Under the unassuming guise of Citroen’s quirky C4 Cactus compact crossover lies what is most likely a completely revolutionary suspension concept – dubbed the Advanced Comfort project.
The French brand has been renowned for decades for its auto-leveling hydro pneumatic suspension system that harkens back to the days of the original DS. Not long ago, with all its strategy changes, Citroen has decided to axe the system, which is dubbed to intricate and costly to get upgraded to a next generation. Instead, after promising something in return, we now have the first look at their new suspension design. This is not just a suspension system though, as the legacy of smooth driving is being carried over with an integrated suite of technologies. It has more than 30 patents, and the company worked them all inside a prototype C4 Cactus. These innovations will start finding their way inside the standard vehicles starting as early as next year.
Of course, the main interest is the all-new new suspension technology. It encompasses the classic shock and spring solution but adds hydraulic stops to govern rebound and compression. Normal driving will deliver a comfortable ride thanks to the firmer cushions that can engulf easier the more extreme forces – Citroen actually dubbed the system’s smoothness as the “flying carpet.” Because the new suspension design still allows some bumps to transfer energy to the chassis, Citroen has worked that around via a new structural bonding technique that includes both adhesive and welding attachment of chassis components. With a 20 percent stiffer assembly, that translates into lower vibration levels inside the cabin. Up next is the mattresses-inspired innovation that makes use of several foams to create memory seats that adapt to each person’s shape.