KW has developed two new Solid-Piston suspensions for the Lotus Emira: DTM suspension technology for retrofitting on both road and racetrack

1 December 2023

As the British sports car brand Lotus gears up to exclusively offer electrified vehicle models, it bids farewell to its mid-engine sports car, the Lotus Emira. KW automotive, a renowned suspension manufacturer, unveils two four-way adjustable coilover suspension kits, the KW V5 and KW V5 Clubsport, both boasting TÜV approval for this iconic sports car. Both coilover kits utilize KW's innovative solid piston design, enabling independent adjustment of high-speed and low-speed compression and rebound forces. Offering a stepless lowering range of 10 to 30 millimeters, each kit caters to specific driving preferences. The KW V5 Clubsport coilover is meticulously engineered for regular track day enthusiasts with semi-slick tires, while the KW V5 coilover is recommended for those seeking to inject the Emira with the spirited handling of a Gran Turismo, prioritizing enhanced ride comfort. More at

KW automotive is one of the first suspension manufacturers in the aftermarket to offer coilovers with solid piston dampers, including parts certification. KW's successful KW Solid-Piston technology, initially developed for the GT3 customer sports program, is now used in increasing street and track day suspension applications. Even for off-road vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class or sport cars like Porsche 911, KW is developing its solid piston shocks. Converting the Lotus factory suspension to the KW V5 coilover or KW V5 Clubsport suspension does not compromise the Lotus's sporty handling. The era when upgrading to high-quality coilovers sacrificed ride comfort is long gone. "With the introduction of the V5 and V5 Clubsport coilovers, we now offer this cutting-edge technology for the Lotus Emira," says KW Brand Manager Florian Johann. "The significant advantage of our Solid-Piston dampers is that we can work more intensively with damper hydraulics and streamline the entire system for a more compact design." Notably, the KW V5 and KW V5 Clubsport suspensions for the Lotus Emira eliminate the need for external reservoirs with hose connections or fixed piggybacks. Unlike conventional mono-tube and twin-tube dampers where the working piston and valves can overflow, this is not the case with KW V5 coilover suspension kits. The entire oil column is displaced from the piston into the valve housing, equipped with independently adjustable high-speed and low-speed compression as well as high-speed and low-speed rebound valves. This damping technology allows the KW solid-piston-based suspension to respond with heightened sensitivity to factors like road irregularities, enabling smoother damping. Despite minimal suspension travel, this damping capability guarantees the Lotus Emira's stability and effortless control at its limits. Even on rough roads, the mid-engine sports car's handling can notably improve due to these characteristics.

Individually Adjustable Four-Way Damping

Both coilover suspensions offer independent compression and rebound valves adjustment, offering 14 clicks available in both high-speed and low-speed settings. High-speed and low-speed refer to the movement of the damper's piston rods, not the vehicle's speed. Fast piston rod movements occur during compression and rebound over rough or uneven asphalt, including when driving over bridge expansion joints. Slow damping velocities, on the other hand, applies to activities like acceleration, braking, and steering. "The best way to remember this is: anything that affects the suspension from the road is a high-speed input, while anything caused directly by the steering wheel or pedals is a low-speed input," explains Florian Johann. "The compression setting affects the compression phase, while the rebound setting is responsible for the rebound phase." The ability to independently adjust the V5 dampers in each parameter allows for increased ride comfort without sacrificing handling. For instance, users can tailor high-speed valve settings for a more comfortable compression and rebound, while opting for stiffer low-speed damping for sharper handling. For avid track enthusiasts, KW recommends the KW V5 Clubsport coilover suspension due to its higher spring rates, unibal-mounted attachment components, and optimized design for semi-slick tires. Both coilover suspensions available for the Lotus Emira come with parts certification, and the ride height can be continuously adjusted between 10 and 30 millimeters at both the front and rear axles.

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About KW automotive:

The KW entrepreneurial group includes the suspension manufacturer KW automotive with its brands KW suspensions, ST suspensions, ap Sportfahrwerke, as well as the SimRacing brands TrackTime and Ascher Racing. With its immense suspension portfolio, state-of-the-art production technology, and development and test center, KW successfully operates in all markets for more than 25 years. Over the past years, KW automotive has developed over 16 distinct damping technologies to fulfill its requirement of supplying "the perfect suspension for every demand". Besides its core business, the development and production of manually and adaptively adjustable coilover kits and other suspension components for the aftermarket as well as the range of accessories of various automobile manufacturers in the premium segment, the business field of original equipment for special models and super sports cars of the automotive industry are developing tremendously positively for the German suspension manufacturer. Since KW is a development partner of sophisticated controlled suspension systems, the manufacturer disposes of the entire product portfolio of hydraulics, electronics, sensor technology, control units, and damper control systems as well as the necessary know-how for the application and tuning of complex vehicle performance systems from a single source. KW has become an indispensable part of customer motorsports throughout the past years and produces homologated racing dampers and suspensions for a constantly growing number of racing cars from several manufacturers. Worldwide, successful racing teams rely on the patented valve technology of KW Competition suspensions. The entrepreneurial group has subsidiaries in the most significant markets, such as Belgium, Great Britain, China, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the USA. 380 employees from the 1200 employees worldwide of the Group are located at the headquarters in Fichtenberg. Software and hardware solutions are further business segments as well as events for virtual motorsports in the scope of the brand RaceRoom. Equally, the suspension manufacturers KW Damping Unit (former AL-KO Damping Unit, Belltech, and Reiger Suspension as well as the alloy wheels manufacturer BBS are brands of the KW entrepreneurial group.