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MINI May Offer Torque Steer Elimination Retrofit

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For 2011 MINI has introduced updated steering software that (in conjunction with refined engine management) virtually eliminates torque steer. Yes that tug you feel from your R56 MCS’s steering wheel while going around corners is now gone for 2011. But what about those who bought a MINI mere months ago? MINI hasn’t forgotten about you and discussions are underway at MINI to potentially (with a capital “P”) offer a retrofit of the new steering software for JCW models from 2008 to 2010. But what about the MCS?

The idea is to just offer it as a software upgrade at the dealer for all JCW owners. Interestingly also under consideration is to offer the same software upgrade for MCS owners for a small fee (further differentiating the models). So that begs the question; if you have a 2007-2010 MCS, what would you pay for a software update to eliminate torque steer?

[poll id=”18″]

Written By: Gabe

  • http://www.facebook.com/Joey4420 Joey Shreve

    Since Torque steer is inherent in any powerful front wheel drive car. I will admit that my MCCSm does have its share of Torque steer, and depending on the cost it would be well worth the upgrade cost. If it is a software upgrade and can be retrofit it shouldn’t cost more than the time to install it. If it is in someway a hardware, then the cost of the hardware and either time to install or I should have the option of installing it myself.

    Basically I bought my Mini knowing that it had torque steer and that I was going to live with it as I bought it unless I paid to upgrade things.

    I had a 1992 Dodge Shadow V6 that had torque steer, I didn’t get a free fix for it… so can’t expect one here today.

  • goat

    @ James Irmiger: “playing nice” =/= “playing dumb” i.e., I never implied anyone’s OPINIONS are “stupid” (opinions are all equally valid, they are entirely subjective after all), but I do call out some of the EXPECTATIONS (which are not the same as opinions) as betraying a sense of entitlement.

    Look… threads on “buyer’s remorse” and “demands” that manufacturers offer retrofit / upgrade options at free / low cost are actually quite common in the world of computers / electronics. This is partly due to the ever-shortening product cycles working to make whatever you buy obsolete… coupled with bombardment of advertising and enthusiast forums we all love to frequent which make us aware of all the changes/upgrades manufacturers release. As a result, the line between “functionality defect correction” and “functionality upgrade” has become quite blurred… and perhaps was grey in the first place since we are not as used to having this discourse in the automotive domain (because as I said, MINI is pioneering here with this potential functionality upgrade).

    My point (and I believe Blainstang’s and others’ above) is that we need a working definition of what constitutes a “functionality defect correction” (e.g., any item typically covered by warranty) and “functionality upgrade” (e.g., retrofitting the OEM AUX-IN to your stereo; dealer-installed JCW Suspension).

  • Lee

    What if MINI had never mentioned the possibility of a retrofit, or MINI determines (or just decides) a retrofit is not possible? Would anyone go to their dealer and say “My car has too much torque steer. MINI should recall my car to fix it.”? I doubt it, and no one would really expect them to.

    Torque steer is not a defect – it is (was) a limitation of the technology used at the time.

    So, does that mean MINI should ignore the possibility of providing a retrofit? No – if they can do it, and it doesn’t cost too much in development, it’s great PR and could garner some wonderful customer loyalty. So I’d love to see them do it, free or for a fee.

    But that’s completely different than saying they should provide a retrofit for free because it’s a defect.

  • http://fromthecontroltower.blogspot.com/ CV

    What Lee said +1

  • Jeltok

    I have a 2010 JCW and the torque steer is my second most hated feature of the otherwise wonderful car (first one is the reverse gear in the totally wrong place) Excessive torque steer makes me feel unsafe sometimes, so I end up driving this car in a very mild way, which defeats the purpose of buying JCW. I’d love to have a fix for that design deficiency.

  • Dominic

    Some people will always say the same thing: “Torque steer is inherent in any powerful front wheel drive car.” However, the first generation MINI MCS had virtually no torque steer. Even the 300+ hp modified MINIs I drove did not exhibit any torque steer. I could let got of the steering wheel, floor it and the car drove straight as an arrow, even when changing gears, nothing. I was amazed and saddened to find out what torque steer actual was first hand. That didn’t happen until I purchased a 2007 MCS. What a difference between the 03 and 07! This car became a beast to handle when pushed hard. I can’t believe we’re going backwards in technology with newer versions of the MINI (don’t get me started on the stereo!) Seeing as how BMW/MINI knew how to make a FWD car without torque steer way back in 02, then “add” it back in in the 2nd gen, I’m really at a loss. Call the “add” a “defect” or “an option” or “get used to it, all powerful FWD will have this” to make yourself happy, but I will call it a “defect” that should be repaired by MINI.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com David

    I’m not sure I want the retrofit, at least I don’t want to be the first to get it installed. The line “in conjunction with refined engine management” scares me. If the software upgrade decreases the power my JCW makes, I don’t want it. Hey, it’s a front wheel drive car with over 200 HP at the wheels, you’re going to get a little tug on the steering wheel from time to time under hard acceleration. If you can’t deal with that, get a Miata.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712979558 Kevin Syler

    It should be free, that’s the bottom line. I have owned 2 MINIs. A 2005 Cooper and now a 2009 MCS Clubman. Issues with the 05 and now issues with the 09. They need to step up and take care of those that stick with the brand!!!!

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