With diesel engines in particular, the conflict of objectives between comfort and vehicle dynamics constitutes a major technical challenge. Switchable engine mounts have for some years now helped to fulfill the special requirements regarding the suspension system. But for the latest generation of a premium-segment sports sedan, Continental has developed a brand-new electronically switchable engine mount. The technology company will be showcasing this innovation at IAA 2017 in Frankfurt am Main (hall 5.1., stand A07/A08).
Engine mounts link the power train to the body and, on the one hand, reduce road-induced engine vibrations and, on the other, insulate against engine-induced vibrations to prevent them from being transmitted to the body and car interior. A solid connection – that is, a high degree of rigidity – between the engine and body ensures excellent vehicle dynamics. But to ensure maximum ride quality, the rigidity needs to be low. This conflict of objectives is resolved by a switchable engine mount, which adjusts the required rigidity to individual requirements by means of an electromechanical shift actuator, thereby providing the perfect balance between extreme sportiness and maximum comfort.
Up until now, pneumatic shift actuators were generally used for enhancing comfort by improving the insulation performance. The innovative engine mount from Continental, however, uses an electromechanical shift actuator that meets the demands of the latest vehicle generations. The actuator adjusts the hydraulic properties of the engine mount such that, through the absorption effect, the dynamic rigidity of the mount when the engine is idling is less than the static rigidity, which helps to significantly reduce the transmission of structure-borne noise. And thanks to the consistent application of Continental’s tried-and-tested lightweight design approach, the engine mount is around 10 percent lighter than standard variants, which also helps to save fuel.