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39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if any folks out there optioned their cars with adaptive dampers?
If so, I'd like to know:
  • What is your opinion of it? Big difference?
  • How do you change the setting? ie how to make it stay in soft even in Sport mode? Detail guide would be appreciated.

· Registered
340 Posts
Hi There,

I have adaptive dampers in my car.

The way I understand it is this: If you specify Sports Suspension, then the setting is +30

With VDC, the setting on MID mode is 0

In sports Mode it's +10

In Green Mode it's -10

There are no settings that I can see, though I believe (though I've never tried) you can configure green mode and change the settings. (I never use green mode).

You can also configure Sports Mode, but I can't recall seeing any setting for VDC in there either.

Someone else may be able to explain it better, or give instructions on how to change the settings......but I'm just giving my (limited) understanding.

I do find the ride is much better i.e. Not as hard as my previous R56 JCW which had sports suspension

· Registered
177 Posts
I also opted for the electronic (variable/adaptive) dampers

My limited understanding is as follows (but I stress I am in no way an expert)and this is trial and error on my part:
There are two settings for the dampers: Sport (or stiff) and what I am calling Soft
In both Green & Mid Mode, the dampers are Soft. I don't think you can change this
In Sport Mode, you have 3 Options under Settings (and the car needs to be in Sport mode to change this)
Drive Train & Chassis
Drive Train Only
Chassis Only

You can only select one of these. 'Drive Train' seems to be the stiffer steering, and Sport (i.e. pokier) response, as you would expect in Sport Mode. Chassis is the suspension.
So my experience is that, if you select Drive Train & Chassis, you get the stiffer steering, better response and stiffer suspension
If you select Drive Train only, the suspension stays soft, but the steering and response is Sport.
If you select Chassis Only, you get the Sport suspension, but not the stiffer steering and Sport response.
But it doesn't seem to be a continuum that you can change within a range, i.e. 1 is soft, 5 is medium and 10 is stiff. It's just Sport or Soft. And you only really get to choose which in Sport mode.
There was another post about this, (you may see it in Similar Threads below) and Centaur One seemed to be saying that you could change these settings via Voice Control, but the reference section in the manual makes no mention of this, and I tried every variation of Variable/Electronic/Damper Control wording that I could think of, and none of it worked. I asked him to clarify, but haven't seen a response as yet.
When I ordered this option I was given to understand that this was going to be variable damper option (although my Mini rep didn't actually know) but on balance I am still glad to have it. London roads are not great, pothole wise, and the F56 is nowhere near as jarring a ride as my R53 cooper was. Admittedly that was on 17 inch run flats, and I have opted for 16 inch standard this time. Elsewhere people seem to say that the larger the rim, the more necessary the adaptive dampers.
I do quite enjoy the Magical Mystery Tour element of getting to know my new car, but can't help thinking that information in the Manual itself would be a bonus.

· Registered
30 Posts
QMark is spot on in his description of the way it works
Where I live some of the villages have the most appalling road surfaces so I drive in mid mode - when I get out of the villages and to the bits of road that are nice I go to sport as it is what a MINI should feel like!
I re-read the manual today because I wanted to see if I could save a quick setting for the softer suspension to one of the assignable buttons on the main display and guess what - you can't!
It's a shame because I want to leave it in sport all the time but have the (safe) option to switch between suspension settings quickly.
I have the 18" wheels 'cos they look great and even in sport the ride isn't as bone shattering as my R53 Cooper S. I didn't opt for the sport suspension btw.
I don't use green as it is soooooo lethargic.

· Registered
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks folks,

This re-confirm my finding: there's actually only 2 settings: Hard/Soft for the dampers.
And the difference is not night/day, but enough to make our MCS on 18inches liveable around town.
I so wish BMW would give you an option to swap these run-flat for a good normal set of tyres. These are harsh, noisy and pointless when the Mini only sees city drivings 90% of it's life.
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