Car lovers?

I really like the Countryman and I am thinking about finally getting rid of my 7 Series to get one.

ElectricPi wrote:

I would say that is definitely a Dakar Mini. The 3 giveaways for me are 1)the full width roof scoop with a smaller roof scoop in the middle. 2) The rear window scoop visible on the drivers side above the rear window, and 3) the filename "MINI-All4-Racing-test-02.jpg" All4 racing is their Dakar team.
You can see the first two features on the X5 I posted.

Oh, okay. Makes sense, it didn't look quite chunky enough to be a Dakar vehicle and the suspension travel seemed too short, but I discuss to learn.

AnimeJ wrote:

My understanding is that the Dakar MINI's are based on the Countryman, which has very little to do with the X5.

Dakar vehicles are total custom vehicles with a few body panels based on road cars. The Dakar Mini, or X5, is as close to a road vehicle as a NASCAR is. A bit more info here.

I'm excited for the next Dakar. The South African Hilux team came third with the very technically limited 2013 technical regulations. Given a more even footing in the next race our guys should be able to contend for a win.

It's not an X5. It's based on the ALL4 Countryman, go read the stuff from MINI. The photo that was posted early of the BMW is radically different in body style, frame, wheelbase etc. because it's based on a BMW.

I posted a link to MINI's rally and motor sports site where there's a ton of info about it, go read it.

Given the parent company, sure. But the design team is still from MINI, and even if they're pooling components like suspension and such, as you pointed out these cars are franken-mobiles. Also, the wheelbase on the Dakar MINI is 2906mm, ~300 longer than the standard Countryman(2595mm). Engine's BMW developed, but it's the one from the much smaller X3, not the X5.

Anywho, a BMW owned company carrying BMW developed parts makes sense, but that doesn't make it an X3/X5 any more than swapping parts into street cars from donor vehicles.

AnimeJ wrote:

Given the parent company, sure. But the design team is still from MINI

Nope, It's from New Dimensions X Raid. The same people who designed and built the X5 dakar and X3CC dakar racers.

AnimeJ wrote:

, and even if they're pooling components like suspension and such, as you pointed out these cars are franken-mobiles. Also, the wheelbase on the Dakar MINI is 2906mm, ~300 longer than the standard Countryman(2595mm).

311mm difference to be exact. That works out to 1.02ft or as I said, over a foot.

This is not surprising because rather than start with the production vehicle and modifying it, they start from scratch, and build a racer that will have a custom body that wll look sort of like a production car. As MrDeVil909 said, they have about as much in common with the production models as NASCARs do. Just as the Ford Fusion NASCAR is an evolution, and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Taurus NASCAR, not a Ford Fusion, and the Ford Taurus NASCAR was an evolution and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Thunderbird NASCAR, not a Ford Taurus, so too the New Dimensions X-Raid MINI Countryman Dakar T1 racer is an evolution/refacing of the New Dimensions X-Raid BMW X3CC Dakar T1, not a MINI Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Engine's BMW developed, but it's the one from the much smaller X3, not the X5.

Actually that big straight 6 is found in both X3 and X5 as well as the X6, 3 series, 5 series, and even 7 series.
Interestingly the MINI Dakar racers' 2906mm wheel base is much closer to the current X5 at 2933mm than the "much smaller" X3 at 2810mm, though all three are much closer to each other than to the Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Anywho, a BMW owned company carrying BMW developed parts makes sense, but that doesn't make it an X3/X5 any more than swapping parts into street cars from donor vehicles.

but a car that is 10-25% BMW SUV, 80%-90% BMW branded racer, and 0% actual production MINI parts (OK those MIGHT be production head light housings), can reasonably be said to be more BMW racer than MINI.

AnimeJ wrote:

It's not an X5. It's based on the ALL4 Countryman, go read the stuff from MINI. The photo that was posted early of the BMW is radically different in body style, frame, wheelbase etc. because it's based on a BMW.

I posted a link to MINI's rally and motor sports site where there's a ton of info about it, go read it.

That Mini Motorsport page itself says that the Mini ALL4 Racing Countryman is "5% bigger than the series version", and the wheelbase of 2906mm is over a foot longer than the production countryman at 2595mm. Some more poking around leads me to think it may be a new body shell, but it does use the same engine (3 liter straight 6 diesel) as the previous years BMW X3CC Dakar racer, and I am willing to bet there are other major components that were carried over. In short, despite what it looks like, the Dakar Countryman is more BMW Dakar racer (not BMW production SUV) than Mini Countryman.

Edit: corrected lengths from 3906mm and 3595mm to 2906mm and 2595mm (10/6)

One thing I have learned is that AnimeJ gets really... enthusiastic... about MINIs.

ElectricPi wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

Given the parent company, sure. But the design team is still from MINI

Nope, It's from New Dimensions X Raid. The same people who designed and built the X5 dakar and X3CC dakar racers.

AnimeJ wrote:

, and even if they're pooling components like suspension and such, as you pointed out these cars are franken-mobiles. Also, the wheelbase on the Dakar MINI is 2906mm, ~300 longer than the standard Countryman(2595mm).

311mm difference to be exact. That works out to 1.02ft or as I said, over a foot.

This is not surprising because rather than start with the production vehicle and modifying it, they start from scratch, and build a racer that will have a custom body that wll look sort of like a production car. As MrDeVil909 said, they have about as much in common with the production models as NASCARs do. Just as the Ford Fusion NASCAR is an evolution, and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Taurus NASCAR, not a Ford Fusion, and the Ford Taurus NASCAR was an evolution and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Thunderbird NASCAR, not a Ford Taurus, so too the New Dimensions X-Raid MINI Countryman Dakar T1 racer is an evolution/refacing of the New Dimensions X-Raid BMW X3CC Dakar T1, not a MINI Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Engine's BMW developed, but it's the one from the much smaller X3, not the X5.

Actually that big straight 6 is found in both X3 and X5 as well as the X6, 3 series, 5 series, and even 7 series.
Interestingly the MINI Dakar racers' 2906mm wheel base is much closer to the current X5 at 2933mm than the "much smaller" X3 at 2810mm, though all three are much closer to each other than to the Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Anywho, a BMW owned company carrying BMW developed parts makes sense, but that doesn't make it an X3/X5 any more than swapping parts into street cars from donor vehicles.

but a car that is 10-25% BMW SUV, 80%-90% BMW branded racer, and 0% actual production MINI parts (OK those MIGHT be production head light housings), can reasonably be said to be more BMW racer than MINI.

To be fair, I had a closer look at the pic in the forum thread I linked and it does look like it probably uses the doors and the front section of the Mini bodyshell for the driver cell, so maybe 2% Mini parts if you include the lights.

Everything behind the driver is a custom built space-frame though. Ain't no more Mini in there.

IMAGE(http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll120/MrDeVil_909/5239844378_23ef794a32.jpg)

I suppose it comes down to what you consider 'based on' to mean. For some it can be a section of a production bodyshell, for someone else it can be the engine, gearbox, diffs suspension and electrical system.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
ElectricPi wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

Given the parent company, sure. But the design team is still from MINI

Nope, It's from New Dimensions X Raid. The same people who designed and built the X5 dakar and X3CC dakar racers.

AnimeJ wrote:

, and even if they're pooling components like suspension and such, as you pointed out these cars are franken-mobiles. Also, the wheelbase on the Dakar MINI is 2906mm, ~300 longer than the standard Countryman(2595mm).

311mm difference to be exact. That works out to 1.02ft or as I said, over a foot.

This is not surprising because rather than start with the production vehicle and modifying it, they start from scratch, and build a racer that will have a custom body that wll look sort of like a production car. As MrDeVil909 said, they have about as much in common with the production models as NASCARs do. Just as the Ford Fusion NASCAR is an evolution, and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Taurus NASCAR, not a Ford Fusion, and the Ford Taurus NASCAR was an evolution and mostly re-facing of the previous Ford Thunderbird NASCAR, not a Ford Taurus, so too the New Dimensions X-Raid MINI Countryman Dakar T1 racer is an evolution/refacing of the New Dimensions X-Raid BMW X3CC Dakar T1, not a MINI Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Engine's BMW developed, but it's the one from the much smaller X3, not the X5.

Actually that big straight 6 is found in both X3 and X5 as well as the X6, 3 series, 5 series, and even 7 series.
Interestingly the MINI Dakar racers' 2906mm wheel base is much closer to the current X5 at 2933mm than the "much smaller" X3 at 2810mm, though all three are much closer to each other than to the Countryman.

AnimeJ wrote:

Anywho, a BMW owned company carrying BMW developed parts makes sense, but that doesn't make it an X3/X5 any more than swapping parts into street cars from donor vehicles.

but a car that is 10-25% BMW SUV, 80%-90% BMW branded racer, and 0% actual production MINI parts (OK those MIGHT be production head light housings), can reasonably be said to be more BMW racer than MINI.

To be fair, I had a closer look at the pic in the forum thread I linked and it does look like it probably uses the doors and the front section of the Mini bodyshell for the driver cell, so maybe 2% Mini parts if you include the lights.

Everything behind the driver is a custom built space-frame though. Ain't no more Mini in there.

IMAGE(http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll120/MrDeVil_909/5239844378_23ef794a32.jpg)

I suppose it comes down to what you consider 'based on' to mean. For some it can be a section of a production bodyshell, for someone else it can be the engine, gearbox, diffs suspension and electrical system.

I would be shocked if those were MINI parts, or even would fit on a stock MINI. They are almost certainly carbon fiber custom pieces, and probably scaled/warped to look more like the stock pieces on the very differently sized Dakar truck. To me "based on" means the starting point. Something like the SRTUSA rally cars are really based on the Impreza because they actually start with an Impreza body shell (before taking it apart, seam welding the frame, replacing the body pannels with carbon fiber, and upgrading just about everything). A NASCAR or Dakar truck starts with a blank slate and/or the previous generation.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Switchbreak linked me this.

Video of people who think spending several hundred grand makes them Michael Shumacher

There are 3 kinds of supercar or sport car drivers or sport bikes- The kind who learn how to drive properly (might even race as a hobby) like Adam Carolla or JK of the Goo Goo DOlls, the collectors who like to drive a work of art like Jay Leno, those who think the car makes them an F1 driver like Ryan Dunn or Rowan Atkinson.

I rather think that like getting a motorcycle or scooter in most places, you need a special class of license to drive one of those cars.

Practical question. My fiancee is looking at getting a new car in the next few years. Her corolla is on 250k+.

A Subaru is an obvious choice as we are outdoor enthusiasts, they are reliable, fun to drive. But I am also looking at those new Minis, specifically the Cooper S with 4WD. How is the handling, how is it on ice, mud, and such? Also, she and I are alike in this. We would like to continue getting cars that can reliably do 200k+ miles.

Based on means exactly that: a starting point. If you start with an ALL4, then lengthen it to fit an I6 from an X3, swap the suspension for custom stuff, strip the interior and install a full roll cage, then build the body back on around all of that, even if the parts are all transplanted, it still started life as a MINI, even if the end result is more BMW.

That said, I'll use a stock vehicle comparison. When I was in college, I owned a Mazda B4000. The number of actual Mazda parts on the truck were roughly limited to the grill, radio and steering wheel; nearly every other major part on the truck carried the Ford blue oval. The engine block, the oil pan, transmission, suspension, everywhere I looked while doing varying repairs, there was Ford logo. So was it a Ford, or a Mazda?

Rowan Atkinson races as a hobby. Yes he's crashed on the street, but he otherwise knows how to drive properly. And I'd hardly call Jay Leno a work of art.

Gravey wrote:

Rowan Atkinson races as a hobby. Yes he's crashed on the street, but he otherwise knows how to drive properly. And I'd hardly call Jay Leno a work of art.

I don't know that Leno is art, but the cars he owns certainly qualify.

As for Rowan Atkinson? The man topped out the Star in a Reasonably Priced car board for a while; he's definitely a legit racer, if not pro.

On the subject of new cars, I've yet to drive my MINI in the snow/slush/ice. However, it sounds like you're interested in the Countryman, not the Cooper. I'm of the opinion that 4 wheel drive in general isn't a necessity for driving in the snow; a properly driven and shod RWD vehicle is fine in most places, and FWD handles fine even in places with a bit of snow.

AnimeJ wrote:
Gravey wrote:

Rowan Atkinson races as a hobby. Yes he's crashed on the street, but he otherwise knows how to drive properly. And I'd hardly call Jay Leno a work of art.

I don't know that Leno is art, but the cars he owns certainly qualify.

Pretty sure that's what Gorilla was saying-- collectors like Jay Leno who like to drive works of art.

I will look into that AnimeJ. My concern is people who have one and might take the roads less traveled on them. I take for a given that if we go Subaru (Outback, Impreza, or Legacy) muddy country roads, or snowed over back roads will not be a major issue. I firmly agree that cities in a little snow, any car will be fine if you are not a moron. But I am looking for if someone has taken the new Mini into the countryside.

I will look into that AnimeJ. My concern is people who have one and might take the roads less traveled on them. I take for a given that if we go Subaru (Outback, Impreza, or Legacy) muddy country roads, or snowed over back roads will not be a major issue. I firmly agree that cities in a little snow, any car will be fine if you are not a moron. But I am looking for if someone has taken the new Mini into the countryside.

WipEout wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:
Gravey wrote:

Rowan Atkinson races as a hobby. Yes he's crashed on the street, but he otherwise knows how to drive properly. And I'd hardly call Jay Leno a work of art.

I don't know that Leno is art, but the cars he owns certainly qualify.

Pretty sure that's what Gorilla was saying-- collectors like Jay Leno who like to drive works of art. :P

Yes, I was just having fun with KG's syntax. I didn't know Ryan Dunn was an F1 driver!

Ah, gotcha. If you're looking for road less traveled, I'd skip cars in general, buy something like a Jeep or Escape. I've done some light offroading in an older Escape and it did quite well.

By the way, replacing spark plugs in a gen 2 Xterra 4.0 V6 (and Frontier, same setup- and that's where I had to look for a guide) is a huge pain. You have to essentially remove the air intake system. Good thing it's an only once every 100k miles sort of thing.

Still haven't done it, but looked at it one night and after cutting both hands, I called it quits until I could find out how to do it right, rather than easy.

Pick up a Haynes manual if you haven't already. Well worth the money if you do a lot of basic maintenance like that.

Heard similar complaints from my previous boss at work when he changed out plugs on his 02 Camaro SS. He said the back two are underneath actual body or framework or something so they're damn near impossible to get to.

He complained about it multiple times.

Then he traded it in for a 2012 SS.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

By the way, replacing spark plugs in a gen 2 Xterra 4.0 V6 (and Frontier, same setup- and that's where I had to look for a guide) is a huge pain. You have to essentially remove the air intake system. Good thing it's an only once every 100k miles sort of thing.

Still haven't done it, but looked at it one night and after cutting both hands, I called it quits until I could find out how to do it right, rather than easy.

Do those have the VQ35DE engines? (3.5L V6s?) My kid-shuttle 2004 Quest has that, and we gave up and paid the mechanic. He had to take the windshield wipers and the cowl off to get to the rear bank of plugs. Blech. I think I'm getting my next car based on two factors now: roof rack availability and ease of the most typical maintenances.

AnimeJ wrote:

Ah, gotcha. If you're looking for road less traveled, I'd skip cars in general, buy something like a Jeep or Escape. I've done some light offroading in an older Escape and it did quite well.

And this becomes my key issue. I know I could look at a Ford Pick Up, or a smaller SUV, or a Tacoma, etc. But as every day drivers that is just silly. Sitting in traffic in an SUV or Truck has the fuel needle moving down faster than the minute hand on a watch.

For the 4 or 5 trips we may make to the muck, I am not thinking that the tremendous extra cost in Gas compared with the Imprezza for example. I am leery about crossovers for safety reasons and many of them are rubbish off road (Hello BMW). Volvo, Chevy, Accura, Ford make some of the safer models, but at a price. And the "Luxury" crossovers are terribly unsafe. The Escape ticks the boxes save reliability, that line keeps having issues and the NHTSA is launching yet another investigation into them.

I am not buying any time soon. But I had not anticipated this being such a tough question. It is also tough because some of the more fuel efficient cars.crossovers like Volvo Diesels don't make it over to the US.

On the flip side, I am thinking we might get the daily drivers we want, and for the camp trips go with a craigslist 4WD ranger or tacoma. More and more I think keeping a wrangler or a light truck in the garage is the better option.

Thin_J wrote:

Heard similar complaints from my previous boss at work when he changed out plugs on his 02 Camaro SS. He said the back two are underneath actual body or framework or something so they're damn near impossible to get to.

He complained about it multiple times.

Then he traded it in for a 2012 SS.

Some of the W body GM cars (FWD Grand Prix, Regals, Cutlasses, etc) required you to release the engine mounts and tilt the engine forward with a pry bar to access the back plugs that were up against the firewall.

And my Syclone is a real pain, too. Some people got really good at going in from underneath the truck.

But my favorite was the DOHC 3.4 liter GM motors (also used in those W bodies). To replace the alternator, you had to remove a front axle.

Squeegee_Joe wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:

By the way, replacing spark plugs in a gen 2 Xterra 4.0 V6 (and Frontier, same setup- and that's where I had to look for a guide) is a huge pain. You have to essentially remove the air intake system. Good thing it's an only once every 100k miles sort of thing.

Still haven't done it, but looked at it one night and after cutting both hands, I called it quits until I could find out how to do it right, rather than easy.

Do those have the VQ35DE engines? (3.5L V6s?) My kid-shuttle 2004 Quest has that, and we gave up and paid the mechanic. He had to take the windshield wipers and the cowl off to get to the rear bank of plugs. Blech. I think I'm getting my next car based on two factors now: roof rack availability and ease of the most typical maintenances.

Don't think they come with anything less than the 4.0L V6. Here's an online tutorial posted to a Frontier forum. You can see in there the tilted up intake and in the next pic, the 4, 5, & 6 plugs with the edge of the mounting plate that really gets in the way. TBH, those sorts of posts are my go to for maintenance.

AnimeJ - what's the advantage of the Haynes manuals? How do they compare to the Chiltons? I've only ever looked at 1 Chiltons for cars.

KingGorilla wrote:

On the flip side, I am thinking we might get the daily drivers we want, and for the camp trips go with a craigslist 4WD ranger or tacoma. More and more I think keeping a wrangler or a light truck in the garage is the better option.

I do quite abit of backpacking/dispersed car camping. I bought a 2012 impreza for the mpg, and the ability to get me where I need to. I've done a lot of rough roads out in the mountains bottomed the car out almost everytime, but it gets me where I need to. I would look at the new XV. I would of got that if it was out when I was looking, gives me the clearance I need.

KingGorilla wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

Ah, gotcha. If you're looking for road less traveled, I'd skip cars in general, buy something like a Jeep or Escape. I've done some light offroading in an older Escape and it did quite well.

And this becomes my key issue. I know I could look at a Ford Pick Up, or a smaller SUV, or a Tacoma, etc. But as every day drivers that is just silly. Sitting in traffic in an SUV or Truck has the fuel needle moving down faster than the minute hand on a watch.

For the 4 or 5 trips we may make to the muck, I am not thinking that the tremendous extra cost in Gas compared with the Imprezza for example. I am leery about crossovers for safety reasons and many of them are rubbish off road (Hello BMW). Volvo, Chevy, Accura, Ford make some of the safer models, but at a price. And the "Luxury" crossovers are terribly unsafe. The Escape ticks the boxes save reliability, that line keeps having issues and the NHTSA is launching yet another investigation into them.

I am not buying any time soon. But I had not anticipated this being such a tough question. It is also tough because some of the more fuel efficient cars.crossovers like Volvo Diesels don't make it over to the US.

On the flip side, I am thinking we might get the daily drivers we want, and for the camp trips go with a craigslist 4WD ranger or tacoma. More and more I think keeping a wrangler or a light truck in the garage is the better option.

Actually, Escape gets about the same mileage as an Impreza, low-mid 20s. I recommended it specifically for that, as I used to have one as a daily driver and got ~20mpg in straight city, 3mi one way commuting.

That said, if you can afford the extra insurance, I'd rather have a high 20s commuter and a 4WD F150 myself.

On Haynes vs Chiltons, there's really no difference; I've used both. I don't see Chilton's around much here, and have the Haynes manuals for my current vehicles as a result of that.

My 06 Impreza 2.5i Manual transmission gets ~ 28 MPG on the highway on long trips, FWIW.

On Haynes vs Chiltons, there's really no difference; I've used both. I don't see Chilton's around much here, and have the Haynes manuals for my current vehicles as a result of that.

Ah, well, the one time I used a Chilton's, it didn't really help me. I don't think I do enough to warranty purchasing the manuals when I've found just about everything in online tutorials so far.

My Escape was the I4 manual 5 speed; I got ~26mpg highway.

As for the manuals, while being able to find everything online is nice, I enjoy having the book to hand for a reference while I'm outside and don't want a tablet perched on a fender or the engine block.

MannishBoy wrote:
Thin_J wrote:

Heard similar complaints from my previous boss at work when he changed out plugs on his 02 Camaro SS. He said the back two are underneath actual body or framework or something so they're damn near impossible to get to.

He complained about it multiple times.

Then he traded it in for a 2012 SS.

Some of the W body GM cars (FWD Grand Prix, Regals, Cutlasses, etc) required you to release the engine mounts and tilt the engine forward with a pry bar to access the back plugs that were up against the firewall.

And my Syclone is a real pain, too. Some people got really good at going in from underneath the truck.

But my favorite was the DOHC 3.4 liter GM motors (also used in those W bodies). To replace the alternator, you had to remove a front axle.

The Camaro/Firebird with the LS1 was a real pain to replace spark plugs on. Some had to go in from the top, some from the bottom, and iirc you had to actually drop the back end of the engine to get to some of them. I worked part time in a garage briefly ofter high school, and we had one of them come in for plugs. One of the mechanics was working on it when I came in one morning, and he wasn't done when I left 4 hours later, and that was a professional, in a shop, with a lift.