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KW Variant 2 Coilovers for S5

26589 Views 91 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  wwhan

S5 - KW Coilovers – Variant 2 Initial Review

A few of you will be aware Doubledoom and I had the KW variant 2 coilovers fitted to our S5s by the guys at APS today, the first to have them fitted in the UK apparently. After a 140 mile trip back home here are my initial thoughts:

Although I had the car lowered 25mm with the H&R springs about a month ago, this was always a temporary measure until the KWs were available for the S5. The H&Rs gave the car that much sought after lowered look and even better handling characteristics but there was always the compromise of a harsh ride when compared to stock. For me this was tolerable but as soon as something came available that could offer the same look but with the ride comfort of the stock set up I would have it. Enter the KWs.

First the look. The ride height is adjustable on the V2s and I opted for a 25mm drop at the front and 20mm at the rear to try and give a dropped front appearance and more aggressive look. The initial set up doesn’t look too different from the 25mm drop all round I had with the H&Rs but over time the springs will bed in and any fine adjustments will be more meaningful, so for the next couple of months this is the ride height I’ll keep. Adjustment of ride height just requires the wheels off to enable access. The rebound was left in the default comfort set up. Adjusting this is a little more involved and requires the units to be detached at the top.

An initial test drive around the industrial estate near to APS took me over a few minor pot holes and bumps and these were despatched without any jolts or thuds in the car at all. The H&Rs definitely reminded you they were a stiffer set up when travelling over such surfaces. The real test, however would be the drive home.

A variety of road conditions were encountered including the following: a series of regular thick lines painted across the road on an approach to roundabouts, cats eyes between lanes, railway crossing, minor pot holes and sleeping policemen. Without exception, the drive over all these surfaces at normal driving speeds was smooth and uncompromised and the default comfort setting of the rebound certainly lived up to its description and all my expectations (and hopes).

Although the trip home was blighted with torrential rain from time to time, the handling characteristics of the car were just as good as with the H&Rs ie the car felt as if it was painted to the road. Cornering at speed offered little detectable body roll.

In summary, the KWs offer exactly what I had hoped for. The aggressive lowered look which can be adjusted to suit relatively easily and the comfort of the stock suspension set up. Don’t get me wrong, the H&Rs are a very cost effective means of getting the desired lowering and the compromise to ride comfort isn’t too bad. However the KWs do give the comfort factor back, albeit at a price.

I’m sure Doubledoom will add his own review when he gets chance. Comparing notes following our respective test drives I’m sure he too will have similarly favourable comments.

I’ll give things a few hundred miles to bed in and then update the review. Hopefully we’ll have some better weather between now and then!

Finally, thanks to Ed and the guys at APS for providing first class service once again.

A few images from the day posted below. It wasn't the weather for outside photos so will post some of the car i) If it ever stops raining in the UK and ii) I've got the car clean (again!).

Suspension part Coil spring Shock absorber Suspension Yellow
Suspension part Auto part Coil spring Suspension Shock absorber

Suspension part Suspension Auto part Yellow Coil spring
Auto part Suspension Suspension part Engine

Auto part Suspension part Suspension Coil spring Vehicle
Land vehicle Alloy wheel Vehicle Tire Wheel

Suspension part Shock absorber Suspension Auto part Tool
Coil spring Suspension part Suspension Auto part Coil
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1 - 8 of 92 Posts
The H&Rs were fine on smooth roads but the minute you went rural you felt it. Often that meant the bottom of the car felt it as well. Since having the KWs fitted I have only gone aground whilst using the Riverside car park in Norwich on the up ramps between the floors. Even then it was just a slight graze.

Comfort wise they are superb. The H&Rs are the budget option. The KWs are the more expensive option and you get what you pay for. However, it is probably worth checking the H&Rs first as they are lower cost and if you can get one of the second hand sets now going it is a very cost efficient upgrade.
Also out of the question were any published photos of my car dirty, although I can spot some dirt on one of the wheel arches in one of the 'action' photos.....then again, that one could have been Doom's car of course, as he had the same work done on the day
My car had a lot of rain stains on it but your car, whilst not to your standards, was far cleaner than mine. You would be impressed with me over the last month. Although the thunderstorms of the last few days have put paid to a lot of my efforts. Cleaning the car is now my excercise regime. Why join a gym to ride a bike going nowhere when you can clean the car with all the bending and elbow grease.

I will get my copy over the weekend and read your article with interest.

I do still want the drop the front a further 5mm at least and the way the next APS meet planning is going it looks like I'm going to do that myself.
I am hoping that the 1st Sept deliveries will see a new batch of people wanting to go to APS.
V1s werent available Manor. just the V2s.

The adjustment of height option would still have been the major selling point for me. When I come to sell, the dealer can just up the ride height and that makes it an option that doesnt impact on resale values.

Plus, I still run aground at times and some may prefer the ability to tweak the height a litle just to add a few more mm to the height to avoid that.
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

You say it so casually!!!
Tell that to my bumper which has a couple of deep scratches on the underside. Plus, a bit of the plastic undertray that fell off (well, broke off really) which I need to get replaced. Although in that case every car that went over that particular bump was running aground. Mine just came off a bit worse.

Next visit to APS will see me get the ride height raised by a few mm. It doesnt need much but a few multi-storey car parks are just catching the underside slightly on the ramps.
Same as Ess5ive.
It was much longer than 2 hours on mine and Manor's but that was because we were the first two to have it done. APS wanted to spend more time on those. It took about most of the day but that was with two being done at the same time. I think Ess5ive would have been the 3rd of 4th one by that time so would be a bit quicker. However, the price wasnt changed.
I think it depends on which version of drive select you have. There are three levels:

Audi drive select — with Dynamic Steering (6-cylinder models only)
2H1+1BL Audi drive select — with Damper Control (m/h servotronic)

2H1+1BL +1N7 Audi drive select — full package (6-cylinder models only)

I reckon coilovers would render Damper control useless.​

I have KW V2 on order. Some questions:

Has anyone had any problems with them ?
I'm on my third set or rears. Although the latest version on the rears is a new design and so far so good.
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