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Ferrari SUV debuts new Multimatic active damper technology

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As the world debates the propriety of famed racing team and sports car supplier Ferrari’s introduction of a crossover SUV model with the Purosangue (“pure blood”), engineers can marvel at the the car’s introduction of sophisticated new active damper technology from Multimatic.

The Multimatic True Active Spool Valve (TASV) damper improves upon the company’s existing Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) technology by adding fast active control to the spool valve’s ability to deliver highly accurate valving of the hydraulic shock absorber. We’ve seen DSSV shocks on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Camaro ZL1 1LE as well as the limited-edition Aston Martin One-77 sports car.

The TASV shock contains two spool valves that independently control compression and rebound movement. The addition of an electric motor gives the damper more force authority and does so at higher frequencies than traditional adaptive or semi-active damper designs.

This requires significant power, which is why the Purosangue includes a 48-volt electrical system that powers the TASV shocks. We’ve seen 48-volt active anti-roll bars in other vehicles such as Audi’s active roll stabilization system.

The electric motor used to control the dampers is a high-power-density, liquid-cooled brushless three-phase electric motor, which was co-developed for this application by Ferrari. The motor features “slotless” stator winding technology to minimize its radial dimensions for easier assembly with suspension and to maximize power density.

The driving force is transmitted to the valve via a double-pitch ball screw connected directly to the piston rod of the hydraulic damper. This allows for high frequency response and reduces friction, inertia and package space.

The Purosangue’s accelerometers and position sensors on each suspension corner include Side Slip Control (SSC) 8.0 and the 6w-CDS sensor which feed data to Ferrari’s exclusive control logic which handles control of the suspension system entirely asset.

One of the challenges of a Ferrari SUV is to meet customer expectations for sporty performance and handling in a larger vehicle with a higher center of gravity. Multimatic TASV shock absorbers dampen ride height by providing continuously variable roll stiffness distribution and active roll center lowering (up to 10mm).

This allows the computer to adapt the Purosang’s driving characteristics to the circumstances, and the high-frequency control of the dampers allows them to manage both body movement and wheel movement, so they can at both reduce roll and pitch and absorb irregularities in the road surface. The ability to control body motion and height eliminates the need for any anti-roll device or mechanism for dynamic ride height adjustment.

Image courtesy of Multimatic2022_09_12-Ferrari-Purosangue-TrueActive-8.png

The Multimatic TASV shock absorber used on the Ferrari Purosangue.

“This technology continuously monitors the vehicle body to achieve targeted vertical, roll and pitch dynamics at any speed.” said Michael Guttilla, vice president of engineering at Multimatic. “For example, the system can actively lower the vehicle’s center of gravity and control pitch and roll stiffness during acceleration, braking and cornering to maximize traction and dynamically optimize understeer/oversteer handling balance. It can also optimize tire contact with the road when the vehicle is driven over rough surfaces, providing exceptional ride quality and stability.

These characteristics seem ideal for ensuring that an SUV offers the driving experience expected of a Ferrari. We can’t wait to find out for ourselves with a test drive of Purosangue!