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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone yet know what type of Limited Slip Differential (LSD) will be supplied by BMW/MINI in January 2005? Is it too much to ask the manufacturer to supply its customers this information? Surely MINI knows what type of LSD will be installed in the January build cars. What's the big secret? Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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I suppose that all that they would say is that it is a BMW brand - it is most likely being manufactured by some outside supplier, but they have probably designed it from scratch to meet their specs. I am told that it is "similar looking" to a Quaife, but it is unlikely they are just buying the units unmodified from them. Especially since they are claiming that the LSD is NOT retrofittable to previous Mini's, and a stock Quaife would be.
 

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JoeDentist said:
Especially since they are claiming that the LSD is NOT retrofittable to previous Mini's, and a stock Quaife would be.
Joe,

I think there are 2 possible explanations...

1. They just don't want to. (More likely)

2. Since the 6 speed transmission is designed with 2 final drive ratios it is more like a 3 speed transmissions with two final drive ratios, the final drive carrier may be of a slightly different diameter or thickness for proper gear mesh. Remember the 2005 models have revised gear ratios. It's possible that it won't fit in the earlier transmission. If you wish to install a posi-traction unit into an old Chevy, you must order one for a 3.xx ratio or a 4.xx ratio. Possibly the same principle applies here.

Rawhyde

PS Anyone with a TIS CD could look up the final drive carrier for a 2005 and a 2002-04 and see if they're the same part number. I bet that when/if the aftermarket releases a LSD for the '05, it'll be different than the pre '05.
 

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Rawhyde said:
Joe,
2. Since the 6 speed transmission is designed with 2 final drive ratios it is more like a 3 speed transmissions with two final drive ratios, the final drive carrier may be of a slightly different diameter or thickness for proper gear mesh. Remember the 2005 models have revised gear ratios. It's possible that it won't fit in the earlier transmission. If you wish to install a posi-traction unit into an old Chevy, you must order one for a 3.xx ratio or a 4.xx ratio. Possibly the same principle applies here.

.
With the Quaife LSD they re-use the stock ring gear.
 

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I haven't seen anything as to who manufactures it, but the info I have seen states that it is a mechanical clutch type which allows a maximum of 30% difference in rotational speed before engaging.

Perhaps someone who knows more about limited-slip differentials than I do can expand on it based on that information.
 

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MINIUSA's configurator permits the LSD to be configured with the new 6-speed Automatic on the 2005 Cooper S. Is this a mistake, or is the LSD actually available with that new gearbox? Rumor earlier said that it was not.
 

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nonsequitur said:
MINIUSA's configurator permits the LSD to be configured with the new 6-speed Automatic on the 2005 Cooper S. Is this a mistake, or is the LSD actually available with that new gearbox? Rumor earlier said that it was not.
It's a mistake. The limited-slip differential is NOT available with the automatic.
 

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sjbartnik said:
It's a mistake. The limited-slip differential is NOT available with the automatic.
Is there a mechanical reason why it is not? I would love to replace the wife's CVT with an MCS Auto JCW, but not without a LSD. I bet it would be too easy to light up that inside tire powering out of turns or even merging quickly into traffic from a standstill in the rain, even with the power-robbing slushbox,
 

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JJV-MA said:
Is there a mechanical reason why it is not? I would love to replace the wife's CVT with an MCS Auto JCW, but not without a LSD. I bet it would be too easy to light up that inside tire powering out of turns or even merging quickly into traffic from a standstill in the rain, even with the power-robbing slushbox,

There is no mechanical reason other than the final drive carrier in the slushbox likely doesn't interchange with the one in the manual gearbox. If that's the case, and it probably is, then the powers that be most likely don't think there'd be enough customers to justify tooling up and making them for the automatic. That said, there is no mechanical reason that it couldn't be done if they wanted to.

Rawhyde
 

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Rawhyde said:
There is no mechanical reason other than the final drive carrier in the slushbox likely doesn't interchange with the one in the manual gearbox. If that's the case, and it probably is, then the powers that be most likely don't think there'd be enough customers to justify tooling up and making them for the automatic.
You are probably much more correct on this than any of us want be believe. That said, isn't it possible to [easily] retrofit an LSD from the aftermarket? Cost?

This is a prime example of the mushrooming opportunity around the MINI for aftermarket fitments. It is already larger than the Classic MINI (measured in dollars) but with much of the same excitement and strong opinion. I would quietly offer than 100% of the Cooper S Autos could come with the LSD, if it were sold correctly, which would mean $500 more per car.
 

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LSD Source info

This was posted by GKN Visco in Autobusiness Online (http://www.autobusiness.co.uk/publications/gspd/gkn.shtml):

Visco-Lok: GKN Viscodrive partnered with BMW to develop Visco-Lok, the variable M differential lock. The new differential is fitted on the BMW M3 model and significantly improves traction, even in difficult driving conditions, as well as vehicle handling and stability. Visco-Lok features a unique self-contained shear pump containing silicone fluid, which generates a pressure proportional to the speed difference across the wheels. The pressure actuates the clutch pack and transmits the torque to the appropriate wheel, without any extra hydraulic fluid being required.

And my two cents':
I'm on the list for an '05 Cooper S Automatic, and I for one think it really SUCKS and BLOWS that the LSD will not be available... especially here in Minnesota, where traction is at a premium for months at a time! Mini has been woefully lame in informing their dealerships about these options, as my local dealer seems to know less about the LSD/Automatic non-option than I do, which is remarkable.

I would gladly kick the extra $500 in for this option. But I guess, having to make the choice, l'll opt for the automatic S now, with the hope that some day I can add an aftermarket LSD...........
 

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Doesn't the LSD (Limited Slip Differential) help manage torque distribution between the drive wheels? If contact patch grip conditions are different right versus left (which is almost true 100% of the time), then the LSD prevents the lightly weighted tire from uselessly spinning away. The easiest example is in any corner where the inside wheel grip is reduced as weight shifts to the outside contact patch. None of this is related to transmission type.
 

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Mike Edwards said:
You could always blow the $500 on learning to drive a manual gearbox?
What if there is second driver of the car who never ever wants to drive a stick? Or, following your "logic" suppose he doesn't know how to drive a stick and spends $500 on lessons, how does that help? So he still gets an MCS without an LSD and the same spinning out of the inside front tire with the hard application of throttle coming out of turns. Unless you mean for him to spend $500 on lessons and then another $500 on the LSD? I don't quite get the logic here, other than just a backhanded jab to someone who doesn't want to drive a stick. It has nothing to do with this topic of LSDs!

Nonsequitur, you're such the diplomat. I know this is what you really wanted to say. :D
 

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BMW Group Press Release, 12/8/2004

MINI OFFERS LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL AND AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION ON 2005 MINI COOPER S AND MINI COOPER S CONVERTIBLE

12/08/2004

Enhanced Performance and Convenience Offered With New Options;
Updated Pricing for 2005 Model Year Takes Effect

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - December 8, 2004... MINI USA announces the availability of a limited slip differential and an automatic transmission as new options for the 2005 MINI Cooper S. In addition, a number of product enhancements and price adjustments across the 2005 model range take effect. Product changes are effective on cars produced January, 2005 and later, with new pricing effective on cars wholesaled after January 1st.

Limited Slip = Performance Grip
The MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible can now be optioned with a new limited slip differential, a performance feature coveted by motoring enthusiasts. The limited slip differential helps to divert more torque towards the drive wheel with better traction, ensuring power is transmitted to the road more effectively. This helps to increase traction under acceleration or during cornering, resulting in improved handling and increased stability.

The unit, manufactured by GKN Driveline, is a torque-sensitive differential that manages torque output under acceleration and offers a 30% slip rate. This means, there is no loss of torque if the difference in grip between the two wheels is 30 % or less. The system also allows the threshold for Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to be increased without impeding the system's safe intervention in slippery situations. All of this benefits the enthusiastic driver of a MINI Cooper S at its performance edge. The limited slip differential is priced at $500 and is only available with the manual 6-speed transmission.

Automatic for the (Performance Minded) People
For the first time, the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible will be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission including Steptronic mode and Steptronic shifting paddles on the steering wheel. Unlike the MINI Cooper Continuously Variable Transmission, this new automatic transmission has fixed gear ratios which result in quick gear changes and a dynamic driving experience tuned specifically to match the MINI Cooper S' sporty character. This new automatic transmission is built by Aisin and features the following gear ratios:

Transmission type
AISIN Automatic
Gear ratio 1st / 2nd / 3rd
4.044 / 2.371 / 1.556
Gear ratio 4th / 5th / 6th
1.159 / 0.852 / 0.672
Reverse gear ratio
3.193
Final drive ratio
3.683

The unit also features Adaptive Transmission Control which allows the transmission to adapt to one's driving style. For example, the transmission will build the revs longer between gear changes if it 'knows' the driver enjoys taking the car to its limits. The automatic transmission is priced at $1,350.

The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Convertible will continue to be offered with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with Steptronic. The CVT works without holding to specific gear ratios, allowing the unit to variably adapt to the driving situation at any given instance. The unit offers smooth in-town 'gear changes' for leisurely driving and more dynamic responsiveness for spirited driving. The CVT transmission is priced at $1,300.

Pricing Changes and Product Enhancements for January, 2005
Separately, MINI USA announces a price adjustment effective for models wholesaled to dealers from January 1, 2005 onward. The base MSRP for the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Convertible increases by $501. The MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible base MSRP both increase by $500. With new product enhancements for the 2005 models, MINI continues to offer customers a compelling price/value combination and premium positioning.

New enhancements available for January, 2005 models onward include; a new 17" Web-Spoke alloy wheel and performance run-flat tire package. The package is a $1,100 stand-alone option on the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible, or is a $500 upgrade when the sport package chosen on the S models.

A number of new convenience items are available, including an auto dimming interior rear view mirror for $200 and rain sensing front windshield wipers with automatic on/off headlights - also for $200. These features are also packaged together with the universal garage door opener - which also remains an independent option for $200 - to create a new convenience package, available for $400.

Please refer to the accompanying price sheet for additional changes and the latest 2005 pricing and option packages effective January 1, 2005.

BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 Roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW passenger car centers, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 148 BMW motorcycle retailers, 76 MINI passenger car dealers, and 25 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
 
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