A new variable stiffness suspension system based on a recent variable stiffness mechanism is proposed. The overall system is composed of the traditional passive suspension system augmented with a variable stiffness mechanism. The main idea is to improve suspension performance by varying stiffness in response to road disturbance. The system is analyzed using a quarter car model. The passive case shows much better performance in ride comfort over the tradition counterpart. Analysis of the invariant equation shows that the car body acceleration transfer function magnitude can be reduced at both the tire-hop and rattle space frequencies using the lever displacement transfer function thereby resulting in a better performance over the traditional passive suspension system. An H controller is designed to correct for the performance degradation in the rattle space thereby providing the best trade-off between the ride comfort, suspension deflection and road holding.

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