Ford's Innovative Position-Sensitive Dampers Set to Enhance Off-Road Performance

shawn By On 27/05/2024 at 10:45

In Off-Road

Ford is taking its off-road vehicles to the next level with a groundbreaking new technology, position-sensitive dampers.

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A recent patent filing, published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 16, reveals Ford's latest advancements in this area. This innovative technology promises to significantly improve the performance of off-roaders like the Bronco Raptor.

Position-sensitive damping technology modifies the behavior of dampers based on the specific driving scenario. For example, during normal driving, the system may use one damping curve, while it switches to a stiffer damping curve when the vehicle encounters jumps or rough terrain. This adaptability prevents the vehicle from bottoming out and enhances overall ride stability. While this technology is already in use in models like the F-150 Raptor and the Bronco Raptor, Ford's new patent suggests further refinements and improvements.

The newly filed patent outlines an advanced design tailored for high-speed off-roading. According to Ford, traditional dampers can struggle with continuous cycles of compression and rebound, especially when driving over a series of small hills or bumps. This repetitive motion can cause the dampers to reach a state of resonance, leading to excessive vibrations and forcing drivers to slow down to maintain control.

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To mitigate these issues, Ford's design introduces a secondary damper within the main damper system. This secondary damper, separated by an additional piston, creates a distinct zone with unique damping characteristics. This innovative approach helps to reduce resonance, maintain consistent tire contact with the terrain, and provide a smoother ride over challenging off-road conditions.

Position-sensitive damping is not a new concept in the world of off-road racing. Technologies like the Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers, used in the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and other General Motors off-road trucks, have already proven their effectiveness. Interestingly, Multimatic, the company behind the DSSV technology, has a well-established relationship with Ford. Multimatic was instrumental in developing the GT supercar and the Mustang GT3 race car, as well as its GTD track-car counterpart. However, despite this partnership, Ford has not yet incorporated Multimatic's off-road suspension technology into its own vehicles.

Ford's commitment to enhancing its off-road capabilities is evident in this latest development. By refining position-sensitive damping technology, Ford aims to provide off-road enthusiasts with vehicles that offer superior performance, comfort, and control, even in the most demanding environments. This patent filing underscores Ford's dedication to innovation and its ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of off-road vehicle technology.

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