MINI United Audio: Dissecting the GP

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Fresh off of seeing the GP Todd, Gabe and Axel Griesinger (from bigblogg.com) dissect all the details of the car from performance to parts to pricing. We also touch on the Goodwood, the rumored 9 speed automatic transmissions and MINI United.

Still more to come from MINI United 2012, stay tuned! And, brand new Woofcast coming next week.

Download | 25:44 | 13.3MB |

  • Hoq1

    food for thought… do you think the HP might have been limited simply due to the fact that it is fwd?  I keep thinking about the Mazdaspeed3 and how the HP is limited by 10-15% in 1st and 2nd gear in order not to screw with the traction…   One more question… are the US Recaros different from the Euro ones?

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      Bingo.

      It’s not even a matter of being limited, it’s a matter of being focused on other things. MINI has never been about horsepower, and I hope they never get sidetracked chasing big, useless numbers that only matter in brochures. Meanwhile they shaved a whopping 18 seconds of the ‘Ring time for the previous GP, and it wasn’t by adding a bunch of horsepower. It was by supersizing the brakes, tuning the suspension and dialing in the aerodynamics.

      • chad

        seems like the biggest contribution to the faster ring time may be those tires.

        i was thinking that on news of the launch, and i was happy to hear some discussion from Axel, Todd and Gabe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

     As reporters/bloggers you have to dissect the visual aspect of the 2012 GP but I think making an initial impression without substantive technical data is a smidge bit disingenuous because of the nature of the car.  It seems like history is repeating itself as Todd and Gabe didn’t originally like the first GP either!  I agree with Axel that the “outfit” is important but I would argue that the GP’s primary focus should be performance, while visual cues as to this performance are a close second but still second.

    A generational comparison is also necessary.  Yes we all have our own preferences regarding the R53 versus R56 but we can all agree their subtle generational differences (my mother can’t tell them apart) helped to dictate what the GP “needs”.  I would argue that the 2012 GP aero kit had a lot less that needed to be improved upon compared to the R56 JCW aero kit.  The R53 JCW rear bumper was butt ugly and I’m not just talking about the yellowing fake plastic stickers.  The side skirts were flimsy and had little more than a paint job.  The front bumper was the only redeeming aspect of the R53 JCW kit.  I think this is borne out when the 2006 GP bodykit is examined because besides the unique side-sills, the design style of the front and rear bumper is more similar to the non-JCW car than it is even to the R53 JCW aero-kit.  The 2006 GP even used the three-slit grille instead of black honeycomb on the JCW.  Thus when I look at the 2006 GP, especially from the front, I see a car that has a uniquely sporty touch but looks as clasically refined as any R53.

    When I look at the 2012 GP I see an exterior perhaps not as unique as the 2006 GP was but it’s persona is more aggressive and performance oriented.  The lack of differentiation from the R56 JCW aero kit does not bother me that much for a few reasons.  At least in the northeast of the US, my empirical observation is that the percentage of R56 cars with the JCW aero kit is significantly smaller than R53s with JCW aero-kits.  Because of this I think the 2012 GP will appear just as unique to most people.  It also helps that I think the R56 JCW aero-kit is more resolved than the R53 JCW aero-kit (this is coming from someone who prefers any the R53 over R56)  Assuming that the unique accenting (aka stickers) stay the same, the 2012 GP also has a lot more contrast with the black and red.  Compare something as simple as the graphics of the hoodscoop from the 2006 to the 2012 GP and the 2012 looks like the car is shouting much louder.  The same could be said for the red brake cooling ducts in the front bumper, the venturi rear bumper and the 2012 GP door graphic.  

    Would I have liked a 2012 GP hardtop with a bespoke aero kit? Of course, but the advancements in the aerodynamics, incredible brakes, assumedly lighter and probably wider 17″ wheels (we shall see, I know you don’t like them Todd!), improved tires, addition of Xenons (halleluiah! I know they’re heavy but I can’t imagine living without them), improved and lowered JCW suspension in addition to whatever changes are in store for the interior (love the lateral support of the Recaros) and engine are pretty spiffy.  I do agree with Axel and Gabe that the roof extender stickers are out of place.  Hopefully it isn’t too late to address that prior to production.  Otherwise I think the 2012 GP looks more boy-racer than the 2006 GP.  And if they saved a little money by not developing a bespoke aero-kit perhaps we’ll see a GP Coupe sooner rather than latter…

    • R Burns

      Yes the aero-kit IS different, it looks like the same but some details show it is not exactly the same…