The SEMA Show exceeded 100,000 attendees in 2003, the first time in its 37-year history. As usual, european car spent a week combing the 9,000 exhibits for good stuff we hadn't seen before. Obviously, we missed a few things. Of those we found, some were from the usual suspects and a few were from tiny new upstarts we hadn't heard of. We thought the items here were especially interesting.
Eibach displayed Pro-Tronic modules for Mercedes vehicles with ABC active suspension. Pro-Tronic is a simple, plug-in module that lowers these cars about 1.2 in., similar to the change provided by Eibach's Pro-Kit lowering spring sets. Pro-Tronic also adjusts the damping characteristics of the ABC system. It is available for W220 S-Class, C215 CL-Class and R230 SL-Class. Eibach also launched Pro-Spacers, made from high-strength aluminum alloy and precisely machined for perfect hub-centric fit. They are TV approved.
Eibach Springs Inc.
Michelin's new Pilot Sport 2 tire is original equipment on the Porsche GT3 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. It will be officially introduced to the press about the time you read this, so look for in-depth reviews soon.
H-Sport engineers complete vehicle suspension systems. Its Sport TVS kit for MINIs includes springs, anti-roll bars, camber plates, camber links and a strut tower brace. At SEMA, H-Sport introduced tubular, adjustable anti-roll bars for the 2004-up Audi S4, with diameters of 35mm front and 24mm rear. Roll-resistance rate increases versus stock are 60% front and 140- or 169% rear. To strengthen the rear subframe area, H Sport developed a billet aluminum reinforcement bracket that bolts from the subframe to a hard point on the chassis. H-Sport also showed 1-in. lowering springs and tubular, adjustable anti-roll bars for the BMW Z4.
Hotchkis Performance LLP
Jon K built a string of serious Porsches in Japan before founding Ziel Motorsports in Downey, Calif., and is quietly building more very fast cars. With suspension partner JIC, Ziel has developed the Cross suspension line for European vehicles, Porsches in particular.
Sport systems are street performance suspension, with adjustable ride height and fixed-rate damp-ers. They include pillow ball upper mounts, which allows MacPherson strut designs to benefit from front camber adjustment.
Competition systems use a lightweight, 15-way adjustable monotube damper. Height is adjustable separately from the spring perch, providing maximum suspension travel at any setting and corner weighting without affecting spring preload settings. Custom-tuned setups for any type of racing are also available.
Ziel Motorsports Inc.