-term reliability.
Either way, this is a big change for the auto industry, given any one who’s put a self-leveling or active suspension system in their car owes their respects to Citroen for creating it in the first place. And that’s kinda sad.
Source: AutomotiveNews Europe