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Audi details A8's predictive active suspension tech

The system can raise or lower the body by up to 3.3 inches in a half second.

Audi has highlighted the latest A8's predictive active suspension technology, claimed to provide a superior ride whether in a plush or sport mode.

Powered by the car's 48-volt mild hybrid system, four electric motors are paired with a harmonic-drive gear capable of applying nearly 811 pound-feet of torque. Movement is transmitted through a steel rotary tube that contains a titanium rod, applying force to the front spring strut and rear transverse link.

The electromechanical actuators are said to be capable of lifting or lowering the body by up to 3.3 inches from its central position at all four corners within a half second.

When driving in 'dynamic' mode, the technology reduces body roll in a 1.0-g cornering maneuver from more than five degrees to just two degrees. As an added bonus, acceleration lift and braking dive are also reduced to a minimum. Engineers tuned the system to provide a neutral to slightly oversteering characteristic.

In the 'comfort plus' setting, the predictive system works together with the front camera to identify uneven surfaces and begin actuating body adjustments as the vehicle reaches the trouble spot. Body movement is claimed to be nearly eliminated when riding over long road undulations or other unevenness.

The comfort mode also uses the active suspension to lean into corners, raising the outside body and lowering the inside body by up to three degrees to reduce transverse forces on the occupants.

"The effect is especially impressive in the speed range from 80 to 130 km/h (49.7 to 80.8 mph) and at lateral acceleration of up to 0.4 g," the company says. "The driver and passengers barely notice the cornering maneuver - and even a full cup of coffee in the cup holder will not spill."

The predictive active suspension upgrade will be available starting in Europe by August, with a price tag equivalent to $6,120 USD.

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