GM’s MagneRide 4.0 debuts with 45 percent quicker reflexes
Cadillac has announced that MagneRide 4.0 will debut with the 2020 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V, which began production this fall, and the newly-beefed up variable-damping shocks will be found in next year’s CT5 Sport and Escalade. The logic-defying MagneRide shocks that debuted with the 1998 Cadillac STS have become one of Delphi and General Motors’ most prevalent innovations, find their way into cars and SUVs built by a number of manufacturers. A magnetically-reactive fluid in the shock changes viscosity on demand, effectively altering the damping rate of the shock absorber based on sensors sampling data at 1000 times a second. Though GM didn’t give an exact figure for the system’s ability to vary damping, given GM’s previously quoted response times of .005 seconds, this new system should cut that should be approximately 0.003 of a second, or three milliseconds. To give you a sense of scale, an eye blink is approximately 0.1 to 0.4 seconds according to Harvard, and a camera’s strobe flash happens in about 0.001 of a second.
MagneRide is already so bonkers that Delphi licenses the technology outside of GM’s stable for the likes of Ferrari, Audi, and even Ford, but it’s hard to ignore the overall improvement while we’re just fileting fractions of a second off the previous third-generation system’s response time. What this translates to is the continued integration of this tech into seamless action with the vehicle. Given how quickly the suspension moves in response to a bump, all improvements in response allow the system to respond with more granularity while the suspension is still reacting to that impact, which can be as subtle as a lane stripe and as violent as an apex’s rumble strip.
To achieve this, GM made several small tweaks to MagneRide. On the hardware front, new wheel sensors read the road 4-times quicker than before. The mad scientists also tweaked the magnetorheological damping fluid to reduce internal friction and give it more reactive properties, which already rivaled that camera flash in response time to the magnetic coils housed inside of the shock’s piston. They’re wirelessly energized from outside of the shock housing by the stability system, which takes into consideration which vehicle mode you’re in, what it thinks your intent as a driver is – whether you’re cruising down the highway or carving corners – and what the emergency systems like ABS and traction control are doing to individually adjust the damping at each corner of the car. As the magnetorheological damping fluid passes through the energized shock piston, its viscosity changes, which is what ultimately adjusts the damping rate.
We’ve been impressed with what the previous iterations of MagneRide have been able to accomplish and we’re eager to see what these new improvements have in store for Cadillac’s latest crop of sport sedans and SUVs.