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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Simple question really, should I go for the variable dampers?

The Pistonheads long term JCW has VD but the tester said he got more feel from the standard set-up. I've read the thread in the tyres and wheels section on F56 and most owners who have VD (not the disease!) love them but this is probably because they have spent the money already. I need opinions from those who have compared both standard and VD setups please.
Oh and the mini salesman said the VD in mid mode was softer than in sport mode, obviously, but in sport mode was the same stiffness as the standard suspension, some members on F56 have said the VD in sport was slightly firmer than standard, so where are they relative to each other?
There that made it more complicated didn't it! ?
 

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I didn't really understand what VDC was when I ordered my JCW. No JCW's on dealer lots in the beginning & tech data was not easy to find. I can't attest to both but I can say the sport suspension without VDC is absolutely awesome! From what I've read the real advantage of the VDC is to be able to get a softer ride when desired. I don't see how it can be stiffer than the standard sport suspension, but maybe this thread will educated me.
 

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Is there a setting other than sport? Actually, I ordered it without driving one with it! I thought anything that would make my backside feel better and keep my wife happy would be a must, so I ordered it. The ride is significantly better than it was in our R56 JCW. Since I don't have a jolt meter anything would be a SWAG. We did drive an F56 S and an F56 JCW before we ordered this one, but that was on the Indianapolis Speedway and honestly I would not have noticed if it didn't have suspension! This mini is more comfortable in sport mode than the R was, but that is an unfair comparison. We ordered it because we have long journeys to and from some of our favorite twisties and we thought it would help. I could not tell a difference in ride between the JCW and the S, but I did note the the JCW seemed to have a lot more juice when you put your foot into it.
 

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Get the VD unless your intending to change anything with he suspension in the future, makes the car feel a bit more special when your in the mood and put it in sport mode


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The VD is just the same as BMW system I have on my car they are not proper variable damper just alters the damper with magnetic changes so only two setting green Mid if softer more compliant and was confirmed 40% softer than standard sports suspension then sport mode takes it upto 80% of standard sport suspension.
Some explain it as plus and minus 10%, for daily driver all the way for sure , if fun weekend car on decent roads yes sports suspension , I would think 20% more on our current car would have been firmer than our R56 S .
Some info in this thread as well

http://www.minif56.com/forum/401-ti...ptive-damping-vs-sport-suspension-option.html
 

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Simple question really, should I go for the variable dampers?

The Pistonheads long term JCW has VD but the tester said he got more feel from the standard set-up. I've read the thread in the tyres and wheels section on F56 and most owners who have VD (not the disease!) love them but this is probably because they have spent the money already. I need opinions from those who have compared both standard and VD setups please.
Oh and the mini salesman said the VD in mid mode was softer than in sport mode, obviously, but in sport mode was the same stiffness as the standard suspension, some members on F56 have said the VD in sport was slightly firmer than standard, so where are they relative to each other?
There that made it more complicated didn't it! ��

Run sport suspension with 17" wheels and "normal" tyres is where I would put my money, sadly it's tricky to find dealer demo with that combo

I'm running vdc but on a Sd with jcw brembos,

Also I'm not sure if you get the upgraded arb with the vdc, perhaps someone can fill in
 

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As has pretty much been said, we like the VD because for "everyday" use, it makes the car very comfortable and compliant, and when they're enabled you get pretty solid and rewarding performance.

We chase them because we has Sports Suspension on our R56 JCW and they became a little "tiring" on a long trip!

Best of both worlds with a 'slight' compromise I'd say. Don't take much notice of PH as they tend to focus too much on track performance rather than real-world driving.

That said, if your JCW is going to be a "toy", sports suspension plus some strut bracing all the way!
 

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This is an interesting thread and I just realized that I am very ignorant of what the active damping does and how to use it. We did order the dynamic damper control and I assumed it would offer a better quality ride, but did not understand fully what it would do. I basically only drive in sport mode and after 2500 miles have had it in eco mode once and in mid maybe 2 or 3 times. I guess caveat emptor is the catch phrase here, but for $500 I thought it was worth purchasing even being ignorant of what it really did. Basically, if I am taking a trip and want a more cushioning ride I would want to have the setting for mid mode to be soft and the sport for stiff and this can be electronically programmed. I followed the link to the previously posted voluminous thread regarding this, but it was mostly referring to the S models. Therefore, I am assuming it really has not changed since 2014 and that it is the same for the JCW. However, before I journey to the toy shed and start mucking around in the electronic programming I should attempt to determine how all this works. I will take my owners manual out and read how to do all of this and take a spin in mid mode and switch from mid to sport and see if I can determine the difference. Good thread, helpful and informative, thanks!
 

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Ive got them and find them to work well for me long journeys are not as tiring now but can still go into sport mode when i feel like fun!
 

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Mine has adaptive dampers and my pals JCW doesn't I've driven both back to back and yes sport mode is more stiff and less forgiving than a JCW on a standard setup but mid and green mode are much softer than the standard setup. Personally for the price it's a no brainier but me been honest the only reason I do not drive my car constantly in sport mode is purely because the suspension is to stiff for some roads.
 

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Run sport suspension with 17" wheels and "normal" tyres is where I would put my money, sadly it's tricky to find dealer demo with that combo

I'm running vdc but on a Sd with jcw brembos,

Also I'm not sure if you get the upgraded arb with the vdc, perhaps someone can fill in
Second this!

If you want to save money I think the car will drive just as good on standard suspension mated with 17's and personally I think the gloss black wheels look better.
 

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The mini is a toy, but then most of our vehicles are just that as we are ROFs that still love performance autos and performance driving. I am currently reading the owners manual as a course of last resort. Most of our driving ends up being performance driving whether or not the trip was intended for it. We tend to avoid the interstates and inner city driving like the plague. They are taken as a route of last resort, particularly in the mini. I will attempt to drive the mini after I really understand the settings and have been able to adjust them by setting mode and then drive on some of my locally favorite routes and judge the difference. Thanks for the good information and I will report my opinion on the difference. I am very impressed with the handling with the 18" wheels and tires on our JCW. The reason I ordered it with them was after driving the minis on the Speedway during the performance driving training. We had the 17" wheels on our R56 JCW and at high speed the F56 JCW is definitely more stable. I define high speed as over 100 mph. Good high performance sticky tires are a must, the runflats are coming off as soon as the new shoes arrive!
 

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Ok, I'm still confused about what DDC really does, and how it does it. If you watch this video:
at about 18.44 minutes into the video the MINI tech explains DDC. He crows about how great the DDC option is as it actually "tightens up the suspension about 10%", but you can back it off for a more comfortable ride if desired. So, I guess the big question is how does the sport mode with DDC compare to sport mode w/o DDC?

That video always confused me, because what that MINI tech said about DDC makes it sound like the suspension is stiffer than the std. sport suspension (and I don't believe that's really the case). I think it's actually a bit softer (due to the suspension setup), but the sport mode increases stiffness by about 10% over std mode when you have DDC. Anyone agree with this?

Around 18.17 minutes into this video the MINI tech also describes what throttle mapping does when you go from std mode to sport mode (increases throttle response & tightens steering).

Hope this helps,

John
 

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When they speak of 10% softer or harder they're not talking about the standard JCW suspension, which is actually the optional (in other models) Sport Suspension. Consequently, when you're talking about standard suspension, it would be 10% softer than the DDC in sport mode and 10% firmer than the DDC in standard mode. In other words pretty soft, but I imagine comfortable. Everything I have read while researching the F56 said the optional Sport Suspension (standard for JCW) is 30% firmer than the "standard" suspension. That's why I have the Sport Suspension option on my MCS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow this thread has really sparked your interest; which is great since I don't think many have discussed the JCW with VDC (DDC) in other threads, mainly the MCS, thanks to all and keep it coming.

Mine has adaptive dampers and my pals JCW doesn't I've driven both back to back and yes sport mode is more stiff and less forgiving than a JCW on a standard setup but mid and green mode are much softer than the standard setup. Personally for the price it's a no brainier but me been honest the only reason I do not drive my car constantly in sport mode is purely because the suspension is to stiff for some roads.
JCWJORD this is great feedback because I drove the standard JCW setup yesterday and it was stiff yet fairly comfortable (read: not jarring), so if the VDC gives a softer option that will be more like my wife's F55 MCS I think and better for longer journey's.

When they speak of 10% softer or harder they're not talking about the standard JCW suspension, which is actually the optional (in other models) Sport Suspension. Consequently, when you're talking about standard suspension, it would be 10% softer than the DDC in sport mode and 10% firmer than the DDC in standard mode. In other words pretty soft, but I imagine comfortable. Everything I have read while researching the F56 said the optional Sport Suspension (standard for JCW) is 30% firmer than the "standard" suspension. That's why I have the Sport Suspension option on my MCS.
vetsvette; The chat I had with the salesman yesterday confirms your view. He said he specced a MCS with the Sports Suspension option and it was way too firm, much more than the JCW standard suspension. As a couple have suggested if you are OK with the standard suspension then you could spec 17's without runflats to soften it further and save money, or Sports if you want it harder (surely Sports and 18's would be too firm for road?!) and possibly similar ride to Standard setup on 18's. If like me you want the 18's then you need to add the VDC to have a soft road option.

The other question that I have now is does the JCW with VDC allow you to alter the car Settings and configure Sport Mode like my BMW does? I wasn't keen on the BM's artificial weighting on the steering (more pronounced than the wife's MCS) so I coded the car to add the Sport mode configuration setting which allows you to select Chassis only (suspension/steering), Drivetrain only (throttle) or Drivetrain and Chassis (throttle and suspension/steering). This allowed me to pick Drivetrain only when in sport mode and just enhance the throttle and not weight the steering. If the JCW has the same options then I could mix and match chassis and drivetrain, or if not then get coding again...
:)
 

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I checked ours out this afternoon and basically it was chasis on/off and drivetrain off/on. That was it, there were no other options and we have a 2016 JCW that we ordered in July and received in late October of 2015. I read the owner's manual and so did my wife and we tackled this together. I will see if when I have the pro exhaust installed if they can shed any more light on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks KYDan, that sounds like a better way to split the sport configuration and switch either on/off separately, I also found this post on thread http://www.minif56.com/forum/401-tires-wheels-suspension/1745-adaptive-damping-vs-sport-suspension-option-5.html ;
Hi Quiller

I have a VDC equipped dampers on my Cooper diesel, if you are in any doubt then you can physically check by lifting the bonnet and checking the top of the suspension turrets have a rubber cover with wires sticking out ( I can send a pic if you want) One thing I noticed was that the car needed a few thousand mile before the difference in the suspension settings was that noticeable. I am guessing that the damper seals are tight on the shafts and take a while to wear in . I have done over 11,000 miles now and the difference is now noticeable but you wouldn't say it was night and day , as the difference between sport and green is only 10% either side of the mid setting.

As far as settings go the car defaults to mid mode when you start up which gives normal steering, throttle response and suspension stiffness.

If you change to green you will notice that the throttle response is slightly dulled and you should notice the dampers are slightly softer, not sure if the steering changes but it doesnt feel like it to me

When you engage sport mode ( providing the setting is set to drivetrain and chassis) this gives stiffer steering ( presumably to give a more sporting feel but i don't like the artificial feel), sharper throttle response and sport suspension stiffness.

You can alter this by changing the setting to "drive train" which leaves the suspension and steering settings in mid , but still gives the sharper throttle response.

If you choose "chassis" it gives the stiffer suspension and stiffer steering , but leaves the throttle setting at mid.

hope this helps
Which sounds like my BMW now I've added the code.
 

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I put ours into green mode once and there is a pronounced lack of performance and the response was squishy and lackluster. It will most likely never be seen again as long as we have MITEY 2 in our stable! I try my best to be environmentally friendly, but I fail miserably when it comes to my motorized toys! My impression of eco mode was I might as well have a Yugo! Mid is almost acceptable for interstate highway travel, but my right arm and hand have memorized motor skills and the right hand moves the mode selector to the left as a matter of course although it failed once and my wife, co-pilot and navigator queried, "what is wrong with you?" My response,"senior moment, it won't happen again!" I really do love this pint sized performer, it makes me smile even as I type.
 

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I know about Senior Moments...when I let my son drive my JCW on some back roads he had a blast, & on the way home I remembered that I forgot to have him put it in Sport Mode when he took over the wheel...LOL! He REALLY had a blast after clicking over to Sport Mode!

I must admit that Std Mode is quick as l enjoy it too around town. But I hate having to put it in Sport Mode everytime I start the car.....surely that can be programmed into the car's brain to default to Sport Mode!
 
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