Do We Really Need/Want “Bumpless” Seats in Our 4x4s?

Off-roading is supposed to be a thrill, not a comfort

June 7, 2016 9:00 am

When your correspondent was in middle school, his school bus was known to pass over an especially large speedbump each day, affectionately known by the riders of said school bus as The Bump.

Everyone knew The Bump, and its coordinates, and approximately how high it would propel us up out of our seats based on how fast the bus was traveling as we passed over it. The Bump was the highlight of our day; donnybrooks would routinely break out as the fourth and fifth graders contested the bus’s rearmost seats, which were known to achieve the greatest effect.

Know what no one wanted in this equation? “Bumpless” hydraulic cushions to help smooth out the ride, which is a technology Citroen has incorporated into their “Advanced Comfort Lab,” a concept based on their popular C4 Cactus, a mid-size SUV.

Via Gizmag:

“Rather than using mechanical bump stops, Citroen’s system uses a hydraulic cushion to regulate rebound and compression … This system helps to create a ‘flying carpet’ effect, where the body stays isolated from any imperfections in the road surface because the suspension can be relaxed in the middle of its travel without making it loose and crashy over big imperfections.”

Fact: the appeal of off-road driving is directly proptional to the sense of danger involved with off-road driving. That is, the closer a practitioner shaves the line between responsible and reckless behavior, the more fun that practitioner is known to have.

And while some safety measures (roll cages, e.g.) are designed to enhance that experience, others can go so far as to diminish it.

This smells an awful lot like the latter.

Image via Citroen

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