Simanaitis Says

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READING THAT Mercedes-AMG will feature second-generation magneto-rheological engine mounts brings back memories of a college summer job and later of deliberately pausing a tad in certain shifts with Ferrari’s traditionally gated manual gearboxes.

Memory is funny that way; it’s twofers. And, appropriately, I’ll hold the memories off until tomorrow’s Part 2. Today in Part 1, I’ll focus on the cleverness of engine mounts.

2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S.

The Mercedes-AMG E 63 S is powered by a twin-turbo V-8 producing 603 hp at 5750 to 6500 rpm and a hefty 627 lb-ft. of torque extending from 2500 to 4500 rpm. According to the factory, this will propel the E 63 S from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, with a top speed purposely limited to 186 mph (the magic 300 in km/h).

What’s more, the car is super luxurious, and this is where the second-generation magneto-rheological engine mounts play a role.

In the old days, i.e, during the last century (and doesn’t that sound quaint?), engine mounts were no more than a couple of steel plates sandwiching a wad of rubber. The point of the rubber was to minimize the engine vibrations getting transmitted to the rest of the chassis and giving the occupants a vibra-massage.

Anyone who has ever driven a racecar featuring solid engine mounts knows what I’m talking about.

The rubber wads on production cars got enhanced in today’s engine mounts, the most advanced of which display magneto-rheological properties. That is, the mounts are adaptive to conditions, akin to a suspension’s adjustable shock absorbers, through fluid flow that’s varied by electromagnetic control. (Rheology is the study of flow, to be discussed tomorrow in that summer job tale.)

The British firm, BWI Group, introduced its MagneRide active shock absorber back in 2002. MagnaRide, now in its fourth generation, is featured in Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover and GM products.

Similar magneto-rheological technology was applied to engine mounts, the first generation specifically countering low-frequency large-amplitude rumble in the 2 to 22 Hz range.

Above, a single magneto-rheological engine mount, Below, fitted to an E 63 S engine.

Of its latest variation, BWI says, “Gen-2 retains this capability while also isolating the chassis from smaller-amplitude movements in the range 30–150 Hz. This is the range that is critical to refinement.”

Quite an achievement: refinement in a car reaching 60 in 3.3 seconds and touching 186 mph.

Part of this refinement in NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) is attributable to magneto-rheological technology. Tomorrow, I’ll share my brief employment as a Summer Staff Rheologist, sort of, and why I had to lose a tick in accelerating certain gate-shifted Ferraris. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2017


  1. Mark W
    August 17, 2017

    Now I’ve seen everything, involving Theology in engine mounts. Do we have to involve religion in everything?! What will you think of next?

    Oh, wait, small type, didn’t have my glasses, never mind…..

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This entry was posted on August 17, 2017 by in Driving it Tomorrow, Sci-Tech and tagged , .
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