AC Schnitzer has announced it will be selling a mechanical LSD kit for the BMW 1-Series, the 3-Series and the BMW MINI. This mechanical LSD will transfer up to 75% of driving power when one wheel slips to the opposite wheel. AC Schnitzer says for the front wheel drive MINI, this helps control steering behaviour.
The MINI Cooper S actually already has an LSD from factory option. If you don’t want that, you can opt for this. The MINI JCW however, does not have any factory LSD option. That’s because BMW considers it to have an LSD. The JCW actually comes with an “electronic LSD”. This is actually an extension of the DSC system.
It essentially uses an open diff, but DSC brakes the slipping wheel, which in a normal open diff causes the power to transfer to the other side. Now the reason why BMW used this new E-Diff is because they found with with a mechanical differential, the MINI JCW experienced “anti-torque steer”.
The JCW has quite a substantial amount of torque, and on full power the mechanical differential tends to kick in too early. This has a side effect – the steering tends to want to center itself on full power. While on a straight road this is fine, but it’s a problem when you want to go full power on a corner and the car keeps wanting to go straight, hence the term “anti-torque steer”. So please just bear this in mind before you decide to equip your MINI JCW with this AC Schnitzer mechanical LSD.