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Drift that Mini?

Discussion in 'R56 Cooper, Cooper S (2006-present)' started by SJAE30PLZ, May 3, 2011.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

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    Well now I am a die-hard BMW lover.. but my mom (in charge of all major car purchases in my near future) insists that we get a 'new' car rather than my coveted E30. I can't argue with a new car, but there is obviously no way she will get a mano teenager like myself a new BMW (she drives a Kia [EW] herself) so she proposed a Mini. She will also be replacing her Kia as it occasionally will refuse to go into 5th- unacceptable. SO we may be in the market for TWO NEW MINIS! :D Not too shabby- still BMWs at heart.. so anywho, I wanted to get your opinion on how much a standard mini base model would need to be lowered in order to drift well with minimal body-roll (if at all) I am a total noob to drifting- only drifted a few times, but I want to get into AutoX and more importantly Gymkhana, so my mini will need some prep- what should I do first?
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    Terse

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    Drifting a mini seems like it would be interesting. Why not wait for the mini sports coupe? I don't recall if it's FF layout or FR. Anyone know?

    [IMG]

    Maybe a 1 series might be an option.
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    Zeichen311

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    First? Drive. Drive a lot. Enter a bunch of events. Drive some more. Get instruction from experienced competitors (many at Club events will be happy to ride along and give pointers), then drive even more. When you notice your performance (times, consistency) plateau, then think about altering the car. The capabilities of these cars, straight from the factory, are incredibly high. Learn to use all that potential before you change anything--you'll spend your money far more wisely.

    However, if you are at all serious about competition, a dedicated set of wheels and tires would be a good starting investment. Autocross and gymkhana are hard on tires and for many people this option can actually save money over the long haul (by using bargain-priced but high-performance tires for events).
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    MGarrison

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    ummm...... how do you drift a front-wheel-drive vehicle, when the premise of drifting is purposefully putting the car into oversteer to hang out the tail-end, which takes having enough power to be able to break the rear tires' traction, and the power going through the rear wheels? Sliding the car in an even 4-wheel drift is different from the relatively recent sport of drifting....

    aaaanyway..... I suppose one can't argue with the premise of the safety features of a more modern car. No side or head airbags in an E30, and the E30's that did have airbags ('90 & later) only had the steering wheel airbag.

    I think Mini's handle pretty well outta-the-box, I'd say see what the folk's budget is, and see what options may fall within the budget (you can play with that on the Mini website). If it's possible, wheels and tires, and sport-suspension package options.

    You're still gonna have to learn to drive, in addition to the performance-oriented driving you appear to be interested in for auto-x; look into one of the BMWCCA Foundation's Street Survival programs for starters, if there's one in your area. That'll help with starting to get the basic skillset in place. You'll have to wait 'til 18 for a BMWCCA driver's school, in the meantime you could read and study up on driving technique, or see if the folks will spring for one of the pro schools for you, perhaps at the BMW center in Spartanburg (the two-day car-control school looks like a good start) or perhaps something from Bondurant or Skip Barber.

    The car's capabilities will exceed yours for some time - start off with a relatively stock setup, progress through your learning curve for driving, and learn to exploit your car's capabilities to the fullest and expertly before increasing it's performance envelope with various mods. When you get good enough and find that one particular aspect or another of your car is holding you back from progressing, that's the time to consider changing something. (What Stig said)

    As a side note.... mom drives a Kia? Saaay Whaaat?! You musta got the car gene from your pops..... sounds like the Kia's a manual though, so props to your mom for that... :)
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    steven s

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    Have you driven a Kia recently? I drove a Kia rental a couple years and was very impressed. Excellent steering response, good brakes. Good visibility. Only thing it lacked was the acceleration of an inline 6.

    We have a 2003 Cooper S. Fun car. And since Sarah is near Summit Point, I had a ball at Summit Point on the Jefferson Circuit.
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    granthr

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    In college (many years ago) I use to drift my diesel vw jetta, I just didn't know it was called drifting back then. Pretty easy to get going, just pull the hand (e) brake and modulate. Lot of fun, very hard on tires!

    But, I agree with Notthestig, get some driving under your belt before you start modifying a car. Learn how it handles and then move on from there.

    Mini658 guest

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    I have an 2007 MINI Cooper S with optional sport suspension and the limited slip from the factory. I have been participating in autox for about 4 years. I left my car stock for the first 3 years of autox and track events. I have learned alot and was able to coax the tail out slighty by trail braking when necessary. This year I put in camber plates....WOW what a difference. My car is incredibly sensitive now. In a situation where I used to trail the brakes now all I have to do is lift the throttle slightly and the car will rotate. I can now pull off long drifts into any reducing radius corner by throttle steering or brake drifting when necessary (read FUN!). My car is a handful now. I have found myself in full on 4 wheel drifts when I have came in too fast to a corner or misjudged the grip level SCARRY! I let a friend drive my car and he spun the car, and almost put it into a fence after 6 cones. He owns an '09 M3, and thought he was prepared for oversteer.LOL. The MINI is very stable and predictable in its stock configuration, as soon as you start tuning out the stablility that short wheel base can be difficult.(read WARNING LEARN YOUR CAR BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, and then CHANGE ONLY ONE THING AT A TIME!)

    I am now in the process of relearning my car and am not going to do anything to it until I am entirely comfortable with it. I am going to post some videos when I get my GOPRO. My in car camera only shows extreme drift angles.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

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    Hahaha! I was talking with my AP World teacher about his Mini- (He has an '06 S with no mods aside from new racing tires) he recommended it without hesitation. I know it is technically impossible to drift a fwd car on the technical definition- it's really more of a powerslide. Either way I'm for it :)

    We are heading to check out some Minis this weekend at Minis of Sterling and Towson.. there is.. maybe.. kindof.. about a 50/50 chance we will be driving one home. :D The fact that we now have two drivers on the Kia is taking its toll on the transmission, not to mention the car has a steering problem at high speeds- if you take the car over 70 it gets a peculiar hum noise to it, and then at 75 the wheel starts to shake, so nobody (even my mom who is master of the stick [heel-toe proficient] and has been driving for half of forever ever feels in complete control of the car- so we most certainly have a new car investment in our near future. However.. This is NOT a Kia forum.. so enough of that haha on to the mini- I agree driving experience is key- I'm only now getting used the Kia, but I have a feeling the Mini will be much easier to get used to and overall an easier car to drive and handle. I've been poking around Mini of Towson's inventory and I found one that has everything I want- sport suspension, manual, sunroof (my one truly lame request :p ) for under 15k- perfection. The Mini is pretty close to perfect- as much as I'd love that E30- Mom does have that safety/reliability problem, I can't blame her for it.

    On the upside, the mini will be an easier stock car to track than the E30 would've been. :) sounds good to me..

    Once the car has been broken in on the track, Mini658 I will most certainly take your 'one-at-a-time' approach- a) because I won't be loaded on green.. I'll probably only be able to afford one mod at a time, and b) because as you pointed out, is dumb to do otherwise.

    Thanks so much you guys! I hope I will be a mini owner soon :)
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    Terse

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    If money is a really big issue I'd recommend saving your cash for tires.

    SJAE30PLZ guest

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