It’s “Ask MF Week” here at MotoringFile. We’re clearing out some of the better questions we’ve gotten recently from the queue and bringing them to you every day this week. First up, Mike asks:

>I wanted to get your thoughts on something.  I’m torn between a R56 with the JCW suspension and engine kit and a GP.  Obviously the R56 has a back seat along with probably being more civil but I just can’t seem to get my old R53 out of my head with its seductive supercharger whine and the burble from the Remus exhaust I had on it.  From a fun to drive perspective and also a speed perspective which one has the edge?

Great question Mike. In the R56 (dealer installed) JCW kit you have a newer, faster car with arguably more speed, equal cornering ability (w/the highly recommended JCW suspension) and countless refinements that make it hands down a better car in most situations. On the other hand you have the GP, a car with no back seat, half the sound deadening material and a rear wing that might as well be giving passing police the finger (all good things in our book)

From a purely fun to drive perspective it’s hard to argue with the 2006 JCW GP. While it’s true an R56 w/the dealer installed JCW Engine Kit and Suspension Kit will perform as good if not better than the GP in almost any circumstance, for those that like the raucous character of the R53, the GP is probably the better choice.

For those who want the sheer speed and handling yet don’t want to be reminded of the “go fast” attitude constantly and (heaven forbid) actually want to spec things like a sunroof, the R56 w/the JCW Engine Kit and Suspension kit is the hands-down choice.

Finally how important is a back seat and secure storage to you? If you like either, go for the R56 JCW.

Of course this question could get quite a bit more interesting with the introduction of the factory John Cooper Works car this summer. Look for a full comparison test of these two cars later in 2008 after the new JCW factory car is released.