Flaking paint

Washing GP0203 today, I noticed that it is suffering the same flaking paint problem reported by a number of other GP owners, namely that the paint is flaking away around the dummy “air intake” on the passenger side of the front bumper:

There was clearly some sort of process control issue causing this, since multiple owners (goodfinder, Metal Man, eimr – all early delivery GPs!) have reported the same problem at the same location on the car (the paint around the driver side “air intake” is perfectly OK!) – so presumably there will be no problem having MINI USA take care of this …

UPDATE: After gaining warranty approval from MINI USA, the re-work was done excellently at my local & favorite body shop, Sublime Restorations … all’s well again with GP0203 🙂

Motor Trend: Americas best handling cars

The GP was one of the featured cars in this recent Motor Trend article:

Which is the best-handling car in the land? Car magazines have been answering that question for a half-century … Step one in any such venture is to select the contestants. To shed some meaningful light on the topic of dynamic handling, we decided to invite top-handling cars representing the four major driveline layouts-front engine, front drive; front engine, rear drive; front engine, all-wheel drive; and mid- or rear engine. We brainstormed a list of 32 great-driving cars, our eight favorites in each category, then combed through past road-test data, reread our subjective reviews, and winnowed that list down to 10 finalists:
BMW 335i, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Honda Civic Si, Honda S2000, Lotus Exige S, Mazdaspeed3 GT, Mini Cooper S JC Works GP, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR, Porsche 911 GT3, Porsche Cayman S

The GP didn’t win – unsurprisingly – but they wrote some nice things about it:
ANGELELLI emerged from the Mini smiling. “This car makes me laugh, it’s such a little sports car; a little racing car.” Of the three front-drivers, it corners the flattest, exhibiting excellent traction and steering effort that builds naturally with cornering loads. Power is modest, but the gearing is perfect …
As a smile generator, the Mini Cooper S JCW GP is tough to beat. After all, it’s a cartoon of a sports car. Everything is exaggerated for effect-acceleration, braking, cornering, and bumps in the road. There’s almost no pitch or roll, ever, but a tall seating position and limited side bolstering had all voters hanging onto the wheel for dear life. Astute stability-control programming keeps the car on track with minimal intrusion, contributing to a third-place ranking in chassis control, fifth overall

And the winner: Porsche 911 GT3 (which costs more than three GPs!)