Well, there is a little official unofficial secret, which is no big deal for some watchful BMW motorsport fan, while for others it is really a big deal.
To be honest it took quite a long time until to make this, for a long time open secret between pit lane and the KW Aera 51 aka KW vehicle dynamics 7-post rig, finally official for the public.
If you browse a little on the official BMW Motorsport website recently, you will suddenly discover yellow-purple letters: the KW logo! The reason: In 2022, the new BMW M4 GT3 (Code G82) will be the successor to the BMW M6 GT3 in BMW M Customer Sport.
At KW, we no longer only behind the scenes when working for our industrial customer, this time we can finally reveal this open secret to you: We are developing suspension components for BMW Motorsport and BMW “M Performance Parts” – and not just since yesterday!
Like many other touring sports cars, we also equip the new BMW M4 GT3 (official launch 2022) with our 4-way adjustable racing suspensions from the factory.
Since the presentation of our new racing damper technology in autumn 2017 at the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Cologne, we have expanded a wide range of different racing dampers based on our “KW Solid Piston Technology”.
With the modular KW valve technology with different main valves and spring types, these dampers offer the possibility of an individual characteristic curve design.
As the name indicates, in our solid piston system the damper liquid does not overflow the working piston. This enables us to cover a very large force range between 1,500 N and 12,000 N within the shock itself.
The valves for adjustable compression and rebound damping (low and high-speed forces) are positioned laterally in series and can be adjusted with 18 precise clicks each. The new dampers also give our racing engineers, racing mechanics, and customer teams the freedom to offset the valves when designing the basic setup.
Even under the most adverse conditions, such as the 48th ADAC TOTAL 24h Race Nürburgring in September 2020, which was plagued by heavy rainfall, our dampers were able to prove their reliability.
With their low gas pressure, our KW solid piston shocks have a cavitation-free and precise high-frequency function.
By the way, we already use the KW Solid Piston Technology (KW Solid Piston Technology) for various KW suspensions with parts certificates such as the KW Variant 5, selected KW Clubsport, and KW DDC applications.
Regardless of whether 5-way, 4-way, 3-way, 2-way, or non-adjustable dampers, with internal reservoir or MacPherson strut axle as inverted monotube aka up-side-down dampers – our Solid Piston Shocks have convinced numerous motorsport customers.
After an impressive race to catch up, the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 (number 99), equipped with 4-way adjustable KW Competition dampers, crossed the finish line first 50 years after the first edition of the endurance classic at the Nürburgring.
The legendary traditional Bavarian racing team Schnitzer Motorsport from Freilassing (Bavaria) finished third in the BMW M6 GT3 and the second ROWE Racing BMW M6 took fourth place!
The Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 (number 101), also equipped with KW 4-way racing shocks, took the twelfth position in this tough rain battle at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
As an option, the developed racing shocks for the new BMW M4 GT3 can be equipped with an additional and adjustable valve for a blow-off function. This turns the 4-way damper into a 5-way adjustable damper.
However, our 4-way adjustable racing suspension kits are not only available for current GT3 racing cars. These kits are also available for the BMW M3 E36 – you can find more information on our KW automotive blog about this super-fast customer car.
A partnership by tradition – not only in racing
Anyone who decides to buy from our German factory in Fichtenberg a coilover suspension kit or a sports suspension kit for his or her BMW will receive a suspension kit with a convincing plus in driving dynamics.
For example, it does not matter whether it is a KW Classic suspension kit with forged spindles (steering knuckles) for a legendary BMW M3 E30 or a coilover suspension kit for the BMW X5.
At KW, we offer flexible and fast realization from one source for all our customers – from shocks for private hill climb racecar drivers, over a custom-made suspension for a vintage BMW 501, to series suspension production. From 2012 until the production stopped in 2015, the BMW Z4 GT3 racing car with our 3-way adjustable racing dampers was homologated.
For BMW Motorsport, we developed and manufactured a 3-way adjustable KW SingleTube damper in upside-down design (kind of inverted monotube) for the MacPherson strut front axle in the BMW Z4 GT3.
On the multi-link rear axle, we used 3-way adjustable KW SingleTube dampers in a lightweight aluminum construction. During its time, the BMW Z4 GT3 was used with its KW suspension in numerous championships according to GT3 regulations worldwide.
During its official farewell season in 2015, the BMW Z4 GT3 immortalized itself with its brute V8 sound and the driver trio Nick Catsburg, Lucas Luhr, and Markus Palttala from the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS took the overall victory in the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race. By the way, the Dutch racing driver Nick Catsburg is the same one who won the 24h race in the Eifel in September 2020 with the ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3!
More than just BMW GT3 racing cars rely on KW motorsport dampers
We equipped all BMW M235i Racing Cup racing cars worldwide with our 2-way adjustable KW Competition dampers for BMW Motorsport from 2014 to 2018. Independently adjustable in compression and rebound forces, the KW SingleTube racing shock absorbers are manufactured in a kind of inverted monotube design for the MacPherson struts.
Our KW Twin Tube racing shocks are used on the rear axle and our racing kit of both racecars are worldwide homologated. What is really special about the BMW M235i Racing and BMW M240i Racing is that they also share components from the BMW M Performance accessories program. And now one or two die-hard M enthusiasts should prick up their ears …
KW Driving Dynamics for BMW models: the suspensions of BMW M Performance Parts
Through sustainable technology transfer from motorsport to the road, we have long been adding to the renowned sheer driving pleasure a plus in driving dynamics. We of KW produce optional suspension components for various BMW and BMW M models exclusively for the Bavarian car manufacturer.
The BMW M Performance suspension is either a height-adjustable spring set or a sports suspension with adjustable height and adjustable shocks.
You can buy BMW M suspension components exclusively through the official BMW sales channels. Furthermore, the BMW distribution network takes care of the installation of the suspension in your BMW. In comparison to a KW coilover suspension kit Variant 3, the M Performance suspensions have less lowering and a different color scheme.
According to the BMW production car or BMW M model, the suspension components developed and manufactured by us are either a coilover suspension kit with adjustable compression and rebound KW dampers (KW TVR-A and KW TVC-A technology) or height-adjustable coilover springs for the OEM shocks.
At the moment, the optional BMW M Performance suspension components are available for BMW M2, BMW M3, BMW M4, BMW M5, and BMW M5 Competition. They provide the BMW models a significant plus in cornering stability even at high velocities. The car body’s tendency to roll is also reduced in fast corners. And the drivers benefit from excellent road holding and direct handling. As already mentioned, these suspensions are exclusively available directly from BMW.
Further Skunk-Works projects between Fichtenberg, Garching, and Munich
There is no open secret that BMW M has provided the official Safety Cars and Medical Cars for MotoGP for over 20 years. Unforgotten is the BMW Z8 or the BMW C1 200 Scooter as Safety Car.
In 2011 we equipped the BMW 1series M Coupé MotoGP Safety Cars with a KW Clubsport coilover suspension. Later, all BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Cars were also equipped with our suspension kits.
Furthermore, the BMW M4 DTM Safety Cars with our suspension kits were officially in use from 2014 on. Unfortunately, the only disappointment was that the BMW M Safety Cars were and are never officially available to purchase for BMW M enthusiasts.
On the other hand, the BMW M3 GTS was a completely different story. Already in 2009, the BMW M3 GTS, limited to 150 units, was released. The BMW Motorsport department built the car individually for each customer. Compared to the M3, this sportier E92 was lighter, more powerful, and equipped with a coilover suspension.
Featuring a roll cage and two bucket seats, the M3 (E92) GTS already showed where the sporty journey will take us. The GTS from 2009 had a coilover suspension based on the KW Clubsport 2-way coilover suspension kit installed from the factory. For the BMW M4 GTS we developed a sporty-harmonic road suspension without unibal top-mounts based on our 3-way adjustable damper technology we also used in our Clubsport 3-way kits.
With the 3-way adjustable shocks in the BMW M4 GTS, we were able to prove once again that improved driving dynamics and modern driving comfort are no longer incompatible.
The national and international press was impressed by the GTS suspension: “Terrific suspension with great attention to detail – the suspension setup is brilliantly achieved, and you can instantly feel how much detailed work has been invested here. Compared to the standard M4, the GTS turns even more precisely. It reacts to load changes hardly noticeably and is absolutely good-natured. The M4 GTS surpasses its M4 base as expected … the very good suspension setup of the newly developed 3-way coilover suspension kit is responsible for this”, says sportauto editor Christian Gebhardt.
That a driving machine with its semi-slick tires needs a lot of sensitivity and balls of steel in the wet, brings a big smile to the faces of the few BMW M enthusiasts who have bought one of the only 700 built M4 GTS worldwide…
Photos BMW, KW, Gruppe C Photography, Laptime Performance