This past season we attempted to build a race car in the span of a few days, our goal was to take a Audi 8V A3 to the track and compete in the CSCS racing AWD production class. We had our work cut out as this class is very competitive and consists of numerous fast paced Subaru and Volkwagens. The Audi has huge potential so making it fast came down to choosing the right parts. For suspension we chose to go with KW Clubsport coilovers from Germany.
The KW Clubsport coilovers combine KW’s high-end racing technology with maintenance-free KW OEM quality components. Designed to provide you the ideal product to utilize the full potential of your sports car during autocross, track days, high performance drivers education (HPDE) courses, club racing, and is tested rigorously on race tracks such as the Nürburgring Nordschleife. As a supporting suspension manufacturer to numerous international racing series, KW has claimed 7 ADAC Zurich 24-hour victories over the years at the famous Nürburgring circuit, and the ADAC GT Masters 2011 Championship. At the start of the 2018 24 Hour race 75 race teams were equipped with KW coilover systems resulting in 16 class victories. These race teams rely on KW’s racing expertise and experience for their vehicle setup. This same championship winning pedigree is mirrored in the development of each one of the KW Clubsport coilover systems.
Right off the bat the new coilovers are shorter then the OEM strut assemblies so they are much easier going in then coming out. The first discernable difference is the damping rebound adjustment on the KW Clubsport for the Audi 8V A3. The rebound stage damping is precisely tuned to the respective vehicle on KW’s in-house drive dynamics test facility, with the setting fixed in the mid-range. This makes a big difference in the ability of the A3 to maintain grip in some of the bumpy sections of the road course.
The Clubsport also comes with compression damping. The patented compression valve with TVC-A technology features two separate spring pre-tensioned valves for small and large volume flow. The compression is tuned to the respective vehicle type on our 7-post rig and is delivered in the middle of the range out of the box. With 12 precise clicks the adjustable compression valve can increase or decrease the cross-section in the low speed valve, providing more or less compression damping.
Another feature the KW Clubsport offers the Audi is the external reservoir. The KW reservoirs provide additional oil and cooling capacity for particularly high force systems. The reservoir, which is filled with low gas pressure, can be fitted anywhere and accommodate the adjustable compression valve to provide more working space inside the damper. This allows the Audi to completely avoid cavitation in the shock which can hurt the performance of the suspension during a race.
Lastly the inox-line from KW ensures you get a long lasting product and that is important to us since this Audi doubles as a daily driver for the owner John. KW coilovers such as Variant 1, Variant 2, Variant 3, Variant 4, Street-Comfort, KW Clubsport 2-way and 3-way and the adaptive KW DDC coilovers are made of stainless steel. Whether it is the strut housing, the trapezoidal thread or the vehicle-specific brackets, KW use only stainless steel. Our “inox-line” stainless steel alloy stands the test of time and elements for many years of driving pleasure.
Once installed we took the A3 for a drive and the improvements were drastic. The car felt more balance, the steering feel was improved, the turn in was hyper precise yet in a corner the car never felt off balance. With some fine tuning before our next track day we will be able to extract some time by refining the damping. Check out the video for an in-depth look on the install.