Nowadays companies dealing with the automotive market, and in particular product designers, are facing with highly competitive environments though conflicting demands to deliver more complex products with increased quality in ever shorter development cycles. The usage of numerical simulations is therefore a confirmed technique going through the conceptual (1D) modeling towards a detailed digital mock-up to realize complex multibody (3D) simulations. The purpose of this paper is to develop a systematic design method for the suspension systems using CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) tools to investigate different properties which have influence on the ride & handling of a vehicle. Running a reverse engineering approach, the elasto-kinematic characteristics of different types of suspensions can be focused out and exported from a multibody environment (Virtual.Lab Motion has been chosen as example) as look-up tables to be read by a 1D multi-domain software (in the work here presented we used Imagine.Lab AMESim). Combined runs of sensitivity analyses and optimization cycles would then bring to the final goal of understanding the most suitable target behavior of the full system and the weight of different design variables on this, being hence able to directly address modifications of the global configuration.

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