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Coilover kit for Porsche Carrera GT uses modern damper technology

Design provides a higher level of driving comfort than the Carrera GT OE-suspension developed 20 years ago

Fichtenberg, Germany—Twenty years ago, Porsche presented its supercar: The Carrera GT. The coilover manufacturer, KW automotive, now offers a new KW V5 coilover kit. Available with an optional hydraulic lift system, KW counts on its solid piston technology. This equips the 612 HP Porsche with more sensitive damping.

The KW dampers’ solid piston design provides a higher level of driving comfort than the Carrera GT OE-suspension developed 20 years ago. The lift system elevates the Porsche on both axles by 45 millimeters with the push of a button. In this YouTube video, former Formula 1 racecar driver Nick Heidfeld presents his Porsche Carrera GT with a customized KW V5 coilover suspension and hydraulic lift system:

The supercar Porsche Carrera GT (980) is a Porsche for country roads, highways, the Mulholland drive, and track day trips. According to media reports, there were only 1,270 delivered customer vehicles from 2003 to 2006. The coilover manufacturer, KW automotive, developed a coilover kit with an optional hydraulic lift system. The lifting cylinders elevate the Carrera GT to overcome obstacles such as steep parking garage ramps, construction site obstacles, or speed bumps easier. The dampers are low-speed and high-speed compression and rebound adjustable. A continuous lowering of 10 millimeters of the center of gravity is possible if desired.

With a high-revving V10 mid-engine, 5.7-liter displacement, 612 HP, six-speed manual transmission, and a carbon fiber monocoque, the Carrera GT was always far ahead of its time.

“Even 20 years after its market launch, the Carrera GT is a fascinating sportscar,” KW Brand Manager Florian Johann said. “Before developing the KW V5 coilover kit, we already offered other coilovers for the Carrera GT.”

At that time, the Carrera GT KW Clubsport coilover kit was based on the suspension engineering of the old Porsche 911 GT3 customer sports cars. Within the new KW V5 coilover kit for the Porsche Carrera GT (980), the KW V6 Racing originally homologated for the Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) was functioning as an example. Instead of using a conventional monotube or twin-tube damper, KW automotive decided to use the displacement principle in the damper design for its KW V5 coilover kit. In contrast to other shock absorber designs, there are no overflowed pistons in the KW solid piston technology.

The piston is closed and the entire hydraulic or volume column above and below the piston is displaced. This compact design enlarges the hydraulic working and effective range of the vibration damper. Therefore, the damping in compression and rebound benefits thanks to smaller piston rods. Due to the Carrera GT axle geometry with double wishbones and bell cranks (pushrod suspension), no wheel-guiding forces are generated at the dampers. This is another reason for the KW V5 coilover kit to be equipped with Solid Piston technology. Thanks to a revised valve design the solid piston shocks can handle stronger hydraulic forces. Within the Solid Piston principle, the valves are separated from the piston rod.

“In our Solid Piston coilovers for street use, we can work with much less spring rates and can build more compact and light dampers than within other systems,” Johann said. 

Modern driving behavior

While racecars are progressively exposed to higher aero lasts and shorter damper travels, cars for daily street driving use an increase in weight. Due to these differences, KW automotive focuses KW Solid Piston Technology more often.

“The entire KW V5 coilover design is made for more sensitive damping and fast feedback due to short spring travels,” Johann explained. “In the past years, many things have changed in suspension technology. In detail, you can compare this to the change from analog cell phones to the latest smartphone.”

Even within the pre-adjusted damper setup, the Carrera GT drives more harmoniously than with the serial suspension which was developed 20 years ago. The KW V5 coilover kit in the Carrera GT dampens small speed bumps with help of the compression. This leads to a more relaxed driving experience in the sportscar.

Even when crossing transversal joints, manhole covers or small bumps, the coilover kit dampens those irregularities. Those that like it even more comfortable or sportier can adjust the coilover kit to their desires and needs. The adjustment takes place at the adjustment wheel directly at the damper.

No matter which setup or which road the Porsche Carrera with KW V5 inside drives, the coilover kit becomes more dynamic. The entire steering becomes more precise, the handling is more direct and the behavior feels safer. The KW V5 coilover kit is available for the Porsche Carrera GT with and without a hydraulic lift system.

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