Adaptive suspension is becoming more and more common among cars in recent years. The ability to change the driving characteristics of your car with the push of a button or the flip of a switch allows drivers to have a performance feel when they want to, and a more relaxing drive when they don’t. This is extremely appealing to the modern consumer. We have phones that can browse the internet, play games, take pictures and video, even make the occasional phone call. We see a lot of value in a versatile product, so when a car can go from commuter to weekend warrior with the push of a button that’s a great value vs owning a specialized daily driver and full on sports car.
Red BMW F80 M3 sporting the KW Plug and Play DDC Coilover Kit
This technology varies between different manufacturers, but most will have some variation of the 3 settings found in the F80 M3 and the F82 M4: “Comfort” or “Efficient” (name updated on newer models), Sport, and Sport+ (with an occasional fourth setting such as the drift mode in the case of the Ford Focus RS). Comfort/Efficient, as the name suggests, will give you the most comfortable ride, smoothing out bumps and typically adjusting throttle response to give a more relaxed driving experience and improve fuel efficiency. The Sport setting is for when you’re itching for a little excitement, stiffening up the suspension and giving increased throttle response where applicable. Sport+ takes everything Sport mode does and turns it up to 11.
Simple toggle buttons allow quick switching between driving modes
In this mode you will have the sharpest steering and flattest cornering, striking a sharp contrast to the laid back feel of Comfort/Efficient mode. While this feature and the technology behind is it truly amazing, suspension manufacturers have had to work around it rather than working with it. However, where there’s a will there’s a way, and KW automotive have a will unlike any other.
KW Technician installing electronically adjustable coilovers.
For years KW has been a staple of the aftermarket suspension market. They are always at the forefront of suspension technology and use their knowledge and innovation to bring their customers the best driving experience possible. Their lineup of Plug & Play DDC coilovers are no exception. DDC or “Dynamic Dampening Control” is KW’s answer to the problem of how limited the adjustment of normal coilovers are.
The DDC coilover (bottom) has almost no added bulk compared to a normal v3 coilover (top).
Generally coilover systems are limited to one setting per trip. Many coils come from the manufacturer pre-set with no dampening controls whatsoever, your ride will always be the exact same with some slight variance due to height and wear over time. More advanced coilovers will give you the option to adjust your rebound and compression settings to make the ride firmer or softer, however you are still stuck with whatever setting you choose until the next time you stop and change your settings around. This can also involve remembering or keeping a record of what settings you like so you can easily change between them since there is almost never an option that works well for both comfort and aggressive driving.
Adjusting a normal coilover can be a pain, on some you even have to reach under the car.
This is where the benefit of the Plug & Play DDC coilovers for the M3/M4 comes into play. Normally when installing coilovers onto a car with adaptive suspension you sacrifice the feature in order to gain the benefits of coilovers, not to mention having to buy a delete kit in order to avoid system errors. For many M3 and M4 owners this is a huge issue because it limits the versatility of the car, or it affected their decision to even get the adaptive M suspension in the first place because they know they want the handling benefits of coilovers. This is why the Plug & Play DDC coilovers are an absolute game changer.
This system wires directly into your factory control module and integrates directly with the OEM adaptive suspension. Anyone familiar with BMW’s adaptive M suspension will tell you this is no mean feat. Their suspension technology goes beyond just changing ride quality at the flip of a switch, it uses an array of sensors to constantly monitor and adjust the suspension. It will automatically adjust to the road conditions, steering angle, and speed to either improve ride comfort or maximize handling. Combine this with the adjustable ride height, high quality components, and legendary performance of KW coilovers and you have a winning combination.
No longer do you have to choose between adjustable ride height and keeping all your features active (or opting for them in the first place). Now you can remove ugly wheel gap, improve handling, and still maintain full dynamic suspension functionality. KW brings the “Ultimate” back to your Ultimate Driving Machine.