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Old 05-26-2019, 10:37 PM   #11
JST
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I'm back to thinking about Minis. And Quads.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:29 AM   #12
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Supposedly, the next gen M3 might still come with a manual, but you are a solid year plus out. And then it's a first year car.

This is one of the reasons why I got the M3 though. Despite not being perfect, it was one of (THE?) last chances to get a new MT car I can drive everyday. By the time the car gets replaced (~6+ years from now), there won't be any MT's for sure, and quite possibly no viable option with an internal combustion engine.

Last edited by FC; 05-27-2019 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:45 AM   #13
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I'm back to thinking about Minis.
This is a warning sign
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:52 AM   #14
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you know i'm a fan of manual transmissions. just asking how they fare in DC traffic, which can be so loathesome and nasty?

or am I just scarred from sitting on that wretched highway headed west from DC to Dulles?
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:52 PM   #15
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I had forgotten that the Mini Clubman is still available with a stick. I went and tried one of those today.

The Good: steering, suspension, and clutch feel are all solid, better than the VW in most ways. The car has a decent amount of room. It's fun to toss around.

The Bad: The Cooper S, with 189 hp, is not fast. It's not slow, but it's not quick. The JCW has 228 hp and may fix that problem, but is $$$. Even in Cooper S form, the Mini has more torque steer than it probably should. The interior continues to be riven with gimmicks. They aren't as cute or well-executed as they were back in 2003 or 2007.

Most of all, the car doesn't feel very "mini" any more.

The Punchline: The 2020 JCW gets a 300 hp 4, which should fix any lingering acceleration concerns. It also gets a standard 8 speed auto.



Then I went to drive a Quad. I tried a Stelvio, because AWD seems interesting and the extra cargo space would be nice.

Unlike a BMW dealer, which guards access to M cars like the crown jewels, the Alfa dealer was more than happy to let me drive a 505 hp SUV.

The Stelvio Quad is an...interesting car to drive. It has a lot of power, but to be honest it's a little soft off the line, and because it's AWD it's never traction limited. The turbos spool fairly fast, but this is an engine with more top end than bottom. The auto shifts for you near redline (or you can flappy paddle it), with a really loud BRRRAAAP from the exhaust that sounds awesome until it occurs to you that it also sort of sounds like the car is farting from exerting itself too hard.

It handles well, though it feels like it's taller than it should be (it's an SUV, after all). Steering feel is good, and I liked the interior a lot.

The Stelvio makes no sense at all. I liked it, though maybe not as much as I thought I would. It's absurd but is it absurd *enough*?
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:08 AM   #16
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I had forgotten that the Mini Clubman is still available with a stick. I went and tried one of those today.

The Good: steering, suspension, and clutch feel are all solid, better than the VW in most ways. The car has a decent amount of room. It's fun to toss around.

The Bad: The Cooper S, with 189 hp, is not fast. It's not slow, but it's not quick. The JCW has 228 hp and may fix that problem, but is $$$. Even in Cooper S form, the Mini has more torque steer than it probably should. The interior continues to be riven with gimmicks. They aren't as cute or well-executed as they were back in 2003 or 2007.

Most of all, the car doesn't feel very "mini" any more.

The Punchline: The 2020 JCW gets a 300 hp 4, which should fix any lingering acceleration concerns. It also gets a standard 8 speed auto.



Then I went to drive a Quad. I tried a Stelvio, because AWD seems interesting and the extra cargo space would be nice.

Unlike a BMW dealer, which guards access to M cars like the crown jewels, the Alfa dealer was more than happy to let me drive a 505 hp SUV.

The Stelvio Quad is an...interesting car to drive. It has a lot of power, but to be honest it's a little soft off the line, and because it's AWD it's never traction limited. The turbos spool fairly fast, but this is an engine with more top end than bottom. The auto shifts for you near redline (or you can flappy paddle it), with a really loud BRRRAAAP from the exhaust that sounds awesome until it occurs to you that it also sort of sounds like the car is farting from exerting itself too hard.

It handles well, though it feels like it's taller than it should be (it's an SUV, after all). Steering feel is good, and I liked the interior a lot.

The Stelvio makes no sense at all. I liked it, though maybe not as much as I thought I would. It's absurd but is it absurd *enough*?
The plot thickens...
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:09 AM   #17
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sounds like the car is farting from exerting itself too hard.
This is why I keep coming here...
I was reading along just fine... minding my own business and all...

Then when I read this - I just about spit out what I was drinking...
Too funny....
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post

Then I went to drive a Quad. I tried a Stelvio, because AWD seems interesting and the extra cargo space would be nice.

The Stelvio makes no sense at all. I liked it, though maybe not as much as I thought I would. It's absurd but is it absurd *enough*?
I mean if you've moved from I must have a manual RWD sedan to I'll take a hi(p)po SUV, that opens up all sorts of options from G Wagons to Macans and everything in between. Not to mention all the non jacked up SUVs with autos/dcts... If you're good with the idea of all the Alfa maintenance headaches, what about this:

https://www.volvocars.com/us/cars/ne...tar-engineered

Although the non-manual answer is obviously E63 wagon.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JST View Post
I had forgotten that the Mini Clubman is still available with a stick. I went and tried one of those today.

The Good: steering, suspension, and clutch feel are all solid, better than the VW in most ways. The car has a decent amount of room. It's fun to toss around.

The Bad: The Cooper S, with 189 hp, is not fast. It's not slow, but it's not quick. The JCW has 228 hp and may fix that problem, but is $$$. Even in Cooper S form, the Mini has more torque steer than it probably should. The interior continues to be riven with gimmicks. They aren't as cute or well-executed as they were back in 2003 or 2007.

Most of all, the car doesn't feel very "mini" any more.

The Punchline: The 2020 JCW gets a 300 hp 4, which should fix any lingering acceleration concerns. It also gets a standard 8 speed auto.



Then I went to drive a Quad. I tried a Stelvio, because AWD seems interesting and the extra cargo space would be nice.

Unlike a BMW dealer, which guards access to M cars like the crown jewels, the Alfa dealer was more than happy to let me drive a 505 hp SUV.

The Stelvio Quad is an...interesting car to drive. It has a lot of power, but to be honest it's a little soft off the line, and because it's AWD it's never traction limited. The turbos spool fairly fast, but this is an engine with more top end than bottom. The auto shifts for you near redline (or you can flappy paddle it), with a really loud BRRRAAAP from the exhaust that sounds awesome until it occurs to you that it also sort of sounds like the car is farting from exerting itself too hard.

It handles well, though it feels like it's taller than it should be (it's an SUV, after all). Steering feel is good, and I liked the interior a lot.

The Stelvio makes no sense at all. I liked it, though maybe not as much as I thought I would. It's absurd but is it absurd *enough*?

Ha- in my area, the roles are reversed with the Alfa dealer guarding the Quads like they are crown jewels and the BMW dealer being laid back about M cars.

Your absurd comment made me think of another idea: Jeep GC Track Hawk (Grand Cherokee with the Hellcat motor). Hard to come up with something more absurd. At the very least, I'm sure it would put a huge grin on your face. They sound good as well.

You'd also likely be the only person that owned both a Tesla and a Hellcat powered Jeep!
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:05 PM   #20
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Switching from golf r to a track hawk is like going from a horse to an elephant, a fast one.

Also same here with the dealers. Haven't actually asked to test drive much recently but I've had it easy with M cars. The quad alfas were on carpets and clearly not for test drives at the north nj dealer.

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