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Citroen details Advanced Comfort Lab

French quilting: Citroen's experimental seats are part of a new focus on ride comfort and were developed by studying techniques and materials used in mattress design.

Construction, materials advances reaffirm Citroen's commitment to magic carpet ride


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7 Jun 2016

CITROEN has outlined a range of technological advances including suspension, materials and construction innovations that it says will allow the company to continue producing vehicles with the exemplary “flying carpet” ride that forged its reputation.

As part of the Advanced Comfort program, the French car-maker has created a C4 Cactus prototype that is proving a number of experimental technologies to boost cabin comfort, that will find their way into production vehicles, the company says.

In 2015, Citroen announced that it was working on a replacement for its comfort-focused Hydractive suspension system and the outline of its Advanced Comfort program is the first glimpse of a successor to the silky set up.

The C4 Cactus mule looks like a regular model, but rolls on a more complex suspension setup that introduces hydraulic stops in place of basic mechanical versions. With small undulations in the road, the system works in the same manner as a more conventional solution, but the more dynamic stops allow a greater articulation and travel for absorbing larger lumps.

Where a mechanical stop would rebound some energy back to the vehicle, Citroen's hydraulic stops absorb and dissipate the energy over a longer period, resulting in a smoother “flying carpet” ride for occupants.

While such comfort-boosting advances may be reserved for the flagship models of other brands, Citroen says it will be incorporated into all its models including “city cars”.

In addition to the more compliant suspension system, a new type of body structure bonding creates a stiffer shell, which complements the smoother ride by transmitting less vibration through to the interior.

A number of structural components are glued together using a continuous seam of adhesive in combination with periodic metallic welds, resulting in a 20 per cent improvement to rigidity, but the manufacturing technique also allows the use of less material, saving weight.

Like the suspension advances, Citroen will not be reserving the enhanced production method for high-end models, with all segments set to benefit in the future.

The third element under development as part of the Advanced Comfort Lab focuses on the materials used to pad vehicle seats – another area car-makers can isolate perceived vibrations, according to Citroen.

Materials and techniques from the bedding and mattress industry inspired the design of more supportive and vibration-absorbent seats, aided by the application of memory foam and foam of differing density, depending on which part of the body it has to contact.

“Citroen Advanced Comfort combines three innovations that significantly improve the vehicle's ability to filter out the bumps and dips of the road,” the company says.

“These innovations reassert all the Citroen expertise regarding comfort.

Particular emphasis was placed on the need to make all these innovations gradually applicable to the entire Citroen range, whatever the price of the model.”

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