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Secrets of car setup

2 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


2 November 2022

Car setup is a dark and mysterious art. Although not today – on this airfield circuit that’s almost perfectly flat and smooth, and with so little grip out there because of driving rain, it couldn’t be simpler. You go full soft, compression and rebound, front and rear. My mum could figure that out.

While everybody else lost their minds over the aerodynamic downforce figures Porsche claimed for the new 911 GT3 RS when it was first unveiled two months ago, I was far more intrigued by another feature. Many cars have been fitted with adjustable coilover suspension before – off the top of my head I can list at least one BMW, Audi, Mini, Alpine and even a couple of Polestars that have been so equipped – but this Porsche went one important step further.

Because rather than popping open the bonnet, shoving your entire arm into a mucky wheel well or crawling around beneath the back of the car to adjust damper rates, here you could make those changes using little rotary controls on the steering wheel. This means two things: first, you can change the rates on the move, corner by corner if you like; and second, you might actually bother to change the rates at all. Fiddling with coilover dampers and their often inaccessible anodised knobs is a nuisance, meaning you probably do it once because you can but never concern yourself with it again, like launch control or park assist. Making it as easy as changing the volume of the stereo opens up a whole world of possibilities.

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