Over the past months there has been quite a low level rumble from MINI enthusiasts about the lack of availability of LSD (Limited Slip Differential) on the new factory JCW MINI. The engineers have opted, instead, for an EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control). The reason for the EDLC over the LSD is due to the fact that with a mechanical LSD, the high amount of torque in the JCW MINI causes the LSD to engage too quickly causing what’s been referred to as “anti-torque steer”. Torque steer is something that usually causes the steering to pull to one side under hard acceleration.
What they found with LSD on the JCW MINI was that it caused the car to want to pull the steering back to center and go straight under hard acceleration – not a desirable, or safe, effect in a lot of situations. This is a simplistic, easy to understand explanation and I’m sure a dissertation could be written on the technical aspects of force and intertia involved but hopefully this will help answer the question as to why no LSD. In the end, both options were tested and the EDLC gave the JCW the best handling.
We’ll be discussing this further after we get a chance to spend more time in the new JCW MINI. Currently our plans are to drive the new JCW MINI and a GP back to back next month. The JCW MINI will officially hit the streets in the US starting July 14, 2008.
Limited Slip Unavailable on Factory JCW MINI / MotoringFile