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From 197 CUP to Mini R56 GP2



  Mini GP2
So, a new car.

Having owned what i would argue the best hot hatch of it's era, (2006 - 2012) the Clio 3 RS for the best part of 2.5 years i waved goodbye to my 197 Cup at the end of August this year. A change of job into car sales (Seat for those interested) allowed me to weigh up some tasty options for my next car. I'd thought on and off about what to do with the 197, i did contemplate the famous "MEG" conversion but i chickened out when i weighed up the cost and what the car would be worth even with the correct standard of mods, but i guess that's the way things go with project cars, bags of enjoyment but you don't ever recuperate the money you've ploughed into it.

Anyhow, i'd made a shortlist of what cars i'd wanted. A very good friend of mine purchased a Silver Megane 275 Cup S avec Ohline's, Akra, Recaro chairs on the standard wheels after an extended test drive he managed to blag in January from Holdcroft Renault in Stoke. We made full use of this and took the car to the Evo triangle in Wales. Despite the god awful weather, it was winter though, and i only sampled the car from the passenger seat the composure and body control of the car was nothing short of impressive. At that point, i was hooked and wanted one but there's always been a car for a about 12 months that's been in the back of my mind which i will mention later. So after the test drive, he placed his order for a Cup S in Silver and the Golf R went back after it's lease had expired. He rates the Megane way above the Golf in terms of involvement and excitement. Arguabley, the Meg is last of the truly great raw feeling hot hatches.

Gracious pics below.
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And the Cup S he ordered on collection day

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So..... i'd got my heart set on a Megane, after looking at the different variants i'd really wanted a 275 Trophy in LY as the Recaro's and Akra were standard but also, because i am not a massive fan of the wheels on offer on the Megane excluding the Turinis which for me are the wheel to have. I know it seems a bit crazy to choose a car just for the wheels and i wasn't too fussed if it didn't have Ohline's as i would have considered putting either Bilsteins or KW V1's on the car. So with the spec sorted, it was just a case of keeping an eye out on the used market for the right car but the more i thought about it, i was finding it hard to justify the spend of £23k + when the other car i had in mind was £4-5k less. I'd also wanted to try a different brand and this was where the Mini GP2 came in. I'd watched the market for these closely in the past 12 months and they haven't really depreciated. Some cars i would argue are a little over priced, i'd set myself a target to find a 2013 (13 or 63 reg) at a main dealer ( i wanted the 12 month warranty) for sub £20k, less than 20k miles, if it was sub £19k then it was a bonus. Browsing Mini approved at work during my lunch, and there was the car, at Halliwell Jones in Chester, 2 owner, 7700 mile GP for £19,450. I placed a deposit that moment over the phone to hold the car. Went to view it the next day and signed on the dotted line. I was the happy owner of a car i'd wanted for a while. A Mini GP2.

So why the GP2, for me, it's the rarity and spec which swung it for me. For those who don't know, these aren't just a regular Mini JCW with the back seats ripped out. A brief list below of the differences a GP2 has over the regular JCW.

One of 2000 worldwide and circa 240 in the UK
6 pot Brembo brakes up front
Bilstein dampers teamed with H&R springs
Aluminium control arms for weigh reduction
JCW by Recaro alcantara seats
Upgraded factory exhaust
Unique Thunder Grey exterior paint work
Carbon rear spoiler
Unique rear diffuser

However, i hadn't sold the Clio at this point and i would say i let it go too cheap. The last pic i took before she went.

IMG_0862_zpsyzc8bhwx.jpg


Was a fairly standard car with a few slight improvements.

One of 79 factory Cup's finished in Numbus
Standard seats
72k miles, full history with all the gen parts
New genuine cup dampers and springs up front
Complete brake re fresh all round, genuine discs, pads, R26R front discs
Braided lines with RBF600 fluid
Bridgestone RE070's all round
Scorpion non res exhaust
All fluids changed at 67k miles incl coolant and gearbox oil

etc... you get the idea, i looked after it and let it go for £3500, in a way i felt like i gave it away but it had to go so i could fund the deposit i was placing for the GP.

So, having now owned the GP since the end of August. What are my thoughts........ it's ballistic, it really is. The handling and overall "feel" of the car when you're pressing on is just superb. Push it, especially in GP mode more than 5/10's and you're going to lose the back end, but i like the fact it demands a bit of respect when you're hooning it. The Clio was very grippy and you'd have to be a bit of a clown to get it to understeer. The GP is lively but get it right and it's a very very capable car to cover ground. I'm completely smitten with it and at the moment it's tucked away in the garage for the winter months. Some pics below.

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IMG_1735 by Adam Melville, on Flickr
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IMG_1733 by Adam Melville, on Flickr
28967343533_fd0f7c1858_h.jpg
IMG_1720 by Adam Melville, on Flickr
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IMG_1742 by Adam Melville, on Flickr
29590613475_3e33b21c86_h.jpg
IMG_1743 by Adam Melville, on Flickr
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IMG_1744 by Adam Melville, on Flickr

My plans for the car are to enjoy it, i've added a Milltek decat pipe for some added noise and it pops and bangs for fun in sport and GP mode. I've also changed the rubber for some Yoko AD08R's but other than that, it's standard. It's also been to Wales a few weeks ago on the rare weekend i have off with a few mates.

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I guess the question is do i miss the Clio ? in some ways, yes. I loved the engine in the Clio how you always had to keep it above 4.5k and out of the box it was such a capable car considering how much they are on the used market. The only thing i didn't enjoy was the running costs as nothing was that cheap to fix but in terms of driving, i rated it highly. I'll no doubt own another at some point when i have to get sensible and move out, i really fancy a mint low mileage R27 in LY or Albi or a 200 Cup as a little toy (see below) but the GP is here to stay for the next few years.

renault-renaultsport-clio-renaultsport-vvt-f1-team-S2643876-1_zps5kc6hjsx.jpg
 

welshname

ClioSport Club Member
Great write up. GP looks extremely nice. I know how you feel about letting your 197 go too cheap though. I've just done the same to get a nice quick and easy sale.
 

Sir_Dave

ClioSport Trader
Ah ha, i thought you were on here as well as PH, "Melvster" ... :up:
As i said over there, lovely car, despite mine being arguably better spec, i still hanker after a GP2 lol!!
Now its all tucked up in the garage, any chance you could measure the bottom of arch to floor measurement for each corner next time you are bored? I'd like to re-create the GP2's height/alignment settings and have the latter, but not the former. Ta.
 
  Mini GP2
Your friends have great cars.

This is very nice too!
thanks, there's always a good bunch of cars out on a Wales sunday run.
Good write up Adam.

You know my thoughts on your GP

Sent from my D6503 using Tapatalk
I will get something organised in the new year mate and i'll take you out in the GP
Great write up. GP looks extremely nice. I know how you feel about letting your 197 go too cheap though. I've just done the same to get a nice quick and easy sale.
I've read your thread a few times on the 197 and it looks a very tidy example. It's hard to value them sometimes in terms of what they're really worth but i do think i could have got closer to £4k
Ah ha, i thought you were on here as well as PH, "Melvster" ... :up:
As i said over there, lovely car, despite mine being arguably better spec, i still hanker after a GP2 lol!!
Now its all tucked up in the garage, any chance you could measure the bottom of arch to floor measurement for each corner next time you are bored? I'd like to re-create the GP2's height/alignment settings and have the latter, but not the former. Ta.

I'll have a look for you Dave yes.
 

Waitey

ClioSport Club Member
  Alpina D3, AC Cobra
I would really really love a GP 2. Sadly company funded cars need to have 2+ seats. Otherwise I'd be in one.

I'm miss my GP1 so much! Probably the only car I've had that I'd buy back!

0A34DDE9-6CEF-41B2-897D-F0E02FA2E843.jpg
 
  Mini GP2
Well, i took it out for the first time in a couple of weeks yesterday. I hate not using it but i also don't want to use it in the crappy weather at the moment. Only covered about 50 miles or so but loved every minute. Also passed a White 200 Cup on my travels, brought back some memories of my 197, i'll be back in one one day.

Gracious pic below after pulling it out of the garage. Just ticked over 10,600 miles.
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  E46 M3, Clio 182
Absolutely stunning car! I keep looking at these, but it would mean chopping in both my daily track 182 and garage queen 46 M3. Might have to find a local one and take it for a test drive!
 
  Mini GP2
Absolutely stunning car! I keep looking at these, but it would mean chopping in both my daily track 182 and garage queen 46 M3. Might have to find a local one and take it for a test drive!
Thanks, they really are an awesome car and so much fun. I haven't driven it at all this month, just waiting for the salt to go and then I'll bring it out again. If you're local to me I'd take you out in it
 

Gaz_

ClioSport Club Member
  Extreme mode
Lovely

I can't believe what you let that cup go for l mind, I sold my gw last year for 6k!
 

Chris V6 255

ClioSport Club Member
  V6 255, 182 Trophy
Love the GP2! Would love one, shame I can't fit the kids in the back


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  Clio F1 197 Cup
noooooo, the thought of it covered in shite scares me ha ha..... have a company A Class for the daily grind. Joys of working in the motor trade.
Yes Adam! Love it, keep it off the roads at present with all the s**t and grime out there!
 
  Clio F1 197 Cup
I would really really love a GP 2. Sadly company funded cars need to have 2+ seats. Otherwise I'd be in one.

I'm miss my GP1 so much! Probably the only car I've had that I'd buy back!

0A34DDE9-6CEF-41B2-897D-F0E02FA2E843.jpg
(Sorry to hijack, Adam) How did your GP compare to an R53 Cooper S? Mk1 GPs have gone crazy in price over the last couple of years it seems.
 

Waitey

ClioSport Club Member
  Alpina D3, AC Cobra
Straight after i sold my 50k miler for £9250 in fact 😂
FFS.
Not massively though. I got £12250 for mine on 31k I think and that took some work. Buying it for £10k softened the blow a little lol.
 
  Mini GP2
Lovely

I can't believe what you let that cup go for l mind, I sold my gw last year for 6k!
It's gutting really what I let it go for but I couldn't sell it, I probably advertised it too late but someone got a steal with that car. I do missi it in a way.
 
  Countryman JCW
Awesome car's the GP2. I test drove one at my local mini garage not long after i sold my R53 Checkmate to see about getting me back into a mini... unfortunately the figures just weren't right so didn't bother, but the test drive was great and i'd happily own one even with them having just two seats
 


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