General Motors Magnetic Ride Control Technology
Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) is a General Motors chassis and suspension technology that adapt and adjusts the shock absorbers of a vehicle in real-time in response to changes in terrain in order to deliver optimal shock damping for the best possible driving experience.
Magnetic Ride Control is unique in that it does not use mechanical valves or small moving parts that are prone to wear. Instead, a Magnetic Ride Control shock absorber uses the following components:
- A monotube damper filled with magnetorheological fluid located at each wheel of a vehicle
- A set of sensors
- An electronic control unit (ECU) responsible for coordinating the entire system
The MRC dampers are filled with magnetorheological fluid that is a mixture of easily-magnetized iron particles in a synthetic hydrocarbon oil. For the third generation of the technology, each monotube damper contains a piston with two electromagnetic coils and two small fluid passages through the piston. The electromagnets are capable of creating a variable magnetic field across the fluid passages.
When the magnets are off, the fluid travels through the passages freely; when the magnets are activated, the iron particles in the fluid create a fibrous structure through the passages in the same direction of the magnetic field. The strength of the bonds between the magnetized iron particles causes the viscosity of the fluid to increase, resulting in a stiffer suspension. Altering the strength of the current results in an instantaneous change in force of the piston.
If the sensors sense any body roll, they communicate the information to the ECU, which in turn compensates by changing the strength of the current to the appropriate dampers.
The primary benefits of MRC are:
- Highly precise
- Extremely fast response
- Low-velocity damping control
- Ability to “draw” force-velocity curve
The end result is excellent chassis responsiveness, poise, and control that doesn’t sacrifice everyday ride quality or comfort.
The electronically-controlled shock absorbers use a fluid infused with magnetized particles that respond to different driving conditions and speeds. Combined with the system’s sensors, Magnetic Ride Control is so precise that it reads road conditions every five milliseconds, thereby responding and reacting to each corner or bump in the road and automatically adjusting shock absorbers ten times faster than the blink of an eye.
Usually, vehicles with Magnetic Ride Control have a setting that allows drivers to change the stiffness of the suspension system from Tour (soft suspension setting) to Sport (stiff suspension setting) and Track/Race (even stiffer suspension setting).
- 2002-2003 Cadillac Seville STS was the first vehicle to use the Delphi MagneRide technology, replacing CVRSS
- Cadillac ATS
- Available with 2.0L Turbo engine
- Standard with 3.6L engine
- Standard on ATS-V
- Cadillac CTS
- Cadillac CT6
- Available with Active Chassis Package on 2016 – model year
- Cadillac ELR
- Standard on 2014 model year
- Standard on 2016 model year
- Cadillac SRX
- Standard with Performance or Premium from 2004-2009 model years
- Cadillac DTS
- Standard with standard with Performance or Premium trim level on 2006-2011 model years
- Cadillac STS
- Standard with Northstar V8 and 1SG option package on 2005–2011 model years
- Chevrolet Corvette C5
- Standard on 2003 50th anniversary model and optional on 2003-2004 model years
- Chevrolet Corvette C6
- Optional on coupe starting with 2005 model year
- Optional on hardtop Z06 starting with 2012 model year
- Standard on ZR1
- Chevrolet Corvette C7
- Optional on Z51 package
- Standard on Grand Sport
- Standard on Z06
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Standard Camaro ZL1 from 2002-2015
- Available on Camaro SS from 2016 –
- Chevrolet SS
- Standard from 2015 model year
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Available from 2017 model year on High Country
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Standard from 2015 model year on LTZ
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Standard from 2015 model year on LTZ
- Buick Lucerne
- CXS trim level
- Lucerne Super trim level
- GMC Sierra
- Denali trim
- GMC Yukon
- All 4 corners on Denali trim
- Only on rear on SLT trim
- HSV Senator
- HSV GTS
- HSV W427
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 (2015- model year)
- Ferrari 599
- Ferrari F12berlinetta
- Ferrari California
- Ferrari FF
- Ferrari 458 Italia
- La Ferrari
- Lamborghini Aventador
- Audi TT
- Audi S3
- Audi R8
- Acura MDX
- Acura ZDX
- Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
- Land Rover Discovery Sport
Magnetic Ride Control was initially developed as MagneRide by Delphi Automotive Corporation, an automotive supplier founded by General Motors in 1994 as the Automotive Components Group (ACG).
In 1995, ACG was renamed to Delphi Automotive Systems and subsequently spun off as a fully-independent publicly-held corporation in 1999. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005, Delphi was subsequently purchased by Beijing West Industries, which currently owns the company.
MagneRide is currently in its third generation, with the first iteration of the technology having debuted on the 2002 Cadillac STS Seville.
Compared to the first two generations, the third-gen MagneRide system includes enhanced seals and bearings to extend the system’s application to heavier vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs, with the most notable improvements being to the ECU and coils.
A legal requirement for lead-free ECUs prompted the control unit of the third-generation MagneRide system to be redesigned from the ground up. The all-new ECU has three times the computing capacity of the second-generation system, ten times the amount of memory, and more precise tuning.
While the first- and second-gen MagneRide systems used a single coil within one damper, the third-gen system uses two smaller coils wound in opposite directions. The change was made to eliminate a short delay lasting 20 ms in the reaction time of the dampers caused by a phenomenon with the single electromagnetic coil that took place from the time the ECU cut the current to the time the damper lost its magnetic field. This was caused by a temporary electric current in the electromagnet known as the eddy current. The change to a two-coil system resulted in the suspension system being able to respond faster.
MagneRide was first used by General Motors in the 2002 Cadillac Seville STS. Currently, it is used throughout GM’s model portfolio either as an option or as standard equipment on various Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles. Other automakers including Ferrari, Audi, Land Rover, and Ford are also using the technology.