Öhlins Release Mini R50/R53 Road and Track KitJune 13, 2011,
Öhlins, the highly respected specialists in advanced suspension has released the new benchmark in road-friendly, track-ready coilovers for perennial BMW Mini. As the official suppliers to Prodrive’s latest Countryman WRC, the Swedish firm has enviable experience with the marque dating back to the late 1980’s when Öhlins first entered the road and track market with dampers for the original shape MINI. The result is a kit that offers unrivalled levels of performance, allied to notable levels of comfort.
The already capable credentials of Munich’s pint-sized pup, combined with its exquisite chassis, makes it the perfect recipient for the unique features of the Öhlins kit, which finally solves the puzzle of how to achieve a truly comfortable ride from competition-quality units.
Both front and rear coilovers are precision-machined from carbon steel and feature full dust and weather protection. With single bleed adjustment, the Öhlins units have inbuilt adjustable platforms and are pre-assembled with 60/50 N/mm springs front and rear respectively. Build quality is exceptional, with flawless anodised detailing and deep, lustrous powder coating. Öhlins’ pioneering dual-flow valve technology means that despite their light weight and slim-line profile, the Road and Track kit responds to road undulations in exactly the same manner as a traditional Macpherson strut set-up. The use of needle valves in the damping unit also means that even when the oil gets hot after a hard session on the circuit or ‘B’ road, the damping rate is kept absolutely consistent, even when the viscosity of the damping fluid changes. The front units arrive pre-assembled with superbly engineered ball-bearing top mounts, whilst the rears bolt directly to the OEM top mounts.
This unparalleled quality helps to explain Öhlins 2 year warranty and thanks to their racing heritage, each unit is fully serviceable and even upgradeable, should requirements or car specs change.
Height adjustment is achieved by simple adjustment of the precision-machined threaded body and damping and rebound are tweaked simultaneously in one simple twist of the easily accessible knurled knob; allowing the daily commute to be clicked off with limo-style smoothness, but, after a few seconds of adjustment, track days to be dispatched with racecar precision.
The racing credentials of this kit are further endorsed through the successful partnership between Öhlins and BMW Motorsport. When BMW replaced the 320i E46 S2000 touring car with the E90 in 2006, they turned to Öhlins and this gave birth to an active development partnership that has led to Öhlins dampers being the preferred choice for their GT/Touring Car Race programme. So it’s no surprise when BMW and Prodrive joined forces that Öhlins was nominated as suspension partners on the MINI Countryman WRC project.