Cargraphic presents the Airlift Suspension
posted on: Apr 25, 2009 on category: Parts

cargraphic airlift suspension Cargraphic presents the Airlift Suspension
The tuning industry is often accused of peddling ‘motorsport technology’ like modern day snake oil with style and no substance. Make a pit-stop at Cargraphic’s stand No. 103 in Hall B5 at Tuning World Bodensee trade fair, from April 30th – May 3rd, though, and you’ll find it takes a different line.

There Cargraphic will present a pneumatic ride-height control named Airlift Suspension, personally approved by living legend Walter Rohrl. Considered one of the best rally drivers of all time and the consummate professional, Rohrl would never make this judgement from a desk. So he put the system to the acid test at Hockenheim on April 15th in front of the World’s press. After a series of scorching laps of the GP course in Cargraphic’s Porsche 997 Turbo GT RSC 3.6 (459kW/624PS) on Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tyres, setting a best time of 1m54.4s, Rohrl gave his approval. But let’s start at the beginning.

Airlift Suspension – the Starting Line

“The Airlift Suspension adds a pneumatic ride-height system so the front axle can raise 55mm at the push of a button to sneak over kerbs, pavements and parking ramps with ease, and drop back to a race ready stance in seconds,” explained Cargraphic’s CEO Michael Schnarr. But pumping the suspension full of air has to hurt the driving dynamics. That’s the conventional wisdom. Now, thanks to Cargraphic, it is wrong.

Because in normal conditions the Airlift relies on a Bilstein B16 DampTronic® coilover with gas pressure damper and spring. There is no extra rubber between the spring and mounts, it’s metal on metal and track-ready dynamics all the way. It is only when presented with a previously insurmountable barrier that the driver blows up additional bellows courtesy of a remote control. That’s the theory, but would the Airlift Suspension pass the practical part of the exam? Emphatically yes.

The 1m54.4s Mr Rohrl achieved early in the day with perfect conditions and fresh tyres suggested he was on form, but then this was true motorsport – and anything could happen.

Policed by an onboard video and data-logging system from Leitspeed in Munich, there would be no hiding the result if things went wrong. “There was a big turn out of press and everyone was welcome,” said Cargraphic co-founder, Michael’s brother Thomas Schnarr. “We wanted the test to be as transparent as possible, this was an acid test, under glass.”

Everyone knew Rohrl could not match the time he set in the crisp morning air on crisp new tyres, but after lunch his time of 1m55.5 was the perfect benchmark, the real target for the day. Then the mechanics stormed into a race of their own, fitting the Airlift Suspension in just two hours to put the car back on track in time for the last stint of the day. This was the big one, and as Rohrl pulled back into the pits after a flat to the floor blast round Hockenheim, nervous faces greeted his return.

“No different at all”, was the swift conclusion, and the 1m55.7s lap, an almost exact repeat, backed up his expert analysis. A second lap just two-tenth of a second off proved his own metronomic consistency and the system’s skills and the Airlift Suspension gained the ultimate seal of approval. This is motorsport technology as it was meant to be.

The Cargraphic Programme on the Tuning World Bodensee

The Airlift Suspension will be presented on a Porsche 997 DFI RSC 3.8 Cabriolet along with other highlights from the Cargraphic range at the Tuning World Bodensee in Friedrichshafen. As well as the wheels produced in-house, Cargraphic will show exhaust systems, performance kits and parts for Porsche. Not only the wheels “Made in Germany” will be displayed but Cargraphic will also show the monoblock forged wheelseries, and as highlight the brand new developed carbon fiber wheel with forged star from US-Manufacturer HRE Performance Wheels. The Airlift Suspension is also under development for the Audi R8. And they’ll reveal their plans for the other marques like Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ferrari and more.

And just one look at the sophisticated products will make visitors understand just why the firm from “Landau in der Pfalz” is known as the Performance Company. This is motorsport technology in the true sense, developed and proven on a race track, and they’ll leave the snake oil to the competition. More information: Cargraphic

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