Every car has some combination of springs, shocks, bars, or links that suspends its chassis, body, engine, and drivetrain above its wheels. If you had to remove any of these elements the ability to accelerate, turn, and stop in relative comfort will become non-existent. The trouble is, most of those characteristics are at odds with one another, which is exactly why you know less about suspension tuning than just about anything else.
What is air suspension all about?
Air suspension systems seem even more mysterious but, as it turns out, they aren’t a whole lot different. Most modern suspensions are made up of a coil spring that slips over a shock or is positioned near it.
At its core, an air suspension really just does away with those coil springs for flexible, pressure-filled bags of air that are typically made of the same sort of rubber as your tyres. At the touch of a button, the bags can be inflated or deflated, instantly altering ride height and how the suspension performs.
Haters have been comparing air suspension systems against more conventional coil-spring suspensions for years, often with little sound reasoning behind any arguments.
A proper suspension isn’t as subjective as you think either and can be measured by how well it takes advantage of the tire traction capabilities, how evenly traction is distributed from front to rear and how responsive it is to the driver’s steering and throttle inputs. Pass those tests and it doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about tightly wound coils of steel or rubber-formed pillows of air.