Applied Learning

The Bose® Suspension System

Resolving the conflict between comfort and control

The Bose® suspension system installs easily into the front of the vehicle. A new engine cradle connects the front suspension to the car body using the original factory mounting hardware, creating a drop-in replacement module.

The Bose® suspension system uses a modular approach to replace the vehicle's original front suspension unit.

The Bose® linear electromagnetic motors are used in a modified MacPherson strut type layout. The lower suspension arms and rack-and-pinion steering system attach to an aluminium engine cradle that bolts directly to the car body. Each front wheel is fully independent since no anti-roll bars are required.

Two vehicles of the same make and model are shown performing an aggressive cornering manoeuvre. The vehicle on the bottom has the original factory-installed suspension and the vehicle on the top has the Bose® suspension system. Both vehicles are being driven at the same speed and with the same turning radius.

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In many of today's production vehicles, the suspension system is comprised of front and rear suspension modules that bolt to the underside of the vehicle. The Bose® suspension takes advantage of this configuration by creating replacement front and rear suspension modules. Using this approach, the research team has been able to retrofit the Bose® suspension into existing production vehicles with minimal modifications.

The Bose® front suspension modules use a modified MacPherson strut layout and the rear suspension modules use a double-wishbone linkage to attach a linear electromagnetic motor between the vehicle body and each wheel. Torsion springs are used to support the weight of the vehicle. In addition, the Bose® suspension includes a wheel damper at each wheel to keep the tyre from bouncing as it rolls down the road. Unlike conventional dampers, which transmit vibrations to the vehicle occupants and sacrifice comfort, the wheel damper in the Bose® system operates without pushing against the car body, maintaining passenger comfort.

Vehicle Performance

Vehicles equipped with the Bose® suspension have been tested on a variety of roads and under many different conditions, demonstrating the comfort and control benefits drivers will encounter during day-to-day driving. In addition, the vehicles have undergone handling and durability testing at independent proving grounds.

When test drivers execute aggressive cornering manoeuvres like a lane change, the elimination of body roll is appreciated immediately. Similarly, drivers quickly notice the elimination of body pitch during hard braking and acceleration. Professional test drivers have reported an increased sense of control and confidence resulting from these behaviours. When test drivers take the Bose® suspension over bumpy roads, they report that the reduction in overall body motion and jarring vibrations results in increased comfort and control.

For the first time, the Bose® suspension demonstrates the ability to combine in one automobile a much smoother ride than any luxury sedan and less roll and pitch than any sports car. This performance results from a proprietary combination of suspension hardware and control algorithms.

At Bose, we apply this kind of innovative thinking to everything we do, from headsets to home cinema systems to automobile suspensions. Because we believe that true innovation comes from first asking, "How could this be done better?"