The unquestionably most popular technological development in Citroen’s history is the hydropneumatic suspension from the DS. In fact, it is credited with saving the life of Charles de Gaulle, a French military general and statesman, and makes for a smooth ride irrespective of how bumpy or rugged the roads are. Aiming to inject a smooth-riding magic into its late-model cars, the engineers at Citroen have come up with a new hydraulic cushion suspension system.
Hydraulic cushions are a clever way to inhibit noise and vibration. Generally, traditional suspension systems are made up of a spring, a shock absorber, and mechanical bump stops. The moment a car reaches the end of its suspension travel and bottoms out, these mechanical stops come into play shortly, which can make for a jolting ride over huge potholes and bumps.
In lieu of utilizing mechanical bump stops, Citroen’s system utilizes a hydraulic cushion to adjust rebound and compression. When the suspension gets close to the end of its travel, the hydraulic cushions slowly absorb the movement rather than suddenly stopping it, enabling for greater control to the end of the suspension’s travel.
In accordance with the team behind it, this system enables the creation of a “flying carpet” effect, where the body stays isolated from any imperfections in the road surface as the suspension can be relaxed in the middle of its travel without making it crashy and loose over imperfections.
Though this system is claimed to need enhancement in ride quality, there is more to Citroen’s search for enhanced comfort than just bump stops, because the suspension does not work in complete isolation. Instead, the body of the car also plays a role in keeping you protected from vibrations and bumps from the road below. This is made possible by a distinctive structural bonding process.
According to Citroen engineers they have managed to enhance overall body stiffness by nearly 20 percent without adding weight. This enables isolating it from any vibrations, and in turn makes for a better and more refined driving experience in the cabin.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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