Video Of The Day: Cadillac Shocks Ferrari

By Blake Z. Rong | August 30, 2011
While Ferrari gets the credit for amazing performance achievements, Cadillac knows a secret the Italians are mum to reveal: as this video reveals, the super-quick, super-expensive 458 Italia gets its suspension from the $63,000 CTS-V. It's all about the Caddy's Magnetic Ride Control. Cadillac uses a special kind of shock absorber that adds microscopic magnetic particles to the oil inside the shock. When a magnetic force is applied, the fluid changes its viscosity and becomes thicker or thinner. For a suspension, it has the benefit of firming up a car’s ride based on constantly changing road conditions and the way it is being driven. There are no valves and no moving parts in the shocks, allowing for less weight. The benefit of Magnetic Ride Control is that it reacts in milliseconds, instantly responding to driver input and changing suspension firmness through electronic signals. With MRC, a car’s shock absorbers can react 1,000 times per second to provide maximum traction, tailored to each individual tire. This allows for optimal control in performance situations.
The thing is, it's a GM invention—hence, Cadillac’s ribbing of Ferrari with this latest ad. The technology was originally developed by Delphi, which when it debuted on the 2002 Cadillac STS, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of GM. Ferrari started “borrowing” the technology starting with the 2006 599 GTB. But Cadillac and Ferrari aren't the only two brands that use MRC. It has made its way to the Audi TT and R8, other GM vehicles like the Corvette, Buick Lucerne and Australia-only Holden HSV Senator, as well as the Acura MDX. A seven-passenger SUV chasing the 556-horsepower CTS-V around a racetrack wouldn’t look as exciting, however. Both Cadillac and Ferrari are esteemed in their own right, so this little comparison won’t change the minds of any Ferraristi. Perhaps if Cadillac builds the Ciel concept, the Italians can finally scramble to come up with something as glamorous.