SCM: Magnetorheological Suspension System
The damping action exerted by a car's suspension plays a key role in guaranteeing fun driving and easy handling across the board. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano's SCM Magnetorheological Suspension system, however, is exceptionally efficient even by the Prancing Horse's renowned standards.
Its suspension damping is controlled by an ultra-high performance system developed in collaboration with Delphi and this is the very first time this kind of set-up has been used on a Ferrari road car. The semi-active system has a maximum response time of just 10 ms – four times faster than a traditional oleodynamic one. During this T short time it not only reads and reacts to the road surface but also to the inputs from four sensors on the suspension wishbones which monitor the wheels and consequently the movement of the car body. The movement of each individual wheel is controlled by a damper which contains a fluid the viscosity of which is modified by applying an electronically controlled magnetic field. In traditional electronic damping systems, the fluid's mechanical characteristics don't change and the damping is achieved by intervening on electronically actuated valves.
In the SCM system, however, the valves are fixed and this reduces the number of moving mechanical parts and thus noise, resulting in a quieter in-cabin experience. The dampers are worked by intervening directly on the rheological (flow) characteristics of the fluid itself. The system adapts almost instantly as a result and courtesy of the adoption of an electronic control system which processes the signals in a maximum of 1 ms, 10 times faster than a traditional system. This comes courtesy of the fact that the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano incorporates an electronic control system with a higher processing frequency (1000 Hz). Speeding up the response time also allows the same damping curve to be used both when the tyres are compressed and extended and thus to exert the same stress in both types of condition.
What this actually means is that greater force can be applied when moving from maximum extension to maximum compression (or vice versa), resulting in greater tyre control. With respect to the system used on the 575M Maranello, the average variation in vertical movement on undulating roads is cut by up to 30% while the average vibration damping time after hitting a pothole is slashed by as much as 30% and vertical acceleration transmitted to the steering wheel and seat by road bumps drops by up to 10%.