After having a lean period for two years, Toyota finally launched it: The Toyota GR 86. A sporty 2+2 coupe with rear axle drive. With this vehicle, Toyota offered a car that isn’t mainstream at all – just like its successor; the Toyota GT86.
It doesn’t require a passionate Toyota fan to acquire a liking for the puristic Toyota GT86. Even automotive enthusiasts, petrol heads, and one or another automobile journalist took pleasure in the new vehicle.
Petrol heads were quite indifferent to the fact that the “Toyota GT86 hype train” celebrated by influencers, journalists, and the tuning industry wasn’t reflected in the sales figures; despite the identically constructed Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S (US model and Toyota brand discontinued in the USA in 2016). Toyota didn’t care either – the GT86 has been in production for ten years and is still extremely popular in its community.
Against the current
2022 is no different: Toyota boss and mastermind Akio Toyoda – the grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda – supports the models that are falling out of the general automotive mainstream, such as the Toyota GR Supra, Toyota GR Yaris, Toyota GR Corolla, and Toyota GR 86. He is also keeping all options open for his automotive group when it comes to e-mobility (see feature in Wall Street Journal).
Akio Toyoda at the 60-year anniversary of Toyota in Thailand
Tim Heinemann became DTM Trophy champion in the Toyota GR Supra GT4
We developed coilover kits with parts certificate for more and more electric vehicles
Compared to other companies in the automotive industry, we at KW automotive are hardly negatively affected by the transformation to electromobility. Even (Tuning)enthusiasts drive electric cars and lower them with our coilovers. But let’s go back to the new Toyota GR 86.
Hardly any other Japanese car model like the Toyota GT86 had such a high market share with our coilovers despite the immense competition. A Toyota GT86 was fun to drive with our KW engineering. Our customers wrote us enthusiastic feedback on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Co. such as “My butt has wheels now.” And we’re sure this will be the same for the Toyota GR 86.
The GR 68 has an even stiffer chassis than the GT86 – and with our coilovers installed, higher cornering speeds were never easier. Toyota has also improved its engine: The maximum torque is already available at 3,700 rpm while the Toyota GT86 still had to rev up to 6,400 rpm.
For the Toyota GR 86, we offer the KW V4 Clubsport coilover kit which is three-way adjustable in its damper characteristic and comes with Unibal top mount and racing springs. Moreover, we offer the compression and rebound adjustable KW V3 coilover kit and the KW V1 coilover kit for “beginners”.
In this blog post, we want to give you some brief and concise suspension buying advice and the most important differences between the KW V1, the KW V3, the KW V3 Clubsport, and the KW V4 Clubsport coilovers which are available for the Toyota GR 86.
But why all this? The question of the right coilover kit is unfortunately more complicated than expected and we at KW do not want to sell you just any coilover kit for your Toyota GR 86. Our aim is that you enjoy driving every kilometer with your KW coilover suspension. Because not all chassis are the same. Believe it or not.
We split all our products into three categories. This simplifies your decision about which coilover kit might be the best for your car. For the Toyota GR 86, you will find the KW V1 and the KW V3 coilover kit which are part of the so-called “Street Performance” category. Both coilover kits are ideal for those who are not interested in driving track days with their cars.
When you’re looking for a coilover kit for occasional track day trips for your near-series Toyota GR 86, our KW V3 Clubsport and the KW V4 Clubsport coilover kits (track performance product line) are the best choice. Both kits come with a parts certificate.
Convincingly sportive: The KW V1 coilover kit
When customers think about purchasing a KW coilover kit, they often think about the compression and rebound adjustable KW V3 first. Nevertheless, our KW V1 is always worth considering as well.
All deliverable KW coilover kits – the KW V1 included – offer maximum lowering for the Toyota GR 86. At the front axle, a continuous lowering of 20 to 50 millimeters is possible. At the rear axle the lowering ranges from 25 to 55 millimeters.
In our KW V1, we use our “Made-in-Fichtenberg” stainless steel spring struts (KW inox-line). We also use a trapezoidal thread and our purple adjustment spring plate made of polyamide composite material which has a load capacity of 8,0 tons.
In detail, the big difference between the KW V1 coilover kit and the other coilover kits developed for the Toyota GR 86 is the interior of our KW dampers. Within the KW V1, the damper forces aren’t individually adjustable in the setup. Here, we do not use our popular KW multi-valve technology.
In production, we mount the valves with fixed pre-settings. Also, our KW V1 driving setup offers a sporty driving characteristic in the Toyota GR 86.
But no need to panic – even with a KW V1 there’s still a lot of remaining driving comfort without rough driving dynamics. Our Toyota-GT-86-coilover customers gave us the feedback that the KW V1 is way more comfortable than conventional lowering with sport springs. This also goes for the KW V1 coilovers in the Toyota GR 86.
Our sales hit: The KW V3
Those that want to mix maximum comfort with a maximum lowering need to decide on our KW V3 coilover kit. In almost all automobiles that can be equipped with the V3, it is the first choice of our customers. Worldwide.
What makes the KW V3 special are our three adjustment parameters. Besides a continuous lowering, the coilover setup can also be set in compression and rebound. No worries – when manufacturing the dampers we adjust them optimally for the Toyota GR 86. Our philosophy is: As sporty as needed and as comfortable as possible.
But with the KW V3, you have the freedom to adjust the setup of the compression and rebound by yourself once again. This is important because every driver has a different perception of “good” or “comfortable” driving. Moreover, wheels shouldn’t be disregarded as well. However, we will address this topic later.
Within the KW V3, the multi-valve technology (TVC-A and TVR-A) can do much more: We build the compression and rebound valve out of two valves.
While the lowspeed damper forces can be adjusted with 16 clicks in compression and separately adjusted with 16 clicks in the rebound, the highspeed compression and rebound can’t be manually changed in the KW V3.
Built-in adjustment wheel in the damper
Demounted two-way rebound valve
Cross-section of a rebound valve
The two-way rebound valve design allows low hydraulic flow rates flow through an adjustable conical lowspeed bypass at low damper speeds. Within high damper speeds, it causes the opening of the highspeed compression valve.
Compression adjustment wheel
Demounted two-way compresion valve
Cross-section of a compression valve
The same goes for our two-stage compression valve: Here we use two different preloaded shims to differentiate between large and small volume flows in the damping.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/pRABTRAShzE?feature=oembedA YouTube evergreen: Our old KW V3 animation
Together with the preloaded main valve, the preloaded lowspeed needle valve opens at sudden high piston rod speeds. This way the KW V3 coilover kit offers a blow-off characteristic with unintentional progressive force increases in the highspeed range.
Toyota GR 86 hardware for the Trackday fans
Our aim is to offer the perfect suspension for every demand. With our KW V1 and KW V3 coilover kits with road tires, the Toyota drives smoothly. With the support of our KW V3 Clubsport and KW V4 Clubsport, the Toyota GR 86 unleashes its full potential on racetracks such as the Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Suzuka International Racing Course, and many more.
With our coilovers, we’d like to enable maximum lowering and maximum grip on the street. Because as many of you might know – grip is speed and safety and when focusing on those two parameters, you will be rewarded with a real plus in driving dynamics and driving fun.
To ensure that the tires have a grip on dry streets and bad conditions, a wheel needs to be able to work. Sport tires and semi-slick pneu made for racing differ diametrically from ordinary road tires. To work optimally, sports tires need to have the right temperature. This is where our KW V3 and KW V4 come into play.
Our KW Clubsport coilovers – no matter if KW V3 or KW V4 Clubsport – are made especially for regular racetrack use with semi-slicks or sport tires for a close-series Toyota GR 86.
With “close-series” we mean all vehicles that aren’t converted to a GT4 or GT3 racecar. In other words: Your track tool is still kind of a street car and you haven’t drastically lowered the vehicle weight.
If, for example, you replaced the doors, hood, trunk lid, and glazing with lightweight elements and the whole interior is emptied out you need to decide on a racing coilover kit.
Preloaded helper spring
Powder coating of our springs in Fichtenberg
Within our Clubsport coilover kits for the Toyota GR 86, we use different spring rates for our preloaded helper springs and our main springs. The shims and valve springs also differ in the spring constant from our road applications. The piston rod and the spring rate of the bump stop also differ.
Adjustments of the camber happens at the front axle of the Unibal Clubsport top mounts
Camber adjustment at the rear axle via the Clubsport top mounts isn’t possible at all
The KW V3 Clubsport and the KW V4 Clubsport coilover kits come with aluminum Uniball top mounts on all four spring struts for the Toyota GR 86. At the front axle, the adjustment of the camber angle happens at the top mounts.
The KW V3 Clubsport and the KW V4 Clubsport are both performance upgrades for racetracks. Thanks to an included parts certificate, both coilover kits can be legally used on public roads. The difference between the V3 and the V4 Clubsport is the damper technology within.
While the KW V3 Clubsport can be individually fine-tuned in lowspeed compression within twelve clicks and lowspeed rebound with 16 clicks, the KW V4 Clubsport can do even more for the perfect interaction between tires and damping.
The KW V4 has the big advantage that the highspeed and lowspeed compression can be adjusted separately. In “KW language” we call this kind of adjustment technology TVCLH-A technology (twin valve compression low-/highspeed adjustable). Independently of this, the lowspeed tension level can of course also be set.
The rebound valve sits directly at the damper piston rod whereas the two-way adjustable compression valve is at the expansion tank. And exactly this valve makes the KW V4 a real must-have!
Within only six clicks at the lowspeed compression, you can influence how the Toyota GR 86 drives and how far the car body rolls when steering or nods when braking or accelerating. With the lowspeed compression of the KW V4 Clubsport (former: KW Clubsport 3-way), you are now able to perfectly balance the chassis – even within long road bumps.
A compression that is separately adjustable in highspeed and lowspeed offers a wide range of benefits. This is why we offer our KW Street Performance category also for other coilover kits such as the KW V5 and KW V4.
The highspeed compression with its 14 clicks comes in handy when the tires need to conquer street bumps, transverse grooves in the asphalt, and curbs. With a higher highspeed compression the wheels are brought to operating temperature. Because as you all might know: When a tire rubber mixture has the right temperature, the mechanical grip improves.
But our KW V4 Clubsport for the Toyota GR 86 can do even more: On difficult racetracks and bad road sections, our blow-off characteristic with big cross-sections in the compression valves lends a helping hand.
Highspeed stimulation in action: The Porsche 911 GT3 R at the NLS with KW V6 Racing dampers
Even when you’re cutting curbs with a tight setup, this fast vertical wheel acceleration will be dampened nicely by the two-way compression valve in our KW V4 Clubsport coilover kit. This means that your Toyota GR 86 stays in control and safe in the limited range of the driving dynamic.
Compression, rebound, lowspeed, and highspeed is all Greek to you?
No worries – we understand and therefore try to make this whole topic a little more understandable. The terms “highspeed” and “lowspeed” are only indirectly linked to the speed of the vehicle. Much more is about the piston rod speeds in the vibration dampers (also called shock absorbers).
The piston rod speed is measured by the meters the piston rod moves within one second. When we manufacture coilovers for you, this is a parameter we always test. Therefore, we promise 100 % quality assurance in our damper production.
With the adjustment of the rebound, you can influence the handling of your Toyota GR 86. The rebound is responsible for the connection between the car body and the street and affects how fast the spring strut goes back to normal after deflecting. When the rebound is closed, the handling becomes more direct. If you open the rebound valves, the direct handling becomes softer. More driving comfort is the result.
With compression, on the other hand, the deflection of the spring is affected. This causes a direct impact on the rolling of the body when steering or driving curves.
When opening the compression valves, the compression reduces. This causes the faster dipping of the car during load changes. If the compression is increased, the piston rod dips in more slowly and the car becomes more stable when steering. The steering characteristic becomes more precise the stronger the compression is set. It has a big impact on the deflection of the spring and therefore a big influence on driving comfort.
For those that often visit our KW blog, this might be nothing new. Nevertheless, we don’t get tired of mentioning that all lowspeed stimulations in a suspension originate from the largest confounder in a car: the driver himself. In contrast, the street causes highspeed stimulations. You’re ready to find out more about coilovers or suspensions in general? Then have a look at our other blog stories where we present the newest coilover developments, knowledge about coilovers and cars, and many more.
For more information, please contact us at:
+65 6475 5775