Product Development Testing with KW Suspension

by Mike Kojima

If you are interested in the way a suspension company does R&D, take a look at how a typical test session for KW Suspension goes.  We tagged along on the final calibration confirmation of KW's latest 3-Way adjustable Club Sport suspension for the BMW M2.

On many KW applications most of their R&D test fitting and ride development work is done in Germany. To make sure the calibration is good for US market cars, if there is a difference between the US and Euro spec, the fit and calibration is often confirmed by KW's North American office on a US spec car.

For this evaluation we would be looking at the soon to be released KW 3-Way adjustable Clubsport coilover set for the BMW M2.  The KW 3-way adjustable Clubsport was designed as the ultimate dual purpose track/daily driver street damper.  Basically it has 3-way adjustable damping; rebound with two compression adjustments, high and low speed like a high end racing damper. This sophisticated set of internals is paired with the corrosion resistant daily driving durability of KW's tried and true V3 street shock.

The front damper on an M2 is a MacPherson strut design.  The Clubsport 3-Way has the compression adjustments on top of the remote reservoir.  The rebound adjustment is on top of the shock shaft.  The Clubsports come with a pillow ball bearing equipped camber plate up top for adjusting camber.  The plate's spherical bearings are well sealed from the elements making these true all season coilovers. 
BMW spindles have a clamp type lower mount that grabs the strut tube.  The KW 3-Way Clubsport has a corrosion resistant stainless steel body and plastic lower spring seats.  You will not have stuck adjusting collars on these coilovers even if you drive on salty roads. 
The rear shocks have the coil springs mounted to the lower control arm inboard of the damper just like OEM.  This is advantageous for ride comfort and reducing tire shock as it isolates the damper from spring kinking forces.  These forces can put a side load on the damper shaft of several hundred pounds resulting in friction and even binding. 


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Monday, July 11, 2016 8:47 PM
last page at the top is says you didn't note any significant improvements in lap times after the changes. is that damping changes or putting on stickier tires and more aggressive alignment?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, July 12, 2016 12:48 AM
Damping changes, the car felt better but didn't go any faster.
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