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Clio 197 R27
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After last weeks rant about Top Gear, I was amazed to see in the current issue of Autocar the ST150 fiesta beats the Cooper S in the performance car under 20k shootout!

Yet again the cars were tested on a track, and once again the cooper s posted appalling track times... considering a C2 VTS lapped 2/10s slower than the S.

The strangest thing is when you read the reports on each car, all the cars that beat the cooper s have bad things said about them, yet there is not one bad word against the cooper s.

Are mini not paying the magazines as much as the competition or something? :eek:
 

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Noticed this aswell Nick, although the S rarely has anything bad said about it, it does seem to get some strange results and in the bit about the S they said it was more like a 200bhp Works that it went so well????????????? yet it didnt beat the ST150 on the test track?????????? Not sure of the power to weight ratio ......could it be those Dam runflats again???????????
 

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Parc77 said:
......could it be those Dam runflats again???????????
You bet :mad: Serves MINI right for not giving us the paying customers a choice :p .
 

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I read this too and it said the MCS struggled on one of the corners - wondering when the LSD is put on the MCS whether this would make a difference.

I thought the article was odd as there was nothing bad said about the mini yet it didn't get rated that highly!!
 

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As far as I'm concerned track lap times are just an academic exercise. I don't normally get the opportunity to drive on a race track so it's real roads that matter. They vary in quality a lot more than a race track. I don't really care if other cars put in a better lap time. The question is could they be as good as an everyday car-and most importantly could it produce the 'laughing gas effect' that The Cooper S does on any strech of open road.

For me real world fun is important. Lap times and/or the (scewd?) opinions presented in some Magazines don't really make an impression. Having said that I do like to read the articles but I don't tend to put too much emphasis on a single one. Would love to know if there really is some money or other benifits changing hands between manufacturer and Magazine or whether it is purely differing opinions and judgement criteria that account for some of the unclear conclusions of group test. To be honest I would suspect something amiss if the Copper S always came out on top since some of the criteria that are important to me and make the car stand out above the rest are probably unlikely to match what the reviewers have in mind.
 

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Consider this ST150 runs a 2 litre naturally aspirated engine, modding it will be an expensive business. Fords have never been built that great (although i do love the new generartion Mustang especially after seeing pictures from the SEMA show), your standard MIni C/S has so much more potential for tuning thing about it 220-240 bhp is easy.

I tend to consider those tests any good only for those that don't have petrol for blood...

[email protected]
 

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Found the test quite strange too. Like you seems bizarre to pick a winner with so many faults in the guise of the Clio 182 Cup. Also its always been my impression that the MINI is one of the best cars through the bends and certainly in real life in both the MC and MCS I've left things for dead round the twisty A/B roads.

Regards
Christopher
 

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Chris Williams said:
Found the test quite strange too. Like you seems bizarre to pick a winner with so many faults in the guise of the Clio 182 Cup. Also its always been my impression that the MINI is one of the best cars through the bends and certainly in real life in both the MC and MCS I've left things for dead round the twisty A/B roads.

Regards
Christopher
I think the difference is that although the Clio is undoubtedly faster (weight probably plays a big part there), they are an "edgy" drive... the mini is much more reasuring, and no doubt stronger in the case of impacts....

Plus with the Clio its very cheap, I mean dealers are giving them away 2/3k less than list... residuals will be really bad !... plus bits generally fall off !!
 

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Hi guys and girls. Haven't been around for ages, but just noticed this and couldn't help replying.

I sold my MCS 11 months ago because I needed something cheaper at the time and bought a Citroen C2 GT with a years free insurance. The GT as you may know is lighter than the C2 VTS, but also around 15BHP less, so only slightly slower.

Well two weeks ago I wrote it off on an icy road and took delivery of a Fiesta ST last week, so I think I'm well qualified to judge this one!

Any way here is a little comparison review:

FYI, my MCS was an early one with 163BHP. It was fully kitted out, which added to the weight and also had the 17 inch wheels, but I had changed the runflats for a set of Michelin Pilot Sports to mprove the ride and handling.

Performance:
I'm still running in my ST. I find it exceptionally quick off the mark where the MINI used to bog down and had over-long gearing. Down my favourite straight country lane it would be very close between the ST and MINI (I'm sure a 170BHP MCS would be quicker and probably a less loaded 163'er). If the road was bumpy then the ST certainly inspires more confidence as the nose doesn't bob about. The poor little Citroen wouldn't stand a chance.

Handling:
Both the MINI and ST have exceptional steering feedback, though neither is perfect. The MCS used to tramline quite badly and in the ST you sit too high. The steering on the Citroen is way too light. The ST has the better gearchange (although I have read that the MCS change has improved since I had mine). The ride in the ST is also the most compliant (can't comment on an MCS on 16's). Around the bends I think the MINI and ST are evenly matched, unless the surface was quite rough, when the MINI could get quite unsettled. The DSC on the MCS does cut in quite a lot, but I'm sure it saved my bacon a few times and if I'd been in the MINI instead of the C2 I might not have crashed.

Interior:
The MINI has the best quality interior and the driving position is very comfortable. You sit very low in the MINI like a sports car. The ST's driving position is again very good but you do sit too high and the dashboard materials are not great. You also sit quite high in the C2 and the dash materials are again not great, but it seemed well screwed together. The pedal position in the MINI is excellent and I found heel and toeing quite easy. It wasn't possible in the C2 because the break pedal was far too sensitive, although the C2's brakes are the best of the bunch, with the MINI's being the worst.

Styling:
Totally subjective, so just my own thoughts. The MINI's styling is unique, but I personally got bored with seeing loads of them every day. Yes, I know there are masses of Fiestas out there, but the ST does look quite different and meaty. For now at least, the C2 is still quite rare where I am. My mates used to call it the Postman Pat van, but I liked the look of the C2.

Costs:
The C2 is obviously the cheapest, but it is also the smallest and has the least kit, although a years free insurance and low ins group keep the costs down low. I paid £10500 for the C2 and lost £2400 in 10 months of ownership. The MINI is the most expensive to buy and run, TLC helps, but I found it ran best on superplus and it is also the most expensive to insure. As for price of the car, my MCS cost £17500 with options and lost £3000 over 2 years of ownership. I paid 12695 for the ST with a similar amount of equipment to the MINI. Can't comment on depreciation yet!

Tuning:
We all know the MINI is very tuneable and can easily make over 200BHP quite cheaply. You may be surprised to learn that the Duratec engine is also quite tuneable and can make over 200BHP for a couple of grand without touching the engine internals. The C2 cant be made to go much over 150BHP without spending lots of cash or turbo'ing.

Reliability:
All cars have reliability issues. The MINI would rattle, the windows wouldn't drop, it pulled to the left, the side-indicators fell out and it was recalled for a handbrake problem. The C2 rattled, but not as much, the brakes squeaked and it was hesitant when cold. The Fiesta I'm sure will have it's problems. I've already noticed that a couple of the wheel centre-caps are mis-shaped.

So to sum up:
I loved my MINI, it was fun to drive, comfortable and rare when I got it, but it was expensive to buy and run and I got bored of seeing so many of them in the end. I also didn't like the long gearing. You have to wring it out to get the best out of it. The C2 was even rarer, very cheap to run and you could leave it parked without worrying if it would get nicked. It wasn't particularly quick and it had very basic equipement, and dodgy handling. The ST seems the best of both worlds to me. Not quite as fast as a new MCS, but much cheaper when you take into account equipment levels. Better riding and bigger inside.
 

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Ford do have a great tradition of making cheap fast cars, and today I saw pictures of the new Focus ST, with a 5 cylinder turbo engine! Should be good.

However, I would still go for the mini. Sure there are plenty around, in fact huge quantities where I live and work. But for me the mini has a certain specialness that few other cars can match.

I would however concede that the Fiesta ST is also likely to be a very good drive.

Evo have given the ST a luke warm welcome though.
 
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