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> Driver Adjustable Suspensions?, What's their value?
Adjustable Suspensions
Have you ever driven a car with an adjustable suspension?
No [ 10 ] ** [47.62%]
Yes - Adjustable Dampers [ 4 ] ** [19.05%]
Yes - Air Suspension [ 1 ] ** [4.76%]
Yes - Other [ 1 ] ** [4.76%]
Yes - More than one type [ 5 ] ** [23.81%]
Total Votes: 21
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clarkma5
post Feb 6 2009, 01:00 AM
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So I was thinking lately that I've never driven a car with an adjustable suspension (such as, for example, Corvette's Magnetic Ride, Porsche's PASM, BMW's Electronic Damping Control, Volvo's 4C, etc.). I've always felt somewhat skeptical toward these systems...do they really make that big of a difference between their different modes, or is a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo and overzealous automotive journalists? Do they really compare to a well-sorted standard suspension? No I'm not talking about coilovers with adjustable perches or dampers with externally adjustable rebound or anything like that, I'm talking about stuff where you can push a button from the driver's seat.

Was curious if anyone had any thoughts. Figured it could be an interesting discussion topic.

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moe
post Feb 6 2009, 01:31 AM
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Only thing I've driven is the Range Rover Sport. I think for a car such as a sporting SUV, the adjustable suspension makes sense. The car has to fill such disparate roles, that I can't think of any other way you could have such a large, yet mildly entertaining vehicle on the road, a mile-munching luxury car, and a proper off-roader all in one package.

I'll probably get a drive in the Cayenne Turbo in the next couple of days.
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maxima302
post Feb 6 2009, 02:30 AM
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Some cars, especially heavy ones I feel its almost necessary. I drove a CLS500 with ABC, which I thought was overly floaty with the suspension set on the softest setting. However, with the car lowered, and on the firmest setting, it performed like another vehicle all together, much more enjoyable. I would be fine if the suspension was always on the firmest setting (ie without ABC, just a firm suspension), however I doubt they would be able to get away with the ride quality for most people. Especially considering the wheel sizes most cars some with now a days. It offers the ability to have larger wheels, but keep the cushy ride (a requirement for most MB buyers). However, I predict these things are going to have problems (leaks, etc) 100k down the road, and would hate to be footing the bill to repair these complicated mechanisms. At least they aren't hydraulic for the most part...
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Bjorn
post Feb 6 2009, 03:44 AM
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My mom's car has it, there is a little less body roll between the softest and the firmest settings, but it's not even noticeable really. When I get in it to drive I normally drop it to the hardest setting though, thinking it might give me that last 1/10th in an avoidance situation...although I don't really think it does much of anything.
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OHirtenfelder
post Feb 6 2009, 05:22 AM
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Being lucky enough to drive all the latest stuff, I have driven several cars with these different systems, most recently the new RS6 2 days ago. I must say, one can really feel a big difference in some cars (RS6) and almost none in other cars. I honestly think, it's mostly marketing, and another stupid feature that dick A can brag to dick B about:"My car has....bla bla bla". These things are cool to have, but not worth the extra thousands of Rands (Dollars) that one spends on them. I must say, that I believe a properly sorted suspension setup is just as capable.
It has a lot to do with what Moe said, with cars being expected to fill too many roles. If people could simply deal with the fact that 'I have a sports car and therefor the suspension will be on the firm side', or 'I have a peopl carrier and therefor my car will be quite wallowy'. It's really unncessary IMO.
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dukenukem
post Feb 6 2009, 07:13 AM
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Well, theres the Tein EDFC system bt which you can change the stiffness of the coilovers by pressing a button in your car on the fly. that i do know works very well.
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Benny
post Feb 6 2009, 07:21 AM
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as duke said the EDFC is very good.

as for OEM adjustible suspensions, i drove a 1994 LS400 with the height adjustable air suspension and that was bleh(probably leaky)
and what i think was a 1993 Mazda 626 turbo it had a comfort, sport, and advanced. it was better on sport than comfort, but just barely.
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darinzon
post Feb 6 2009, 07:49 AM
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funny this thread came up. i was riding with my friend in his s60r the other day and we were playing with the 4c system. previously i thought it was a dumb, unnecessary thing to have on your car... but it's awesome. at least that system
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redls1bird
post Feb 6 2009, 10:47 AM
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Ive driven several types as well. Merc's ABC, Land rovers CRA (cant remember acronym) , Volvo's 4C and a few others. They all made a noticeable difference, but none were as good as the 4C on the S60 R. Going from the comfort setting to the advanced setting while driving over a bridge for instance can instantly be felt, and heard through the car. You go from not even being able to notice expansion joints to being able to describe the height the of the bump distance it spans. All the others have their merits as well. They arent necessary, but they do allow you to make your car more useful everyday by going from a mundane people hauler to a planted track car.
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nismo
post Feb 6 2009, 11:43 AM
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My friend (well his mom) is fortunate enough to have a Maserati GranSport S, and I drove it (He wanted to race his car vs his moms) and it was VERY noticeable. Granted, it is an italian sports car, but still. On comfort, it was comfortable, but when you put it in sport, it's a whole different animal.
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MustangAficionad...
post Feb 6 2009, 11:51 AM
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Noticeable on the Z51 LS3 C6 i drove. But not night and day, still nice to have the option for comfort in other situations.
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dukenukem
post Feb 6 2009, 01:00 PM
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QUOTE(MustangAficionado @ Feb 6 2009, 01:51 PM) *
Noticeable on the Z51 LS3 C6 i drove. But not night and day, still nice to have the option for comfort in other situations.

I thought you could not order the Z51 package with the Magnetic ride control option? Or you talking about something totally different.
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clarkma5
post Feb 6 2009, 05:31 PM
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Duke is right, magnetic ride control and the Z51 package are not compatible, you get one or the other.
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MustangAficionad...
post Feb 6 2009, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 6 2009, 05:31 PM) *
Duke is right, magnetic ride control and the Z51 package are not compatible, you get one or the other.

I never said it had magnetic ride control, just adjustable suspension settings. Did i assume we are talking about something totally different?
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clarkma5
post Feb 6 2009, 08:20 PM
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Well, what adjustable suspension are you talking about if not magnetic ride control? Is it aftermarket? I'm not talking about adjustable suspension in the sense that you get outside the car with a wrench and adjust it in a half hour, I mean "button on the dash" style adjustable.
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MustangAficionad...
post Feb 6 2009, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 6 2009, 08:20 PM) *
Well, what adjustable suspension are you talking about if not magnetic ride control? Is it aftermarket? I'm not talking about adjustable suspension in the sense that you get outside the car with a wrench and adjust it in a half hour, I mean "button on the dash" style adjustable.

There's a button that turns it onto sport from normal in the vette i drove, Z51 LS3. It's on the center console below the shifter. It's a convex sorta looking button, big and black not around any other buttons.

I dunno. I drive a mustang, i think suspension was an option on my car.
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moe
post Feb 7 2009, 01:39 AM
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QUOTE(MustangAficionado @ Feb 7 2009, 10:32 AM) *
I dunno. I drive a mustang, i think suspension was an option on my car.


Hahaha...that made my day. QOTD
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clarkma5
post Feb 7 2009, 02:31 AM
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If I were to guess, Mustang, it would be the Active Handling System:

QUOTE
Active Handling System
The Active Handling System is an electronic symphony of Traction Control and antilock brakes along with microcomputers, accelerometers and stability sensors. While no system can overcome the laws of physics, Active Handling compares driver steering input with actual vehicle response. When necessary, it uses individual wheel brake application, the Traction Control System and Magnetic Selective Ride Control (standard on ZR1; available on coupe and convertible) to maximize the driver's ability to maintain stability and stay on track. NEW for 2009: variable-ratio steering is standard on all models.


It also says Magnetic Selective Ride Control is not available with the Z51 package. Therefore, I must assume that this sport button of which you speak affects this car's Traction Control and Variable Steering Ratio (as equipped) and not its suspension. Either that or you're mistaken and it's not a Z51 and it does have magnetic ride control (which would be an understandable mistake, as magnetic ride control comes with the larger cross-drilled brake rotors that are the easiest visual cue to the presence of the Z51 package).
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MustangAficionad...
post Feb 7 2009, 10:30 AM
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QUOTE(clarkma5 @ Feb 7 2009, 02:31 AM) *
If I were to guess, Mustang, it would be the Active Handling System:
It also says Magnetic Selective Ride Control is not available with the Z51 package. Therefore, I must assume that this sport button of which you speak affects this car's Traction Control and Variable Steering Ratio (as equipped) and not its suspension. Either that or you're mistaken and it's not a Z51 and it does have magnetic ride control (which would be an understandable mistake, as magnetic ride control comes with the larger cross-drilled brake rotors that are the easiest visual cue to the presence of the Z51 package).

Thanks Clarkma, i dunno how i was so convinced it was a Z51. "7-spoke chrome wheels...magnetic selective ride and Z51 rotors. ...." - at least it was still 430hp.
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