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MINI Cooper



  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new Mini Cooper! Thanks for sharing some of your impressions. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience.... Happy motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • steelypipsteelypip Posts: 13
    Does anyone have detailed knowledge of how the CVT was implemented for the Mini?

    I'm particularly curious to know whether it's the same as the tech now being used by Audi in the A4 and A6, which reportedly is spectacularly good - rickrover mentioned his Audi test drive experience above, and it's easy to find test drive reports on the web which are similarly glowing.

    Here's a link to a Popular Mechanics article in which a few scant details of the Audi CVT are mentioned:

    The relevant excerpt is:

    But the real story is the Multitronic continuously variable transmission. Unsatisfied with the van Doorne-licensed CVTs that have been used in some other cars, Audi has reinvented the CVT. Audi uses a pull-style belt made of hundreds of sheetmetal links, rather than the van Doorne pusher belt. Several innovative technologies in the transmission allow the use of lower hydraulic pressures, making for lower pumping losses and increased fuel economy. With a lower low gear and a higher high gear ratio, the Multitronic gives better acceleration (1.5 seconds quicker from 0 to 60) than a conventional automatic, and better highway economy as well. This gearless automatic of the future is lighter in weight, simpler in construction and smaller in volume than the geared automatic it displaces. Available with the V6 engine, the Multitronic delivers the acceleration time noted above and carries a fuel economy rating of 19 city/25 highway. Audi executives predict the Multitronic will be the transmission of choice as supplies increase."

    So what's the "van Doorne licensed CVT" that Audi didn't like? Is the CVT in the Mini Cooper a van Doorne, or more advanced, like the Audi?

    Has anyone testdrove both the Audi CVT and the Mini Cooper CVT? That would be the true litmus test: does the Mini CVT feel as smooth and perform as well as the Audi version?

  • In a real CVT the car wont roll forward at idel, so audi had to modify there CVT to do that. In addition Audi made the car change engine rpm (both up and down) much more then optimal because people are used to hearing engine rpm change with the old auto's and manuals. Other then that the CVT in the audi is actually just as fast as the manuel. I hope they offer the cooper S with CVT. Its the only way I would buy the cooper. It would be a perfict city car for when I go back home to philadelphia.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    Please keep the test drive reports coming. I am anxious to hear from as many different folks on their impressions of the MC's with all sort of tire and wheel combinations, with and without the sport suspension. My car might be here in about 60 days. Can't wait!
  • I'm in the Air Force and stationed in Germany. I own a German spec silver with black roof MINI Cooper, that I've had since November. It is the base model with 15 inch tires. This car is an absolute blast to drive. It handles better than anything I've ever driven. I have driven the car at 200 kilometers/hour (about 120 miles/hour) on the autobahn with no problems. It sticks to the road like glue. It is truly amazing to drive.

    The interior is very nice and larger than you would think. I'm 6'2" tall and I have plenty of room. I wouldn't want to sit in the back though. The base sound system sounds good, haven't heard the harmon kardon system yet. If anyone has questions about the car please ask.

    P.S. I only paid $14,500 for the car.
  • I heard that CVT rumour/fact(?) here:

    It was only for a Cooper, and not the 'S'.

  • tetonmantetonman Posts: 73
    Which I didn't think were all that bad in terms of the impact on the ride...
  • steelypipsteelypip Posts: 13
    Damn! So there's actually no good evidence that CVT will ever be offered on the S?
    That's depressing.
    Why the hell wouldn't they offer it? If the CVT is good (as good as the Audi implementation) then it will offer equivalent performance to the manual transmission, but also the incredibly attractive option of forgetting all about shifting in stop and go rush hour traffic. You get the best of both worlds.
    I can only think of 2 reasons for not offering CVT on the S:
    (1) The Mini CVT is not as good as the Audi (hence falls short of equalling manual transmission performance);
    (2) BMW doesn't think the S with CVT would sell in significant numbers.

    I'll be very interested to see detailed performance comparisons between the Cooper CVT and Cooper manual -- that should settle the issue in (1). But whether (2) is true, I have no idea. Personally I think the S with CVT would sell like hotcakes, unless Mini's CVT implementation falls way short of ideal.
  • steelypipsteelypip Posts: 13
    Yes, I noticed that too -- Audi tweaking the behavior of their CVT to make it more like a conventional automatic. :-) (which I think is stupid, but hey, that's Audi's business)

    I'm in total agreement about an S with CVT being a perfect city car.
  • steelypipsteelypip Posts: 13
    edwardsdd -- do you find yourself wishing for more power than the base Cooper engine can provide?

    I understand there's not much difference in top speed... I'm more concerned with acceleration.

    Good to hear about the spectacular handling, though. :-)
  • But I wish BMW would just buy honda or acura 4 cilinders and stick them in the mini....then again the supercharged version probably has mor torque.
  • No, I haven't wished for more power from the base engine. As long as I keep the revs up it accelerates very well.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Audi programmed thier CVT to act like a conventional automatic for U.S. Audi's only. They gave the U.S. CVT's what appears to be 6 "gears" that you can shift through in manual mode - kind of mimics thier Tiptronic automatic transmission in + / - manual mode. Again - this is all for American tastes of wanting to feel a shift between "gears". If you leave the Audi CVT in automatic mode it acts like a like a traditional CVT - economy RPM or Performance RPM. The engine stays at optimum economy RPM under normal acceleration driving. When you floor it the engine stays at optimum performance HP/Torque RPM for fastest acceleration - it works really well.

    MINI did the same for the U.S. spec MINI CVT - they reprogrammed it to have the feel of shifting through gears.

    I still think MINI will offer the CVT in an S - The S isn't a BMW M car performance-wise by any stretch of the imagination. I'll bet we'll see the CVT offered on the S in about a year or so.

    The SMG automatic transmission in the M3 is an automatically shifted manual transmission. It is full automatic - no clutch. You press on the gas and it shifts through gears by itself just like any automatic - about as automatic as it gets.
  • chmeeeechmeeee Posts: 327
    The SMG stands for Sequential Manual Gearbox. You are correct in that there is no clutch, but you do still have to shift through the gears yourself using two paddles mounted under the steering wheel. From what I have heard, it is similar to or the same as the system they use for the F1 cars.

    On a different note, I called the Herb Chambers Mini dealer in Boston a couple of days ago to ask about a test drive, and they said they are doing them by appointment only, and the next available appointment was about a week later. They must have a ton of interested people coming in there.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    The SMG doesn't have a torque converter, so it's not an automatic. It's a clutchless manual similar to those used in F1. There is an auto mode, which I wish BMW would get rid of.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    has a clutch, just no clutch pedal correct?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Correct. I think it's hydraulically lifted and dropped.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I was about to go crazy hearing the term "clutchless" when it does have a clutch. Just don't have to work your legs out to make it work ;-)
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Sorry for the confusion. When I said clutchless, I was referring to lack of the third pedal.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    SMG fits my definition of an automatic transmission - start it up, put it in forward step on the gas and the car does the rest - you can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel or the knob on the console - or do nothing and let it shift through the gears for itself. You'd never know it was an automatically shifted manual transmission when you drive it if someone didn't tell you, the operative words being "automatically shifted".
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    just because it's not a slushbox.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    That's not how SMG works. If you put it in auto mode, it'll shift for you, but if you're in the manual mode, it won't.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    The automatic transmission in my X5 works the same way - in auto mode it shifts for itself, manual mode (shove the lever to the right) and you shift manually by tapping the lever up or down - which I never use by the way. To me a transmission is automatic if it shifts for you, no matter what technology that lever on the console is attached to. If I don't have to press on a clutch pedal and shove a lever through gears - I'm driving a car with an automatic transmission.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    X5 has steptronic. It's not the same as SMG.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    In terms of the driver use, the SMG is identical to the X5 you have. The difference is underneath the skin - different underlying mechanical systems in order to achieve the same end. Over your X5, the SMG system (and its variants from other manufacturers) is more efficent and much quicker to shift, and theoretically more reliable.
  • the new SMG 2 in the new M3 even has launch control. It will rev up to 16-1800 rpm then drop the clutch (the computer drops the clutch). It by default starts in Normal or fully auto mode, so every time you start the car you need to select manual mode, and if you want launch control. Otherwise its about as fast as the normal M3 (acording to the M3 owners at the strip). The fact that theres no torque converter means for me at least it is more manual then auto.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Really, we need more choices than "manual" and "auto" because frankly, there are more than two transmission choices.

    There are clutch transmissions (manual or auto versions available)
    There are torque converter transmissions (manual or auto versions available)
    There are CVT transmissions (no manual "interpretation" to my knowledge)

    That's at least five different transmission styles built off three different transmission technologies. And this is before we get into hybrid and electric drivetrains.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    My dealer is a considerable distance so I haven't been able to visit and get the prices on the various Mini dealer accessories. Can someone post their prices? Thanks.
  • tchoyttchoyt Posts: 8
    Has anybody actually talked to a Mini dealer and obtained any more info on availibility, delivery, and the like. I know supplies and dealerships are short, but I can't get any info here in California, am wondering if there are any hard facts out there.
This discussion has been closed.