Citroën redefines comfort with its new progressive hydraulic cushion suspension technology
Citroën has released details of its innovative new suspension technology as part of the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, which will ultimately deliver unrivalled levels of on-road comfort for owners of all Citroën models.
For almost a century, comfort has been closely linked with the Citroën brand, in the same way that design and innovation has been part of its DNA. However, as expectations and driving habits have evolved, so too has the definition of comfort. The Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme addresses the expectations of today’s motorists with its all-new progressive hydraulic cushion suspension system, new seat technologies, improved body rigidity and acoustics, all to filter out road noise and vibrations. This is combined with a more simplified, yet rewarding, cabin environment.
Citroën is demonstrating these advances via a prototype C4 Cactus known as the ‘Citroën Advanced Comfort® Lab’. New C4 Picasso range, which goes on sale in the UK on 1 September, is the first model to benefit from selected elements of the programme. To register your interest in New C4 Picasso, click here.
CITROËN ADVANCED COMFORT®: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO COMFORT
Comfort means different things to different people. Indeed, a multitude of parameters contribute to the driving experience - damping, body stability, acoustics, seats, light, space, ergonomics and cabin layout. The Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme addresses all of these variables to deliver comfort that is characteristic of the brand and sets it apart from the rest of the market.
Starting with New C4 Picasso, it is the brand’s intention to deliver its new technologies progressively over time on every model in the Citroën range, from C1 city car through to larger models. The programme, which Citroën will use to reaffirm its credentials and expertise in the field of comfort, has four simple objectives:
• Filter out any exterior interference for a cocoon-like ride, with solutions for the suspension, vibrations and acoustics that deliver ‘driving comfort’.
• Simplify life on board with generous space, functional storage compartments and an ingenious layout to provide well-being and ‘living comfort’.
• Create an even easier driving experience with intuitive technology, driving aids that can be used every day, and digital continuity between the driver and the car to offer greater ‘functional comfort’.
• Ensure peace-of-mind for the driver by displaying only information that is truly useful, and creating a relaxed interior ambience that provides ‘comfort of the mind’.
NEW C4 PICASSO: REFLECTING CITROËN'S VISION OF COMFORT TODAY
C4 Picasso range already sets the standard in the MPV sector. The recently revealed versions aim even higher with more welcoming interiors, generous equipment and enhanced dynamic qualities. In this way, New C4 Picasso models perfectly illustrate how the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme is set to deliver greater overall well-being for all occupants.
THE ‘CITROËN ADVANCED COMFORT® LAB’: UNEQUALLED DAMPING QUALITY
The ‘Citroën Advanced Comfort® Lab’ prototype C4 Cactus is the focal point of the brand’s redefinition of on-road comfort.
When a car drives over a bump or dip, the disturbance is passed through the cabin and onto the occupants in three stages: the suspension action, the vibrations are then transferred to the vehicle body and the vibrations are felt by the passengers through the seats. Addressing this chain of events, the ‘Citroën Advanced Comfort® Lab’ prototype features three innovations that singularly, then collectively, reduce the vibrations felt by the passengers and thus significantly improve driving comfort.
Suspension systems with progressive hydraulic cushions
Whereas a conventional suspension system is comprised of shock absorbers, springs and mechanical stops, Citroën's new system adds two progressive hydraulic cushions - one for rebound and one for compression - at the top and bottom of each suspension unit. In this way, the suspension functions in two ways depending on the road surface:
• In cases of slight compression and rebound, the springs and shock absorbers work together to control vertical movement without needing the hydraulic cushions. However, the new cushions provide the vehicle with greater freedom to deliver a ‘magic carpet’ ride, creating the impression that the car is flying over any bumps and dips in the road;
• In cases of more significant compression and rebound, the springs and shock absorbers work together with the hydraulic cushions at the ends of the suspension travel. These new cushions gradually slow the movement, rather than having abrupt stops at the extremes of compression and rebound. Unlike a conventional mechanical stop, which absorbs the energy then partially returns it, the hydraulic cushion absorbs and dissipates the energy.
Structural body bonding
When the suspension has completed the damping process, the energy created by the irregular road surface is transferred to the vehicle body. The use of structural bonding techniques will significantly reduce this occurrence, thanks to increased overall stiffness. Using an industrial process specific to Citroën, the structural parts of the vehicle are bonded together using a discontinuous line of adhesive. An electrical weld point is positioned wherever the line of adhesive is interrupted to ensure optimum rigidity during assembly. This eliminates the toxic smoke that would be generated by welding and burning the adhesive.
Seats inspired by the world of bedding
A car’s seats provide the first impressions of comfort - from visual aesthetics to the reduction of on-road vibrations for the occupants.
The new seats provide a better combination of comfort and all-important posture support thanks to the introduction of different foam densities. In addition, Citroën took inspiration from the bedding industry and how it has developed its memory-foam mattresses.
By using several layers of special materials (polyurethane foam, viscoelastic or textured foam), Citroën has mirrored this bedding technology to deliver memory seats that adapt perfectly to the body shape of each person. With these unique properties, the seats regain their original shape from one passenger to the next.