Bilstein B8 Sprint shock absorbers Test
March 10, 2012 in Technical
After driving 1767 kilometers with the Bilstein B8 Sprint shock absorbers installed on my 9-5 Sedan (2009) together with the original aero springs I felt that I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for them.
I have to say that I didn’t know what to expect from them. I’ve heard mixed things about previous products but no one I knew had a car with the shock absorbers installed that I could test drive.
First impression was that they were a lot stiffer than the normal aero shock-absorbers previously mounted. Of course the once that came off had rolled over 119’000 km so, they were not up to the level they used to be. However having driven several Aero’s it was instantly clear that the B8’s were one step up from the Aero struts in terms of handling. Bumps in the road are of course felt a bit more and the B8’s are not as comfortable as the standard Aero struts however I still wouldn’t describe them as uncomfortable in any way, it’s more of a thing to get used to. I have tested them with two different sets of wheels, both of them are 17″ and with 225×50 (winter) tires as well as 235×40 (summer). I use the car to commute between Växjö and Gothenburg in Sweden, a 220 km drive (one way) and it didn’t take too long until I didn’t even react to the stiffer suspension. Right now it feels like it really belongs in the car and going for something softer now would probably feel strange.
One thing I’ve noticed while driving on the highway was that the car got a lot less sensitive to wind which was a very positive aspect while driving at high speed along the coast lines, I felt a lot more relaxed while driving the car with the stiffer suspension. Given that I commute fairly long distances to work the car now allows me to arrive even more relaxed. I’m really looking forward to the ultimate test which will take place this summer as we load the car a lot and drive down to SPA in Belgium for Int-Saab 2012. I’m pretty eager to get the car out on the autobahn. I’m pretty sure that Bilstein had that kind of driving in mind as they developed these shock absorbers.
By then the car will be fitted with the Hirsch Springs as well which should make for a very nice combination =)
Overall the Bilstein B8’s are great for people who want better handling, more stiff suspension but for those who want a pure replacement for an aero suspension and really place high value in comfort, this is perhaps not the thing you should go for!
OVERALL GRADE: 4/5
+ Better handling
+ Easier to drive on the highway
+ More fun to drive on smaller roads
+ Able to take more weight in the baggage compartment
– Not as comfortable as the Aero suspension