Behind the scenes: Sebastian and Roland Asch on the “Mustang AM1”

KW coilovers (Variant 1 and Variant 3) for the new Ford Mustang are already available.  Now we also launched the KW Clubsport 2-way and 3-way coilover kits for all Mustang fans.


Recently, the ADAC GT Masters race car driver and engineer Sebastian Asch, son of the German racing legend Roland Asch, came to the KW Headquarters in Germany for testing.


We have also met with the two Asch’s during test drives on the Hockenheimring. Why? Soon, the “AM 1” by Asch Motorsport will be released, based on the latest Ford Mustang. So we have interviewed the two, in order to find out the differences between the “AM 1” and the standard Mustang.


Roland Asch: “For our AM1, we relied on a performance increase with a compressor engine and currently we have 590 hp performance. For good sound, we used a stainless steel valve exhaust that reduces the gas back pressure by half. In addition, we have modified the aerodynamics to decrease the uplift force at higher speeds as we have mounted a decent gurney flap made of carbon. Side skirts, external mirrors, and special hoods finish the aerodynamic package. Of course, everything is made of light carbon fiber. We have made additional brake ventilation ducts and relied on sport brake pads so that the braking forces don’t fade. In comparison to the stock series, the Mustang has lost 60 kg of weight as we have removed air condition, rear bench seat and the series seats. Now there are two light Recaro bucket seats, six-point harness and lightweight OZ rims. Together with KW we are developing a Clubsport suspension that is adjustable in compression damping in low speed and high speed as well as in rebound damping, as we want to get the full potential of our AM 1 also when it comes to longitudinal dynamics and lateral dynamics.”

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Often only the engine performance is the focus. What is your tuning philosophy?

Roland Asch: “The overall performance of the car is the most important for us. This of course is influenced by the weight and the suspension kit. What do you need a lot of power for, if you can’t put it all to the ground. That’s why the suspension has to be setup perfectly to enable a well-balanced equilibrium state between longitudinal dynamics and lateral dynamics.”


KW Blog: Will your Mustang be a pure Track Day vehicle or could it also be used to drive on the Autobahn and curvy country roads?

Sebastian Asch: “Our goal was to build a Mustang that can handle Track Days just like rides on the country roads and the Autobahn. Our benchmark is vehicles like a Porsche 911 or BMW M4.”

KW Blog: As a race car driver, what do you demand of the suspension kit so it can also be used in everyday life?

Sebastian Asch: “A suspension kit should respond stiff and precise on race tracks and country roads and still be comfortable for every day rides as well as provide driving pleasure on long rides on the Autobahn. With the adjustable KW Clubsport suspension we have found the perfect compromise.”


KW Blog: How did the factory’s direct steering response for the Mustang increase with the KW Clubsport suspension?

Sebastian Asch: “Together with the KW research and development department we wanted to reach a more balanced driving behavior for the Mustang. Due to the changed caster at the front axle by the KW Clubsport suspension we have reached a more precise handling and we have minimized the general tendency of the Mustang to understeer.”


KW Blog: What advantages do you see in a suspension kit that can be adjusted in compression damping in high and low speed as well as the rebound damping?

Sebastian Asch: “This allows an adaption to every track profile. The car can be adjusted to strong and light bumps in order to keep the wheel load fluctuations as low as possible.”

KW Blog: So if it matches the individuals driving style, you can drive with it setup “softer” at the rear axle and have the setup adjusted stiffer at the front axle?


Sebastian Asch: At 590 hp, first the basis for good traction has to be ensured. We from Asch Motorsport have chosen a soft setting of the dampers.

KW Blog: “So your AM 1 customers can drive their car with regular street tires to the race track, mount the semi-slicks in the paddock, change the damper setup, and then can head off to the track?”

Roland Asch: “Exactly. You need grip on the track, and semi-slicks have completely different lateral tire stiffness than regular street tires and the damper setup can be adjusted to it with just a few manual steps. The right choice of air pressure is often forgotten. Some people forget that with warmer wheel temperatures the air pressure increases.”


KW Blog: Is it actually complicated?

Roland Asch: “Together with KW we have determined diverse setups for the street and race track use on the 7 post rig, and during different test drives. We also paid attention to the drivability, tire wear and lap times. This recommended Track Day setup (race track basic setup) is written in the KW manual for the Clubsport 3-way coilover kit just like the street setting (street basic setup) that has been determined in different setups on country roads and the Autobahn. In order to change the damper setup from the street to the circuit, only the integrated click wheels has to be turned and everything is set for a Track Day.”

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