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Can you share the link for the Autoweek review where they didn't like it. I looked hard throughout their site and couldn't find any negative comments. It's always helpful to be able to read the original reviews to get the complete story.
In terms of your conclusions about who will or won't use this over time, I am staying open to the idea and learning a bit more. It seems to me that the days of 'pure mechanical' systems that constituted technology where German companies like BMW and MB had a lead in the 60's and 70's, are long gone.
Today, the innovation starts with advanced electronics as a major degree of freedom in design. Shocks are no different, and have been integrated into the electronically controlled suspension and braking systems. They've just been pretty passive up to now. The big difference with MR and why it's such an improvement over even air-damping and cushioning systems, is that the working fluid in the shock is active and controllable in real time by microelectronics. Air doesn't respond to high speed electromagnetics very well.
I like MR's chances! I hope that Toyota/Lexus adopt it. It will be a stepping stone to dial-a-ride with the European Profiles I mentioned in an earlier post.
The underlying technology wasn't developed by GM or Delphi as it turns out. But Delphi is productizing the MR in the 50th Anniversary Vette and STS.
MR is also being used in bus and heavy equipment seats (Class 8 machinery) to reduce vibration and increase operator safety. It's being used in sesmic mitigation. prosthetics, and consumer product vibration reduction applications (washing machines). It's protected by numerous U.S. patents held by a U.S. company. Take a look at
Enjoy...and Happy New Year.
First of all, it only modifies damping rates, it does not control release rates, IIRC. Also, it does not modify spring rates, only the shock absorbers. The spring rates, in combination with the damping factors, are really what gives that "European Ride" so I dont see how the shocks alone are going to help too much.
You also have to consider that suspension geometry, car weight distrobution, torque to the wheels, etc all affect handling to a great degree, and there is no one single fix that will dramatically change a cars dynamics on the fly.
Its a good innovation, but the rest of it needs to be there before we get to your idealogical car utopia, footie.
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