For years, automotive enthusiasts have been turning to us for more driving dynamics and more driving comfort or simply to go around the Nürburgring Nordschleife with their street-legal track tool. In the past, more and more car manufacturers have also come to us asking if we can help them.
Among us, the Lotus brand has not yet been with us, but we are consulted by many other car manufacturers and small series manufacturers when it comes to the question of the right suspension. If you’d like, just browse the KW automotive blog with the tag “Special-OE,” and you’ll discover one or two interesting stories. If you are reading this blog post before the Essen Motor Show 2023, just drop by our stand in Hall 3.
We also use “the somewhat different damper” in our coilover suspension kits for the Lotus Emira, as the German “Technikmagazin KRAFTHAND” recently described.
The KW V5 coilover suspension and KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension do not utilize ordinary monotube or regular twin-tube dampers; rather than using KW V5 and KW V6 Racing dampers, which offer two-, three-, four- and five-way adjustable valves, we employ a solid piston design.
The working piston and valves are bypassed in conventional monotube and twin-tube dampers. In contrast, KW V5 suspensions do not bypass the oil in the piston chamber. Instead, it is used to control the damping force. When the piston moves, it displaces the oil in the piston chamber. This oil then flows through the compression and rebound valves, which are independently adjustable.
You can independently adjust the compression and rebound valves of the KW V5 coilover suspension and KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension for the Lotus Emira with 14 clicks each in the high-speed and low-speed range.
Our suspension development colleagues distinguish between high-speed and low-speed damping based on the piston rod’s movement rather than the vehicle’s speed.
Rapid piston rod movements consistently happen during compression and rebound, particularly when driving on rough roads or navigating curbs on a race track. Even passing over a transverse bridge joint on the highway induces “high-speed excitation,” affecting the damping.
For example, the high-speed valves for compression and rebound can be set to a more comfortable setting, while the low-speed damping can be set to a sportier setting for more direct handling.
For example, high speeds during compression and rebound are consistently provoked by rough or undulating asphalt surfaces and when navigating transverse bridge joints. In contrast, slower damping speeds are prompted by acceleration, braking, and steering.
Simply put, slow piston rod movements are typically caused by the driver’s actions, while the road surface primarily induces rapid compression and rebound.
A significant difference between the KW V5 coilover suspension and the KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension lies in their intricate design. For instance, the Clubsport coilover suspension kits use unibal bearing mounting elements on both the front and rear axles, a feature absent in the KW V5. Moreover, the Clubsport boasts higher spring rates for the main and preload springs. Additionally, the valves in the V5 Clubsport are engineered differently compared to those in the standard KW V5 coilover suspension kit.
All our Clubsport coilover suspension kits, from the V3, V4, and V5 Clubsport variants, have been meticulously engineered for close-to-production Clubsport vehicles and sports cars at our KW Headquarters in Fichtenberg (Germany).
At KW, we always understand track tools to be vehicles still close to production and driven with semi-slick tires; that’s why all our Clubsport coilovers always have a parts certificate. Close-to-production means that the respective track tool is still almost at the standard vehicle weight and that you have neither a consistently lightweight construction nor a welded-in safety cell on your car.
Some time ago, we released a YouTube video featuring Tom Schütze, where our colleagues from the KW racing department delve deeper into this topic. They explain whether opting for a racing suspension from us is more beneficial than a Clubsport coilover suspension.
If you’re questioning the purpose behind this, glance at our Tracktool customer Maximilian Kurz’s BMW E36 M3 (click on the bold text). He achieves impressive lap times on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, all thanks to the high cornering speeds enabled by our four-way adjustable suspension.
A significant advantage of our solid piston dampers lies in their intimate integration with the damper hydraulics, leading to a more compact overall system. This design enables the displacement piston suspension to respond with heightened sensitivity to road imperfections, effectively absorbing and mitigating bumps for a smoother, more harmonious driving experience.
Even with minimal suspension travel, the KW V5 coilover suspension and KW V5 Clubsport deliver exceptional damping control, enabling drivers to navigate the Lotus Emira’s limits confidently and quickly. Our technology elevates the mid-engine sports car’s ride and handling characteristics, enhancing its stability and agility.
Everyone has to decide whether to go for the KW V5 Clubsport coilover kit or the standard V5. If you drive six to ten times yearly on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, go for the KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension.
Both coilover suspension kits available for the Lotus Emira have a parts certificate, and the lowering on the front and rear axles can be continuously adjusted between 10 and 30 millimeters.
Just visit our homepage, www.kwsuspensions.net, if you want to know more about our suspension technology, delivery times, prices, technical parts certificates, or if you are looking for an installation partner for your KW coilover suspension.
Our colleagues at BBS of America and our friends from “The Daily Driven” recently installed BBS CI-R Unlimited wheels on the BMW M3 (G80), and their YouTube video shows what makes the BBS Unlimited system so special – because BBS Unlimited is much more than initially assumed.