We've got some new information plus a couple photos (all via Auto Bilde) of the infamous Getrag All-Wheel Drive MINI. Here's an excerpt from the original article (translated poorly from German to English via Google):
The MINI Getrag system transfers all power of the Cooper s engine on optimal traction conditions (travelling straight ahead, dry road) completely to the rear axle. However, as soon as slip arises, an electronic control distributes more power within milliseconds to the front axle. And there is a completely new solution also: Two separated working multiple disk clutches distribute the torque individually to the front wheels, a differential at the front axle thereby becomes redundant. The two clutches also inspired the name of the project: “Twinster”
…While the normal MINI pushes under-steering from the curve or must with stronger turn of the steering wheel be restrained, the Twinster remains neutral.
The result shows up on the handling course: on dry roadway the Twinster achieves identical round times despite its weight higher around 80 Kilos (176lbs) like the lighter front wheel drive MINI.
During our comparison tests the AWD MINI completed the wet runway approximately ten per cent faster than front wheel driver. Not bad for a prototype, which still needs fine tuning.
As mentioned in the previous article about the AWD MINI from AutoWeek.nl indications for production remain positive. BMW development boss Dr. Burkhard Goeschel recently tested the car and was, “rather impressed”.