Litchfield KW Suspension Upgrade
June 10, 2017
Litchfield have been busy developing their Focus RS Mk3 upgrades recently. Not only have they released a Stage 1 ECU upgrade with Stage 2 coming very soon but have been working closely with world-renowned suspension manufacturer KW, to produce a bespoke suspension kit to improve the ride and handling of the RS.
Litchfield who are based in the UK have previous experience in this field with their hugely popular suspension kit for the Nissan GTR. Usng their own development vehicles allowed them to experience the standard car’s setup in daily driving, fast road and in track conditions knowing off the bat they could significantly improve the ride quality and enhance the already superb track manners of the car.
One of the issues suspension manufacturers have with the RS is the dynamic settings that changes how the suspension works depending on what driving mode the driver has selected. Litchfield knew from the outset it had to work with the RS’s switchable damper settings allowing the driver to switch from the more comfortable road setting to the stiffer track setting in exactly the same way as the original system works. From the factory we all know the normal mode is only usable on the road the track setting is just too unforgiving for normal roads. Litchfield and KW worked very hard to get the track mode to have more compliance allowing it to be more suitable on fast road driving as well as circuit work.
The development work which included taking their MY17 Focus RS to Germany where the KW team could evaluate the original setup on the road and on their 7-post rig. Now this piece of equipment is pretty special, this special F1-grade testing equipment, one of only 15 in the world, allows the engineers to simulate all kinds of driving conditions and suspension frequencies to fully understand the RS’ chassis. A team from Litchfield then flew over to test the first sample kit.
The car’s comfort level is now much higher in the ‘Normal’ mode. The new damper and spring rates control the body movement superbly whilst allowing the tyres to find more grip under cornering and acceleration.
Switching into ‘Track’ mode still keeps a level of adjustment which means that it is able to ride bumps rather than skipping off them.
Even with such an improvement the guys didn’t stop there and looked to refine the system further. KW then provided additional development kits featuring minor revisions following Litchfield’s road test feedback which they could then test back to back on the two development cars to find the perfect combination for RS owners.
Kits will be available this month priced at £2274.