1987 Lotus 99T: Active Suspension
Lotus founder Colin Chapman had already revolutionized racing several times over when he began experimenting with active suspension systems in the early 1980s. The idea here is that a suspension system that can anticipate and react to the road intelligently will keep a car flat, stable, and presenting the largest tire patches possible to the pavement. By 1987, he was ready for Formula One competition with an electronic active system in the 99T. Despite the system saddling the car with additional weight and some parasitic power drain on the engine, the great Ayrton Senna was able to win the Monaco and Detroit Grand Prix events with the car. Active suspension systems have grown vastly more sophisticated and computerized since then, with systems in cars like the current Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which uses cameras to electronically "read" the road in front of the car and adjust the suspension to deal with what's coming.