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Products and solutions, 2003-09-09, 02:00 AM

Market leader in full air suspension systems

ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems equips new Jaguar XJ with air suspension system

In May 2003 Jaguar unveiled the new and fully redesigned "XJ". The positive response to the vehicle`s outstanding handling from Jaguar customers and industry specialists was due in part to the contribution of ThyssenKrupp Automotive. Its subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems equips the new Jaguar with an innovative air suspension system and an adaptive suspension control system.

All models of Jaguar`s new "flagship" boast as standard an air suspension which has considerable comfort advantages over conventional spring suspensions. The ThyssenKrupp Automotive air suspension system ensures that the entire spring travel is permanently available, regardless of vehicle load, to compensate for uneven road surfaces. The XJ sets new benchmarks for ride comfort and handling with its improved adaptive suspension control system CATS (Computer Active Technology Suspension) featuring electronically controlled shock absorbers made by ThyssenKrupp Bilstein.

Picture: Model of the front axle air suspension system from ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems.
<small>Copyright: Jaguar</small>

In place of conventional suspension struts with coil springs, the new Jaguar features air suspension struts with external air suspension bellows and adaptive shock absorbers. An electric compressor in the engine compartment provides the necessary operating pressure and feeds an air reservoir which secures the air supply when the engine is switched off. The electronic control unit processes the signals from the level, steer angle and accelerator sensors and controls the air valves and dampers in accordance with the condition of the vehicle.

This is the first vehicle in the history of the traditional British carmaker with full air suspension, so the company was breaking new ground with the development of this sophisticated, complex system. It was clear right from the very start that this ambitious development target could only be achieved to the set deadlines with a strong partner. ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems was given complete responsibility for the development, as well as for procurement and quality for the entire scope of the system at an early stage of the development process. This four-year project, the first air suspension development project completely outsourced by an auto manufacturer, thus helped ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems further raise its profile as a full service supplier and extended ThyssenKrupp Automotive`s lead on the market for full air suspension systems.

ThyssenKrupp Automotive Systems has a long track record with just-in-sequence assembly plants. Building on this experience, the systems specialist set up a logistics chain to ensure the delivery of the individual components from the various suppliers` plants in Germany and the UK to the Coventry assembly plant, which was expanded specifically for this purpose. In addition to the final assembly of minor system components, the complete air suspension systems are assembled at the plant in Coventry in line with the Jaguar build sequence and delivered just in sequence to the Jaguar plant only a few kilometers away.

ThyssenKrupp Automotive AG
Viktor Braun
Tel.: +49 /234/919 - 60 12
Fax: +49 /234/919 - 60 14

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