If there’s one thing we’ve learned in 2020, it’s that staying home stinks. As off-roaders, we yearn to get back out into the world, connect with others, and get some action behind the wheel. FOX Shocks nailed all three of these at a recent event out in Riverside. While there, we rode around in several Jeeps and got a feel for what their shocks offer at various levels.
FOX Shocks has been at the forefront of shock absorber development for a while now. From incorporating electronic damping to harnessing internal floating piston technology, the company has become a powerhouse for the off-road community, supplying racers and enthusiasts alike. Their newest series, the 2.5 Performance Elite, was the star of the show at this event. It targets discerning off-roaders that want adjustability and effective damping for higher-speed driving.
Part and parcel of that adjustability were the external compression adjusters used on the Performance Elite Series. “Our Performance Elite shocks allow drivers to quickly adapt to terrain and vehicle loads with the turn of a knob,” commented Marketing Manager Gary Boulanger. “Race-developed high-flow pistons and vehicle-specific valving improve both off-road performance and on-road balance, which means drivers will enjoy their asphalt journey to the dirt.”
Our test vehicle was a brand new 2020 Jeep Wrangler Gladiator. FOX’s Director of Global Sales, Dan Moser, sat behind the wheel. “The thing we want to showcase about these shocks is that they fit a versatile lifestyle,” Dan said. “They’re adjustable so they can go from being smooth on-road to responsive off-road.”
The Jeep went around a marked course near the Inland Empire R/C Club grounds. “I haven’t touched the shocks since I tuned them, so this is the setting I normally use when I drive to and from work or wherever,” said Moser. He kept his speed up through tricky sections – ruts, small whoops, gravel – and the shocks kept up perfectly, delivering smooth control despite the speed.
It was incredible to feel that experience and then compare it with a stock Jeep Wrangler JK, which FOX had rented out for the event. On factory suspension, the ride was much slower going than the Performance Elite-equipped Gladiator. Where before we could go between 30-40 miles an hour and feel next to no harshness, the factory-equipped Jeep was struggling at 10-15 miles an hour going over the same terrain. It was a night and day difference and really spoke to the Performance Elite’s superior abilities.
Taking a day off of working from home and getting out to the Riverside track was a great experience, and FOX’s Performance Elite shocks proved they lived up to the name. The shocks are now available through 4 Wheel Parts stores, and fit all versions of the 2018-20 Jeep Wrangler JL and JT. For more information, visit FOX’s website, and be sure to follow them on their Facebook page, too.