A convertible Mini, which is proudly wearing an “S” badge, can considered a modern work of art. It can offer profound and visceral sporty sensations with the help of just a precise steering, a very wide track, good side bolster support in the seats, blah blah bla. Sounds good?
As you already know by now, the new Mini was re-touched by BMW, although not quite. It's a so-so modern classic, but it's not exactly a car, is it? I could honestly say that the Mini Cooper S is somewhat of a sports car, although it “only” has 175 horsepower. I could also say that it's an extremely stable four-wheeled boy toy with a severe lack of comfort. It's car made for both summer and winter time, but during winter you'll most likely get snowed in with it on the first trip you take. This is not to mention the ground clearance, which doesn't quite get along with roadside curbs or speed bumps, since it's pretty similar to that of a much sportier car.
The seats could be used as an epitome of “uncomfortable”, the interior is as cramped as it can be, the visibility is almost non-existent but after all are said and done, this is a fun car. This is Mini. A vehicle engulfed with extremes, a car which exists mostly thanks to the buyers' imagination rather than its technical merits. I don't want to talk about the performance figures because even them can't justify the astronomical price requested by BMW for a well-equipped Mini Cooper S Cabrio. All I can do is remember how I got stuck in the sand with one once, while dozens of Peugeot 207 CCs and Renault Meganes were “flying” around me.
No. I'll just tell you that, although its under-skin bits were designed by Germans, the Mini is as British as it gets. Sensitive, with a lot of technical faults, true character, polite and also stupid when it comes for it to comply with something. You will have to get used to the idea that a Mini requires a lot of maintenance visits to the service, kind of like a hypochondriac need visits to the hospital. Plus, a Mini can be pretty much anything but cheap and, although it's very British, it's also far from comfortable.
As a matter of fact, the BMW touch mostly comes up when talking about comfort. There is a total lack of ergonomic design and you always have the feeling that you've paid more for just a go-kart with a Mini emblem. Also, just because Mini was bought by BMW, don't think the Germans are so dumb as to not benefit from it tenfold. They've also created their own version of the Mini. Because the 3, 5 and 7 were all occupied as “Series” they thought about improving history and call it the 1 Series. And while Mini has its “S” and “JCW” versions, the 1-Series might also get an M-version to drop a lot of jaws as well.
If we were to be a bit poetical by assuming that Mini is the Salieri of classical music, then the BMW 1-Series is and always will be the Mozart of compact and sporty cabriolets. Check out the video down below and you'll get where I'm going with this. Apart from all that's been said, all is well about the Mini Cooper S Cabrio.
On 30 September 2009 at 05:38 UTC, Entoxicum said:
Beauty and beast...
On 2 October 2009 at 02:11 UTC, lalkutan said:
On 5 October 2009 at 01:14 UTC, Dani said:
i want that car :-(
On 9 October 2009 at 04:26 UTC, Mini Cooper said:
On 10 October 2009 at 08:31 UTC, ArnofromBelgium said:
Congrats and thank you for this well written and senseful drive test... I've just bought that car, I'll tell you...
On 13 November 2009 at 09:20 UTC, Costas said:
I own one and I am quite happy with it !
On 20 November 2009 at 23:25 UTC, Loner said:
Have had the cabriolet S as a loner (BMW put our mini through a car wash with the windows down) for a week and love it. Unfortunately it's the automatic and unless it's in sports mode there is quite a lag between putting your foot down and any action. Normally I have continued to put my foot down as nothing has happened and then all of a sudden I'm shooting down the road. If you are going to get this car (highly recommended) do yourself a favour and get the manual. In my opinion a car of this ability should always be in manual anyway.
On 22 March 2010 at 13:20 UTC, Alan said:
I own two - though only recently acquired. I have both the cabrio and the Clubman. Both are the s version - and both are AT. The latter decision came about because I am married - and wish to remain so - to a woman who cannot drive a stick. I otherwise fully agree with Loner.
My argument here is with autoevolution's evaluation here. Six point seven aint getting it. This car is substantially better than that. Version two is greatly improved - in terms of quality of manufacture alone. Look, if I were all washed up on this, the car would have no resale value and it beats every other car in every other market in this respect. These folks can't be all wrong.
So who is Charles Darveight?
Our newest member of the team is as mysterious as Sir May B. Bach, Lou Ceeka and Mary put together. He comes from an old “sangre azul” family that is somehow connected to Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler AND Henry Ford. His online nickname is DarV8, which by coincidence (or not) is spelled exactly like his family name and includes his favorite type of engine, the “Vee 8”. He will take charge of the editorials section whenever he feels he has something bitter to say about the car industry.