One of things that MINI has trumpeted about the new factory JCW MINI is the DTC (Dynaimc Traction Control) and the EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control). Both are purely electronic, weigh essentially nothing and have been doing good work on BMWs for years. However the addition of both to the JCW MINI means that the optional mechanical limited slip differential (option code 2TA) available on all other Cooper S’ won’t be available as an option on the JCW.
So are these technologies truly good enough to take the place of a mechanical limited slip? While we’re not overly optimistic, we won’t know for sure until we get the new car out at the track. In the meantime let’s take a closer look at both DTC and EDLC.
DTC falls in between DSC on and DSC off as far as saving the car in a turn. The problem with DSC (especially on the previous MINI) is that it tends to stop you in your tracks at the slightest hint at problems. DTC, on the other hand, will let you get into a slide and allow you to spin the wheels before it intervenes. This allows for sportier driving but will still save you if things turn really ugly. To activate, just press and release the button once. From a fowl weather perspective, it also gets you going in snowy or muddy conditions better than DSC
EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) uses the front wheel brakes to limit wheel spin while accelerating. In the past, if you took a sharp turn in first gear with DSC off and you nailed the gas, a MCS without mechanical limited slip would typically smoke the inside tire. With EDLC, you can nail the gas and there will be hardly any wheel-spin, allowing you to power out of turns quicker and get faster exit speeds. EDLC is activated by holding the DTC button down for three seconds. This will turn off both DSC and DTC completely and to some degree mimics the DSC off and mechanical limited slip set-up most enthusiasts track their MINIs with.
However there is one area where EDLC supposedly gets the better of the mechanical limited slip set-up. Whereas the mechanical limited slip option manages torque slip up to 30%, EDLC splits it more evenly at 50%.
Does all of this make up for the fact that mechanical limited slip isn’t available on the factory JCW car? We won’t know for sure until we get behind the wheel on the road and on the track.