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fd vs. mini cooper

Old 06-29-06, 12:31 PM
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fd vs. mini cooper

Hey my friend strongly believes that a stock to midly modded mini cooper would hand an fd its *** in autox and on a road course. can you guys please tell him different.
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Old 06-29-06, 12:39 PM
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For autox Mini Coopers are fun, quick cars but seeings how the FD is classed in the fastest stock class and the Mini is classed many steps below in the 2 slowest stock classes (blown Minis are GS, n/a Minis are HS) you won't find anyone with any sense who will insist a Mini is as fast as an FD around an autox course.
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Old 06-29-06, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
For autox Mini Coopers are fun, quick cars but seeings how the FD is classed in the fastest stock class and the Mini is classed many steps below in the 2 slowest stock classes (blown Minis are GS, n/a Minis are HS) you won't find anyone with any sense who will insist a Mini is as fast as an FD around an autox course.
i figured that, but his argument is based on handling. he knows the car is no comparision in terms of power with lap times, but he beleives the mini has a better chassis and if horsepower were more comparable, the mini would murder the fd
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Old 06-29-06, 01:28 PM
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they do handle DAMN well
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Old 06-29-06, 02:14 PM
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Minis do handle very well and are agile but again anyone claiming that a FWD strut suspension with no camber control is better then a RWD double wishbone suspension doesn't know what they are talking about.

Originally Posted by desmond
he beleives the mini has a better chassis and if horsepower were more comparable, the mini would murder the fd
You can never win an argument that says "well if I could do this, this and this it would be faster than Car X". Of course it would be. I could make a school bus faster than Car X if I could do "this, this, this, this and this".

Last edited by DamonB; 06-29-06 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 06-29-06, 03:01 PM
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apparently he still think a mini would kill an fd. i told him that the car is known for handling and his repsonse was by who? no one has even heard of that car. damon im right with you. if a fwd car was the best at handling then why do all the top cars run rwd and double wishbone or pushrod suspension. i remember an article that compared the supra vs nsx vs rx7 vs 3000gt where the car did amazing, even on the skinny stock tires
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Old 06-29-06, 03:15 PM
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well those school buses are damned fast
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Old 06-29-06, 03:50 PM
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well he made a post on a mini forum and although those cars are fast and handle well, the conclusion is that the fd would win. thanks guys. now maybe he will shut up for once
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Old 06-29-06, 04:28 PM
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As far as no one has heard of an FD. Most everyone I know has heard of and knows what they are that knows anything at all about cars. Every now and then someone asks what it is, or it is usually how does the engine work. Most people knows that it is an awesome handling car and a quick car they just never wanted one because of the unreliability stories.

That guy just sounds like an idiot.
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Old 06-29-06, 05:08 PM
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One of my good friends(a girl) drives a mini...and even she knows...after a quick test drive...that an FD will eat a mini and poop VW beetles. She is contemplating selling...so ask your friend if he knows anyone looking for a second rate car...LOL!
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Old 06-29-06, 05:14 PM
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Mini Cooper's fast? Please.

I killed one in my NA S4 FC.

Wow... lots of acronym's there, lol.
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Old 06-29-06, 05:20 PM
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I always like to play Devil's Advocate....

Our region recently had an event on an airstrip that we use 2-3 times a year. The courses are always fast courses. On this particular course SS and SMII Corvettes were seeing speeds in excess of 80 mph. I co-drive my roomates Cooper S. I'm a pretty good driver though much more accomplished as a road racer than autocrosser. It's not like I'm a national champion. At any rate at this particular event I won GS by a margin of 3.39s over my roomate in 2nd place. Let's just say I was on that day. My time was a 43.424. Our loan FD which in campaigned by a veteran driver, though he is no hotshoe, clocked a 3rd place (of 3) time in SS of 44.636. So yes Virginia a Cooper can beat an FD and even on a "fast" course.

Now the rest of the story....

This past weekend's event saw the tables turned. On Saturday I instructed at our region's autocross school and the FD driver happened to be one of my students. I'll say I don't think I taught him a damn thing. However he handily beat me (1.2s) the following day on a course that was much slower and less grippy than the airport course. I feel I was off my game and my PAX results show that. But I still won GS by almost a full second.

Off hand I would say the airport course rewarded the Cooper by not having any turns that required hard acceleration negating the drawbacks of FWD. The camber control that has been mentioned, and more rubber benefitted the FD at this last event. The Cooper suffered lots of wheelspin that was non-existent at the airport.

In the end at any event a lot of it comes down to driver. But a national champ in a Cooper and noob in the FD and the Cooper stands a chance. Equal drivers and equally prepped cars and, as has been said, there is a reason the FD is in SS and the Coopers in G/HS. BTW, for anyone interested, the Cooper is a FANTASTIC handling and very easy to drive car.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:32 AM
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A good driver is always better than a good car. We have a guy around here who drives an 80s model celica that is basically stock, and it is amazing to see how fast that car is.

I will also say driving a mini at its limits and driving an FD or corvette, whatever, at its limit is alot different, and harder. To me FWD is easier to reach its limits and not screw than it is in a RWD car. An example is I have a 2001 eclipse which I autoXed for two years until I got my FD. I was really good in the eclipse from the time I started(always got complements on how fast I was in it and it wasn't suppose to be that fast), and usually was in the top 5-6 overall and always won my class by a few seconds.

This is my second season in my FD(actually its only about my 5-6th event). When I first got my FD I know I was faster in my eclipse. Even people at the events asked me what was wrong with me. Honestly this is the first RWD I have autoXed. Finally the last event or two people say I look more like my self(I think I was 5th overall, and lost my class to a SC miata by 0.3sec, that is a dedicated track/autoX car at the last event). I have a stock suspension just the bolt on mods(which of course puts me in SM2).

So learning the car, and also the driving style of FWD/RWD/AWD is totally different for each type of car.
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Old 06-30-06, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SPICcnmGT
Finally the last event or two people say I look more like my self
I thought I had you at the last event (%&%# Holley)

I would still put Chris W. in a mini up against most FD drivers I have ever seen.
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Old 06-30-06, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by engled
I thought I had you at the last event (%&%# Holley)

I would still put Chris W. in a mini up against most FD drivers I have ever seen.
j/k

Didn't you beat me last year some?? or am I mistaken??

And yeah Chris W. in anything against just about anyone.
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Old 06-30-06, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SPICcnmGT
j/k

Didn't you beat me last year some?? or am I mistaken??

And yeah Chris W. in anything against just about anyone.
Yeah, maybe but that was a Miata. The chick cars rule all. This year i'm doing better in the FB, go figure?
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Old 07-01-06, 01:53 AM
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If you really want to convince the guy that your car is better, swap rides at an autocross.

-s-
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Old 07-03-06, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by C. Ludwig
I always like to play Devil's Advocate....

Our region recently had an event on an airstrip that we use 2-3 times a year. The courses are always fast courses. On this particular course SS and SMII Corvettes were seeing speeds in excess of 80 mph. I co-drive my roomates Cooper S. I'm a pretty good driver though much more accomplished as a road racer than autocrosser. It's not like I'm a national champion. At any rate at this particular event I won GS by a margin of 3.39s over my roomate in 2nd place. Let's just say I was on that day. My time was a 43.424. Our loan FD which in campaigned by a veteran driver, though he is no hotshoe, clocked a 3rd place (of 3) time in SS of 44.636. So yes Virginia a Cooper can beat an FD and even on a "fast" course.

[[snip]]
What you didn't mention is what tires the two competing cars were running. In my limited autox experience, tire choice is the #1 discriminator in determining which car will come out on top, driver skill being similar. You can take a honda civic with r compounds and a 400 hp rwd car setup with the best suspension but running all season radials and it will get spanked on a technical course.
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Old 07-03-06, 12:03 PM
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We're both on V710s.
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Old 07-03-06, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmitageGVR4
What you didn't mention is what tires the two competing cars were running. In my limited autox experience, tire choice is the #1 discriminator in determining which car will come out on top, driver skill being similar. You can take a honda civic with r compounds and a 400 hp rwd car setup with the best suspension but running all season radials and it will get spanked on a technical course.
I disagree, the best I have heard it put was... 15% car, 15% tires and 70% driver. I believe that is very close.
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Old 07-03-06, 04:35 PM
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I agree with some cars being easier to take to the limit. I drove a Mazda 3 on a fun run and came within a second of the owner's time. The owner won his class for that day. Granted I thought it was going to tip and I was going to die in the slalom. I also had my friend and sister in the car at the time. After driving the FD, the 3 was like a pregnant roller skate moving in slow motion.
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Old 07-04-06, 04:58 PM
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I have an -94 R2 FD and a -01 Mini Cooper (115hp). The Mini is really easy and fun to drive, but its much much slower! Althougt it feels very fast. I have driven the mini pretty hard in some safe corners around here (Havent tracked it). You can really feel when the car is on its limit when it starts to understeer heavy. Then i take out the FD and make the same turns. The car feels stable and i can feel no understeer. It feels really slow too. But then i look at the speedometer

Its WAY faster, not just in a straight line but also in every corner at 80+ km/h (50mph?). And its potential is huge. The mini is like a toy in comparison.

I regular track my FD so i know what im talking about. Ok, i havent tryed the mini on the track yet but i dont want to either. I still think the mini is a good street car. The FD is way to dangerous for daily driving, i think you know what i mean
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Old 07-05-06, 08:57 AM
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The Mini is a great little car. I think this is one of those emotional things where so and so has their panties in a wad because they were told a Mini is slower than an FD. Well of course the Mini is slower, but that doesn't mean it isn't a great car and isn't a ball to drive.
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Old 07-06-06, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SPICcnmGT
A good driver is always better than a good car. We have a guy around here who drives an 80s model celica that is basically stock, and it is amazing to see how fast that car is.

I will also say driving a mini at its limits and driving an FD or corvette, whatever, at its limit is alot different, and harder. To me FWD is easier to reach its limits and not screw than it is in a RWD car.


I used to own a JCW MINI Cooper S. I normally track my RX-7 but attended a MINI only driving school and took my MINI out. There was some sort of dude there in a C-5 that was friends with the organizer and was tracking it with the MINI's. Thats another story.

I have run this particular track many times in my RX-7. When I got out there in my MINI and got used to FF (which took only a few laps) I was braking so much deeper in the MINI even though my RX-7 has better brakes. I was taking more aggressive lines on the track that scared me in my RX-7.

I ended up behind this C-5 and was litteraly pushing him around the track. I was all over him in the braking zone and in the turns, the only place he had an advantage was in the straights, even then, his line was so bad coming into a turn that I was able to get a good run at him on the straight. My exit speed was so much faster than him....

Why??

Because the MINI was so much easier to drive at its limits than a C-5 or even my RX-7. It would forgive you if you were too hot into a turn. I did this a couple of times. It was obviuos I was running out of track by the apex of the turn and all I had to do was lift for a second hard, let the back end slide a little and plant the throttle again. Try that in a high powered RWD. You'll end up in a wall.

Go look around the racing section of North American Motoring. (a MINI website) and see all the videos of MINI's passing Porsches Vipers and Ferraris at open track days. Are they faster? No they have a good driver in the car and the others do not. The MINI is easier to drive at its limits. Once you learn how to drive an FD, FC, vette, viper or Porsche at its limits (much steeper learning curve) the MINI will turn into a rolling chicane.
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Old 07-11-06, 02:44 AM
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Minis are cool.... but I smoked one in my 100% stock driveline '87 FC with K2RD KYB AGX coilovers, heavy TSW 17x8 rims, and old 235/40/17 Toyo RA1's. It was a Cooper S model as well.

Did I mention my car had 180K miles on it and the only non stock item on it was that I overfilled the oil pan with 2 quarts?

Maybe he was a poor driver but in the corners that day I was chomping on previous generation M3's, 911's, and Sti's as well. In the straights I could eat a sandwich my car was soo slow.
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