At Co-ordSport we encourage our staff to attend/receive product training from the great manufacturers we work with, wherever they are in the world! Their knowledge and experience is often best explained and received in person, with physical examples available to talk over.
Two of the Co-ordSport Sales Team recently attended a week of training at the KW Suspension Headquarters in Germany. Here is their report (seems like at KW they’re great people and they have some great products! Definitely well tested!)
KW Suspension Training;
KW training was based at their facility in Fichtenberg, which is a small town in the district of Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. KW’s property is very large at just over 25,000sq/ft., with many different departments, such as R&D, assembly, 7-post ramp suspension setups etc. (Pictures shown at bottom of this review).
Day 1 – Product training with Oliver Scherbaum.
We began the day with some background / history on KW, and how it all started. It was originally founded by Klaus Wohlfarth in 1986, where he was racing an Opel Ascona Coupe with KONI shocks/springs fitted, which he found to be far too soft, so he proceeded to take apart the KONI shocks to find out how it was assembled and what was involved. In 1991, Klaus came up with new technology in suspension, which would be known as the Coilover… But this was very expensive, as more than one suspension kit had to be taken apart to make these kits, they worked out to around €2,000EUR back in the day, but this was new technology, so more and more race teams heard of these kits and gave them a try, with great success. In 1994, Klaus exhibited KW at the Essen Motor Show, where bigger companies such as Eibach and Bilstein looked down on them, but it was a great success for KW, as it provided a lot more business for them, and now KW are suppliers to Eibach and others! (Eibach’s Coilover kits are made by KW).
KW’s product range.
Variant 1 – Ride height adjustable, with factory pre-set damping rates.
Variant 2 – Ride height and damping adjustability (16-clicks)
Variant 3 – Ride height, Rebound and compression damping adjustability.
Variant 4 (NEW) – Ride height, Rebound and compression damping adjustability, but aimed more so at the supercar market, such as Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 etc.
Clubsport 2-way – Ride height, rebound damping, compression damping and damping force adjustability.
Clubsport 3-way – Ride height, rebound damping (16 clicks), compression damping (6-clicks low speed and 14-clicks in high speed) and Independent damping force adjustability.
DDC (Dynamic damping control) – The KW DDC coilovers are part of the KW iSuspension program – the intelligent suspension solution. They combine the advantages of an adaptive damping system with a vehicle-specific aftermarket suspension solution. They’re offered in two versions: KW DDC ECU with the option of using KW’s App control and as, KW DDC Plug & Play for selected vehicle models with factory adaptive suspension. Within the kit, there are 3 settings for this kit. See below;
HLS system (Hydraulic lift) – KW Hydraulic lift systems can be combined with KW V3 Coilover variants. Remote control available, but most popular is Wi-Fi, so it can be adjusted via an app on your iPhone or Android phone. This was inspired by an OPEL Calibra DTM car of all things, which used a similar system in the 90’s for flatter cornering on longer sweeping corners.
KW height adjustable spring kits – The KW height adjustable spring kits are suitable for drivers who want to lower their car and have the advantage of an individual adjustment range. Individual height adjustment of the standard suspension kit, Adaptive damper control remains active, better steering behaviour, Improved looks.
KW Competition 2-way & 3-way racing suspension – KW Competition racing coilovers come in two damping versions which are available for amateur and international use in top motorsport. Six overall victories in ten years at the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring and countless class wins impressively prove that the racing technology of KW competition is not only superior in terms of performance, but also in quality. This is real Nordschleife competence: KW wins where others only test.
- Twin tube technology with 15, 18 or 22mm rod diameter.
- Including surge tank for a position independent installation.
- Including adjustable compression valve technology in the reservoir for additional damper stroke.
- Mono-tube upside down damper cartridge with 40mm standard bearing.
ST coilovers – Individual lowering within the tested adjustment range, Front and rear axle thread adjustment (when possible), Galvanized Coilover struts with additional coating for optimized corrosion protection, Complete solution with adjustable spring plate, race spring system and bumpers with dust protection, Powerful twin-tube dampers with high-quality components for maximum longevity. ST coilovers are aimed more at the customer with a budget, customers with cars that maybe aren’t worth a lot anymore, and are looking to turn it into a track car.
ST wheel spacers – 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5 or 25mm per wheel. Through-hole system with multi bolt holes and patented centre adapters for cars with wheel bolts AND wheel studs. For Spacers up to 10 mm per wheel the wheel spacer is precisely centered on the wheel hub with the flat center adapter. From 12.5 mm per wheel the long center adapter offers a double centering on the wheel hub and for the rim which guarantees an optimal concentricity. Longer wheel bolts or ST shaft nuts are required. More information shown here – http://www.st-suspensions.net/st/info/wheel_spacers/st_wheel_spacers
Note: MOST KW coilovers are developed and tested on the Nordschleife (Nurburgring), as this circuit is a public toll road with many different straights, corners, adverse cambers etc.
Day 2 – Vehicle dynamics, by Wolfgang Weber.
Seminar can be found here: www.wmmotorsport.de/semfabhrwerkEngl.pdf
There were a lot of areas where photography was prohibited for copyright reasons, but I have added pictures from the week throughout, here: