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Avenue of the Giants Weekend Run - Sat. March 23, 2024

Saturday will be a very full day of cruising from Novato up through the Avenue of the Giants and ending at Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. Sun...

Auto Journalist Days At Laguna Seca

The Auto Channel's Cary Russ was sent to Laguna Seca to report on the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ) Media Days, a two-day event during which a wide variety of cars can be sampled by members on local roads and on the race track. One of the vehicles Russ got to drive was the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe. Here is what he wrote about the vehicle:

2012 Mini Cooper Coupe: Speaking of which… this is an interesting concept. Toss the rear seat, clean up the aerodynamics, and give it chassis dynamics that make it one of the best-handling front-wheel drive cars ever. Think big shifter kart. Sir Alec Issigonis would be proud. There were two examples available, the 121-hp standard model and 208-hp turbo John Cooper Works (JCW) version. There's a 181-hp turbo S between them. All engines are 1.6 liters. I drove the standard version on the roads north of Monterey, where it was perfect. And although the pavement was poor and the suspension firm, no discomfort and quick reflexes and direct steering. Fun with a capital F and plenty of power for the street. On the track in the JCW, same but turn it up to 11. I took it out twice. In any trim, the Mini Coupe looks to be a unique small sports coupe, with enough luggage space to make it surprisingly practical.