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New Volkswagen Touareg SUV offers pneumatic suspension coupled with electromechanical roll stabilization; 48V and supercapacitors

Volkswagen’s new third-generation Touareg SUV (earlier post) offers new advanced running gear made largely of lightweight aluminum, featuring a combination of four-corner pneumatic suspension with adaptive electronic damping control and—for the first time at Volkswagen—a completely newly developed electromechanical active roll compensation system (eAWS).

The eAWS features active anti-roll bars which use electric motors and a 48-volt system to adapt instantly to the driving situation, bringing a level of agility and ride comfort that is practically unmatched by any other SUV, Volkswagen says.

The key components of the electromechanical active roll compensation are the anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles. Conventional suspensions are fitted with steel anti-roll bars at the front and rear which reach from one end of the axle to the other. The two ends of the anti-roll bar twist relative to each other when cornering (or when only one side of the vehicle is driving over very uneven road surfaces). The kinetics ensure that the vehicle’s tendency to roll in bends is reduced. The active roll compensation goes one step further as it holds the vehicle body in a horizontal position almost parallel with the road.

The eAWS features electromechanical anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles. A central control unit coordinates their use. The two ends of each anti-roll bar are connected to one another by a step motor.

Depending on the driving situation, the electric motor twists the two ends of the anti-roll bar relative to each other to stiffen them or even decouples them. The 48 volts required to activate the electric motors is built up quickly using supercapacitors.

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The lateral inclination of the Touareg decreases significantly when cornering due to the active anti-roll bars. This makes the vehicle more agile, while still providing the driver with natural feedback about the driving dynamics.

The eAWS also significantly improves the rolling comfort. Because the electromechanical anti-roll bars can be decoupled when driving straight ahead—in contrast to steel anti-roll bars—the pneumatic suspension with its adaptive dampers no longer has to overcome the force of the anti-roll bars. This also has a noticeable effect on the suspension characteristics and therefore the ride comfort.

When driving off-road, the articulation of the axles and the traction can be improved by electromechanical decoupling of the anti-roll bars.

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