New Generation Adjustable Suspension
by Pat Goss
Lots of cars come from the factory with air suspension systems, but not one of them can do what the air suspension system on the 3-Series BMW can do. When a BMW 3-Series comes from the factory it normally has coil springs, but what we see here is a car that has been outfitted with a Praxis system from Bridgestone.
Now this is aftermarket, and it really is an amazing conversion. The parts involved are in an air makeup unit that goes into the trunk of the car along with a computer. Then we have air springs. You say, okay, what’s different here with air springs on this system and any other? Well, these air springs, because of the way they’re designed with a taper, they have the ability to change spring rates. So you actually have three distinct ride heights and three distinct spring rates. It ranges anywhere from touring, which is almost normal, to sport, to track. And believe me, in the track mode, it is serious handling that you’re going to get.
Inside the vehicle you have a control panel, very small and unobtrusive. You can punch in what you want into that panel. I’ve driven this car. The big advantage to it is that you can take it to the track. You can make your adjustments, take it to the track. You can have great handling on the track, and yet you can punch the button and then you can drive it home comfortably.
Now that’s something that you don’t get with most performance suspension systems. You’ve either got track mode that you couldn’t use on the street, or you’ve got something that’s too soft for the track. So if you have a 3-Series BMW and you want to improve the ride and the handling of the vehicle, you might want to consider the Praxis system.
*Aftermarket air spring suspension kit for BMW 3-series
Manufactured by Bridgestone
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South Bend, IN, 46628
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