2007 Mini Cooper S: Torque Steer
August 20, 2007
First off, let me state I love our Mini Cooper S. Loved the first-gen that we had in our L.T. fleet and love this one even more. It's small, quick, fast and agile. The ultimate giant-slayer on a twisty road. And the new one has something the old one didn't -- bags of low-end power.
The down-side to the feisty turbo engine is the occasional torque steer. The latter is the tendency of a powerful front-drive car to pull left or right when you stand on the gas -- you feel it as a tug in the steering wheel. Even some all-wheel-drive vehicles (e.g. the previous-generation Saturn Vue with the V6) will exhibit this if it's the type that operates in a FWD mode until slippage is detected...
Accelerate really hard from low speeds in the Cooper S and the little bugger will feint left and right, in spite of its equal-length driveshafts that are supposed to eliminate torque steer. On bumpy pavement it's especially noticeable. It doesn't happen too often and is nothing that minor steering inputs can't handle. But it's still something worth mentioning, as I don't want y'all to think my love is so blind that I wouldn't notice the Mini's faults.
Any of you other new Cooper S owners notice this?
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 2,777 miles.