We’re fully aware that we bang on about it a fair amount in the mag, but ride quality is one of the most difficult aspects of a car’s dynamics to get right.

It’s also pretty tricky to assess. Which is why we use a number of specific ‘ride roads’.  We’ve got a few favourites pretty close to the office, and use a particularly challenging road on our test route up to Mira.

But yesterday I stumbled across what has to be one of the sternest tests or a car’s suspension. Unfortunately, being 2300 miles from Teddington, I can’t see us using it that often. It’s 2000 metres above sea level, and arrow-straight for four miles, and at first the road doesn’t look anything special. But if you were to get out and examine the surface in detail you’d find a constant unsettled ripple. The reason? This road is built straight on top of a lava field, with no vegetation and no soil; just craggy black rocks.

And then just as I was thinking a) what an excellent test route and b) how well the car I was driving was coping, despite being a convertible, I noticed two still camouflaged Mercedes E-Classes travelling back and forth down the road in convey. Although I can’t be sure, I’ll bet they were checking damper settings before final production starts.

So the first step to cracking ride quality is clearly finding the right road.

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