KW street comfort Press Day: International journalists enthralled with the new KW-Product line “street comfort” !
- KW street comfort tested for comfort-oriented drivers
- Production tour and comparison tests performed
- Optimal combination of performance and comfort proven
- International journalists convinced of KW street comfort
“Prove it yourself” was the motto from KW street comfort Press Day held inMay in Fichtenberg, Germany. From headquarters of KW automotive corporation, journalists world-wide were provided the chance themselves to compare features of the new product line KW street comfort to series-produced vehicles. The new generation suspension was developed particularly for sporty vehicle handling and simultaneously more driving comfort. During a press conference and a plant production tour, Juergen Wohlfarth, CEO of KW automotive Inc., elaborated on the details. Following his presentation, he invited journalists to experience for themselves the new product features at a separate, blocked-off special course with built-up intended unevenness for testing.
To begin the KW street comfort Press Day, journalists arriving from Bahrain, Great Britain, Belgium, Norway and Greece, learned of the companies past history from Juergen Wohlfarth. In 1995, KW presented its first products at the prestigious german tuning accessories exhibition; the Essen Motor Show. Production began in 1996 – hence the 10th anniversary of the KW coilover suspensions could be celebrated in 2006. Beginning as only a 3-man team, the company grew so rapidly that due to lack of sufficient space was forced to relocate in 1998 to Fichtenberg, Germany. Today, this enterprise employs over 200 persons world-wide. Branch offices are located in Switzerland – KW automotive Schweiz AG – Great Britain and in the USA. In 2005, KW automotive took over the USA-based manufacturers Belltech and Suspension Systems. In addition, the brand LSD – Lambo Style Doors, well-known for its wing door modification kits and Weitec currently are members of the KW companies as well. As partner in the suspension development, KW automotive works together with prestigious auto modifiers including ABT, Manthey Racing and Novitec Rosso likewise Ford Racing USA, Roush, Chrysler-tuning MOPAR and Volkswagen Racing. Above and beyond this, KW automotive is responsible too for the suspension in the new super sports car Gumpert Apollo.
In reference to the area of suspension development, KW works closely together with tire manufacturer Dunlop. Guest speaker Ralf Flachbarth, head of “Tuning-Development” at Dunlop, clarified the influence tires have on suspension and contrariwise.
“From sport motor racing to the streets”
“Since 1999 KW has been dedicated to its own racing sport technique”, clarified Juergen Wohlfarth, well-known fan of Nuerburgring-Nordschleife racing, hobby racer and brother to company founder Klaus Wohlfarth, current leader of the North American companies. “Within each product a customer has acquired flows expert knowledge directly obtained through motor sports racing experience. Based upon this, follows the companies’ philosophy ’from sport motor racing directly to the streets’.” KW has successfully equipped numerous teams with Zakspeed in the FIA GT-championship, equips a variety of temas in the hill climbing championship, and engaged itself as series sponsors in the FIA touring car world cup championship WTCC as well as in the Asian championship ATCC. KW is especially delighted with it’s impressive successes within the challenging raceway Nürburgring - Nordschleife, Germany. A particular highlight in 2006 was with top champion Manthey, winner of 10 events, equipped through KW competition racing sports techniques.
More than 70 teams for the 24-h race and the BF Goodrich long-distance championship invested their complete trust with the technical know-how from Fichtenberg, Germany.
The KW product range is widely diversified. Next to sport springs and sport suspensions, KW offers a large user-application program for height adjustable coilover suspensions in three variations. KW offers the KW competition racing sports coilover suspensions in 2-way and 3-way adjustable damping technology. Newest in product portfolio 2007 are KW quad suspensions for Quads and all-terrain vehicles, KW clubsport to meet hobby racers needs and the KW street comfort coilover suspension program which is focussed on comfort.
Subsequently to the production tour, journalists received a look at the suspension production. Here they experienced amongst other things, suspensions being built directly following purchase orders – in other words, just in time being completed within 24-hours ready for delivery. Highlight of the production tour was a demonstration of the new “seven post”- driving dynamics testing station whose 15 world-wide existing examples are primarily used within Formula 1 teams. Through these high tech testing stations, KW automotive developed it’s damping experience implemented within the new KW street comfort suspension program, which stood out as a middle point for this press day.
Test drive results: comfort and sportiness achieved simultaneously
“KW street comfort represents a further development of the well-known KW coilover suspensions. “Compared to the hitherto known coilover suspensions the KW street comfort coilovers show a lesser degree of lowering. It resulted in an increased suspension travel which provided KW´s developing engineers with new possibilities regarding the construction of spring characteristics and adaptation of the compression and rebound damping capabilities, which is advantageous for comfort” said Juergen Wohlfarth. The compression damping options are being used as instrument for dynamical driving improvements, to better handling and to achieve a lesser roll tendency of the vehicle. Depending on the car model, KW street comfort enables a customised lowering of the body at front and rear axle between 5 and 45 mm. KW street comfort coilover suspensions additionally feature an adjustable damper for an individual setup for the rebound damping being relevant for driving comfort.
Target audience for KW street comfort are customers with preferences towards more individualized alternatives than car manufacturers with their own sporty accessories offers. They place great worth on discreet lowering along with improved driving dynamics without having to compromise on comfort. KW street comfort often provides vehicles in regards to the area of comfort, a more harmonized impression versus the manufactured series-produced suspensions. Consequently through test driving, the journalists present were able to experience and test this themselves. Several BMW and Audi car models with and without KW street comfort were available for comparison. Availability included a Seat Leon Cupra from tuner JE DESIGN, a series-produced Seat model and a Mercedes CLS from Pogea Tuning for testing and comparison.
Unanimous opinion following test drives; unbelievable! In fact, comparisons to series-produced vehicle pendents although with larger wheels and reduced tire cross-section resulted in comfort advantages experienced through the use of KW street comfort. Testing was completed not just on smooth street surfaces, rather bumpy, rough surfaces through small wooded areas blocked off especially for KW street comfort testing zones. The testing results were clear: KW automotive has the saying goes “achieved the squaring of the circle”!
Further information to the extensive wide range availability program of KW automotive GmbH including spring suspension, damping, sport coilover suspensions and shock absorbers as well as user-application lists can be found in the internet under www.KWsuspensions.de.
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