Since this was Eibach's first full suspension kit for the S4 here in the States, the technicians at Eibach took Project S4 for a few days for some further R&D to make sure the car didn't sit too low or ride too harshly. Three days later I picked up the car and was absolutely pleased with the results. Project S4 dropped by over an inch, giving it a much more aggressive look without being too low for the street. Driving it back to the office yielded no surprises-there weren't any new creaks or rattles, and the ride was surprisingly gentle. At highway speeds, I brake-checked the car to see how much the nose would now dive, and it was much better. Sure, it still dives a bit but nowhere near as much as before, where I almost worried about bottoming out the headlights.
Throwing it around a few oval onramps revealed much more neutral handling characteristics than before. The car was very difficult to snap into any kind of oversteer, even with the most sudden of throttle movements or brake applications around a turn, keeping it pretty safe for the more inexperienced driver. One might think that with a suspension system this forgiving it might understeer too much. But for street use, interestingly enough, the car felt more planted and surprisingly neutral. Maybe that has something to do with a slightly stiffer rebound from Eibach's new Pro Damper shocks; either way, the car is much more fun to drive and even safer to throw into the turns without getting yourself into trouble.
If more oversteer is what you prefer, you can do away with the front Eibach swaybar. You might even go crazy and take out the front factory swaybar altogether if you really want to go like Colin McRae!
In the end, Project S4 received a suspension kit that was a several steps up from the stock suspension, able to handle the braking power and the increased horsepower I'll talk about later, yet it's still totally street friendly. The car now has a much more aggressive stance, combined with a ride quality that's smooth as freshly laid asphalt. But even though we're focusing on street-specific upgrades, don't think for a second that Project S4 won't visit the racetrack in the near future. Just for kicks, we'll see how this street stuff does under harsher conditions. But next we'll talk about the BMW M3-eating power Project S4 is now making. Stay tuned.