National Motorsport Academy

Automotive Suspension: A Book Review by Dr. Kieran Reeves

My review on 'Automotive Suspension - Setting and fine-tuning of elastokinemastics to improve vehicle dynamics'.

I was recently contacted by an experienced vehicle dynamics engineer asking if I would be interested in including his new book in our course material. This happens quite often and I always meticulously review any book offered to us before they are considered for inclusion in our course material and added to any module reading lists.

When this was explained to the author, Gerardo sent out a copy to me for full review. I have to say this book is excellent. I couldn’t put it down. The author goes into great detail but also explains suspension system and vehicle handling at a pace and level that would suit any student and engineer exploring suspension design and vehicle handling behaviour.

The book sits very closely with our race car preparation and vehicle dynamics modules. Including those at Masters level.

The book starts well with introducing the reader to vehicle dynamics using examples of manoeuvres and how we are asking a vehicle to behave. The chapters move on through tyre and road interaction and discusses tyre models, load transfer and slip angles. Perfect for our students!

As the reader starts to work through the maths oriented chapters, motion of a vehicle, sprung and un-sprung masses, spring stiffness, bump stiffness and load transfer are well defined and discussed before moving onto lateral dynamics.

There is a chapter focused on suspension architecture before a very well written and defined chapter on suspension set up and operation, including toe and camber, roll centres and how these vary during vehicle manoeuvres. Next is the steering system discussing Caster, King Pin inclination and offset and scrub radius.

Finally the book finishes with two further excellent chapters based on performance evaluation and a summary of everything that has been discussed throughout the book to achieve your targets. At 265 pages this book is one of the best I have read to date, with no preamble, waffle or filler. It gets straight to the point although written in a way that is understandable and useable in your studies. A point not to be missed also is that this book is extremely affordable. Over the years I have paid well over £100 for vehicle dynamics books that have the same content.

From my first impressions and a quick review to a full in depth read this book is now part of our reading lists on both the Bachelors and Masters programmes.

The book is available in English from the following links but I do believe it is also available in Italian. 

About the Author

Gerardo is a Mechanical Engineer with established professional experience in automotive design and related industrial production processes.

He has gained technical knowledge pertaining to suspensions and vehicle dynamics by working on numerous research and development projects for prestigious automotive brands and by cultivating over the years the passion for these disciplines in the sports field.

The experience gained in recent years in the field of industrial processes has allowed him to complete his vision relating to the product, from conception to its realization.

Thanks to the experience in design, manufacturing processes and quality, Gerardo has developed a lot of skills in the scientific approach, i.e. in the use of calculation as a forecasting tool in the organization of work.

Picture of Dr. Kieran Reeves

Dr. Kieran Reeves

Director of Motorsport

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