TESTED: KW Dynamic Damping Control – DDC

KW Dynamic Damping Control, ddc, review, tested, motoiq

TESTED: KW Dynamic Damping Control – DDC

by Martin Gonzales

There comes a time in every gear heads life when he/she must ask themselves, “Why in St. Kojima's name am I driving my track set-up to work?”.  If you can relate, then no doubt you've been victim to the track-bug's high octane venom.  Which also means the vehicle you use for daily transportation has been molested and tinkered with to the point that it no longer has what little refinement it had when it drove off the showroom floor.  All done in the name of faster lap times of course, but your vehicle is now serving as a constant reminder that there really is no such thing as an all purpose vehicle.  Well, enter KW's Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system.

KW knows that even the most hardcore of gearheads will develop a want for a little refinement as they gracefully tack on the years.  Call it a function of maturity, old age, or just plain being sick and tired of driving around in a near race car on a daily basis.  We'll never grow out of wanting to set new high speed scores on our frequently encountered freeway ramps, but do we really want to have an uncomfortable ride for the other 99.8% of the time we're not cornering?  Of course not!  

 

Visiting KW headquarters in Fichtenberg, Germany and getting a sneak peak at the development of the KW DDC Plug and Play system.  KW has the capabilities to do everything in the developmental and production process in house, which means full control, tight quality control and ultimately an OE quality product that provides a seamless integration of OE and KW components. 

 

As you may or may not recall, last year the nerd-herd migrated to the other side of the globe to visit our friends at KW and the timing could not have been more perfect!  The team of engineers at KW were hard at work on one of their DDC test mules.  Luckily for us they had just finished making some final improvements to their plug and play kit for the BMW 3-series (F30) and we got a chance to get behind the wheel and put the system through its paces.

Before we give you our driving impressions of the KW Dynamic Damping Control system, let's start with a quick overview of the system and its options.  The DDC system allows the driver to adjust the handling characteristics of their vehicle from the comfort of the driver's seat.  There are two distinct systems and they are differentiated by the way in which the shock adjustments are made.

 

It's a shame when you lose the damping control the OE system provides when you want to upgrade your suspension.  Thanks to the KW DDC Plug and Play you can enjoy the benefits of upgraded suspension components while retaining damping control through the OE controls. 

 

DDC Plug and Play

The DDC Plug and Play is just that, an extremely easy plug and play solution for the driver who wants to maintain the OE feel and functionality of their vehicle, but is also looking for damping settings and control beyond what the OE system can deliver.  This option is available for certain vehicles that already come with a factory adaptive suspension like the VW Golf or BMW 3-series.  This is by far the most simple solution as the KW coilovers will plug right into the factory harness with absolutely no splicing of the factory wires needed.  The KW DDC coilovers will be recognized by the factory onboard electronics and damping adjustments can be made via the factory controls.

 

DDC ECU

KW also has a solution for those who do not own vehicles with factory adaptive suspension systems.  The KW DCC ECU system gives drivers all the benefits of an adaptive suspension system without the need for their car to be outfitted with a factory system.  The DDC ECU system is a completely stand alone unit independent of the factory harness.  All four coilovers will plug into the KW control module, which can be mounted anywhere in the car, and damping adjustments are made via the supplied push-button selector……OR via the DDC ECU App!

 

4 comments

  1. When you tried the DDC Plug and Play (Factory buttons) did the suspension setting changed between Sport and Sport+ ? Or was there only a change between comfort and sport ?

    Thank you

  2. There was definitely a difference between Sport and Sport+. Sport mode was the best for daily driving, while Sport+ felt like a set of V3s set at full tilt. Comfort mode would be useful if you were going through an old cobblestone road I guess, but other than that it was too soft for my taste.

  3. Maybe I could have been more precise in my first comment, so if what you say is true, seems the KW DDC P&P Kit adds another setting that is not present in the Factory BMW Adaptive suspension. Here is an explanation of how the OEM setup works: The stock suspension as only 2 positions Soft and Firm. With the switch in Comfort the suspension is in Soft, in Sport the suspension is in Firm, In Sport+ the suspension is in Firm (Only the DSC system is affected in Sport+ vs Sport).

    I just want to validate that with the KW DDC Plug and Play Coilover kit that integrates with the OEM comfort/sport/sport+ button the suspension as 3 positions.

    Thanks again

  4. Ohhhh, I understand your question better now. I’m 99% sure you can flip through all 3 settings via the OE controls. This test was done a few years ago so my memory is a bit foggy on it, but I’m also pretty sure it will display Comfort / Sport / Sport+ on the OE display as well.

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