Gasolina

Toma de contacto: Mini Cooper S Coupé

En los últimos 25 años los coches han cambiado mucho, para mejorar, tengo que decir. Ahora son mucho más seguros, eficientes, y por supuesto, cómodos, pero eso no significa que no hayamos perdido cosas por el camino.

En esta constante evolución, como digo, hay algunas víctimas, y una de ellas es facilidad del conductor para sentir el coche. Por poner un ejemplo, las suspensiones actuales contienen igual de bien la carrocería (por no decir mejor) que los coches de entonces, pero sin necesidad de sentir cada bache de la carretera. Lo mismo se puede decir de la caja de cambios, la dirección, o los frenos. Hacen mucho mejor su papel, pero las sensaciones se han ido diluyendo.

Para remediar esto, las marcas han ideado una curiosa forma de hacer que el conductor siga disfrutando, han conseguido que el coche actúe, como si de una obra de teatro se tratase. Hoy en día lo que se persigue es que el conductor reciba determinadas impresiones, independientemente de si estas obedecen a una realidad o no.

 

Esto se puede decir de la calidad de acabados interiores (volantes deportivos con nuevas formas incluidos), de los paquetes exteriores con supuestas funciones aerodinámicas, de los últimos sistemas que modifican el tarado de la suspensión y la dureza de la dirección (no todos para ser justos) o especialmente, del sonido de los tubos de escape, afinado cual orquesta para deleite del conductor.

Hay algunos ejemplos concretos que nos pueden servir. La secuencia de arranque del Jaguar XF (al poner el contacto el selector de cambio surge de la columna central y las salidas de aire rotan para resultar funcionales) es de los más llamativos.

Es un intento de convencer al conductor de que está ante una máquina especial, completamente tecnológica, capaz de volver a la vida cada vez que es arrancada. Se persigue que el conductor tenga esa impresión, pero la realidad puede ser bien distinta.

Que el Jaguar sea el máximo exponente no significa que sea el único que recurre a este artificio. En el Citroën DS3 Racing, al poner el contacto, las agujas del cuadro de mandos giran completamente antes de volver a su posición base. La intención es la misma que en el Jaguar, sorprender y agradar con trucos de prestidigitador.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El ganador del Oscar es el Mini Cooper S Coupé

Otro coche que persigue descaradamente encandilar a su conductor es el Mini Cooper S Coupé, que he probado recientemente. No pude conducirlo el suficiente tiempo como para dar, sin miedo a equivocarme, una calificación global del coche, pero me sorprendió, precisamente, por un aspecto.

Está construido específicamente para agradar al conductor, para que a este se le dibuje una sonrisa cada vez que decide practicar una conducción más dinámica, pero sin que necesariamente, las sensaciones que recibe aquel que se pone detrás volante sean reales.

Su comportamiento, su diseño interior (cuentarrevoluciones encima del volante) y los materiales empleados (en esto en concreto, el Citroën DS3 y su falsa fibra de carbono se llevan el primer premio), todos sus detalles están pensados con este fin tan específico. No diría que engaña al conductor, pero sí que interpreta el papel de deportivo cuando conviene.

Digo esto especialmente por el alerón retráctil que monta (podéis ver su funcionamiento aquí), que se despliega automáticamente a partir de 80 km/h y se vuelve a guardar cuando bajamos hasta 60 km/h. Mini asegura que mejora mucho el apoyo del tren trasero, no digo que no, pero su función principal es sorprender al conductor, encantado al pensar que conduce una máquina de carreras al ver el pequeño alerón surgir cuando está pisando a fondo el acelerador.

El alerón queda en medio de la ventanilla trasera, reduciendo aún más la mala visibilidad del coche, pero no importa, semejante artilugio es propio de un Porsche, no de un utilitario con aires de deportivo, y eso gusta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Además, por si el detalle del alerón no ha sido suficiente (que por cierto, con el único propósito de atraer miradas se puede dejar desplegado independientemente de la velocidad), el sistema de escapes ha sido diseñado para petardear cuando reducimos de marcha o cuando soltamos el acelerador de golpe. Si lo hacemos con el coche parado y las ventanillas bajadas, el sonido es, directamente, espectacular.

Es algo en lo que Mini hace especial hincapié, y no se corta en decir que se ha buscado ese efecto. De nuevo, se busca que el coche interprete una obra para el conductor, que embobado, disfruta del alerón, el petardeo curva tras curva, y una dirección que a voluntad, puede hacer que sea más dura (aunque esto es sí mismo no mejora las sensaciones que le transmite el tren delantero, haga que este sea más efectivo o que la dirección sea más directa al no cambiar el factor de desmultiplicación).

Ahora bien, ¿es algo negativo que los coches de hoy en día actúen para nosotros? ¿Resultaría deseable que nuestros coches fueran todo naturalidad y volvieramos a sentir la sensaciones que se percibían hace 25 años?

Mi respuesta, completamente personal es que no. Al final, lo que el conductor recuerda es lo que ha sentido, sea o no esto reflejo de una realidad, y que yo sepa, cuando me baje del Mini Cooper S Coupé, estaba sonriendo de oreja a oreja.

Discussion

2,645 Responses to “Toma de contacto: Mini Cooper S Coupé”

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