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Old 04-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Smoked by a mini

Half a mile from on ramp this morning, I realized the Mini Cooper nearby was maneuvering aggressively. My 986 usually does rather well at accelerating through on ramps, but today the tires broke loose (mostly the left front) and the predictable skid began. While I slowed to recover, the Mini Cooper continued to pull away and vanished onto the Ill-way. Does my car need attention, or do mini coopers rock the curves?
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #2
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Perhaps his tires were much better than yours, or perhaps he was just a better driver, but I don't think a Mini handles better than a Boxster, all things being equal.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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I agree. He either has better tires or was better at braking and hitting the apex.

I can beat just about anything on the corners, but I'm running really good tires as well.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Don't under estimate the Mini. My wife has one and I LOVE to drive it. It's like a little go cart. Out of the factory they are little rocket ships and only get better with some tuning. There are tons of fairly inexpensive upgrades you can do to them, so it all depends what he has done to it. There is one in the local sports car club that is super fast and regularly beats the guys with boxsters.

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Several friends have the JCW version of the Mini... and they're certainly as quick as the early 2.5 986's out there (including my '99) in a straight line. They handle well, and with a few upgrades like PSS-9's, they'll certainly give the 2.5 Boxster a run for it's money in the twisties.

That said, they won't hold a candle to an "S" of any vintage, or any of the 987 base models, IMO.

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Old 04-25-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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IMS must be going out.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pharaohjb View Post
They handle well, and with a few upgrades like PSS-9's, they'll certainly give the 2.5 Boxster a run for it's money in the twisties.

That said, they won't hold a candle to an "S" of any vintage
If you look at autocross classifications, the 986S has never really had a class of its own. Way too fast to be lumped in with the S2000 (or Mini S) but 50 HP short of going to the next class up.
But still...fairly close to standard 3.4 996 Carrera and BMW E46 M3s, particularly with a slow driver behind one of those.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Now that diagnosis is one of the funniest things I've read in awhile.

Last edited by cheese; 04-25-2013 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Redundant
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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--"paintboy IMS must be going out."

Now that diagnosis is one of the funniest things I've read in awhile
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:55 PM   #10
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I bought a new MINI Cooper S in 2004 and I'll have to say that they are huge fun and really quick though the twists.Mine had the Sport package and could keep up with most anything in the turns.6 speed stick and supercharged! My 2000 Box S is stronger in solid turns.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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Minis, ESPECIALLY Clubman S's, are for geriatrics wearing Blue Blockers.........
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
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Your base Box has ~30hp on a stock MCS of any vintage and is on pretty much equal footing with 2.5 base from an excelleration standpoint until the minis higher Cd starts to come into play. The advantage that a mini has on the box is that it's a bit lighter and has a close ratio transmission that is geared to make the car as quick as possible. The gearing in all 986's seems to have been designed to keep it in its proper place in the Porsche hierarchy.

That said, he should not have smoked you, but if he did, it was definitely an S. Remeber that it is likely cheap and easy to get 200+ HP out of that little 1.8L supercharged I4. There are lots of Mini's running 12's at the drag strip...even 11's! That's early 90s CBR600 quick!
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Every damn TT or Mini or BMW Z whatever wants to race the 3.2, and they loose. I don't race the 'Stangs and Cameros, or any of the big V-8s but I love dusting Hondas with those gay loud exhausts......
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:15 PM   #14
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FYI - The R53 Cooper S also came with an optional John Cooper Works (JCW) package that includes:
  • Supercharger upgrade to 200hp (same hp as a base 986)
  • JCW suspension (shocks, springs, sway bars) that is stiffer than the M030 for the Boxster
  • JCW exhaust
  • JCW big front brakes (same size as standard on the Gen II R56 Cooper S)
This model of Cooper S is very fast and handles very well. Its a huge upgrade to a stock R53. Now, I'm not saying that the Mini is faster or better handling than the base 986 because its not; but on the street with drivers of different skill levels, it could give a base 986 a run for its money. I say all of this with confidence because I own both cars.

In fact, for direct comparison, here are my lap times (min:sec) at the Streets of Willow race track;
  • Mini Cooper S JCW: 1:36
  • 986 stock: 1:34
  • 986 BSX: 1:28
The Mini and the 986 stock both ran Kumho Ectsa XS tires. The 986 BSX has the full Spec race suspension + R-comp Nitto NT-01's.

Pic's of my Cooper S JCW at Streets (you'll also note that its Danger Yellow!)



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Last edited by thstone; 04-25-2013 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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I had a heck of a time passing a Mini at COTA on the long straight from 11 to 12. It seemed to take forever and I was sure he was juiced somehow. In the turns it was no contest, I was all over him.

You never know what someone has done to their car unless they fess up.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Minis, ESPECIALLY Clubman S's, are for geriatrics wearing Blue Blockers.........
Not a Danger Mini though !
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:30 AM   #17
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Thank you everyone for your responses. You are what makes this forum great. I love to hear more stories about 986 and how it matched up with other cars. 986 is special, capable, and quite an experience that I feel should not be missed. I need to learn all I can about this machine (especially the suspension/alignment/tire setup) and how to properly control it in the way it was intended. Please keep posting more! And off topic but I need to find DE track dates near upstate SC- USA.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:20 AM   #18
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Tires and talent. Unless you are drag racing it is nearly always tires and talent.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
FYI - The R53 Cooper S also came with an optional John Cooper Works (JCW) package that includes:
  • Supercharger upgrade to 200hp (same hp as a base 986)
  • JCW suspension (shocks, springs, sway bars) that is stiffer than the M030 for the Boxster
  • JCW exhaust
  • JCW big front brakes (same size as standard on the Gen II R56 Cooper S)
This model of Cooper S is very fast and handles very well. Its a huge upgrade to a stock R53.
^ This would be in my top two if needed a daily driver. I drove a regular S one night, very very late in Manhattan on a holiday weekend (streets were nearly empty) and it was one of the most memorable drives I've ever had.
The MC may not be snap your neck fast but the short wb and gearbox make it without a doubt a driver's car... as long as its in warranty. I had a MC mechanic who was also a big Autox/Solo driver practically talk me out of ever buying a used one (as far as mechanicals) while five or six MC's were on the lifts behind him. I guess he seemed to think hey hold up decent as long as you drive them like the old guy with the blueblockers and sandals.

I also had a less than stellar experience with one a MC dealership who pulled a bait and switch on me for this particular lease offer. Basically they had me come in (aka waste my time) knowing full well they didn't have any of the cars that qualified for the lease deal. And the cars they did have cost more to lease than to buy...
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 04-26-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:38 AM   #20
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Thumbs down

I don't have anything positive to say about Mini's so I won't say anything.
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