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      08-22-2011, 01:34 PM   #40
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Drives: 2015 Scion FR-S 6MT
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Sorry if this is a repost, but Steve Sutcliffe of Autocar posted an interesting blog today:

Is grip mutually exclusive from grin?

The cars involved in this grip contest include Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Nissan GTR, Audi RS5, Noble M600, Ariel Atom Mugen, Renaultsport Megane 250, Ford Fiesta, and of course the BMW 1M.

Some interesting results:
  • GT3 RS (with Cup tires) beat the GTR off the line in the wet.
  • M600 beat both GTR and RS5 in wet cornering.
  • GT3 RS beat both GTR and RS5 in dry cornering.

The 1M didn't win any of the categories, but this is what Steve said about the 1M:

What was, was that although the BMW 1M did well but not brilliantly across all the tests, subjectively it was declared the outright favourite by our test team. Fact is, we simply had more fun extracting the various numbers out of the BMW than we did in any other car overall.

So although the answer to the original question is ‘no’ – big grip and wide grins are not mutually exclusive – there is at least some kind of distinction to be made. With all its electronic driver aid systems turned off the BMW was/is an absolute riot to drive – and the fact that a Nissan GTR can run right round the outside of it in most corners makes not one iota of difference to that in the end. Yet at the same time, the GTR itself is – for some though not all, it must be said – an utterly intoxicating car to drive, albeit for slightly different reasons than the 1M.