Today, aftermarket suspension components offer features that not too long ago would have been available only for race cars. Motorsport resulted in several manufacturers producing high performance springs for virtually all sports enthusiast cars that allow a good comfort level on the street yet significantly increase handling performance over the stock springs. So, should you invest in a set of aftermarket sport springs for your Ferrari? We are laying out all the facts down to help you decide.
Why do Ferraris not come looking lithe and low from the factory (like their initial press shots suggest)?
The reason is actually very simple. As manufacturers increase their sales in emerging markets, they increasingly facing a need to factor in the poor-quality road surfaces the car will be driven on. Also, certain markets require manufacturers to accommodate varying average weight of the owners (this is not a joke). Increasing the vehicle height is the simple solution for both of these issues. However, even if you drive in a country with fairly good quality roads, you are still going to receive a standardised vehicle, which sits higher on the road which is NOT the optimal handling configuration.
Why should you lower your Ferrari?
There are several crucial factors: fitting Ferrari sport springs and returning your car to the sort of optimal ride height originally intended by the engineers, is a relatively small project, offering huge benefits in return. Not only will your car look sportier, but you will experience an improved handling. Besides, surely you would like to make sure you are using the full potential of your car and that your Ferrari drives as intended, which means lowering its centre of the gravity is the best solution.
Do you want a better performance?
Lowering vehicles is nothing new and guided by simple rules of physics and aerodynamics. The ride height has significant impact on the vehicle’s centre of gravity, which is one of the major influences in weight transfer characteristics. The centre of gravity should be as close to the ground as possible, this is why you often see race cars lowered as much as allowed by the rules racing. The Formula 1 cars often end up being 1/2″ or less on very smooth tracks.
How to achieve lower centre of gravity?
The most straightforward way to lower the centre of gravity is simply to lower the whole car. The most direct way to do that in a street car is by either adjusting the dampers (if the car is fitted with adjustable dampers) or by fitting revised springs.
Assuming that we’re talking about a modern Ferrari which come with adjustable original dampers, there are several practical limitations in the design of the suspension system which means you need some other components regardless. For a start, bear in mind the standard springs are very often too soft to keep the underbody and chin of the car off the ground at the reduced height. Lower the car on the standard hardware and you risk smashing the underbody and nose to pieces.
For car which have fixed dampers and need new springs just to change the height, you need to be careful because going, too short may cause interference problems with other suspension components such as the shocks. Furthermore, low cars may look good and if done right will be able to achieve better results on the track but will present some practical limitations on the street – you want to be able to get into your driveway or over a speed bump. The good news is, there is no need to compromise when you own one of the prancing horses. There are several aftermarket solutions offering Ferrari sport springs such as Novitec’s set, which cleverly pairs with a hydraulic suspension lift system for those on the road moments. We will cover them in more details little later.
Sleeker look and sporty stance on the road
Aesthetics? Really? Yes, the height changes are really apparent and often compared with the look of SUV vehicles! Just take a close look at the Ferrari press images, now look at a real, delivered car. Did you notice anything different? The over-the-wheel gaps surely don’t look as sporty as the media pictures flooding the magazines, do they? This is because the ride height and suspension geometry will often be different to the original design and wishes of the engineers.
Don’t miss out on improved handling
Reducing the car’s height will significantly increase the aerodynamic effects of the cars design features – in particular the rear diffuser, making the car more stable at high speeds compared to its higher relative. Sport springs installation will result in a more dynamic response to your input and sharper cornering making you feel more in control of the car’s steering. Also, the car’s tendency to squat and dive under braking will be dramatically reduced.
Will Ferrari sport springs affect the ride comfort?
All springs have an associated stiffness, and the impact on comfort is quite simple. The stiffer the springs, the harder the ride and the softer the spring, the more comfortable the ride. Conversely, a stiffer sport spring will be more responsive to your input than a softer spring.
Which sport springs are the best?
Sport springs stocked at Scuderia are all generally variable rate springs, which work with the original dampers. This effectively means they’re no stiffer than a standard spring until the car is really “loaded up” with cornering/braking/acceleration force – and that’s when you actually need a stiffer ride to give the car adequate body control. On occasions like these, the stiffer portion of the variable rate spring activates, giving you the added body control needed (especially now the car runs lower to the ground).
Past projects and experience
Fitting lowering Ferrari sport springs is one of the most popular tuning enquiries we receive. We have worked with many Ferrari models over the last few years, just a few days ago we have finished working on a stunning Ferrari 458, and a few weeks ago finalised lowering springs project for Ferrari 488. The last two projects, as well as the earlier ones, are always showing the same stunning result, which is always applauded by the owners. The cars handle better and finally look like their siblings from the media images in automotive magazines.
Are sport springs only fitted in Ferraris?
We focused this article on Ferrari simply as an example, however, many aftermarket brands such as Novitec, Brabus and Hamann developed substantial lines of products for performance marques covering performance cars like Lamborghini, Aston Martin, McLaren, Maserati, Porsche but also available for more of a daily drivers like BMW or Mercedes.
Give us a call on 866-684-8349 in the USA or Canada or +44 1784 603 106 from anywhere else in the world to discuss what could we suggest for your car or drop us an email at email@example.com