GET A GRIP – Öhlins

9th August 2017

Öhlins has been supporting the motorsport industry with high performance suspension for more than 35 years. However, its impressive Road & Track Package takes suspension to an entirely new level, thanks to Ohlins’ own Dual Flow Valve technology, offering an impressive three ways for damping fluid to flow inside the shock.

What’s the most important part of a performance car? People might say the engine. Of course, without an abundance of power, a car will struggle to earn the performance title. But what about harnessing that power? Without a chassis to match the engine, all that raw horsepower will be for nothing. If the car’s suspension cannot keep the tyres in contact with the road all the time, how can the engine transfer its power to the Tarmac?

Of course, most modern performance cars are built with excellent chassis and suspension systems. But just as with the engine, brakes and tyres, improvements and optimisations can still be made. More importantly, if you do increase the performance from your engine, perhaps with an engine control unit (ECU) remap or a new sports exhaust, then you should upgrade the other parts to suit.

It’s the same story with grippier tyres, or more powerful brakes: if you don’t extend the performance of your suspension system, the improved chassis parts can be overshadowed, cancelling out at least part of any performance gains elsewhere.


Öhlins know all about performance. The company has been developing suspension for the world’s finest race and sportscars in the world for more than 35 years. From the rarefied world of F1, through the glory of Le Mans and sportscar racing, touring cars and single seaters, down to the controlled chaos of World Rally Championship and Rallycross, Öhlins has built suspension systems to win in the toughest of conditions. All the while, the team works hard to transfer the cutting-edge technology they develop there into its roadcar products. For Öhlins, this is the whole point of competition – improving the breed and forcing them to work harder to make the suspension work better.

The result of this work? Öhlins’ Road & Track range of suspension upgrade packages. These are aimed at the more discerning performance driver and designed for a wide range of today’s fast cars – at an affordable cost. Öhlins’ Road & Track shocks take the best of the company’s competition know-how and puts it into a package that’s aimed at drivers who love the track and track days, but still spend most of their time on the road. This package boasts Öhlins’ Dual-Flow Valve (DFV) technology for superior wheel control under the most arduous of drives. In addition, it automatically adapts to head build-up with temperature-variable damping needles; quickly and easily adjusts to swap between road and track setups and can be fitted to most cars for less than the cost of a set of nice-looking, new alloy wheels. The Road & Track range is aimed at the cars you love, the cars you drive. Think fun-driving VW Golf GTI, through to pure drivers’ cars like BMW’s M3, Toyota’s GT86, Mazda’s MX-5, RX-7 and RX-8. The Porsche 911 has a special place in any performance fan’s heart and Öhlins has worked hard on its range for the Stuttgart masterpiece.

“Öhlins’Road & Track shocks take the best of the company’s competition know-how and puts it into a package that’s aimed at drivers who love the track and track days, but still spend most of their time on the road.”

From the 996 Carrera through the Turbo and Turbo S, right up to the 997 range: the Carrera, Turbo, and the mighty GT2 and GT3 RS. The wild rally replicas are not ignored either: Subaru’s Impreza and Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evo have several fitting options too.

Öhlins does not leave the driver behind once the shocks are installed though. Each Road & Track kit comes with full operating and adjusting instructions, plus suggested setups for comfort, fast road and track use. Altering the suspension settings is simplicity itself: a few turns of the supplied adjusting tools can alter rebound- and compression damping settings. Instead of working with multi-adjusters, Öhlins uses just one adjuster for both rebound and compression, offering a four-way adjustable shock thanks to smart DFV technology. This allow you to spend more of your track day driving, rather than chasing suspension settings! And it’s easy to return to the original settings for the drive home.

Of course, performance is not just about how something works when new. Öhlins make its shocks street-tough to last for the long run. Shock bodies are salt-spray tested for durability, damper shafts are micro-finished and honed for low friction and ultimate toughness. Aluminium parts are anodised and all materials are chosen for their longevity as well as performance. Although, if you do manage to wear out an Öhlins shock, all units are fully serviceable and rebuildable.


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