Audi Wants to Improve Comfort, Reduce Fuel Consumption via Electric Suspension
eROT is a prototype Audi is currently working on to see if a car's suspension can act as an energy-recovering system.
The entire gizmo orbits around a high-output 48V electrical system, connected to a Li-ion battery that offers an energy capacity of 0.5 kWh and peak output of 13 kW.
But Audi's trick was to replace the traditional hydraulic dampers found in today's vehicles with electromechanical rotary dampers, aka horizontally-arranged electric motors.
Their plan is to exploit the kinetic energy produced whenever the car runs over a pothole or any sort of bump and road imperfection, which is otherwise lost, being absorbed as heat by standard dampers.
They also claim the system offers a quick response and 'minimal inertia' by saying eROT behaves very much like an actively-controlled suspension system.
If that's truly the case, such a solution could boost comfort levels but also practicality: since there's no need for upright telescopic shock absorbers, the luggage compartment can be expanded.
Provided everything goes according to plan, we'll see the eROT setup at work in 2017 when it will act as the primary electrical system in an Audi model but also feed a 'high-performance mild hybrid' powertrain, with fuel consumption potentially going down by as much as 0.7 l/100 km.