BMW ActiveE Plus Coilovers Makes a World of Difference in Handling
The guys over at Turner Motorsport are always looking for ways to improve the handling or performance of their cars and the ActiveE is no different. Here is their breakdown on what a new set of coilovers meant to the handling of the ActiveE.
Since we picked up the ActiveE back in March we have been brainstorming ways to turnerize the car from different graphics to crazy wheels and tires to aero modifications. Since the car has primarily been Will Turnerís daily driver for his commute to and from work he had to give it the racecar feel. The logical place to start for a car that has no conventional motor to play with was the suspension. We decided to go with a Bilstein PSS10 coilover system for the E82 chassis. The install was for the most part the same as the conventional E82 1 series except for a couple small differences. The first difference is the half inch aluminum spacers in the strut towers. The second is accessing the rear shock tower mounts, much more involved since the electric motor is rear mounted.
Another big difference between this ActiveE and a 128i or 135i is that it weighs 800 pounds more. This obviously has an effect on how the car handles and drives. We knew this would also effect the stance and ride height of these coilovers. We adjusted the PSS10s accordingly to give the car the correct ride height with the additional weight. After we got the ride height set we took the car for its maiden voyage with the new suspension. WOW did it make a difference.
After pulling out of the parking lot it was apparent the coilovers made a huge difference over the stock suspension setup. The car felt planted and somewhat more playful. The Bilsteinís somewhat stiffer ride and lower height gave the car something it was missing before, a feeling that made you not want to lift off the accelerator pedal. Not to say that the Bilsteins made the car better in any way, but they do make the ActiveE feel like a proper Turner Motorsport project car. They give it a racier feel; Exactly what Will Turner is looking for.
The additional weight? Yes its still there but its less noticeable with less body roll when cornering and less weight transfer when under hard braking. When cornering at high speeds you can feel the weight through the steering wheel, you can feel the outside tires begin to lean over but they hold the car feels surprisingly good despite the huge amount of extra weight. Overall the coilovers are a huge improvement in an effort to make this electric car a Turner project car. They give the car a bit more excitement and playfulness. It will be interesting to see the effects on kw/mile with the larger heavier wheels and lower suspension. We will keep you updated.
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