DRIVEN: HAVAL H9 WITH IRONMAN 4X4 KIT

Ironman 4x4 has given the Haval H9 a lift. We test it on- and off-road.

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

CHI­NESE SUV brand Haval has joined forces with Aus­tralian off-road af­ter­mar­ket spe­cial­ist Ironman 4x4 to tweak the H9 4x4 wagon’s sus­pen­sion for lo­cal road con­di­tions. The Haval H9 Pre­mium is, at this stage, a pro­to­type, but it has been fit­ted with heav­ier coil springs and re-valved dampers to en­hance the on- and off-road han­dling of the H9. Ac­cord­ing to An­drew El­lis, Haval Mo­tors Aus­tralia’s Pub­lic Re­la­tions and Prod­uct Spe­cial­ist, it is just the first step in a lengthy de­vel­op­ment pro­gram.

“Haval has ... been work­ing closely with dy­nam­ics spe­cial­ists from Ironman 4x4 on a lo­cal tun­ing pro­gram de­signed to make the car more suit­able for Aus­tralian con­di­tions,” El­lis said. “Ironman has de­vel­oped a pro­to­type sus­pen­sion kit com­pris­ing heav­ier springs, up­graded shock ab­sorber valv­ing and mi­nor changes to toe-in. This has re­sulted in a H9 with im­proved cor­ner­ing per­for­mance and a more re­laxed ride on Aus­tralian roads.”

“The pro­to­type sus­pen­sion sys­tem con­sists of up­graded coil springs with re­vised spring rates; tuned, match­ing shock ab­sorbers; and ad­just­ments to the wheel-align­ment set­tings,” Ironman 4x4’s Sus­pen­sion Prod­uct Direc­tor Kris­tian Ris­tell told 4X4 Aus­tralia. “Spring rates have been in­creased around 10 per cent front and rear to pro­vide a more sta­ble plat­form for the ad­di­tion of ac­ces­sories and pay­load. This also tight­ens up the sus­pen­sion in cor­ners to re­duce the in­her­ent wal­low­ing from the orig­i­nal sus­pen­sion.

“The change in ride and han­dling is ob­vi­ous com­pared to the base spec­i­fi­ca­tion, with no­table im­prove­ments to bump ab­sorp­tion, com­po­sure around cor­ners and straight line sta­bil­ity,” Ris­tell added.

To give the 50mm lift kit a work-out, Haval took us to Dar­win, where we drove the pro­to­type H9 on a 300km loop through Litch­field Na­tional Park. On the black­top out

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