As we edge closer to the Audi Summit on July 11, the German carmaker has released more information about the upcoming 2018 A8 sedan that will make its debut then.

After showcasing the A8’s multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF), we are now introduced to the sedan’s all-new active suspension – a fully active, electromechanical suspension system, which drives each wheel individually and adjusts itself according to the road conditions.

Each wheel features an electric motor/actuator that is powered by the car’s 48-volt main electrical system. Working together with the A8’s front camera, the A8 is capable of detecting bumps in the road ahead and adjusts the active suspension in anticipation.

The preview function developed by Audi conveys the right amount of travel to the actuators and actively controls the suspension, ensuring that any vibrations and jolts are eliminated. Audi says this process is done in just milliseconds, with the camera scanning the road surface condition about 18 times a second.

The active suspension also helps minimise body roll when cornering, as well as pitching movements when braking or accelerating. This is useful as the “customer can drive dynamically while keeping the vehicle under control or work undisturbed in the rear,” Audi explains.

Additional components aside from the actuators include gears, a rotary tube together with an internal titanium torsion bar, and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm on the suspension via a coupling rod.

Another aspect of the A8’s chassis is the inclusion of dynamic all-wheel steering, helping increase the vehicle’s agility and stability. On the former, Audi states the turning circle of the A8 is smaller than that of an A4.

Audi claims the system “provides comfort-oriented customers with a chauffeur-driven sedan offering a stylishly smooth ride,” and allows the “enthusiastic owner-driver can relish the characteristics of a sports car.” In short, whether you are driving the new A8 or being driven around in one, Audi promises a jolly good time regardless.

To better illustrate how all this works, the carmaker included a video of the active suspension system in action. The scenario here is simple: boy places a cup filled with drink on the rear centre armrest, A8 is about to roll over a bump, magic suspension does its job, and a hefty cleaning bill is avoided.

Moving on, safety is another area where the A8’s active suspension contributes to, working with the Audi pre sense 360 safety system. In execution, the system uses the sensors linked to the car’s central driver assistance controller (zFAS) to detect risks of a collision around the car.

In the event of an imminent side impact at more than 25 km/h, the suspension actuators raise the body on the exposed side by up to 80 mm within half a second. This directs the force of the collision to the strong areas of the A8 like the side sills and floor structure, reducing the load on the occupants by as much as 50% compared with a side impact where the body is not raised.