Woofcast #429

Lots of show for you on MTTS eve eve. Lots of show. A very large portion of that is getting caught up on news from MotoringFile. Some really great things covered including Gabe and Nathaniel’s take on the Abarth 500. Also, we are looking for you thoughts on the sound of the MINI in this video. Check it out and leave a note below.

Starting Wednesday we are all MTTS 2012 all the time for the next 2 weeks. Stay tuned for daily updates. White Roof Radio will be all over twitter and Instagram (@whiteroofradio, both counts) or follow the #mtts2012 hashtag. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Clubs and Dealers page for updates closers to you like feeder routes and what your local club has planned.

Woofcast 429:

Download| 1:09:00 | 33.1mb | WRR @ iTunes | Show Notes

6 replies on “Woofcast #429”

  1. Gabe, what is the setup of the dual mics on current-gen BMWs (I’m asking assuming that there is a possibility of seeing this tech trickle down to the F56 MINI)? Is it one mic directly in front of the driver for prompts and a second mic in a different location to isolate and remove cabin noise ala iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S with the ambient mic on the top edge and voice pickup mic separated and on the bottom of the phone? Or is more like the new Apple MBP Retina Display which has two mics closely spaced but aimed at the user (assuming a cardioid or hypercardiod pattern) to use adaptive beam-forming algorithms to minimize background noise? Just curious.

  2. Most of y’all seem surprised regarding the new N37 three cylinder engine arriving in the current body style prior to the change of body style although it is very logical. The R53 had the same engine lifespan as the body style because they were developed at the same time, didn’t share any other platforms (notwithstanding the shared engine design in the Dodge Neon) and had concurrent planned product cycles. Now that the engine is shared with multiple cars and the platform is shared with BMW, it is very logical that the cycles may be out of sync. For example the BMW Z4 was the first to get the new BMW N20 I4 followed by the F30 328i and the F10 528i, the F30 328i being the only new body style of the bunch and not the first to get the engine. And although having the new N37 three cylinder in all MINIs by 2015 makes sense as that would be right before the Euro 6 emissions standards become mandatory in September of 2014, according to Wikipedia, the Euro 6 standards for petrol engines are exactly the same as the Euro 5 which came into effect in 2009 (only diesel emissions are more stringent). Perhaps then, if emissions are not getting more stringent for petrol engines, it has more to do with Hams Hall not having the capacity to produce more than one engine line at a time?

    Other manufactures follow the staggered engine and platform releases at different times intentionally to spread development costs and also to drive sales in the “off” years of a platform’s life (although the R53 tritec didn’t receive significant improvements in the 2004/5 refresh, everybody loves the R56 refresh with more power and efficiency)

    Speaking about three cylinder engines, I mentioned over on MF that the spy video exhaust note sounds very similar to the R56 so perhaps the Prince engine will be a carry over to start, unless the technology is that refined as to sound like a I4 although the early i8 prototypes do not sound like this video. It would also be interesting to see if MINI/BMW does any type of artificial acoustic enhancement inside the cabin as they do in the F10 M5 in case the N37 is not as sonorous as they’d or we’d like.

  3. Hi guys,
    Would you talk about the options for adding Bluetooth to a MINI that doesn’t already have it installed. On miniofontario.com I can see the $99 visor clip on unit, but am confused about the different Bluetooth retrofit kits.

    What do you recommend? Any other third pary options?

    1. Hey Tim – I reviewed a Griffin unit on on my blog a months ago. For everything but voice, it’s pretty good. It might be ok for voice too, depending on when you plan to use it and how loud the inside of your MINI is. Best part is that it’s only $79.

      1. Yeah, I was looking at that one too. Seems to be a consistent comment that it’s great for streaming music, but not so great for making calls.

        I can’t find any reviews of the external module sold by MINI. Anyone have one of these?

  4. Nathaniel, thank you so much for bringing up the issue of price/value. I remember when the 2002 MINI first came out at just under $17K and although that was a bit more expensive than other cmpacts, you were getting so much more than other compacts. However as stated, times have changed. A friend recently got a Veloster fully loaded with the only two packages available (7” navigation and infotainment screen, bluetooth, iPod, panoramic roof, auto headlights, comfort access, backup sensors and a backup camera) in addition to significantly more cargo room and a better warranty for $22k. As Todd said, to get a MINI with the same kit would cost probably close to $10k more and there are even some features such as a backup camera not available (not that its really needed, it is considered by some to represent a “premium” feature).

    Although the current MINIs have more kit than the original models, I don’t think they have $4k more kit. Todd and Gabe mentioned MINI being a premium compact but many of its competitors are catching up in quality materials and features or in some areas have caught up or surpassed MINI. Something as simple as the cheap hollow thud you get when someone accidentally slams a MINI door doesn’t feel premium when you start to approach the price of a brand new F30 328i that has perfectly dampened doors. I have three hopes with the new F56, higher quality and reliability that the MINI has always promised to have, new luxury/premium features that are ahead of other compact cars such as what Gabe described: lane departure warning, HUD display, and I’d love to see heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel and active cruise control and lastly although prices usually go up, given the cost savings from a shared platform and shared engine, I’d love to see them hold the line or even lower the price to be competitive. If the car looses the stereotypical Mini heritage such as center speedo and the toggle switches I’ll be ok with a better all-around smoother, more efficient MINI as long as the touchpoints in the interior, the driving dynamics and the induction and exhaust sound need to be even better and more expressive than the R53/R56. The Fiat 500 Abarth is an example that compact cars are catching up on the “fun” factor that was MINIs biggest selling point ahead of its premium status. It needs to be a standout again.

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