During 1982, Formula 1 racing cars generated very high downforces by the use of “ground effect” aerodynamics. Such cars required very stiff suspensions to maintain a reasonably constant ride height with the result that the slightest bump unsettled the chassis and reduced cornering speeds. A semi-active suspension would have been capable of withstanding the variations in downforce while remaining “soft” to rapid road inputs. This paper proposes such a system and decribes an analysis of its dynamic responses. It demonstates that it is able to maintain a sensibly constant ride height and attitude during cornering, braking, and acceleration, while minimizing the chassis response to individual bumps.

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