I'm a handling guy, always have been. I love the curvy roads and will go out of my way to take those every chance I get. I started autocrossing cars back in 1973 and have continued off and on for all these years, and the love of driving has only increased as I've gotten older. And it's not just turns, I also want a car that can stop much faster than it can accelerate. This one does it all.
In the stock form, this car will pull a steady 1.03 g's on a skidpad, and many people have never even been in a car pulling 1 g much less anything more. But... if it can pull that much stock, it can pull more modified. 🙂 Therefore, since I cannot leave well enough alone, I must do something about this. 😜
So, I'm keeping it relatively simple. I'm not trying to go crazy with anything I'm doing, since the car already does everything so well, it's all about enhancing. So two suspension changes and new wheels and tires, that's it. Since the car already has shocks better than anything I could buy elsewhere, those are left untouched. That leaves the springs and sway bars. I've looked at multiple spring sources and have narrowed it down to three companies, Renick Performance, Eibach, and Weaponsxmotorsports. I was speaking with a fellow ATS-V owner today (thanks Michael!) and his car uses Eibach springs and exactly the same wheel/tire sizes (his are Forgeline F14's) that I will be using. Take a look at how the spring/wheel/tire combo looks. I'd say perfect, but that's just me. 🙂
Once I decide on the springs I'm going with I'll be good to go. I'm also checking on sway bar sizes. The factory list different bars so it's difficult to judge what I need to get. It appears the front bar is a hollow 29 mm OD and 4.6 mm wall thickness. The rear is 25.4 mm with a 3.81 mm wall, and both are made from SAE 1020 equivalent material and the bars are heat treated and shot peened. It is hard to get this kind of information about the aftermarket bars, but unless I do, I'm not spending the money to get any.
The tires will be Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and these are warm weather only tires. Tires make a tremendous difference in handling and the performance varies widely between the various brands. The Michelin's are considered to the among the best if not the best high performance street tire.
The Pilot Sport 4S is Michelin's Max Performance Summer tire developed in cooperation with some of the most demanding vehicle manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche to utilize key technologies engineered during competition in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was designed for serious drivers looking to maximize the performance potential of their sports cars, performance sedans and powerful luxury vehicles. The Pilot Sport 4S excels in warm dry and wet conditions, so like all Max Performance Summer tires, is not intended to be serviced, stored nor driven in near- and below-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.
The asymmetric tread pattern of the Pilot Sport 4S features side-by-side, 24 Hours of Le Mans-derived compounds. The low-void outer shoulder utilizes a new dry-focused hybrid tread rubber for improved dry handling and braking over the previous generation tire, while the center ribs and inboard shoulder feature a silica-infused wet compound designed to increase wet braking performance. The computer-modeled Variable Contact Patch 3.0 optimizes pressure distribution across the contact patch through turns, reducing hot spots and improving tire life during aggressive use.
As soon as I can get a little more information, I'll update this. The springs are out of stock no matter who you go with... they must all be made in China. 😉