Magnetic Suspension or magnetic ride control is a type of suspension system
where the shock absorbers reacts to the road and adjusts much faster than regular absorbers.
Magnetic suspension can adapt to uneven road surfaces several hundred times per second, in fact it takes only a few
milliseconds to adjust any one of the shock absorbers.
Magnetic suspension is described as the fastest reacting suspension in the world as sensors monitor the road surface up
to 1000 times per second and an ECU can make variations within a few milliseconds
resulting in the possibility of multiple damping variations being made in a second.
Magnetic ride control uses a system known as magneto rheological technology for suspension damping. Each absorber is
filled with a polymer liquid containing many small magnetic particles.
An electrical charge is sent to the liquid in the absorber which immediately changes the position of the particles in the
liquid and its viscosity.
The viscosity of the polymer liquid can be changed to an almost solid state similar to plastic or rubber in composition.
As the viscosity of the liquid changes, it offers a difference in the damping.
Each of the four dampers are adjusted individually and independently even when it seems that all of them are doing the
same thing. This ensures a comfortable ride along various road surfaces.
Magnetic suspension reduces vibrations, bouncing, noise and body roll very effectively on all road surfaces and
at any speed that the vehicle could travel. The reduction of body roll may reduce the need for
anti roll bars.
Another benefit is that these dampers easily offers the best of both worlds in the ride comfort/handling compromise that many
other suspension systems are subjected to. Although this type of suspension offers a very comfortable ride, sport settings can
be applied or tuned into the system to cater for performance vehicles.
The Cadillac CTS-V uses magnetic suspension/magnetic ride control and has earned the respect of many for its ride comfort/handling
compromise as much as its powerful engine.
Magnetic dampers are designed with similar dimensions and connection points to other types of dampers so they are usually
attached to the chassis of the vehicle similar to how a coil spring suspension
Magnetic suspension or magnetic ride control is used by a range of Cadillac vehicles and several other high end vehicles
from General Motors (GM) like the Chevrolet Corvette.
Other companies, such as Ferrari and Audi are also known to use magnetic suspension in their vehicles. Ferrari uses them in most
of their vehicles and Audi uses them in the TT and their supercar, the R8.
Whether the magnetic suspension is soft for comfort or firm for performance it maintains the quick reaction time to change the
damping immediately when required.