FROM ROAD & TRACK
Mercedes-AMG C190 to get high tech suspension … from the Z/28?
Upcoming baby SLS; will share Multimatic dampers with the Z/28.
By David Gluckman October 28, 2013 / Photos by Multimatic
What do Red Bull F1 cars, all 77 Aston Martin One-77s, the 2014 Camaro Z/28, and 20 of this year’s 56 Le Mans entries have in common? They all use a relatively new damper design from a company called Multimatic. Now, add AMG’s next solo project to that list.
The Mercedes C190—that’s its internal code name; you can call it SLC or baby SLS—is AMG’s follow-up to the SLS. It's a small sports car aimed at the 911. And, as the list above suggests, it’s going to have a pretty serious suspension. Canadian OEM supplier Multimatic has been putting its Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers on race cars for a while, and it recently hit on a new manufacturing process that brings down the time and expense required to machine the special spool valves. The solution came from a company that laser-cuts medical devices, incidentally.
That means more applications on “affordable” road cars like the Z/28 and the Mercedes-AMG coupe. The spool valve replaces the shims in a conventional damper, providing better consistency damper to damper, more precise control of the force-velocity curve, and repeatability from impact to impact. No worries about the orifice changing shape over time. The other cool part: The use of two spool valves per damper completely decouples the compression and rebound curves, so they can be tuned independently.
While I’ve never even touched a One-77, after a ride in Chevy’s track-aimed Camaro, I can say that this suspension works incredibly well. The key is that a driver can hammer on a car for lap after lap of a track like the Nürburgring with the added confidence that the suspension will react the same way every time, just how the engineers intended. And we can infer that the little AMG that’ll wear these dampers should be as track-focused as the other metal on that list. It’s a good sign, anyway, and a signal that there are probably more DSSV applications to come.