Vorshlag and AST have been steadily ramping up the suspension offerings for the R53 and R56 Mini and we're receiving our first AST 5200 shocks for an R56 very soon. AST snapped some pictures of these incredibly strong inverted struts and shocks today and we wanted to share them, mostly to show the size differences between a 5000 series inverted shock/strut and a 4100 (which uses a typical OEM sized shock shaft).
The picture above shows an AST 4100 shock and an R56 inverted rear shock with a massive 45mm shaft. The Mini has a fairly jacked up rear suspension design (with some inherent bind) and moving to these larger shafts ensures the strongest possible shock assembly. The AST 5200 for the R53 and R56 is a double adjustable shock with 45mm inverted shaft and remote reservoirs + hoses, front and rear. These will retail for $3899/set for this car.
The AST spherical Rear Shock Mounts are a big improvement over the OEM rubber mounts. The addition of spherical mounts is always an improvement - you should see how much rubber mounts deflect on a shock dyno - that's adding a delay to all damping forces and slowing down the response of the car to driver inputs.
Another area that improves from moving to sphericals from big honking rubber mounts is the front upper strut mount. The [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/product_info.php?cPath=45_131_134&products_id=206"]Vorshlag R53 and R56 Mini camber plate[/URL] has been in production since early 2008 and is the market's strongest, best made plate for this chassis. We've recently rolled back pricing on this model as well - yes, we [I]lowered [/I]the price on camber plate setups for both OEM style and coilover style springs. Adding negative camber via adjustable camber plates to any McPherson strut suspensioned car is always a huge bonus on its own - for improved turn-in, cornering grip and tire wear - and when coupled with a super strong, adjustable shocks like the AST 5200s makes for a much improved Mini Cooper!
This set of AST 5200s are going on a dedicated track car that is being built by one of our [URL="http://www.vorshlag.com/dealers.php"]dealers[/URL], BR Racing in California. We'll share more as this car gets to the track, very soon.