The locking diff is made that way to allow for some pretty crazy maneuvers. Downshift, pull the handbrake, apply throttle, and feather the brake pedal with your left foot and you can do Crazy Ivans in the middle of a highway.
Absolutely, just like one. But seriously, anything that you can turn with the throttle and the handbrake @80mph, while holding the wheel straight (one wheel locks while the other turns the car 180°), is nuts.
I think I paid $24k but I'm not 100% sure (it did come with the original engine).
It was converted to RWD several years ago, that's why it was more than most other Mk IIs, the guy had a lot tied up in it. It was sitting at an auction and after a good look at the work done I was like "I've got to buy this". When we got it it was tuned to a more modest 160hp but it was built to make upwards of 300, though we did go to a larger, beefier intercooler. The mapping can be changed on the fly by the driver for 160, 220, or 280.
Yes! I owned a Yugo in college, for commutes, and it was really... awful. While it was very light (but flimsy) and it had great fuel economy, its weak 1.1L engine (that made 45hp) ruined any notion of fun. The (original) Mini is the platform if you want something tiny that's a lot of fun, our little turbo Austin Cooper makes about 280hp and it's just stupidly fun to drive.
I've had the 1600 Jr Zagato and the Montreal (which has been a real problem child) for a while, but the 4C is the first I've ever seen or driven that was new and it's been an experience. It's like an every day supercar, and while the turn radius is like a minivan, and you need Popeye forearms to turn the wheel at a stop, it's not as edgy and twitchy as its RMR Ferrari cousins. I think it may be the best bargain in sports cars right now, when you look at the tech and...