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Mini Cooper S

Joined
22 November 2001
Messages
760
Anyone ever run into a Mini Cooper S on one of your track days? How did it do? Was it competitive against your NSX? I'm thinking about leaving the NSX home and taking my Mini to the next track day, but am curious about its potential before dumping money on upgrades.
 
I'm not sure that a NA NSX would pull that much on a Mini Cooper S that had a few mods. You can easily get one over 200hp with a few cheap mods and the car weighs almost 500 pounds less than my NSX.
 
gobble said:
Anyone ever run into a Mini Cooper S on one of your track days? How did it do? Was it competitive against your NSX?
I've driven on the track in both my cars alongside mostly-stock Mini Cooper S cars with R compound tires. My Integra Type R (stock drivetrain with R compounds also) is much, much faster than the Mini (not surprising, since it has 20 percent more horsepower yet weighs less), with the ability to pull strongly on the straights and at least keep up in the turns. And the NSX is much, much faster than the Integra Type R.

gobble said:
I'm thinking about leaving the NSX home and taking my Mini to the next track day, but am curious about its potential before dumping money on upgrades.
Take the Mini! I would definitely try it out on the track. You'll have a lot of fun with it, even if it's bone stock.

gobble said:
I'm not sure that a NA NSX would pull that much on a Mini Cooper S that had a few mods. You can easily get one over 200hp with a few cheap mods and the car weighs almost 500 pounds less than my NSX.
You can modify any car to go faster than any other car. But to keep up with an NSX, you would need to do more to a Mini than bumping it to 200 hp.
 
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gobble said:
How do you like driving a front wheel drive car at the track? All of my track cars have been rear wheel drive.
The Integra Type R is amazingly neutral in handling on the track. You don't feel understeer and you don't even feel like it's a FWD car.
 
nsxtasy said:
The Integra Type R is amazingly neutral in handling on the track. You don't feel understeer and you don't even feel like it's a FWD car.
I guess that's the main difference to the Mini: Integra Type R has a locked differential, stock Mini has not. Therefor you will feel in most corners (especialy in the exit) that the Mini is FWD.
 
NSX-Racer said:
I guess that's the main difference to the Mini: Integra Type R has a locked differential, stock Mini has not. Therefor you will feel in most corners (especialy in the exit) that the Mini is FWD.

What do you mean by a locked differential? My Mini has the limited slip differential which just became an option. I would think this is a good thing.
 
I figured out the difference, but am still not clear if a LSD is better than a locked differential. Both are clearly better than an open differential.
 
gobble said:
My Mini has the limited slip differential which just became an option. I would think this is a good thing.
It definitely is (NSX has LSD too as you surely know). I didn't know of this new option though, thanks for the info. But I guess most of the stock Minis have still open differential, right?
 
NSX-Racer said:
It definitely is (NSX has LSD too as you surely know). I didn't know of this new option though, thanks for the info. But I guess most of the stock Minis have still open differential, right?

I believe the LSD is only an option on the Cooper S and just became available in the 2005 model. It can only be had with the 6 speed transmission. There are aftermarket LSD's available, but they are expensive and hard to install. The LSD option is a bargain at only $500.

The great thing I'm finding about this Mini is that aftermarket parts are about 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of the same NSX part. An airbox is $200. An exhaust is $500. Big brakes are $1,000. This could be a cheap little car to run as both a daily driver and track car.
 
Brakes are crap on the Minis, won't last an outing.

Is there a JCW race series in the US? There a few that come out to play on trackdays which have Blistein coilovers, roll cage, and Works engine upgrades and they kick ass.

-Rob
 
The '05 Mini S and the ITR both have Torsen LSD's. They should behave nearly identical.

Even a well modded mini will have a hard time keeping up with a stock NSX in a straight. Come turns though and they should be pretty comparable. Who cares about straights though - they are just a place to scratch your ass while your waiting for the next turn to arrive.
 
I bought a Cooper S (first year) to use as a track car before the rat came along. No LSD on mine. I used the stock runflats. The car that I loved on the street was almost a crutch on track. I just do not like FWD, and this sealed my opinion. I found the rat three months later and put the S on Autotrader.com. I rwally miss the car, but it was not meant to be.:(
 
I used to own a 1971 Mini with a 1380cc engine, suspension mods, disc brakes , yada, yada, yada. It would probably smoke my 2004 NSX in the turns and the NSX would take it on the straights. The old Mini will handle like a race car if it is set up right. I have a 67 Cooper S that is being restored in Costa Mesa @ Mincomp and I can't wait to track it.
 
brandonson said:
I used to own a 1971 Mini with a 1380cc engine, suspension mods, disc brakes , yada, yada, yada. It would probably smoke my 2004 NSX in the turns and the NSX would take it on the straights. The old Mini will handle like a race car if it is set up right. I have a 67 Cooper S that is being restored in Costa Mesa @ Mincomp and I can't wait to track it.


Was that bored out to 1380cc? I had the 1275 GT which was the newer model of the mini in 1971 or 1972, had a different front and gauges, same Solex carb and was available outside the US and thought that was the largest engine.
 
Hrant said:
Was that bored out to 1380cc? I had the 1275 GT which was the newer model of the mini in 1971 or 1972, had a different front and gauges, same Solex carb and was available outside the US and thought that was the largest engine.


Yes, it was bored out :biggrin: , it had an aluminum head and I converted from dual 1.5" SUs to a single 1 3/4 SU carburetor. The engine was originally a 1275 A + engine. The newer A + is the best engine to bore to 1380
 
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gobble said:
Anyone ever run into a Mini Cooper S on one of your track days? How did it do? Was it competitive against your NSX? I'm thinking about leaving the NSX home and taking my Mini to the next track day, but am curious about its potential before dumping money on upgrades.

Sounds like your already dumping the NSX for the MCS...I see your charger for sale I wish I could grab it but it's not the best time now. Speaking of times in the MCS I clocked a Instuctor at RA in one at 2.45 which matches your time in your SC NSX...I say that's pretty darn impressive if you ask me.
 
brandonson said:
Yes, it was bored out :biggrin: , it had an aluminum head and I converted from dual 1.5" SUs to a singe 1 3/4 SU carburetor. The engine was originally a 1275 A + engine. The newer A + is the best engine to bore to 1380


Being tricky heh .......... :cool:

I had a lot of fun with my 1275 GT, and used to do many 180/360 with the hand brake. Mine was the mustard color :tongue: I had the extension rail bracket so I could fit in it, had wider wheels with Dunlop tires extending out from the paper thin fenders throwing mud, smaller racing steering wheel, Blaupunkt radio, two fog light on the front, a fog light on the rear for those with high beams .......... :biggrin:
 
I think I can beat Ken with this.......(see pic below) :biggrin:

a 100% stock NSX runs about a 2:50 @ RA
a 100% stock ITR runs about a 2:50 @ RA
a 100% stock Mini S runs about a 2:50 @ RA

Get the picture?

A modded NSX will rule, follwed by the ITR, followed by the Mini

Now on a short track (i.e. Gingerman) the results are flip flopped. I was way faster in my modded Integra than the NSX, and I believe the Mini will be too. (dollar for dollar in mods)

As far as FWD vs RWD, I have run both, and drivers like me (BIG BALLS) we LOVE FWD, because when things get squirly, we just push it even harder, where with RWD, we need to check up.

If you need to dump the NSX for equity, the Mini will give you all of the fun factor as the NSX on the big tracks, and possibly even more fun say at Joliet, Blackhawk, Gingerman, Graten, Mid Ohio......

I just am a sore loser, and I will NEVER go back to a "fun" car, I need to hunt EVERY one down at RA (P-cars, F-cars, Z06, Viper) And the NSX is the platform I will use. I know it is a sub 2:30 car NA, and sub 2:20 boosted, and the ONLY thing that is tough is the GT3 and F430. Oh well where is my dremel........................... :wink:
 

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Hrant said:
Being tricky heh .......... :cool:

I had a lot of fun with my 1275 GT, and used to do many 180/360 with the hand brake. Mine was the mustard color :tongue: I had the extension rail bracket so I could fit in it, had wider wheels with Dunlop tires extending out from the paper thin fenders throwing mud, smaller racing steering wheel, Blaupunkt radio, two fog light on the front, a fog light on the rear for those with high beams .......... :biggrin:


Funny the 71 I had was the mustard color too (bronze yellow, almost orange). I had 10x6 wheels w/ 165/70 -10 tires. I will post a pic of it tomorrow. The 67 I am having restored will be blue with a white roof.
 
NSX 3.0 said:
Sounds like your already dumping the NSX for the MCS...I see your charger for sale I wish I could grab it but it's not the best time now. Speaking of times in the MCS I clocked a Instuctor at RA in one at 2.45 which matches your time in your SC NSX...I say that's pretty darn impressive if you ask me.

The NSX is not for sale....yet, but I often wonder why I have $40k sitting in my garage that I never drive.
 
A sorted MCS with slight bump in HP is a great track car. The MCS changes directions like a go cart. I feel that it a great track car for beginners, and intermediate skill levels. Its only when you when you get to the advanced level where you may wish for rwd or better weight distribution.

On a short track- like MSR in Fort Worth. A well driven MCS can easily be as fast as a NSX or Spec Miata.
 
NSXLuvr said:
On a short track- like MSR in Fort Worth. A well driven MCS can easily be as fast as a NSX or Spec Miata.
I doubt that when I look at the track test results from Hockenheim short track (not the GP layout). A Mini Cooper S Works had about 1:21,5, driven by a car mag test driver. A '97 NSX had 1:18,4 with a comparable driver, a NSX-R clocked at about 1:14. Not sure about the Miata (called MX 5 here) because I have no laptimes available.
 
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