DRIVEN: HAVAL H9 WITH IRONMAN 4X4 KIT
Ironman 4x4 has given the Haval H9 a lift. We test it on- and off-road.
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