Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer - Page 2


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Thread: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

  1. #11
    Senior Member ThunderDent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT#298 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderDent View Post
    Literally every forum member on here would buy a set of 4 from you tomorrow.
    Not quite literally. . .GT & Plus owners are probably happy with their setup. Converting to mag-ride would be a lot more involved & difficult than converting from mag-ride.
    Noted... obviously you guys don’t have the mag-ride!

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  3. #12
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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    Welcome and +1 with what all others have stated about those of us with mag ride. Your shrine awaits!

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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    I guess this is why I am asking how people are using the mag ride because mine is working and I can surely tell. Sport mode on most "normal" American roads (rougher) seems way too aggressive and not something I use. Especially if I am pushing the car a bit it is actually less grip on rougher roads. The wheels don't follow the road as well and the car rides awful. I have put sport mode on for smooth twisties, but the difference is pretty small. It helps slow roll down a little more on entry, but it won't affect roll angle as only springs and bars affect the roll and pitch angles. Sport mode will affect corner entry some (which I don't push too hard on the road), but once the car is set into the corner the dampers have no effect except for on bumps...in which if it is the least but bumpy normal mode is better.

    The fact that Audi went passive on their even higher performance R8 models also tells us a lot...
    2012 Audi R8 | V10 | Manual | AWE Exhaust | Carbon Blades | Carbon Engine Bay | Tuscan Brown Interior 2009 Buell 1125R | Barker Exhaust and ECM Tune | Michelin Pilot Road3's

    Ahlman Performance LLC | Audi R8 Ohlins Coil-Overs | Chassis Development

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  6. #14
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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    I think you have put into words what I am feeling with regards to the mag settings. I find I use the normal setting much more than the sport setting for pretty much the reasons you describe. We do have some roads out here that lend themselves to the sport setting, but typically normal setting is best for me.

    The question I have for you is if the mag function is adding to the damping ability of the shock more than a non-mag shock. As I currently understand things, the mag shock is constantly getting input and adjusting its damping continually. Is this true or is the only difference between a mag shock and a standard shock is that you can click it to sport or normal setting?

  7. #15
    Senior Member ezmaass's Avatar
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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott-AhlmanPerformanceLLC View Post
    Thank you for the welcome guys. Sorry about the CV...it was recommended, but way too much.

    I missed the most important part - how much I enjoy the R8. Such an incredible car that I enjoy driving a great deal and carving through our hills. Everything about it. My first I can't wait to get her to the track.

    EZMAAS - I did review the R8 a lot before buying it and this forum so I was aware of the premature magnetic ride failures (my Ohlins teammates made me aware of it as well) and the AC compressor failures. Question - do you switch to sport mode on smooth twisty roads and then back to "normal" for rougher pavement and cruising? Ohlins and I discussed an electronic adjustable (by a phone application) as an option a few years back that they have used in one application. I will talk to them again about this option.
    So, as I understand it, there are a few factors here with the magnetic ride:

    - Continuously variable adjustability: the shocks are supposedly making micro adjustments all the time as the car is driving.

    - Manual adjustment: the shocks can be put in "normal" or "stiff" mode via the suspension button.

    I do find the R8 to be a very supple ride (for a car in this class) in its normal mode. How much of that is due to the magnetic ride continuously adjusting? I don't know.

    In the "stiff" mode (refraining from calling it "Sport" as not to confuse with the actual "Sport" button for the transmission and exhaust), I find that it's certainly too stiff for most average roads. However, I absolutely use the stiffer setting on roads that are smooth and where I'm pushing the car. In fact, I've found it can be scary without doing so. On those quiet, twisty country roads that have been recently paved (rare but they're out there!), I routinely use this mode.

    As others have commented, a plug-and-play replacement is what would make for a compelling and successful offering here. I wouldn't go for something that requires a phone app and leaves the button on the console defunct. For me, it would really need to be a like-for-like swap.

    A set of OEM magnetic ride shocks run around $8k+ from Audi. So someone could really make a killing here if even only offering durability at the same price.
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  8. #16
    Senior Member ThunderDent's Avatar
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    Agree completely ez.

    And if you offer them in adjustable ride heights, you’d get takers immediately, not just the ones who are waiting on theirs to leak.

    If you can offer a superior mag-ride shock to OEM, that’s adjustable height so people can lower their cars, but one that also works plug and play with OEM connections, ECU, and buttons, you’ll find a lot of sales quickly.

    If you just offer another coil over that you say is the “best” (as well it might be), you’ll just be another vendor selling coil overs and some may chose them, some may not. Not a very innovative product.

    If you do it the way ez and I are describing, you’ll be offering a completely unique offering and a solution to so many peoples problems. They’d chose your product every time.

    I’m not a fan of items going on the car (tunes, pedal box, exhaust) that have phone apps and remotes. Make it work integrated into the car, so it works forever, for me, for my kids in the future. Not for the next few years I have my iPhone and access to that specific app. I’d chose NOT to buy something like that, purely for that reason.

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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    Hi Scott, have you driven an R8 with stock vs ohlins ttx on the road? If yes, can you give a bit of insight into the differences beyond the ability to form up the ride on the mag shocks. Also, I visited your website and didn't see any specs or pricing for R8's. Do you have a set up that you recommend? Thanks, Earl

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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderDent View Post
    I’m not a fan of items going on the car (tunes, pedal box, exhaust) that have phone apps and remotes. Make it work integrated into the car, so it works forever, for me, for my kids in the future. Not for the next few years I have my iPhone and access to that specific app. I’d chose NOT to buy something like that, purely for that reason.
    ^^^ This 100%

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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    I don't think these are continuously variable for a few reasons including the fact they could feel more forgiving on the rough stuff even in a stiffer setting and they don't. Super harsh: 2-3 points worse in ride for me. Further the fact that they went passive on the GT's and V10+ tells me that also. If they were active and better...they would put the better ones on the higher performance. However, I also will try a short run with just the magnetic ride deleted and report back.


    When you say "scary" without the stiffer setting what is the car doing that doesn't feel right or is scary? I am asking because different people key off of different things...even our very top driver's have different things in different order they key off of for balance of the car. Steering wheel torque, vision/yaw, side force in the seat (grip), body movements, security of the rear, predictability/linearity and so on. For me when I drive it in the stiff setting the car felt "on top of the track" as we say instead of "in the track". "Up on its toes". I actually was hustling it a bit and the car felt less secure in the rear (less grip), the steering got pretty light and the tiniest crack in the road really upset the car. And it feels like I am bouncing on the tires as the suspension seems locked out.

    Damping in an overalll sense from low speed to high speed should be set heavily based on damping ratio with fine tuning for handling and platform control. Damping ratio is simply of function of stiffness in the system (springs, bars, bumpstops, tire rates) and Mass (sprung and unsprung) to the amount of damping in the system. So changing just the damping without a change to stiffness or mass doesn't really make sense and just beats up the tire badly if we have too much. And actually results in a less damped system as we bounce on the tires. And raises the pressures a lot in the shock, which is not helping the seals and failures. So for feel/performance and durability I won't run the stiffer mode. Therefore, I hate to say it, but the stiffer setting seems to be more a marketing feature. The F360 Modena had similar as well. But if you like it and feel better about hustling the car then obviously run it. For sure you are getting information back from the road sooner and that is always nice. I just don't like the tradeoffs that come with it and it doesn't make sense to me.

    I understand the desire for plug and play for these with durability and ride height adjustable. Unfortunately, I don't foresee us (Ahlman Performance (AP) and Ohlins) having this solution for you. And your guys point is taken on the phone app. I will not pursue that option. Cars like the R8 do a lot of sitting so even passive dampers like we had on the 05 FGT had plenty of early failures miles wise. They had a lot of years on them, but not many miles. We didn't/couldn't really test for it. But what happens is these cars often sit for a while and the shaft seals dry out and stick to the shaft. The car moves again and tears the seal. Add ferrous particulates to the oil and now the difficulty on seal durability is even worse. Then add much higher pressures in the stiffer mode, with metal particles in the fluid and the challenge further compounds. This is an area the Ohlins are superior to everyone in that they originally developed their suspensions and dampers for motorcycles, which sit a a lot.
    2012 Audi R8 | V10 | Manual | AWE Exhaust | Carbon Blades | Carbon Engine Bay | Tuscan Brown Interior 2009 Buell 1125R | Barker Exhaust and ECM Tune | Michelin Pilot Road3's

    Ahlman Performance LLC | Audi R8 Ohlins Coil-Overs | Chassis Development

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    Re: Introduction - Scott Ahlman - Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics Engineer

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderDent View Post
    If you just offer another coil over that you say is the “best” (as well it might be), you’ll just be another vendor selling coil overs and some may chose them, some may not. Not a very innovative product.
    Well, I guess that's why I gave my 25 year highlights as a chassis/vehicle dynamics guy with results to back it up including ChampCar, IndyCar, NASCAR, Ford GT. And we have an R8 to truly support our customers like we have for 6 years on the FGT and beyond. I actually model the R8 like our IndyCars, Stock Cars and FGT and so on. And Ohlins speaks for itself. So, while I am not offended by your comment I don't agree we are like any other vendor.

    Innovation - I guess that depends on your definition. You wouldn't call a NASCAR Cup car innovative in the least sense, but we put the same level of laser scanning every track, modeling that 3500 pound taxi cab blasting around it and figuring out the best set up before we turn a wheel. The same tools and process we use in F1, IndyCar and so on. Just different tradeoffs. And it is a big blend of art and science because these are models not reality - some parts we can use perfectly and others require a lot of judgment. So this is what Ahlman Performance provides our customers. That blend. That support. Not just coil-overs. To us the innovation is putting the best combination together for handling and ride. Making the whole greater than the sum of the parts and doing it better than any one else. Our 25 year partnership with Ohlins is a big part of that equation for what we are selling and supporting.

    Further, the "magnetic ride" dampers are actually called magneto rheological dampers and I drove the first prototypes with them in 1994. So they have been around a long time. Not a new concept.
    2012 Audi R8 | V10 | Manual | AWE Exhaust | Carbon Blades | Carbon Engine Bay | Tuscan Brown Interior 2009 Buell 1125R | Barker Exhaust and ECM Tune | Michelin Pilot Road3's

    Ahlman Performance LLC | Audi R8 Ohlins Coil-Overs | Chassis Development

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