When it comes to legendary Japanese tuning companies, one of the first brands that come to mind is HKS. From suspension systems to drivetrain, fluids, exhaust, forced induction, and other key modifications in our pursuits of vehicular fun, HKS offers them all. Recently, the brand released its new top-tier coilover damper system dubbed the HIPERMAX R, boasting that it's the ultimate all-rounder setup.
The HIPERMAX R bests the brand's HIPERMAX S and HIPERMAX G offerings, by improving several key areas to boost ride quality and performance. One of the most significant is the use of a newly developed shock fluid dubbed Super Response Fluid (SRF), which HKS says has excellent heat resistance and stability. The key function of a damper is controlling the flow of its internal oil—these two qualities tend to ensure a well-balanced ride quality in any scenario, across different road surfaces, and for an extended period of time.
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The Hipermax R also features revised bump stops, 30 steps of rebound adjustment (or, how quickly the shock expands after a bump), and pillow ball upper mounts. The latter of which is usually a high-end upgrade for most other coilover models (including lower-tier dampers by HKS), and having them as standard is always a nice benefit. Pillow ball mounts substitute rubber bushings for spherical bearings and offer improved feedback and grip, plus the ability to better fine-tune alignment settings.
Signature to the HIPERMAX R are specially designed springs. HKS calls them "Low Vibration Springs," and says these units are lighter than the brand's other spring models and have closer coil spacing which boosts steering response. A quick look at the spec sheet indicates that they're also fine-tuned for each vehicular application.
Finally, HKS uses a proprietary coating called PNE to combat corrosion, which they say is five times stronger than galvanization.
What's particularly neat about this series of coilover dampers is its utilization of race technology for the street. Quality damper tuning is quality damper tuning—what works on the racetrack for weight balance, shock absorption, optimizing the tire's contact patch, and having good steering response translates to equipment that can put up with what motorists put up with day in and day out. It's not uncommon for folks to proclaim that installing quality, performance-minded coilovers in place of OEM dampers and springs improved overall ride quality, and it looks like HKS' HIPERMAX R could be a solid choice for anyone looking to do the same with their core, Japanese-brand enthusiast chassis.
Currently, it's only available (or soon to be produced for) for a handful of core North American-available enthusiast platforms, including both generations of the Toyota/Subaru/Scion BRZ/GR86/86/FR-S, A80 and A90 Toyota Supra, R32, R34, and R35 Nissan Skyline GTR, Nissan 350Z and 370Z, FK8 Honda Civic, Honda S2000, FD Mazda RX7, ND Mazda MX-5, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8-10, and Subaru WRX/STI. And pricing per set ranges from $2,580 to $3,280 depending upon the application.
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