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Discussion Starter #1
ACspeedtech are happy to announce the accreditation as a ‘Performance Partner’ for KW Suspensions.

To celebrate this we will offer some great deals including fitting and setup of the whole range of KW suspensions.
Please contact us for info and pricing!

Most of our customers know of our enthusiasm and experience with chassis tuning and for the driving dynamics of a sports car, and we have been great fans and users of the full range of KW suspension for many years. In using more and more of their products and coilover suspension kits, we were invited to become a ‘Performance Partner’ with KW to which we quite obviously leapt at the opportunity! The first part of this involved a few days factory training at their facility in Germany!

With a few airplanes, a little waiting and a brisk drive into the German hills, I arrived in Fichtenberg, Germany. The brothers Klaus and Jurgen Wohlfarth grew up in the area and when their small company started to grow towards the world known performance suspension brand we all know, they vowed to stay in the area and assist the local economy. This means the factory now is not quite on a main route through Germany, but very pleasantly nestled up in the hills, a spirited 45 mins drive from Stuttgart through some great roads (hire cars are NOT designed for this terrain!)

A very fresh and foggy start in the morning started with meeting our hosts and the rest of the group over breakfast and after a few had shook off a minor hangover we drove up to the factory. An affection for purple and yellow is a must here and certainly not a dull place to work!
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Day 1 – KW Vehicle Dynamics Seminar with Wolfgang Weber.
Wolfgang Weber has raced most of his life, gaining accolades such as winning multiple Group A European Rally championships, test driving and demonstration driver for RUF Automotive, competing in many 24 hour races, VLN and cup races at the Nurburgring and many more. Now also a main character with KW to design and test their suspension kits.
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Having the opportunity to learn a huge amount from his experience was an honour, I’m sure all of us could have talked for days and days! We covered everything from damper design and function to chassis geometry, theory of suspension setup, ride height, car weight balance, spring rate, damping rates, camber, castor, toe-in/out, tyres, tyre pressure, anti roll bars, and I am sure I could go on and on about the individual points… But this isn’t a novel!

Following this (after a huge lunch!) was a factory tour where we were shown the entire process from raw material, machining, welding and construction, all the way through damper build and test (every individual damper is hand built and run on a shock dyno) to packaging, stock and dispatch.
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We were then shown the test facility with their 7-post chassis rig, one of under 15 worldwide and under 5 which are outside of manufacturers (the others being f1/race teams), based in it’s own building standing on almost 10 metres of concrete and with its own power supply from the grid it is an impressive piece of kit! Placing a car on the rig and measuring the damper movement, chassis dynamics and tyre loading, this can replicate and simulate any road, track or desired sequence of undulations. This allows data acquisition and testing without having to push cars hard in a dangerous real world environment and to a level of accuracy and repeatability previously impossible. The data and testing allow KW to build extremely precise suspension systems which are almost perfect ‘out of the box’.

Back to the ‘classroom’ a further hours tutorial and some light hearted chats, again gleaning snippets of info from Mr Weber, brought day 1 to a close and a chance to enjoy the Raceroom driving simulators and a lovely buffet… Maybe the odd beer too.
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Day 2 – KW product training
After another classically misty German mountain morning start, day 2 was all about the hardcore technical design attributes of the KW suspension units and product training over the full KW range.
We started though with a full overview of the KW history, from Klaus’ building his own suspension for his car, to winning the Nurburgring 24hr raced with Zakspeed racing, partnering the ETCC, then the WTCC. Following this with equipping the AMG range for Mercedes-Benz (SLK 55 AMG, CLK 63 AMG, SL 55 AMG black series) which continues to today, certain very special cars were on the factory grounds that I’m not allowed to mention!

Kw forged a successful relationship with Manthey Racing, taking four consecutive victories at the Nurburgring 24hr from 2006 and 2009, and revisited for a fifth win in 2011!
Just to condense this a little… Here’s a few other acolades:

ADAC GT masters champion win 2011 in Alpina B6 GT3,
BMW Z4 GT3 homologated with KW competition coilovers,
KW equip the Alpina B3 GT3,
KW equip the Mosler EXP/1 to take the fastest street legal car at the Hockenheimring,
Technical partner for the Mercedes CLA45 AMG racing series,
KW equip the BMW M235i racing edition,
The John cooper works pro suspension kits provided by KW automotive,
KW suspension standard equipment on the Mercedes G500 4x4squared,
KW provide homologated suspension for the Porsche 991 GT3 R,
KW provide standard equipment suspension for the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport,
KW provide standard equipment suspension for the BMW M4 GTS,
KW provide the optional M performance coilovers for the BMW M2.

Growing from 3 employees in 150 metres of space in 1996, to over 200 employees in 23000 metres today, KW is proving it’s prowess in the industry day after day as more and more people discover the brand and what their products can offer.

The rest of the day we covered the real in-depth technical side of the dampers, piece by piece with diagrams and graphs which although some of you would be hugely interested in (and I’m happy to discuss!) I think this little piece should be kept to under 8 volumes of text!
Please feel free to call in, phone or email with any queries about the KW range, there are many products and some very trick pieces of kit which I will highlight in the coming weeks on social media.

Here at ACspeedtech we are proud to be partnered by them to provide our customers with exceptional suspension kits to enhance the driving experience and take chassis control and dynamics to another level.
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That only leaves to thank everyone at KW GMBH for the hospitality shown to us, allowing us to have a glimpse into their daily work and divulging a brain melting amount of information and experience. Also to all the guys at KW Automotive UK for inviting us and arranging everything, and lastly to the other guys attending the training showing that no matter where you’re from, the common ground of ‘driving cars fast’ is cross continents, countries and languages.

Danke sehr!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Glad you're still enjoying the upgrade over the factory electronic shocks, it's good to see people starting to appreciate just how much of an improvement in handling can be made to the GTR by replacing the oem suspension and dialing it in properly! See you on Thursday Daz :)
 
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