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Discussion Starter #21
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
Hey Earl,

I am sorry you didn't find the R8 stuff. It is here: http://www.ahlmanperformance.com/products#Audi-R8-TTX. I have to get the pricing up there. It is $4790 for the coilover set and $510 for the magnetic ride delete if it is needed.

I have not driven it back to back yet, but will be in the next few weeks and give you feedback right away. Ohlins developed the kit for the Gen1 R8 V8, but didn't feel it was right for the V10 so we will be doing the V10 package adjustments. I am modeling the V8 and V10 now to get a big jump on it. And we can adjust these packages specific to your needs like we have for the FGT. So if you do mostly street and the track once in a great while we can set that up for springs and damper settings. 95% of our customers run a package they can lower the car, rides as well and handles better than stock even though it is 25% stiffer in springing and corresponding damping than stock. The setup is a little stiffer than stock to lower the car since we have to control the suspension in a smaller travel range and you don't want to crash into the bumpstops all of the time.
 

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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.
So, have there been no significant advances since then? Are these still the same design as those used in the new RR system the scans the road ahead and adjusts them for you? That's an advance in laser-scanning technology, but have the rheological dampers evolved at all?
 

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Hey Earl,

I am sorry you didn't find the R8 stuff. It is here: http://www.ahlmanperformance.com/products#Audi-R8-TTX. I have to get the pricing up there. It is $4790 for the coilover set and $510 for the magnetic ride delete if it is needed.

I have not driven it back to back yet, but will be in the next few weeks and give you feedback right away. Ohlins developed the kit for the Gen1 R8 V8, but didn't feel it was right for the V10 so we will be doing the V10 package adjustments. I am modeling the V8 and V10 now to get a big jump on it. And we can adjust these packages specific to your needs like we have for the FGT. So if you do mostly street and the track once in a great while we can set that up for springs and damper settings. 95% of our customers run a package they can lower the car, rides as well and handles better than stock even though it is 25% stiffer in springing and corresponding damping than stock. The setup is a little stiffer than stock to lower the car since we have to control the suspension in a smaller travel range and you don't want to crash into the bumpstops all of the time.
Thank you Scott. Looking forward to hearing your impressions. I have already replaced the left front and the right front is going so I am ready for a set. Mostly street with 2-3 open track days, in all 15k miles per year so a good bit of distance driving. OEM ride height.
 

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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.
To answer your question on what "scary" means - for me, it comes down to body movement. The normal setting seems fine to around 80mph. Beyond that, little waves in the road (not even necessarily cracks) start to feel like BIG waves in the road. The normal mode just allows for too much travel at higher speeds. Beyond 100mph, the car just feels like it needs more body control and moves far too much for my liking. It may be more of a sensation than an actual risk, as the tires are in perfectly fine contact with the road.

I wouldn't dream of using the stiffer setting on anything but relatively newly paved roads. As you said, you'll get lots of unnecessary skipping and the rear does tend to break loose quicker in the corners under those circumstances in my experience. So, the primary benefit to me is body control at high speed.

The theory about the shocks going bad from longer periods of sitting was also floated here before, too - would love to get confirmation if that's the case. There's a shop in Poland that's been rebuilding them - I think one of the members attempted to get insight there on the specifics of the failure. I don't believe we ever heard back.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
So, have there been no significant advances since then? Are these still the same design as those used in the new RR system the scans the road ahead and adjusts them for you? That's an advance in laser-scanning technology, but have the rheological dampers evolved at all?
Yes there have been advances, but they were trying to do the same then....its been 25 years. So it has been evolution of hardware, sensors and software. Not revolution. Further, for those to really be "better" while taking all of that information in requires a great model/algorithms/decisions to be made on what do. That is where the blend of art and science come in and the innovation in IMHO. What input when, how to adjust the damping, should it change force as a function of velocity (typical passive dampers), or accelerations (why we add inertance on IndyCars and F1) or displacement (like started in motocross by Ohlins in the 70's). Or some combination and continuously trying to adjust. A very difficult problem to do a lot better (for handling, ride, reliability/durability) than those of us skilled in the art of developing a strong passive system. They exist for sure, but its not a given that this technology is better.

I guess I'll keep going back to the point that if the MR system for the R8 was doing so much better than a good passive damper - wouldn't they have put it in the even higher performance models?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thank you Scott. Looking forward to hearing your impressions. I have already replaced the left front and the right front is going so I am ready for a set. Mostly street with 2-3 open track days, in all 15k miles per year so a good bit of distance driving. OEM ride height.

Sounds good Earl. Your usage is very similar to most of my customers...except higher mileage than many of them. But my highest mileage customer is over 50,000 miles on our Ohlins setup in his FGT without need for rebuild. Are you running the V8 or V10?
 

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Discussion Starter #27
To answer your question on what "scary" means - for me, it comes down to body movement. The normal setting seems fine to around 80mph. Beyond that, little waves in the road (not even necessarily cracks) start to feel like BIG waves in the road. The normal mode just allows for too much travel at higher speeds. Beyond 100mph, the car just feels like it needs more body control and moves far too much for my liking. It may be more of a sensation than an actual risk, as the tires are in perfectly fine contact with the road.

I wouldn't dream of using the stiffer setting on anything but relatively newly paved roads. As you said, you'll get lots of unnecessary skipping and the rear does tend to break loose quicker in the corners under those circumstances in my experience. So, the primary benefit to me is body control at high speed.

The theory about the shocks going bad from longer periods of sitting was also floated here before, too - would love to get confirmation if that's the case. There's a shop in Poland that's been rebuilding them - I think one of the members attempted to get insight there on the specifics of the failure. I don't believe we ever heard back.
OK, understood on what feels unsettling to you in normal mode. I suspected it was movement of the car. I would tend to increase spring rate to help high speed stability and platform control (with corresponding damping), but if the MR stiffer setting works well for you then that is all you need. I have just gone to 130 a bit in my R8 and really like the feel and confidence of the R8 in normal mode, but I also was one of the guys driving the FGT nearly 200 mph through the banking on our 5 mile oval and a lot of high speed running and cornering so my perspective is a bit altered.

I had design and release responsibilities on the coil-overs on the GT. This seal failure over time was the conclusion of myself and the manufacturer many years later when it started happening on low mileage cars. Discussion with Ohlins, who is used to this duty cycle of sitting a lot, confirmed this was most likely the case, but I don't have hard test evidence to prove it...that's about a ten year test. Damper manufacturers try to reduce friction a lot, which is good, except it is a bigger challenge to make the seals durable as well. Pure racing dampers like Penske's have a wet seal to reduce friction. You lose a tiny bit of oil with these with every stroke, which is why they need to be rebuilt often like happens on our race cars (constantly).

Add in metal particulates into the fluid and higher forces and the failure mode is worse. Not sure you're going to get more confirmation than what I am saying.
 

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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.
Not meant to offend!

Certainly your resume and many years of knowledge base I’m sure far exceeds anyone just selling coil overs.

And I’m in no way saying the mag-ride is a must, or better than the product you offer.

I think what myself and some others are getting at, is we like to have the function of the stock button in place. An ability to shift it to the different damping setting “on the fly”, keeping all stock button functions working.

I’ve run adjustable dampening suspensions (KW and Bilstein) in the past. I don’t particularly want to get out of the car, try to get my hand up under the wheel well/get under the car/jack up the car, to have to change the damping/rebound settings.

Hell, it wasn’t easy on my SQ5, I can’t imagine how little access I’d have on the R8.

Is there a way to use the developed product you have, with the 2-way adjustable settings, and integrate that into the OEM button function?

That would be a perfect solution IMO.

Probably not possible, but the only way I’d go for it. And I honestly would love to upgrade to your set up when I redo my suspension, brakes, and aero next spring.
But really want to be able to adjust it easily, and keep the OEM functions.
 

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I had the magnetic ride on my '08 R8 V8 (RHD UK based car) but didn't like it. I found the normal setting too soft for my taste and the full on sport mode too stiff, very uncomfortable in most conditions and I only ever used it on track. My V8 ball joints went after 3 years and as Audi didn't have V8 replacements I had my full rear suspension upgraded to V10 car standard. Then, when my Magnetic ride dampers started leaking (circa 30-40k miles) I replaced them with V10+ passive dampers. I like them much better. They are stiffer than the stock setting on magnetic ride but not as stiff as the sport setting. It doesn't bother me that there is no adjustment, this is my fun car and when I get in it I expect a reasonably stiff suspension.

On my other R8, 2012 GT, I have the lowered suspension and the GT coil overs which are great. I haven't tracked the car yet but I may take it out a little, it's so nice I want to keep it that way, but on twisty roads and with spirited driving it feels great. I personally wouldn't advocate a magnetic ride setup in future, I think it's too hard to get both modes right and they always seem to break down quicker and cost a lot more. I replaced all 4 of my magnetic ride shocks with the V10+ and they only cost the same as two replacement magnetic ride shocks. As you say Scott, if Audi is putting these on the sport versions of the car there must be a reason. I too believe a lot of the hype with magnetic shocks is pure marketing and keeping up with the tick boxes of the other manufacturers. Do McLaren use magnetic ride shocks on their top performance cars, or Ferrari?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Hi Scott, mine is a 2015 V10 spyder s-tronic
Good to know, Earl. I have looked and am certainly have plenty to learn on R8 details...2015 appears to be the transition year from first to second generation, which both have the s-tronic. Is yours a first generation?

Knowing it is a Spyder is important because of the weight and weight distribution difference to the coupe that I can make adjustments on. (I weighed the two with a V10 six speed manual and the Spyder was nearly 300 lb heavier with 1.1% less front weight - with the top up than the Coupe.)
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Not meant to offend!

Certainly your resume and many years of knowledge base I’m sure far exceeds anyone just selling coil overs.

And I’m in no way saying the mag-ride is a must, or better than the product you offer.

I think what myself and some others are getting at, is we like to have the function of the stock button in place. An ability to shift it to the different damping setting “on the fly”, keeping all stock button functions working.

I’ve run adjustable dampening suspensions (KW and Bilstein) in the past. I don’t particularly want to get out of the car, try to get my hand up under the wheel well/get under the car/jack up the car, to have to change the damping/rebound settings.

Hell, it wasn’t easy on my SQ5, I can’t imagine how little access I’d have on the R8.

Is there a way to use the developed product you have, with the 2-way adjustable settings, and integrate that into the OEM button function?

That would be a perfect solution IMO.

Probably not possible, but the only way I’d go for it. And I honestly would love to upgrade to your set up when I redo my suspension, brakes, and aero next spring.
But really want to be able to adjust it easily, and keep the OEM functions.
No worries, ThunderDent. I understand on all of it and welcome the chance to prove our systems and support worth like we have on the FGT. I definitely get not wanting to manually adjust your R8 dampers on any regular basis. No wheel removal on the FGT and easy to get at both ends, but not the same on the R8. I am fairly certain we can help anyone quickly get to a strong set of settings for the road - normal driving and spirited driving. And then only small adjustments if you go to the track...like a click or two since the Ohlins adjustments are easily felt and work. This is what my FGT customers do. Set it and forget it.

Unfortunately, I don't see us having a good option for you (at any reasonable cost) to tie directly into the R8 and adjust the damping "on the fly". I wish we could support you as well, but we'll stick to what we do best and not try to put a round peg in a square hole. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #33

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Discussion Starter #34
I had the magnetic ride on my '08 R8 V8 (RHD UK based car) but didn't like it. I found the normal setting too soft for my taste and the full on sport mode too stiff, very uncomfortable in most conditions and I only ever used it on track. My V8 ball joints went after 3 years and as Audi didn't have V8 replacements I had my full rear suspension upgraded to V10 car standard. Then, when my Magnetic ride dampers started leaking (circa 30-40k miles) I replaced them with V10+ passive dampers. I like them much better. They are stiffer than the stock setting on magnetic ride but not as stiff as the sport setting. It doesn't bother me that there is no adjustment, this is my fun car and when I get in it I expect a reasonably stiff suspension.

On my other R8, 2012 GT, I have the lowered suspension and the GT coil overs which are great. I haven't tracked the car yet but I may take it out a little, it's so nice I want to keep it that way, but on twisty roads and with spirited driving it feels great. I personally wouldn't advocate a magnetic ride setup in future, I think it's too hard to get both modes right and they always seem to break down quicker and cost a lot more. I replaced all 4 of my magnetic ride shocks with the V10+ and they only cost the same as two replacement magnetic ride shocks. As you say Scott, if Audi is putting these on the sport versions of the car there must be a reason. I too believe a lot of the hype with magnetic shocks is pure marketing and keeping up with the tick boxes of the other manufacturers. Do McLaren use magnetic ride shocks on their top performance cars, or Ferrari?
We are on the same page on all of the above, Maverick. I am glad the passive systems have worked well for you. Let me know if you ever want to give our Ohlins a go!

Get the fundamentals right and they are hard to beat. But getting the fundamentals right are far harder than it sounds. I like innovation and pushing the envelope, but not at the expense of complexity and if is it not really "better". Like you, the R8 MR system is not better for me. However, the MR system clearly is better for many of the R8 customers, as voiced here, and that is a good thing as they are getting what they want. Its unfortunate that reliability of the R8 MR system has been so poor, but that often is a tradeoff with increasing complexity.

Honestly, when I first drove my friend's R8 V10 manual (for measurements and this R8 Ohlins work) I felt at home instantly. The R8 reminds me an awful lot of the '05 FGT. Only it felt even better dynamic wise with a more forward weight distribution (1.5% on the coupe V10, which is a lot as we worked so hard to get it forward on the FGT - big powertrain), I am pretty sure lower center of gravity on the R8 by a bit...and corner exit power down is amazing with the AWD. Us vehicle dynamics guys on the FGT would have paid a lot to have this incredible naturally aspirated V10 in it. So I decided it was time to get one for our work and in depth support of our customers. Our beautiful Black R8 is getting wrapped in a gloss metallic blue (close to our AP blue) right now to protect her paint and represent our company.

Good question - many have been running semi-active and active suspensions, but not necessarily the magnetic ride. Many hydraulic and electronic control options. For example, the McLaren MP412C used a pretty complex cross coupled damper system shown in the attached picture. I don't believe it was magnetic ride. This cross coupled system is very difficult to get right, but it sounds like they did. Some tried to do similar in ChampCar in 1998 with mixed results. Very complex with so much coupling. I personally would not like to see these hydraulic lines running all over my car that is primarily meant for the road. But we could "bench race" on this topic for days and include some examples like the '17 Ford GT where they have dual rate springing depending on ride height and mode in which considerable damping adjustments make sense to me because the stiffness has changed. But it is a pretty complex system, which has had its teething problems.
 

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I guess I'll keep going back to the point that if the MR system for the R8 was doing so much better than a good passive damper - wouldn't they have put it in the even higher performance models?
Forgot to address this earlier.

I guess it comes down to what the definition of "better" is in this context. I think Audi, like many manufacturers, continues to respond to the buyer demand of versatility. In an all-out performance context, there's a lot about the R8 that doesn't make sense - right down to leather covered interior, multi-way power seats, B&O stereo, etc. These all hinder performance by adding weight.

In the "higher performance" models, Audi clearly tilted the compromise more in favor of track use. In the V10+, they eliminated sound deadening, reduced the size of the fuel tank, and replaced the magnetic ride with passive dampers. The further the equation tilts towards a single purpose, the easier it is to zero-in on a formula that no longer needs to worry about versatility. If you don't care about road noise on track and value the weight savings - eliminate sound deadening. If not concerned with long distance fuel capacity and care more about weight savings - reduce the fuel tank size. Similarly, if you don't need the versatility of a "softer" comfort setting for road use - eliminate magnetic ride. All of these were actually reasons why I DIDN'T buy the V10+ when I ordered my car. I'm using it on road far more than the car will ever see a track, so I valued the versatility aspects more than the performance improvements - which, because I'm not a professional driver, won't be pushing the car to its limits, etc, will also never likely fully appreciate.

Clearly, this line of thinking can continue - the R8 GT was even more aggressive (carbon fiber bumpers, replacement of back glass, etc.). And heck, at some point you just end up at an R8 LMS car. :)

So, back to that definition of "better." For me, "better" means it's versatile for the road. I can drive around town on far from perfect roads without my teeth chattering and spine hurting. I can then hit a nicely paved road and drive very briskly while feeling less body movement and a bit more agile. If I only had the "normal" setting, would it be the end of the world? No, not at all. In fact, the stiffer setting gets used likely less than 5% of the time I'm driving. But when I'm really pushing it hard (and I'm not a pro driver), that stiffer setting definitely adds a lot more confidence to the feel of the car - even if the normal setting would still perfectly cope with the situation.

My daily driver, a BMW 650xi Gran Coupe, has the same type of setup. In fact, the suspension is more sophisticated - multiple stiffness settings plus active anti-roll stabilization. On a beefy car of its size, it's necessary, but it didn't stop BMW from charging many thousands extra for it! :) But again, the versatility is great. 95% of the time I want it to be a well-behaved GT car that's usually taking me somewhere via the highway. But every so often, after I pop off the highway and get on a twisty back road heading home, I like the option of putting it in sport mode - transmission comes alive, steering gets a bit tighter, and the suspension tightens up. The car feels considerably more agile and alive all of a sudden. Not necessary, but fun.

So, in short, I think magnetic ride wasn't necessarily about better performance - just about versatility. I'd agree with your assessment that HAD it been solely about performance, you'd see it on the V10+ and GT. Instead, I think it was aimed at people like me who planned to use the car mostly on-road and valued the versatility more than eeking out more performance.

While I get that a direct magnetic ride replacement may not be your sweet spot, I'll reiterate that I believe it leaves a wide-open opportunity for someone to figure out. I tend to think that Audi's market research got it right, and most R8s live their lives on-road, with a lot of their drivers valuing that versatility in suspension damping. We just now need a more RELIABLE option. :)
 

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Agree 1000% ez.

Would totally do it if it was as versatile as the OEM system.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Forgot to address this earlier.

I guess it comes down to what the definition of "better" is in this context. I think Audi, like many manufacturers, continues to respond to the buyer demand of versatility. In an all-out performance context, there's a lot about the R8 that doesn't make sense - right down to leather covered interior, multi-way power seats, B&O stereo, etc. These all hinder performance by adding weight.

In the "higher performance" models, Audi clearly tilted the compromise more in favor of track use. In the V10+, they eliminated sound deadening, reduced the size of the fuel tank, and replaced the magnetic ride with passive dampers. The further the equation tilts towards a single purpose, the easier it is to zero-in on a formula that no longer needs to worry about versatility. If you don't care about road noise on track and value the weight savings - eliminate sound deadening. If not concerned with long distance fuel capacity and care more about weight savings - reduce the fuel tank size. Similarly, if you don't need the versatility of a "softer" comfort setting for road use - eliminate magnetic ride. All of these were actually reasons why I DIDN'T buy the V10+ when I ordered my car. I'm using it on road far more than the car will ever see a track, so I valued the versatility aspects more than the performance improvements - which, because I'm not a professional driver, won't be pushing the car to its limits, etc, will also never likely fully appreciate.

Clearly, this line of thinking can continue - the R8 GT was even more aggressive (carbon fiber bumpers, replacement of back glass, etc.). And heck, at some point you just end up at an R8 LMS car. :)

So, back to that definition of "better." For me, "better" means it's versatile for the road. I can drive around town on far from perfect roads without my teeth chattering and spine hurting. I can then hit a nicely paved road and drive very briskly while feeling less body movement and a bit more agile. If I only had the "normal" setting, would it be the end of the world? No, not at all. In fact, the stiffer setting gets used likely less than 5% of the time I'm driving. But when I'm really pushing it hard (and I'm not a pro driver), that stiffer setting definitely adds a lot more confidence to the feel of the car - even if the normal setting would still perfectly cope with the situation.

My daily driver, a BMW 650xi Gran Coupe, has the same type of setup. In fact, the suspension is more sophisticated - multiple stiffness settings plus active anti-roll stabilization. On a beefy car of its size, it's necessary, but it didn't stop BMW from charging many thousands extra for it! :) But again, the versatility is great. 95% of the time I want it to be a well-behaved GT car that's usually taking me somewhere via the highway. But every so often, after I pop off the highway and get on a twisty back road heading home, I like the option of putting it in sport mode - transmission comes alive, steering gets a bit tighter, and the suspension tightens up. The car feels considerably more agile and alive all of a sudden. Not necessary, but fun.

So, in short, I think magnetic ride wasn't necessarily about better performance - just about versatility. I'd agree with your assessment that HAD it been solely about performance, you'd see it on the V10+ and GT. Instead, I think it was aimed at people like me who planned to use the car mostly on-road and valued the versatility more than eeking out more performance.

While I get that a direct magnetic ride replacement may not be your sweet spot, I'll reiterate that I believe it leaves a wide-open opportunity for someone to figure out. I tend to think that Audi's market research got it right, and most R8s live their lives on-road, with a lot of their drivers valuing that versatility in suspension damping. We just now need a more RELIABLE option. :)


I understand all that you are saying on versatility biased by 95% normal use on the road. Based on other supercars and their higher performance versions it is still a very similar split. Not a ton of track use, but your R8 GT and V10+ folks can chime in and correct me.

Regardless, they (GT and V10+) would benefit from the system and versatility even if it was a 70%/30% split (road/track), for example, if it really gave them the great ride on the roads and a more confident car on the twisties as it is processing all of the information you have noted. However, I am pretty sure the R8 magnetic ride system as it is did not achieve a level the ride and handling development engineers knew they could with the passive dampers. And I am not talking about pure performance. Handling (and platform control) can be analogous to engine torque curves...big and flat and easy to drive or peaky and tougher to keep there...area under the curve. Even my most talented drivers all benefited huge from a car that was the most predictable in the corner versus a edgier car that promised more performance, but they couldn't use it consistently. So based on what I feel with the mag ride the Audi chassis engineers must not have believed they could get there with that system and went passive.

I'll also go back to the fact that changing damping levels a bunch without mass or spring changes doesn't make chassis engineering sense. Small low speed damping changes are fine for feel, but major damping level changes like this is not correct...unless it was way off to begin with. And I get a very different sense back from the car than you do when I am in that mode where the suspension feels locked up to me.

I understand your position on liking the magnetic ride system except the reliability and that this represents a big opportunity. I see some information that may allow us to attack this sometime, but it is not something that makes sense for us to pursue at this time for many reasons. But we will get strong development on our passive system and have customers give us (AP and this forum) feedback to help determine our path.
 

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Earl, I made a mistake above and the $4,790 is for the shocks only. The full coil-over price (with springs) is $5,370. I apologize for the mistaken information.
Hey Scott, thanks for the update. Do you use a range of spring manufacturers, styles and rates to tune?

I would greatly appreciate some insight from you on the actual street & track differences between an optimized ohlins set up and OEM mag as I am still on the fence whether to rebuild or go coilover. I have recently come from a 911tt with kw clubsports and no rubber in the suspension, it was punishing but brilliant on the track. For the R8 I need near mag comfort in the city while remaining predictable on the track at 85-90ish% running something like a Michelin Cup tire. Other than a AP exhaust and two piece rotors I have no other plans to upgrade.
Earl
 

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I own a GT and IMO, even on normal roads, it rides comfortable enough without crashing and banging ( absorbs the bumps very well) and when it's called for on fast B roads or on a track, it is superb. I have driven an R8 with mag's and to me, it is way off the handling compared to mine. Even the V10 Plus lacks behind the GT's set up. Why Audi has raised the back end of the V10+ I have no idea.... The GT sits lower on all four corners compared to all R8 gen-1 veriants and with a more aggressive geometry. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Hey Scott, thanks for the update. Do you use a range of spring manufacturers, styles and rates to tune?

I would greatly appreciate some insight from you on the actual street & track differences between an optimized ohlins set up and OEM mag as I am still on the fence whether to rebuild or go coilover. I have recently come from a 911tt with kw clubsports and no rubber in the suspension, it was punishing but brilliant on the track. For the R8 I need near mag comfort in the city while remaining predictable on the track at 85-90ish% running something like a Michelin Cup tire. Other than a AP exhaust and two piece rotors I have no other plans to upgrade.
Earl
Hey Earl, glad to update and help. Ohlins uses one spring manufacturer and their springs are made yellow for Ohlins, as shown on our website, in which there are a small range of springs available, but they have an initial spring package recommendation. My very initial judgment says it may be a bit stiff for your needs, so we may have to adjust to a spring and shock setting that fits your needs , which will cover most all of our customers. Ohlins package was developed for the Gen 1 V8, so we are developing it for the V10. I think you mentioned stock ride height?

A big reason to go with our setup versus the mag ride is durability as well. Out of over 60 sets for the Ford GT I have never had to rebuild a set with many over 30,000 miles in 6 years.*

For the Ford GT we use HyperCo springs (blue). So we could readily do blue or yellow for you. I am measuring the spring rates of the R8 late next week when I get the R8 back from wrapping, though they seem pretty stiff on initial measurement so we likely will specify similar to stock on rates for your usage. I will keep you posted.*

For packages like our Ford GT packages (four that can be seen here (http://www.ahlmanperformance.com/pro...configurations) I have four set configurations where 95% of my customers run the Street Lowered (SL1) package, which is 25% stiffer than stock, allows lowering and rides as well or better than stock (our evaluation and our customers') as well as handles better (more confident and predictable with better platform control. And yes more capable. You can read some of their feedback at (https://www.fordgtforum.com/forums/t...-ohlins.34533/), but they nearly all have the same usage you describe and enjoy it a lot. Even though the shock bushings are removed they all have noted how it rides better and has better impact harshness than stock. We will deliver you a setup that is not punishing at all. As strong as stock ride in normal mode while being more predictable on track. I understand your comments on the Porsche and KW suspension - I see it a lot. It doesn't seem right for most customers, but I guess everyone is trying to give their customers a big change from stock. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a better or necessary direction for most. Most want a great balance between the road and track with a strong bias toward the road (and yes "spirited" driving). They comment most about the rear feeling more secure, predictable and confident overall with our setup in which we will achieve the same on the R8 as this is fundamental to what we do even at the highest levels. A predictable car.

We will get the same for your R8 while still being more confident and capable on the track, but it may take about 1.5 months for this first strong pass as we put the car through the paces in baseline form and our Ohlins setup to verify our direction. I am fairly confident we will get it right for you the first time, but I am glad to work with you on development for you as our first R8 customer. Does this fit your timing need?

I can give you first impressions in the next two weeks and then determine what we need to do from there to achieve your needs. Achieving your needs will cover most customer, as I have noted. If you would like to discuss any of this you can call me at 608-333-7581.

Scott
 
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