Driving fun to the power of four: MINI continues to expand its all-wheel-drive range.







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: January 30, 2013
Categories: MINI, MINI Cooper, MINI Countryman

Munich. Driving fun will always be a MINI forte; its  agile handling – aka “go-kart feeling” – has long been a hallmark of  its character. Sophisticated powertrain and chassis technology ensure  that every model in the British premium brand’s line-up is the  undisputed leader of its class. And that hasn’t changed with MINI’s  expansion into a new segment.

MINI

On the contrary: the debut of the MINI  ALL4 all-wheel-drive system in the MINI Countryman has injected fresh  appeal into those MINI driving characteristics, rooted as they are in  instantaneous and precise responses to every movement of the  accelerator and steering wheel. ALL4 gives drivers an even more  focused experience of the car’s unmistakable driving fun through  dynamically taken corners – on rough terrain as well as smooth roads.

MINI Cooper logo

The choice of all-wheel-drive MINI models is poised for further  expansion in March 2013. That’s when the MINI Paceman will be  launched, boosting to eight the number of models available with ALL4  as standard or as an option. The first Sports Activity Coupé in the  premium compact segment sees ALL4 optionally teaming up with the  diesel engines in the MINI Cooper SD Paceman (105 kW/143 hp) and MINI  Cooper D Paceman (82 kW/112 hp), as well as the petrol unit under the  bonnet of the MINI Cooper S Paceman (135 kW/184 hp).

Also primed for  action is the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman. Fitted with the  all-wheel-drive system as standard, it converts the power of its  160 kW/218 hp, race-developed engine into extreme driving fun with  supreme assurance in any situation. All models come as standard with a  six-speed manual gearbox, while a six-speed automatic can be ordered  as an option.

MINI Countryman

All of which means ALL4 can now offer drivers of eight MINI  models a noticeable boost to traction, directional stability and  agility through corners. With four all-wheel-drive variants and the  choice between manual or automatic gearboxes, the MINI Countryman  makes its own contribution to the impressive variety of the brand’s  ALL4 range. ALL4 is available as an option for the MINI Cooper S  Countryman, MINI Cooper SD Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman,  while the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman sends its eye-catching  power through all four wheels as standard.

ALL4 was developed specially for MINI models and, since its  introduction in 2010, has broken new ground and won over additional  target groups. The all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic  centre differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front  and rear axles. In normal driving situations ALL4 diverts up to 50 per  cent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, rising to as much as  100 per cent in extreme conditions, such as on ice and snow-covered  surfaces. The control electronics of the MINI ALL4 system are  integrated directly into the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control)  management unit, enabling drive to be channelled through the wheels as  required in a matter of milliseconds.

MINI Countryman 2013

This set-up offers a number of advantages. In regular driving  situations it optimises fuel economy. But ALL4 also responds to  fluctuating dynamic requirements to give the MINI Countryman or MINI  Paceman driver a particularly intense experience of the customary MINI  go-kart feeling. It uses the data collected by DSC to tweak the power  split pre-emptively and to impressive effect through dynamically taken  corners, for example. And that means the driver enjoys outstanding  agility combined with surefooted driving characteristics – in  customary MINI style. The system feeds a higher proportion of the  engine’s power to the rear wheels to make turn-in as precise as possible.

In models equipped with ALL4, the DSC system also comes as  standard with DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode, which allows  controlled slip through the driven wheels to ease moving off on loose  sand or deep snow. Added to which, when the stability system is  deactivated (in DSC Off mode) an electronic locking function for the  front axle differential comes into play. In tight corners it brakes a  spinning wheel as required to enhance handling. Known as Electronic  Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system enhances the car’s  traction without adversely affecting its steering properties.

In addition, the models equipped with ALL4 have a very specific  chassis set-up. Together with the sophisticated final drive and drive  shaft mounting, which includes an inner vibration damper, this set-up  gives the all-wheel-drive variants of the MINI Countryman and MINI  Paceman the same high standard of acoustic and dynamic comfort as the  models with front-wheel drive.