MINI Cooper SE's Suspension

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by insightman, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    What did MINI's engineers do to maintain traditional MINI handling despite the added 145kg caused by the MINI Cooper SE's battery and the need to raise the body 18mm to create more ground-clearance for the battery? Taller springs and greater suspension damping.

    On July 9, 2019, the day MINI unveiled the production version of the MINI Cooper SE, the company's press release read:

    > The enthralling agile handling of the new MINI Cooper SE
    > is supported by suspension technology that has been
    > refined and harmonized on a model-specific basis. In
    > conjunction with purely electric drive too, the tried-and-
    > tested design principle of the suspension — with single-joint
    > spring strut at the front, a multilink rear axle that is unique
    > within the competitive field, and electromechanical steering —
    > guarantees maximum ride stability, steering precision, and
    > spontaneity when changing direction. With a center of gravity
    > that is at least 30 mm lower than in the MINI Cooper S,
    > optimum weight distribution helps the new MINI Cooper SE
    > achieve a level of cornering dynamics that is unique within
    > the small-car segment.

    Fortunately, even though the MINI Cooper SE is 18mm higher off the ground than a MINI Cooper S, the battery gives it a 30mm lower center of gravity.

    In their First Drive review, Motor1.com wrote:
    > The Cooper SE retains the gas-powered Mini's McPherson
    > strut front and multi-link rear suspension while adding firmer
    > (non-adaptive) dampers at all four corners.

    When Car&Driver tested a MINI Cooper SE prototype, they reported:
    > It rides 0.6 inch higher and has unique dampers compared to
    > the gasoline Cooper. It uses the springs from the Countryman
    > and Clubman to accommodate the extra weight of the battery

    It appears Car&Driver received bad information. My MINI dealer's service department looked up the suspension parts for the MINI Cooper SE and cross-checked them against those for the Countryman and Clubman. Not only did the MINI Cooper SE components have unique part numbers, but they are not currently in stock in the US.

    It's possible that the suspension components ARE the same as those in the bigger MINI Coopers, but have been assigned different numbers (and prices). Would that mean that the springs from the bigger MINI Coopers just happened to raise the body the required 18mm?

    Or is the 18mm elevation suspect? I always wondered how much "protection" 18mm provided for the battery.

    I spend a lot of time reading reviews of the MINI Cooper SE from all over the world. Thanks to Google's translation abilities, I can read many more reviews than would otherwise be possible. Here's part of a comment following a very well-done review from Czechoslovakia with the delightful translated title "Mini Cooper SE mini-test: The ball lightning glows brightly, but only briefly:"

    > I have couple friends working for Mini in Oxford.
    > They told me quite a few stories from development
    > phase of this electric one - huge amounts of testing
    > time, road time, track time, huge amounts of time
    > spent on suspension / geomentry updates to make
    > sure the car handles as proper Mini should.
    >
    > They told me they are very confident this Mini is
    > faster and handles better than any other Mini they’ve
    > ever made except for current JCW model. Reviewers
    > seem to have noticed and I am really happy the brand
    > image stays as it should: Mini = fun!

    It's great to read comments like that.
     

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