As a means of handling such abundant power efficiently, the Avantissimo has been given aluminium suspension elements and the most carefully planned suspension geometry. At the front, a four-link layout ensures maximum steering precision and combines good lateral location with excellent ride quality. At the rear, this mighty version of the Avant has trapezoidal-link suspension with separate springs and shock absorbers, a design principle that has already demonstrated its potential in the latest Audi A4 models, which have been highly praised for their agility.
The concept car’s air suspension, however, breaks new ground. Continuously controlled damping enables a perfect balance to be maintained between ride comfort and dynamic handling. Ride height control is incorporated in order to keep the centre of gravity low but also ensure that full ground clearance is available despite load changes.
The ‘MMI module’ provides a choice of three suspension settings: Automatic, Sport and Comfort. If Automatic is selected, the electronics not only vary the firmness of the spring and shock absorber settings according to the car’s road speed, but also alter the ground clearance. In other words, as road speed goes up, the centre of gravity is lowered, so that both body control and aerodynamics are optimised.
If the manual suspension control setting is chosen, electronically defined safety thresholds, as on the Audi allroad quattro, prevent the car from being driven at too high a speed with inappropriate suspension settings in use.
The ‘Pax’ wheels fitted to the Avantissimo are an entirely new feature, not so much because of their giant 255 x 740 x 560 format (with 245 x 560 wheel rims) and their almost entirely smooth-surfaced design, but rather because of a feature concealed from the onlooker: a special anchoring principle means that there is no risk of the tyre coming away from the wheel rim.
This not only helps to keep the car directionally stable if a tyre should go flat: the Pax design principle also maintains mobility if this happens during a lengthy journey. It allows the car to be driven for a maximum of 200 kilometres at speeds up to 80 km/h in such an emergency. For additional safety, the tyres have built-in air pressure monitoring so that the driver is fully informed about their condition.
When the car has reached its destination, the electro-hydraulic parking brake is applied simply by pressing a button, and released again when the car is next driven away.