Last post on Mar 31, 2009 at 1:03 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hatchbacks Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
MINI Cooper, Hatchback
#483 of 2671 S Performance (?)
Apr 07, 2002 (2:50 pm)
Those numbers are a huge difference - the S I drove didn't seem that fast - I think what the S lacks is low end torque. You really have to rev it to feel anything approaching performance - similar to a Honda Vtech. The last car I drove that gave the the same sensation of slugdom was a 6 speed Mercedes C240, another weak torque, sluggish feeling vehicle.
I'm addicted to AutoX and weekend track racing. I love to modify little hatchbacks for AutoX and track use - although I want the car to be tolerable for daily driving as well. I've had all sorts of track cars - 88 E30 M3, Miata and VW's (2000 VR6 GTI, 2002 1.8T turbo GTI).
I think the reason the MINI S feels like such a slug to me is my 2002 1.8t (turbo) VW GTI. I paid just under $20k for it with luxury (Sunroof, Monsoon sound) and 17" wheel package. I've done a few simple, inexpensive and effective engine and suspension modifications which have resulted in a 230+ HP 235 Lb's torque - peak HP and torque on the GTI appear low in the rev range - increadable low end grunt. I modified the GTI for AutoX and track use inexpensively - and it's still a great daily driver.
The 2002 GTI starts with 180 HP that stock feels a lot faster and more responsive than the MINI S. I've done an APR ECU chip upgrade ( www.goapr.com ). Most of the rest of the upgrades are all from Nuespeed ( www.greedspeed.com or www.neuspeed.com )- Turbo air inlet pipe, Downpipe, Upper front stress bar, 28mm rear sway bar and racing springs. Other upgrades are a K&N air filter in the factory air box, TurboXS bypass valve and a Eurosport exhaust - all this adds up to a little less than $2k. So I have about $22k in this little rocket - it absolutley rocks on the track and the street - runs circles around a MINI S including a 204HP works S I'd think.
I'm keeping an eye on MINI performance upgrades as time rolls on - I haven't counted a MINI S out of my future by any means. I'll wait for all the hype to die down - give it a year or so for the hype to fizzle completely. It sounds like it already has for the regular MINI you can walk right in and buy a regular Cooper at my dealer. I still may take advantage of purchasing one of the first MINI S at my dealer - only to sell it for an obcene profit to some impatient person - I love the concept of supply and demand - this isn't the first time I'll take advantage of it.
Apr 07, 2002 (3:54 pm)
This may surprise some people but the brand new GTI Turbo 1.8 actually isnt 180hp. I think it was sport compact car who tested it but it came to more like 200-210hp stock based on corected wheel hp figures, far more then clamed. This car is actually stronger then they give it credit for, probably so they can gradually raise the claimed HP in the years to come, yet have the same engine. Just a chip will net you a lot more hp on turbo cars.
#485 of 2671 Great car / (Hals) British Green w/ leather
Apr 07, 2002 (4:25 pm)
Test drove one. Amazing! Loved it even more than I thought I would. Ordered British racing green.
for Hals: Morristown BMW in northern N.J. (who I've been on a list since Nov.) has (had?) a green Mini with a tan and green leather interior. My opinion; looked darn ugly, but perhaps, very British.
#486 of 2671 Test drive feedback
Apr 08, 2002 (12:44 pm)
I test-drove MINI at MINI of Towson, MD on last Saturday, both the S and non-S. Here below is my feedback. Hope it will help.
The first impression of MINI is that it looks really small, smaller than VW bugs. However, the interior is not bad, at least for the driver seat and passenger seat, they are quite comfortable. However, the back seats are cramped IMO, although the deal sitting on the back seat kept saying how comfortable she was. I am only 5'6", but my wife (5'4") told me she was not comfortable when she sit behind me.
I was initially decided to choose the GPS option largely because I want to move the speedometer into the front, but after seeing it in person I am kind like the way it is.
I first drove the non-S. It is a metallic blue with white roof and Union Jack on top, 16" five spoke white alloy wheel with run flat performance tire.
The clutch is quite smooth. However, the engine doesn't have enough torque at low RPM, especially in the start, it will take a second for the torque and HP to kick in no matter how hard you floor the gas.
The ride is pretty good. The suspension is tight but it is comfortable. Even driving on an up and down country road, I can maintain a relatively high speed but still feel I am firmly stuck-on the ground.
The S I drove is on Pure Silver with white roof. It has Premium and Cold package on it. 17" eight spoke silver alloy wheel with run flat performance tire.
I don't know why some of the post upstairs said that the S is slow. It does not give you a kick-a*s feeling like the M3, but the acceleration is pretty dissent. The engine is quite response to your input and it is easily distant the non-S away. More horse and 6-speed did the trick. The ride is about the same as non-S. I found the panoramic moon-roof is a fun option to have.
The dealer told me that the auto-dimming rearview mirror in not available in the Cold package. It is not that the package is not included; it is "unavailable"! I can hardly believe it.
17" 8 spoke alloy wheel is not available on MINI Cooper. However, the dealer does offer another 17" 14 spoke alloy wheel with "MINI" badge on it. The price is $2565 a set. Some other 17" wheel is also available with price $225 each, which is, in my opinion, less attractive.
Someone upstairs asked that if the MINI can hold a bike in it. Well, by fold the rear seat down, the MINI does create a large room to house appliance, it seems to me it can swallow a bike with the front seat move forward and the bike front wheel dismounted. However, they do offer a roof rack system that has bike holder option with a total ~$284.
#487 of 2671 Test Drive Feedback
Apr 08, 2002 (12:50 pm)
Sorry I forgot to mention on my last post that during the test drive, I have 3 people in their car, 1 fire truck driver and 1 policeman give me thumbs-up when I pass them by, plus several kids running and cheering after me on the sidewalk.
#488 of 2671 Intelligent (?) remark for Indianoutlaw14
Apr 09, 2002 (8:46 am)
I should mention that I've always loved the original MG Minis. Not because it was a finely build sports car (because it wasn't) but because it was a fun and surprisingly comfortable 'get-about' auto. I believe the new Mini has the same appeal (certainly for me).
Many of the comments I've read criticize the motor/pick-up. Without question the Mini falls a little short of (say) a VW GTI, but it has enough power to get out of a dangerous driving situation. And that is enough for me and (I imagine) many of buyers.
I'm not a fast driver (I'm rarely above 75) but I like handling and control; the areas were the Mini shines. If your a 'pedal-to-metal' driver the Mini will not likely make your heart beat fast. Not all driver need outstanding acc. in their auto, hence (perhaps) the appeal of the new Bug.
As for 'little piece of tin' I would take issue. Mini is certainly 'little' but seeing one in person it conveys a solid feel. A fact that is confirmed when you drive one. BMW has put a VERY strong and ridged frame in the MINI and six air bags. So, yes, if a 18 wheeling changes lanes on top of a Mini it will probably be time for the junk-yard, but there is a great chance the driver/riders will be alive.
As to gouging. Obviously there has been some, but many dealer are selling for exact MSRP.
If you love Camaros, Vette, etc. DON'T get a Mini. Save your pennies and get a striped-down 330 coupe. Last time I checked $35k is a great price for an auto that has a hard time staying below 85.
#489 of 2671 Got a Production Number/Wheels & Tires
Apr 09, 2002 (5:26 pm)
Well today I received the production number for my MINI. It is scheduled for production on 5/24. If any owners out there have installed aftermarket tires and wheels, I would be interested in your opinion. My dealer wants a fortune for BMW wheels and run flat tires. I plan to keep the 15" spare and go to 16" wheels with 205-50-16 tires. Will use the 15" wheels in the winter with snow tires. I've contacted Tire Rack to inquire about fitments since their website does not show any for the MINI yet. Will post when I receive information from them.
#490 of 2671 wheels/tires
Apr 10, 2002 (3:23 am)
You're using the same strategy as I am. I'll run the 15s thru this year-- stock tires may suffice for winter-- and go to 16s on aftermarket wheels for summer next year. I hear that Yokohama has a grippy but very quiet 16" tire. Check out mini2.com for lots on wheels and tires-- 16s, 17s, even 18s on a Mini . . .
#491 of 2671 More looks than a Porsche Boxter
Apr 10, 2002 (1:22 pm)
I drove into the local Mini/BMW/Porsche dealer, not knowing anything about Minis. I saw it and bought it and paid sticker plus the marked up dealer add-ons including the American Flag for the roof and the Bonnet Stripes for the hood for $790, $300 floor mats, and a 6 CD Player for a ridiculous $995! Ignoring the high price due to high demand it is a fun car with high quality components. I took my buddy for a ride who drives a 2002 Porsche Boxter, he was irritated at the high number of looks the Mini was getting compared to his high priced car. It is definately a "class-less" car. Everyone seems to just get a happy face and a lot of thumbs-up given when they see it. The only down side to the car is (1) my insurance company never heard of it so I am still waiting for an underwriter to value it , and (2) I need to park far away from the entrance otherwise swarms of people flock around it to look at it.
#492 of 2671 Tire/Wheel Info from Tire Rack & Production Date
Apr 10, 2002 (6:35 pm)
Received an email from George at Tire Rack. He lists several wheels that will fit the MINI but unfortunately for me, none are what I am looking for but the prices are pretty good. They range from $105 for a SE Fox 5 to $315 for a SSR Comp.
I am looking for a nice simple 5 spoke, single slender spokes, probably in a 17" size. Any help would be appreciated.
I also received the production number for my MINI and the build date. Once you get the production number from the dealer you can go the MINI website and track the progress of your car from the factory to the dealer. Pretty neat.