Suspension development

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Suspension development

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Suspension development

  • Suspension development

    Posted by Dr.D on March 4, 2022 at 6:27 am

    I suppose I am like some others concerned with how Aptera will ride. Of course, the suspension is big part of the ride. The type of suspension and how it is tuned is critical. Especially as Aptera is so light. Lightness by itself, however, doesn’t mean a bad ride.

    For 20 years I rode motorcycles (sold my last one in 2019). Mostly BMW, but I had a few Ducatis. One Ducati I bought used was great, except the ride was not good. I messed the parameters, but I couldn’t get it tuned in. I went to a local dealership (Duc Pond in Winchester, VA). They worked on the bike for about an hour. Wow! The bike rode great!

    So, what is the status of suspension development?

    john-malcom replied 2 weeks ago 42 Members · 83 Replies
  • 83 Replies
  • Suspension development

    john-malcom updated 2 weeks ago 42 Members · 83 Replies
  • ray-holan

    March 4, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Since the engineering dept. only recently deployed their survey of Aptera reservation holders, I assume it will be a while before we hear anything definitive about suspension tuning. Perhaps not until Fall of 2022 when we are closer to actual production Apterae rolling out of the factory. I assume there are several tunings being considered. One would be a compromise between highway cruising and off-road travel. That would be a challenge. Another would be to provide buyers with a choice of tunings: regular and “sport” or “off-road”. This probably won’t be offered as it might complicate the manufacturing process. My blue-sky option would be a magneto-what-you-call-it that automatically adjusts in nanoseconds to different road conditions. Very unlikely.

  • fanfare-100

    March 4, 2022 at 9:17 am

    At some future time I can only imagine a software-defined auto-tunes suspension based on what it foresees as the road conditions lying ahead.

  • KayleighVenne

    March 4, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Hi Peter! Happy Friday.

    As usual, the Aptera Team appreciates your curiosity. 💚 Thank you for asking us about this. We understand that you’re looking for more information about the ride of the vehicle and the Aptera Team looks forward to providing it. We’re confident that our production-ready vehicles will provide a smooth ride. We recently took our beta out to the track to test a few things, including the suspension, and you can learn a little more about the results here –

    We look forward to providing more concrete information in time! Thank you for your patience and for being a part of the solar mobility movement.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Kayleigh Venne. Reason: Fixed a typo!

    Beta Hits the Track for Vehicle Dynamics Testing

  • tim-dean

    March 8, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    With so much space behind the seats and a 500# cargo capacity (including 2 passengers) and only 1 rear suspension, there needs to be a self leveling system which compensates for cargo weight. Also, the passenger seat needs to be easily removed & re-installed to a improve cargo weight distribution & capacity for safety.

  • john-malcom

    March 8, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I think the recently completed Beta suspension testing validated the Roush designed front and rear suspension for the operating envelope of the vehicle. Aptera will now be tuning that suspension. I am sure they have taken CG, load balancing, and other factors we are not aware of into account in the design and validation testing. I don’t believe that the front seat needs to be removed to accommodate loads up to the spec limits. Loads above the limit should not be tempted of course.

    My daughter wants the passenger seat removable so she can put her long surfboard in though😉

    • curtis-cibinel

      March 8, 2022 at 8:10 pm

      You can probably leave the hatch ajar with the board out a few feet. This would be simpler than removing a seat on any vehicle I’ve seen. Yes it would impact aerodynamics but it shouldn’t be enough to be a big issue. Technically it should be flagged but that’s easy.

  • tim-dean

    March 8, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    I was also considering those who may want to use their Aptera for currier or delivery service. One driver with lots of (relatively light) stuff. Maybe even install a small pizza heater or just a large flat spot on the passenger side.

    Example: 500# payload: (1) 200# driver. (9) 24can soft drink cases in passenger compartment (22lbs/ea) totals 198#. Leaves only 102# for the rear section. I don’t know what the passenger seat weighs. Remove the seat & add the weight of a cooler & ice for the drinks… (maybe). 80/20 front/rear weight distribution?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  Tim Dean.
  • Shawgrin

    March 8, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Maybe a purpose built delivery vehicle. Maybe a four-door Bolt or something similar.

  • joshua-rosen

    March 9, 2022 at 6:42 am

    We will need some clarification of the 500 lb limit. I don’t believe that number includes passengers, it’s probably the weight of the cargo in back. Two good sized guys could add up 500 lbs, I doubt their intent was to build a vehicle that could only be used by ballerinas.

    • 993cc

      March 9, 2022 at 8:05 am

      Unfortunately, no. When asked, Aptera has stated that the 500 lb. limit is total weight including driver/passenger.

      This is a dilemma for me, because I am fat.

      What they have not clarified is which battery the figure applies to. Hopefully the figure is for the 1000 mile version, which would leave some ullage for me with the 60 kW version.

    • joshua-rosen

      March 9, 2022 at 8:48 am

      That number predates the Roush suspension. Hopefully they’ve improved it.

  • Crash

    March 13, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Me and my “other” weigh in at 490 lbs. Add a pair of 50 lb flight bags and we have a problem.

    Bottoming out suspensions does not make for a fun trip.

  • BUG

    March 15, 2022 at 8:27 am

    I have mentioned elsehwere on this Wonderful Site, that I want to have/make an adjustable link for the front suspension so that I can “Tune Out” half of the Port List that the vehicle will have when only I am aboard, as I am (Ahem) somewhat in Excess of the FAA “Standard” 160 Pound Person.

    Additionally I had mentioned that an Airbag or Hydrodynamic Height Adjust System would be on my “Nice to Have” list, whether from the Factory (Not Likely, nor even considered), or After Purchase.

    At Present, My Main Squeeze’s Number (Which shall NEVAH be disclosed!) plus My Avoirdupois are in Excess of the 500 Pound Weight Limit. I have undergone Gastric Surgery (For My Health, and before I Joined the Hopefuls of the APTERA Clan) followed by “Tummy Tuck” Surgery. At present, have declared redundant and abandoned more than 240 Pounds. Eighty Five More to Go (Provided the Missus doesn’t decide to make it hard on Me!).

    Now, How to convince Her to Leave the “Purse” Behind?

  • neville-cawood

    April 27, 2022 at 5:40 am

    I just want to bring Active Anti Roll/Sway bars to the attention of Aptera:

    NB their ability to disengage when one is going straight (or off-road), resulting in improved comfort (and grip off-road).

    I feel that these, or something similar, wold be ideal for 3 wheeled vehicles like the Aptera..?

    Personally I’d have them ‘overcompensate’ for corners, imparting a lean into corners.
    Besides stability and comfort, leaning into corners always imparts a grin on the faces of occupants. 🙂

  • john-smith-2

    April 27, 2022 at 6:53 am

    What is the cost difference between this and standard anti roll bars?

  • trollfaced-hudagmail-com

    April 27, 2022 at 9:11 am

    it could help effeincy by allowing more movement momentum preservation of car around a turn, so there doesnt have to be as much regen/friction braking so longer battery brake life and increases miles per charge. but this improvement would have to outdo how much more energy movement from battery and into it that happens as result of more weight added, which depends on average driving style ( lots of road turns or less road turns in a trip)

  • sean-durham

    May 9, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    So while watching your videos I noticed that the alpha and beta vehicles use exposed heim/rose joints in the front suspension, my question is do you plan to use them in the final design? Or are they just easier for prototyping while planning to use booted joints for the final production model. I work in automotive repair and I have to say some of the worst suspension designs I’ve ever seen use these joints and my worry is that the lifespan and noise of the suspension would be seriously impacted by using these components. I use heim/rose joints on my track vehicle that I drive on the road as well for the added stiffness, but I find they generally only last a year or less before becoming incredibly noisy, less when I drive the vehicle in the winter on salted roads.

  • len

    May 9, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    This might be better emailed to

  • steven-g-bueche

    May 10, 2022 at 2:24 am

    You make an excellent point. These open Rose joints could potentially gather dirt and fail rather quickly. I’d take the hit on efficiency/aerodynamics for longevity of the suspension even if it means I have to add them myself after delivery. I’m not a fan of the aftermarket two piece boot so I guess that means taking the front end apart. It’ll be a real world test of Right to Repair huh?

  • steve-pelman

    June 2, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    I am wondering about the suspension and ride. I can imagine that being lightweight would be a little jumpy. Would more batteries in the faster model be better?

  • ray-holan

    June 2, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Hello, Steve. Final tuning of the suspension hasn’t been completed. However, given that Roush Engineering has been involved in the suspension and chassis design, our chances are good that the ride will be firm and controlled but forgiving. We’ll have to wait and see as we have only had reports from Alpha and Beta vehicles. Anecdotal reports on the Beta rate it as much improved over Alpha. Gamma should be better yet.

  • gary-greenway

    June 2, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    The ride of the vehicle can be tuned by varying the spring rates and the damping of the shocks. I think the suspension geometry will be the same across all battery weights. The prototypes have adjustable preload coilover shocks. Hopefully production models will have this too. Adjustable (or at least reconfigurable) valving on the shocks would be an extra bonus.

    • curtis-cibinel

      June 2, 2022 at 7:23 pm

      If the Aptera will be used with two heavier passengers or otherwise near its 500lb load limit it might make sense to adjust the suspension to be stiffer (ie set as it would be tuned for the next battery size)

  • LordChad

    June 2, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    If you haven’t seen it, there are a couple videos on YouTube where people have gotten a ride in the Alpha|Beta vehicles. Steve from Aptera Owners Club shows/talks about it here:

    There are also videos from Nikki at Transport Evolved and Rich Rebuilds (not looking for those links).

    I hope that helps.

  • paul-evans

    June 3, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Gary & Curtis’s comments got me thinking about my auto crossing days. I put adjustable coil-overs on my MINI and had it corner balanced while I was in the driver seat. It transformed the handling!

    If I can find coil-overs that fit the Aptera, I would do the same thing. It might be simpler with three wheels – just balancing the left and right corners, leaving the ride height alone.



    • Russell

      June 3, 2022 at 8:47 am

      Sounds great to me! Can’t wait to get these things on the road and see what people come up with.

    • jonah-jorgenson

      June 3, 2022 at 10:21 am

      My thoughts as a Gen Z aerospace engineer.

      Right to repair gives you the authorization to to make changes to your vehicle as you feel fit and as is prudent.

      However if you start modifying suspension and other components on the delivered vehicle, it may negate the balanced engineering achieved in the production version and have unexpected consequences. Certainly will affect the advertised efficiency.

      Before doing such a thing I think I would outline specifically what you would intend to do and with what products, and consult with Aptera on the consequences.

      It may also void your warranty depending on how long you have your vehicle before you consider such a change. Thinking down the road it may also negatively affect your resale value if you have modified the vehicle and ever intend to sell it as modded vehicles are valued below stock configurations in the vehicle marketplace. Perhaps not as bad as a salvage title but certainly less than a standard configuration.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Jonah Jorgenson. Reason: corrected spelling
      • paul-evans

        June 3, 2022 at 11:14 am

        Thanks for your observations, Jonah.

        In truth, I suspect that it be difficult to find the components I would want.

        The dimensions have to be the same as stock. The adjustable valving would have to be able to match the stock calibration near the mid-point of the adjustment range. It would be great to have the same components that Aptera is using to test and arrive at the stock settings.

        Ultimately it would all have to be affordable.

        Given the number of vehicles that will be produced in the 1st 3 years, it’s unlikely that they would available.

        The other major challenge would be that at 70-plus years, my anatomical posterior G-meter would lack the sensitivity to discern the improvement anyway.

        Such fantasies are made of these…..

  • george-hughes

    September 17, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    One of the folks in videos I’ve watched since Gamma’s release suggested Aptera’s trailing arm suspension has the counterintuitive property of raising its rear attitude during acceleration and raising its front on full-stop braking. This is exactly the opposite of most vehicles on the road which pitch forward when braking and that squat when accelerating.

    When my original post entitled <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; letter-spacing: 0px;”>Trailing arm wonders; what does it mean in Hollywood disappeared, I thought it appropriate to ask for confirmation of this rather unique property.

    I brought Hollywood into the mix (although a lot of production now happens in Georgia) because with Aptera’s composite monocoque being particularly strong and light – certainly stronger than a steel-bodied vehicle without specific reinforcement (roll cage, etc.), it might be an interesting choice for staging stunt driving feats.

    In the process of daydreaming about the counterintuitive reactions of the suspension to accelerating and braking, I imagined a scene where an Aptera is caught at high speed careening toward a stopped car with the semi from Maximum Overdrive barreling right behind setting up a two-way crush on the Aptera occupants … when Aptera saves the day. How?

    If the rear of the Aptera squats on hard braking, as alleged, then by definition the front of the vehicle is elevated at the same time.

    <font face=”inherit”>Now imagine, that instead of being crushed by the impact with the stopped car and the trailing semi tractor with trailer, the first </font>collision<font face=”inherit”> between the truck and the back of the Aptera. That collision further raises the front of the Aptera, which slides over the trunk and top of the stalled sedan, hurtling back onto the road 50-ft further down the road. </font>

    The Aptera, at least in the movies, would keep on going while the stalled sedan is crushed and the hero driving the Aptera escapes the bad guys.

    • kerbe2705

      September 18, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      @George Hughes When in doubt, go directly to Aptera’s own most recent videos – “one of the folks” can, sometimes, be working from outdated information or be making suppositions…

      There’s a recent video on YouTube in which “one of the folks” goes into great detail about how Aptera is going to keep the body of the vehicle cool by running coolant though microchannels in the body composite body panels. This is patently untrue but the maker of the video seems be unaware of that fact…

      The Roush Performance redesign of the Aptera’s suspension did away with that funky behavior: The video in which it was described was a ride-along in which the driver chatted about how much better the new design was. So, if “one of the folks” listened to only PART of that conversation…

      To quote @Russell Fauver , “They fixed that.”

  • sonya-brown

    November 18, 2022 at 5:12 am

    Sure would be nice if the Aptera could have adjustable air suspension that could be adjusted from the inside (like my Model S). Not only can I adjust, but I also have it programed to automatically adjust every time I come to my crested driveway in order not to scrap the underbelly. If that could be available on the Aptera, then some of us wouldn’t need the off road package just to get in the driveway.

  • ray-holan

    November 18, 2022 at 6:09 am

    Hi, Sonya. Your idea definitely is in the “wouldn’t it be nice if…” category. Clearly, we won’t see this in the initial production version of the Aptera. Offhand, I think the technical hurdles would be packaging the mechanism in the small footprint of the Aptera, the drawback of the added weight of the components, and the additional cost of such a system. But, who knows? We can dream, can’t we?

  • Greek

    November 18, 2022 at 6:40 am

    There will be many unknowns once APTERA hits the road. As vehicles are delivered throughout the country and owners can forward information as to issues with driving circumstances and needs to be addressed, APTERA will be able to prioritize future upgrades and fixes that will be addressed.

    At this point APTERA’s focus is on finishing their final iteration for production and it is imperative that their efforts get the product out in the market place as soon as possible.

    I do have a feeling that an adjustable or adapting suspension would be a priority somewhere down the road. I would like to eventually see a suspension that lowers at highway speeds and automatically raises when traveling at lower speeds when aerodynamics have less of an effect on efficiency.

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