Active Body Control
Active Body Control, or ABC, is the Mercedes-Benz brand name used to describe hydraulic fully active suspension, that allows control of the vehicle body motions and therefore virtually eliminates body roll in many driving situations including cornering, accelerating, and braking. Only available on rear-wheel drive models, all-wheel drive models are available only with Airmatic semi-active air suspension. Production version introduced at the 1999 Geneva Motor Show on the new Mercedes-Benz CL-Class C215.
In the ABC system, a computer detects body movement from sensors located throughout the vehicle, and controls the action of the active suspension with the use of hydraulic servomechanisms. The hydraulic pressure to the servos is supplied by a high pressure radial piston hydraulic pump. A total of 13 sensors continually monitor body movement and vehicle level and supply the ABC controller with new data every ten milliseconds. Four level sensors, one at each wheel measure the ride level of the vehicle, three accelerometers measure the vertical body acceleration, one acceleration sensor measures the longitudinal and one sensor the transverse body acceleration. At each hydraulic cylinder, a pressure sensor monitors the hydraulic pressure. As the ABC controller receives and processes data, it operates four hydraulic servos, each mounted in series on a spring strut, beside each wheel. Almost instantaneously, the servo regulated suspension generates counter forces to body lean, dive and squat during various driving maneuvers. A suspension strut, consisting of a steel coil spring and a shock absorber are connected in parallel, as well as a hydraulically controlled adjusting cylinder, are located between the vehicle body and wheel. These components adjust the cylinder in the direction of the suspension strut, and change the suspension length. This creates a force which acts on the suspension and dampening of the vehicle in the frequency range up to five hertz.
The system also incorporates height adjustable suspension, which in this case lowers the vehicle up to 11 mm (0.43 in) between the speeds of 60–160 km/h (37–99 mph) for better aerodynamics, fuel consumption, and handling.
The ABC system also allows self-levelling suspension, which raises or lowers the vehicle in response to changing load (i.e. the loading or unloading of passengers or cargo). Each vehicle equipped with ABC has an “ABC Sport” button that allows the driver to adjust the suspension range for different driving style preferences. This feature allows the driver to adjust the suspension to maintain a more level ride in more demanding driving conditions.
The first complete and ready-for-production version of ABC was introduced in 1999 on the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
In 2010 a crosswind stabilization function was introduced. In strong gusts of crosswind, and depending on the direction and intensity of the wind having an effect on the vehicle, this system varies the wheel load distribution in such a way that the effects of winds are largely compensated or reduced to a minimum. For this purpose the ABC control unit uses the yaw rate, lateral acceleration, steering angle and road speed sensors of the Electronic Stability Program ESP®.
Magic Body Control
In 2013 the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222) introduced the series production version of PRE-SCAN, but with a stereo camera instead of laser projectors. The system dubbed Magic Body Control is fitted with a road-sensing system (Road Surface Scan) that pre-loads the shocks for the road surface detected. Using a stereo camera, the system scans the road surface up to 15 meters ahead of the vehicle at speeds up to 130 km/h (81 mph), and it adjusts the shock damping at each wheel to account for imperfections in the road. Initially only available on 8-cylinder models and above, Magic Ride Control attempts to isolate the car's body by predicting rather than reacting to broken pavement and speed humps. The ABC has undergone major modifications for the new S-Class: the wheel damping is now continuously adjustable, the spring strut response has been improved and the pump efficiency has been further enhanced. A digital interface connects the control unit and the sensors, while the fast FlexRay bus connects the control unit and the vehicle electronics. Processing power is more than double that of the previous system.
In 2014 the new C217 S-Class Coupe introduced an update to Magic Body Control, called Active Curve Tilting. This new system allows the vehicle to lean up to 2.5 degrees into a turn, similar to the way a motorcycle leans into a turn. The leaning is intended to counter the effect of centrifugal force on the occupants and is available only on rear-wheel drive models
Vehicles, chronological order:
- Mercedes-Benz C112
- Mercedes-Benz Vario Research Car
- Mercedes-Benz F200
- Mercedes-Benz CL-Class C215
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220)
- Mercedes-Benz SL Class R230
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221)
- Mercedes-Benz CL-Class (C216)
- Mercedes-Benz SL Class R231
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222): Magic Body Control
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class (C217): Magic Body Control
- 1955 Citroën DS had hydropneumatic suspension, which had the height adjustable suspension and self-levelling suspension features of ABC, but controlled purely by hydraulic action.
- 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow had technology licensed from Citroën DS, height adjustable suspension and self-levelling suspension features of ABC
- 1975 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 flagship and the very sleek Rolls-Royce Camargue, had the height adjustable suspension and self-levelling suspension features of ABC again from the Citroën CX
- 1979 Mercedes-Benz W126 then new S class had even more sophisticated height adjustable suspension and self-levelling suspension features of ABC
- 1984 Mercedes-Benz W124 selected models of E class had this technology (rear only hydraulic suspension) height adjustable suspension and self-levelling suspension features of ABC
- Mid-1980s, Lotus Cars experimented with active suspension layouts, combining hydraulic and electronic components.
- 1989 Citroën XM had a similar electronic control of hydraulic suspension, branded Hydractive.
- 1989 Toyota Celica with Toyota Active Control Suspension
- 1991 Toyota Soarer had a fully active hydraulic suspension system on the 1991 UZZ32 model:Toyota Active Control Suspension.
- 1994 Citroën Xantia ACTIVA variant introduced active anti-roll bars as an extension to their Hydractive II suspension.
- http://media.daimler.com/dcmedia/0-921-657477-1-814760-1-0-0-0-0-1-11702-614232-0-1-0-0-0-0-0.html Mercedes-Benz S-Class, W 220 series (1998 to 2005)
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- "The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class - The aspiration: the best automobile in the world; Suspension: The world's first suspension system with "eyes"" (Press release). Daimler AG. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- http://media.daimler.com/dcmedia/0-921-1549267-1-1597435-1-0-0-0-0-0-11702-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0.html Suspension: The world's first suspension system with "eyes"
- http://media.daimler.com/dcmedia/0-921-1721304-1-1710008-1-0-0-1710107-0-1-12759-614216-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html Under the microscope: Curve tilting function - Curve artist
- "How the Active Curve Tilting Feature of the S-Class Coupe Works". BenzInsider.com. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
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