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!).