Spring rate and type of spring (linear, progressive, dual rate) is a very complex topic that can be rather difficult to explain. Like a few have said here there are pages and pages where it's been discussed on here. Many factors determine the type of spring ie: coil rate, coil diameter, distance between coils, type of steel, diameter of the steel used to make the springs, temper, etc. progressive rate coils are usually ones which offer a varying spring RATE and usually achieve this by winding coils that are close together on one end and progressively get farther apart. Progressive rate sprigs constantly change spring rate as they compress. This is because they are designed so that the spring compresses all of the coils move the same distance, thus causing the coils that are closest together to collapse on to each other and as they do that they almost become solid and are no longer actively part of the spring and thus making the spring stiffer. Dual rate springs are technically another type of progressive rate spring except that instead of having a continually changing rate they have two distinctive rates usually accomplished by part of the spring being wound with coils closer together (the same distance apart for this rate) and another part with coils that are farther apart (the same distance apart for all the coils in this section). This was a pretty brief explanation and much more info is out there on this, but hopefully this will give you an idea of the concept.
Benefits to a progressive or dual rate spring would be softer and better ride quality at normal ride height, and better suspension response offroad. They tend to flex a little better, and function in somewhat of a similar method to a dual rate coilover. They are often used in offroad race applications as well as it helps absorb hard hits to the suspension when going fast offroad, because as the axles travel upward, the rate increases, thus dampening the bumps (good shocks and air bumps should be used if you intend to do this however as they also play a role)
07 X 2dr- 6spd
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Last edited by Topgun863; 11-06-2012 at 11:04 PM.