MINI Cooper S (R56) Review

Posted on 22. Feb, 2007 by in Auto News

Newsflash! The 2007 MINI looks like the 2006 MINI. There was nothing particularly wrong with the "old" model BMW's decision to leave things well enough alone shows welcome restraint. Well, almost. BMW added two extra inches to the new MINI and we all know how useful his two extra inches for boys (legroom!). But you'd be hard pressed to see an external influences, good or bad. So it's still all systems go MINI V2 rocket, or has to prove the new model (codenamed R56), that less is more?

To tell the truth, I felt a bit blah about my MINI test drive. But the moment the man handed me the keys to a 2007 MINI Cooper S, I pricked up. The igniter is now a circular pad with a blunt bottom, my first inclination was to open a channel Starfleet and ask Scotty beam me up Once inside, I was instructed to store the pad, and press the button. Keyless ignition in a car the size of a 7-Series escape pod? Who would think that one?

And who knew that the Bavarians had a sense of humor? More charitably, the MINI looks inside, as it was created by a grove of unsupervised Apple Computer designer. (It's only a matter of time before the MINI key contains an I-Pod.) The fuel gauge is now a circular ring of digital lights on the speedometer pod, a pod "area to empty" display on the information section of the tachometer, in the script familiar BMW owners (if not MS Word users).

Drivers are looking for from a wide range of organic and gag confronted bond conditions, operating all types of checks. Who cares how it all works? And who cares that it is not? Any material above the average Most of them are, and if you encounter one or two flimsy pieces, the clever design more than compensates. Even the casual visitor appreciates this fact immediately to the BMW UK box a no-holds-barred style statement, is not Audi.

To this end, buyers can personalize their MINI Cooper S in a billion options, through to the checkered flag side mirror covers ($ 130) and a "Let's Motor" license plate holder ($ 35). What's more, the MINI is the only car you can without breaking it completely customize their resale value. My favorite new interior paint is the Tuscan Beige, I love the look, but could live without the pretentious name.

The biggest change from the old new MINI: a Peugeot source, BMW-plastered, 1.6-liter turbo four. The new engine is more powerful than the old supercharged chunk Brazilian mill (172 hp and 177 pound feet of torque vs. 168/162). As a result, the time is zero to 60 bit faster (6.7 versus 7.2 seconds) with fuel economy (29/36).

While the new MINI has a wider (ie more useful) power band and is now cruising at three digit no threat to rattle to pieces, it does not quite feel as eager out of the blocks as the old car. It's a nasty lag between pressing the go pedal and the beginning of the acceleration. It feels … dumbed down. Until, that is, press the Sport button.

In many sports cars, even some of the more expensive models, the activation of the Sport button produces little more than a psychological effect. In the new MINI, it is transformative undeniable. In a moment, pulling on both the MINI Cooper electric steering and a fly-by-wire throttle. Like a dull pencil pusher in an electric sharpener, the MINI is suddenly willing to draw the best of racing lines.

Compared to the corner carving capabilities of the previous version, the new MINI Cooper S feels in Sport mode about 20% more wonderful, cheerful flick able. There is still flat and by malicious corners. It still turns with all the enthusiasm of a small child's mother. But to build the additional layer of maturity and sophistication into the drive train and the additional sense by the rudder much more confidence in the system.

Compromising confident enough, in fact, the sporty driving and encourage him or her to turn off the stability control MINI Cooper S 'DSC. And yet, even without regard to the need for optional locking differential, there is something important missing in the re-mix: an aggressive sound.

For reasons probably to Europe's drive-by noise regulations, the MINI Cooper S 'sound burble, zizz and growl used disappeared. On the one hand can make the relative calm (and correct autobox option), the MINI Cooper S is a refined and therefore viable daily driver. On the other, from the muted engine much of the reason for driving the thing as it wants driven. It is a major miscalculation by mandating the purchase of mechanical operation.

Otherwise, the MINI Cooper S is good to go. Literally.