Tested: KW Suspensions BMW F30 DDC Remote Adjustable Suspension
A few years ago we got to test a sample of KW Suspensions' electronically adjustable DDC coilovers while visiting them at their German global headquarters. We sampled a 3 series BMW coupe on twisty German back roads and on the Autobahn and came away favorably impressed. We were able to easily, and quickly, adjust the suspension from comfortable to firm to match our current driving modd and/or road conditions.
We were eager to test the KW DDC suspension to see how it would do with a US spec car on US spec roads. We obtained a set of production KW DDC coilovers and a bone stock F30 BMW sedan to perform our own evaluation on our home turf.
The DDC is actually a triple tube damper. The deep insides are like a conventional twin tube with an inner tube which the piston and rod ride in. Fluid flows through the piston and also through the foot valve on the bottom of the inner tube into the second tube.
Most of the rebound damping is controlled by the piston and the compresison damping is handled by the foot valve. However, a large amount of fluid that is displaced by the shock shaft as the shaft moves up and down still flows through the second tube to the outer third tube.
The solenoid valve controls the fluid flow between the second and third tubes. The solenoid valve action is computer controlled and the control can change the damping forces by metering the fluid flow.
Like all street KW's this shock is very rust resistant and carries KW's limited lifetime warranty. The DDC shock body has OEM like mounts for the brake lines and ABS sensors. The shock also has dust covers and soft, progressive MCU bumpstops.
For some cars that have OE adaptive suspension systems like Audis, BMWs and VWs the DDC is plug and play, compatible with the OEM driver adjustable controls. They also make systems that will allow you to easily add an adapative suspension system even if your car did not come with one from the factory. Such is the case for the BMW test mule. Our KW DDC system comes with its own shock controller, wire harness and DDC activation controls.
KW supplies these cool threaded spring seats so that ride height and corner balance can be adjusted. The spring seats are hard anodized aluminum for corrosion resistance.