Next Audi A8 Will See a Speed Bump Before Driving Over It

Sebastien Bell
by Sebastien Bell

Scanning the road ahead for bumps will no longer be a concern for owners of the upcoming Audi A8.

Tied to the car’s 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system, the Audi A8’s suspension will predict bumps to level them out. “Predict” might be a little bit of an overstatement, but the A8 will see bumps in the road and react to them before the car drives over it by using its front-mounted cameras to look down the road.

Scanning the street 18 times a second, the A8 looks for bumps and prepares the right amount of suspension travel through its active actuators. Effectively, the car sees a bump, softens the suspension as it’s hitting it, and lets little to none of the jolt into the cabin.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Audi A8 Teased Before July 11 Reveal

A side benefit of the A8’s Electronic Chassis Platform (ECP) is that it allows the car to be taut and stiff when you want, so if you’re driving enthusiastically, the car stays level and stiff, but on your commute home, the A8 is soft and pampering.

Even better, if you’re driving enthusiastically and hit a bump, the A8 has already seen it, so it doesn’t get unsettled. In combination with rear-wheel steering (which gives it a smaller turning circle than the A4), Audi argues that the new A8 will be great to drive without giving up the luxurious comfort of a limousine.

The final trick up Audi’s sleeve, though, is that for the first time ever, the ECP is also used to help protect occupants during a collision. By raising the body by up to 3 inches when a collision is detected, the A8 moves the force of an impact down to the stronger parts of the car. Instead of hitting the windows, for example, the impact would hit the window sill, lowering the load on occupants by up to 50 percent.

The A8 will be presented to the public on July 11 in Barcelona, but will first be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, premiering on June 28.

A version of this story originally appeared on Fourtitude

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Sebastien Bell
Sebastien Bell

Sebastien is a roving reporter who covers Euros, domestics, and all things enthusiast. He has been writing about the automotive industry for four years and obsessed with it his whole life. He studied English at the Wilfrid Laurier University. Sebastien also edits for AutoGuide's sister sites VW Vortex, Fourtitude, Swedespeed, GM Inside News, All Ford Mustangs, and more.

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