White Roof Radio #424

Strap in, sit down and shut up! It’s been a few weeks since we’ve all been able to get together and do a show, and we do that right here. We have some Dragon interviews, MINI United recaps, GP talk and just 4 guys sitting around talking about MINI Cooper stuff. Normal service has resumed. Next stop, AMVIV!

Woofcast 424:

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Download| 1:21:052 | 40.2mb | WRR @ iTunes | Show Notes

  • chad

    @DB- sounds like you may want to put your name on a list?

  • matthewwanderer

    Fun hearing about MINI United.  Looking forward to hearing more from Gabe.  The vibe I got from Twitter was that MINI experienced a fairly light showing, but it was fun, of course.

    My GP Pricing Game guestimate: $36,XXX, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see $38,xxx.  It’s six years later (cars typically don’t get less expensive), Recaro seats, Xenons, rear diffuser, and bigger brakes.  Oh yeah, then one can’t forget the cost of the added vinyl, and there’s lots of it 😉

    Regarding the much talked about ‘Ring time, someone set me straight: saving about three-quarters of a second per mile is significant over a 25 mile course?

    Todd, if I were in the market for the GP2, I’d ask you to cut me some GP1-style roof numbers…after I tore off the existing vinyl, of course.  Heresy, I know, but that was a nice touch on the GP1, IMHO.

    And, finally, I’m guessing the Kumho (track) tires discussed in the show do not actually see the showroom.  That’s just a fan’s perspective. As insiders you guys would know for sure, so I’ll ultimately defer to you.

    • Haven’t heard the show yet but to be clear – the normal Kumho ECSTA V700s aren’t technically track only tires but they aren’t ideal for highway use according to the manufacturer. That said these are likely a tweaked/exclusive version given what MINI has told us and given how different they look from the normal V700s. 

      Oh and the US will very very likely get them.

      • matthewwanderer

        “these are likely a tweaked/exclusive version”

        Cool. Thanks for the followup.  I missed that on my first listen.  My original takeaway was “this is pretty much a competition tire”, and I think Todd mentioned that he’d immediately buy another set of street tires/wheels.

    • As I stated in the show, the standard Kuhmo V700 tires are listed as Competition/Track tires. This is what Tire Rack has to say about them – “While Ecsta V700 radials meet DOT requirements, they are not appropriate for highway use.” 

      That being said, we were told by MINI representatives that the tires were a specially developed version of the V700s to be slightly more versatile and street friendly. We were also told that the new GP was developed “primarily” for track use but that engineering adjustments were made to make the car more friendly for varying street and weather conditions. So what I, personally, am concluding is that the new GP lies somewhere between the 2006 GP and the JCW Challenge car with it leaning more toward the previous GP. Like we have said, with the addition of some aggressive aero tuning, bigger brakes and the aggressive tire selection, the new GP a serious track car but MINI is conscious of the fact that many people, like myself, will be driving the GP on a daily basis with average street use. Having driven a 2006 JCW GP for nearly 6 years, I can attest to the fact that the ride is stiff, almost rough at times; it is quite loud in the cabin and there aren’t many creature comforts with the exception of heated seats – the radio in the 2006 GP might as well have been left out altogether because it’s worthless, in my opinion. However, it is a complete blast to drive and it still puts a smile on my face 6 years later. I would expect a very similar experience with the new GP. It’s not for everyone but that’s why there are only 2,000 of them. 

      • chad

        Todd, can you comment on the ease of potentially removing the roof graphic?

        • They’re all decals so they should be fairly simple to remove. Park in the sun for a few hours and slowly peel. That’s it. 

        • chad

          Thanks for the info Todd. I have mixed feelings about actual removal of them, but knowing it can be easily done is good news. I am going to assume that since the decals are not unique among the GPs (like the individual roof numbers on R53 GPs), there may be a chance of getting replacement decals and putting them in a safe place for application in the future.

        • John M

           I personally think that MINI should leave all the vinyl off altogether. It’s just too “Look at me!”. People are going to know it’s a GP, they don’t need all the extra signs to remind everybody what they’re looking at. The rather subtle “GP” badge on the rear hatch is enough in my opinion

      • matthewwanderer

        @Todd, we’re on the same page.  For the most part.  Only, seeing the GP2 has made my desire for a pristine GP1 that much stronger. 

    • 25 mile course in 8 min 23 is quite impressive! That’s a 179mph average speed!

      The Nürburgring is kind of a big deal. The Nürburgring Nordschleife (northern loop) is a 12.9 mile proving ground in performance and handling. Breaking the 9 minute mark is impressive. 8:23 is quite a respectable time, less than ten seconds behind the 1 Series M, Cayman S, and new Camaro SS. 19 seconds is a lot of time at the ‘ring.

      • matthewwanderer


        Thanks for that.  The GP2’s overall Nürburgring time isn’t what I signed out. It’s the .75 second/mile savings over the length of the course, 25 miles, that I was questioning.

        • Theguyfromthehamburgertrain

          I’m not exactly sure what your question is or where you’re getting your numbers from, but 3/4 second/mile is a huge deal in motorsports. An F1 driver would give their first born for that kind of time shavings.

  • chad

    interesting that the plate on the show car says GP 12- implies it may be MY12? it’s of no consequence, but interesting none the less.

  • Chris

    As for the R56 GP being faster than the R53 on the ring… The most worthless comparison ever, and everyone is pushing it so hard, especially BMW.

    Some people have hit on the tires on the R56–what tires did the R53 have on at the ‘ring?

     Put some runflats on the R56GP, run that on the ring, then compare.  Or put the Kumho’s on the R53 GP and then compare. Otherwise throw it out.

    • The ‘ring times are for a stock, off the showroom floor GP – the 2006 GP time is with the factory performance run flats and the new GP time is with the factory installed Kuhmo tires so the times are completely relevant. The whole point is that the GP comes stock with everything needed to be 18 seconds faster on the ‘ring. Apples to apples, the comparo is a stock 2006 GP vs a stock 2012 GP. 

      The whole point is that there’s more to a fast car, any car, than horsepower. 

      All that being said, yes, if one were to put semi-slick tires and better brakes on a 2006 GP, it would most likely shave many seconds off the ‘ring time but that’s not the way it came from the factory. That should not lessen the engineering feats and adjustments in the 2012 GP. 

      • JonPD

        Agreed on the points Todd. I think the difference between the cars is likely pretty razor thin. However they have stepped there game forward with the R56 GP. Still waiting for them to further separate the car away from the brand. Looking forward to seeing where they take the Coupe, think that has the potential of becoming a monster, just hope they are not as conservative with the tiny gains in power, though pretty sure it will just be a small tweak if at all from the motor in the R56 GP.