The MotoIQ garage often does a lot of high-end work with pretty much state of the art components but sometimes we also do work for customers that want high-quality stuff but are mostly going to use their cars for street use and are not serious track or autocross competitors that need a ton of adjustability. We feel that for this sort of end-use, there are more cost-effective solutions. In this case, we had a customer with a mostly street-driven E46 M3 that had a well-worn stock suspension that wanted a damper refresh. We felt that his needs would be best satisfied with a set of KW Suspension Variant 2 coilovers.
The Variant 2 coilovers are the perfect setup for street use. They have moderate spring and damping rates that are a nice step up from stock but nothing too overwhelmingly stiff. They are also single adjustable for damping with the damper adjuster mostly affecting the low-speed rebound. Low-speed shock movements are shock shaft velocities of zero to 2 inches per second range. This is the velocity that affects roll, dive, and pitch and is what the driver feels the most.
The front McPherson struts use KW’s Inox stainless steel construction for a long corrosion-free life. When combined with stainless steel reinforced spring seats, you have a shock that won’t corrode and a spring seat that won’t seize on the shock body even with salty snow-covered roads. This allows KW to offer a lifetime warranty on their Variant line of suspension.
The rebound damping adjuster is at the top of the strut shaft. The strut also uses a progressive microcellular urethane bump stop and a dust shield.
The spring is configured to use a coilover lower seat but the stock upper seat. The Variant 2 is designed to use the stock upper mount for lower noise and vibrations instead of a spherical bearing-equipped camber plate.
Shorter endlinks for the anti-sway bar are provided to keep the proper sway bar geometry with a lower ride height.