I've had time to think since completing a track day at Bedford Autodrome this month about the benefit both on the road and track of having 230 bhp. My conversion consists of:
Alta 15% Pulley V2 Reduced Supercharger Belt Superchips Bluefin with Custom Lohen Map Denso Iridium Spark Plugs Polished GRS Motorsport Intercooler Janspeed Manifold with High Flow Cat Milltek Cat Back Exhaust AP Racing Big Brake Kit OMP Strut Brace OMP Lower Brace Teflon Supercharger Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2
I came back from Bedford a bit disappointed with my new power because although the car is now quicker than a Boxster S on the straights it just canít put down the power through the corners. Before the mods (182 bhp) it used to excel through the corners but get handed its ass on the straights . My ultimate aim as I stated some months ago was to build a very quick road/track car and whilst I realize Iím yet to fit coilovers, a Quaiffe diff and an Exedy clutch I still donít believe that with the addition of these mods the car will be able to handle any more power than it has already.
This has left me feeling somewhat deflated about where to go from here. Donít get me wrong, on a dry twisty British back road the car is stupendous fun and can shock a lot more expensive and supposedly faster machinery, but 230 bhp seems to have shown the true limitations of the rest of the car when really pressing on.
Itís left me wondering about the benefits of tuning the car further. Yes Iíll see a difference by adding the last remaining mods but is there much point spending more money on making an arse dragger handle more power, after all the current best FWD hot hatch (as voted for by the motoring press) is the Renault Sport Megane with just 225 bhp and as Top Gear pointed out it went round their track quicker than the VXR Astra with 240 bhp and now I can see why.
I said Iíd never sell the Mini but over Christmas Iíve been tempted to trade it in for an e46 M3 Ö HELP!
Rob Huffs Vette was awesome ... 185mph on the straight!!! but about 40k out of my price range. I'll hold on until I find out about that contract I was telling you about before making a decision, if that comes in then Mini Cooper S4 is go!!!
you are now understanding the principles of modding a car
a lot of power is very good in a str8 line but eventually you have to be able to do 2 things
1 go round corners
You have sorted out the second thing so now it's just the handling which I believe the remaning mods (as pointed out already) will help but in the end there is a limit to what can be done and maybe after the mods and you get used to the set up you will be able to drive alot better as you understand how to get the power down as best as possible.
I am not saying you are a bad driver it's just that you are going to need to learn how to drive the mini in a certain way without going slideways or backwards
the important thing is that you are enjoying it
More Air + More Fuel = More Power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
no way, you must be doing something wrong. 230bhp is not too much, its the way you are drving it that is probabaly costing you the time. On most circuits all novice drivers will be able to shave 10-15% of their time off a lap after tuition from the circuit driver. Even in standard form the Cooper s is an amazing circuit racer. However suspension, tyres and brakes can be worth a lot more than an extra 50 bhp.
If you are struggling to get the best out of a mini then there is no chance you will get the best out of an M3. Yes the M3 is a great car for track day use ( although the E36 is a lot better than the E46 (unless its a CSL of course)) but you will need to be rather handy with the wheel to achieve the best from it.
One other option you might consider is to do as some of my mates have and even my brother has done, buy an old car for track day use. My brothers 18yr old Vauxhall Nova is untouchable round the track, he was running rings round an RS4 and even pushing a Leon Cupra championship car who was testing ,before christmas at brands, Why not buy a pug 205 for say 500 quid, you will learn more about car control with a few sessions in that then you would gain from another 40bhp in your mini.
Oh and the boxster was an obvious example of bad driving if you were going passed him ( assuming it was'nt a shitter)
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