With he fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season gearing up soon at the Nurburgring in Germany, the Nissan team is adding a new technology to its cars’ repertoire. Front and Rear Interconnected suspension, or FRIC for short, has been employed by Porsche for the past two seasons on their LMP1 cars and by Audi starting this season; Nissan is now joining them. FRIC made headlines last summer when the FIA banned its use in Formula 1.
FRIC technology operates on the premise of interlinking the suspension components at each wheel. This is done by placing an actuator at each wheel, which is interconnected by a system of hydraulic lines, controlled by a main, centralized accumulator. This allows each wheel to manipulate stress across the suspension, reducing pitch and roll in certain parts of the car.
The main consequence is an aerodynamic gain and stability. Since fluid can be transferred between wheels and corners of the car, the overall stability of the car is improved. During braking, when load transfer from front to rear becomes enormous, the FRIC system allows the down-force to be altered and the front of the car raised. This allows for a much more aggressive aero kit and front slitter to be employed.
Ultimately, FRIC was banned, because it violated the FIA’s rules regarding the use of suspension and other systems for aerodynamic gain. However, that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the end of the technology, especially with this news.