H&R Audi A4
This green DTM race-look Audi A4 sports a radically low stance thanks to H&R's stunning "Coil Over" suspension system. It begins with H&R's hand-made high-pressure gas de Carbon system shock absorbers, developed in Germany using H&R's in-house shock dyno and gobs of road and track experience.
The gold-tone Cad-2 plate, threaded steel shock bodies have platinum gray anodized aluminum perches and hats in contrast to the bright purple violet springs. Shock valving and spring rates are selected to match U.S. vehicle weights and driving conditions. This is a quality performance shock with a plus: The threaded body of the shock allows the height of the car to be precisely adjusted within a range from 1.5 to a full 3 inches lower than stock. Racers will note that the threaded body adjustment also allows precise corner balancing--a serious racer's technique to precisely control a vehicle's handling by adjusting the amount of weight carried on each wheel. Raising a perch in the right rear corner, for example, will increase the amount of weight on the left front tire. The advantages of corner balancing are a more balanced, better handling car. The fun part of the this coilover rig--apart from the awesome handling provided by the combination of the system and the massive 8.5 x 18-in. MSW 55C wheels and sticky Michelin Pilot MXX3 225/40-18 tires--was the ability to quickly and simply change the ride height from a conservative 1.5-in. drop to a ready-for-Avus 3-in. ground-hugging level. (Please note that changing the ride height changes the wheel alignment. It must be correctly adjusted after ride height changes.) By the way, this radical show car set-up is not a no-brainer fitment; if you want to go super low like this with a daily driver, H&R recommends sticking with an 8.0- or 7.5-in.-wide wheel.
The H&R coilovers on the Audi are not a racing system--although H&R does make steel and even lightweight aluminum threaded body shock systems strictly for race use. This is the ultra-high-performance system designed for the street, strongly influenced by H&R's track and racing heritage. But it is a street system, and you'd be surprised at the comfort of its ride characteristics. Roland Graef, the experienced suspension and tuning expert who heads up H&R's North American operation, offered up an interesting comment about the end-user's reaction to the Coilovers.
"I can almost predict just how long before I get 'the call.' By 'the call' I mean how long after the coilover kit installation until when," Roland said, smiling, "the customer picks up the phone telling me great the system is, what an increased level of control it offers, and--this is the unusual part--just how surprised the customer is at the how good the vehicle's ride quality is." We have to join in the surprise; this race wannabe Audi, dropped to the ground, offered great ride quality. In this case, the Audi actually seemed to ride better at the ultra-low 3.0-in. drop.
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H&R Audi A4
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