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Old 7th July 2012, 13:27   #1
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Post Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

The Mini Cooper has been launched in India and is priced between 24.90 - 31.99 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

Retro-chic styling inside out. Looks super cool
• Solid build & construction. Quality is very premium
• Cooper S' 184 BHP engine offers stunning performance
• Go-kart like driving experience. Immensely direct & unbelievably fun
• Excellent handling, grip levels & high speed stability
• 5 Star safety rating and equipment (6 airbags, DSC, ABS, Brake Assist)

What you won’t:

• Steep CBU pricing. ~30 lakh Rupees for what is a tiny car
• Manual transmission and diesel power aren't available in the Indian Mini
• Regular 122 BHP engine (Non "S" variant) has mediocre performance on tap
• Bone-jarring ride quality. Suspension is tuned extremely stiff
• Grip over uneven roads isn't satisfactory. Mini feels skittish on unlevelled tarmac
• Cramped rear seat is best suited to children only

NOTE: Click any picture to open a larger higher-resolution version in a new window.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 10th July 2012 at 18:38. Reason: typo
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:28   #2
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Default A roller-coaster of a ride : On the outside



Jackson is a quiet little township in Ocean Country - New Jersey, USA. The details of that town would bore you to death, but there is one thing there that attracts crowds by the hordes on a daily basis - one of the fastest and most exhilarating roller coasters in the World, the 'Kingda Ka'. This multiple-record-holder is found in the Six Flags Theme Park, hitting speeds of up to 200 kph in barely four seconds, while tearing your face off at the rate of 1.67 Gs! The 950-meter long track consists of a number of sharp twists and sudden 90 degree turns, a 127 meter drop, a 90 degree vertical lift and a 270 degree spiral in the middle somewhere. Adrenaline junkies can spend lakhs of rupees after submitting a Visa application or two, if they want to experience that sort of thrill. Or they could just save it all up - and then some - and buy the Mini Cooper S.

Ours is the 100th country in which the Mini is sold. Even though a Manual Transmission is standard across most variants elsewhere, we only get the AT here, which is rather sad. Exclusive Mini showrooms are on the cards; Mumbai & Delhi already have one each.

Being able to take a 50 year old design and tweak it in such a way that it fits in the modern world, while retaining some of that classical charm, is something very commendable. The VW Beetle & the Jeep are two other icons who have managed this feat. The Mini Cooper S sits squat on the road. It's a stance that's aggressive and planted. It may seem a little bigger in pictures, but the Mini is actually smaller than even a Swift. The wheels have been pushed out to the extreme corners of the car. There is so much depth in the paint; you get the impression that you can put your arm into it, like you could if you had a bucket of red paint. The blackened roof and pillars all-round give it character, while the hood-scoop and the honeycomb-grill beef it up a bit. As do the centrally mounted Coke-can-like exhausts. The optional 8-spoke black 17” alloy-wheels fill out the massive wheel-arches quite nicely.

When you see a car like the Cooper S on the road, comparisons to the Swift are drawn almost as quickly as women buy shoes. We had several instances where people approached us asking if it was modified, or if it’s a Swift...or both. Obviously the marquee isn’t as well known as I’d thought it was. In the city, surprisingly, it drew little attention.



On the engineering front, the Mini is as solid as it gets. The doors close with a resounding thud and the fit-finish on the outside is just fantastic. Make no mistake, this is a super premium offering. The build quality is comparable to larger and more expensive machinery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
This car is built like a tijori. Feels very solid! Even better than the BMW 5 series. The doors are a benchmark for the THUD sound.
At the current MRP, there isn't a doubt that the Mini is over-priced. This car is only for the well-heeled and seriously affluent. Ideally, BMW would assemble the Mini here, with prices starting at Rs. 15 lakh.

A timeless design, really:




Only the Cooper S gets the hood scoop. Purely for looks though:


Xenon lamps with washers:




S badging on the fender means it's a Cooper with serious performance:


205/45 R17 runflat tyres on black 8-spoke wheels:


Large panoramic sunroof is the party piece. For rear passengers, there is a tilt (venting) function:


As long as the funky key is in range of the car (say, parked in your pocket), you can open the doors (by pressing the request sensor on the door handle) and start the engine (via the start / stop button):

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th July 2012 at 13:02.
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:29   #3
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Default The Furniture



Step into the Mini and you'll be greeted by an interior that looks like it'd been designed by someone who wasn't given anything else from the geometry-box but the compass and a protractor..

..starting with the über-cool frameless doors and the door-panels. The chrome is tastefully applied, while the piano-black finish on the dashboard looks fab. Overall quality (including the leather/stitching) is just top-notch. The switchgear isn’t the usual push-button affair. Oddly positioned toggles reminiscent of those belonging to the cockpits of older jets are present instead. The attention to detail is phenomenal. The interior design is sort of retro-meets-contemporary.

The 'vintage' analogue speedometer dominates with an MID placed within it (controlled via a little joystick placed behind the gear-lever). It might look like a touch-screen display, but it isn't one. Neither is the speedometer easy to read; we frequently required to take a second or third look at it. On the other hand, the revv counter with a digital-speedo and flickering lights for ABS/TCS is right in the line of sight. All controls fall to hand very easily and frontal/lateral view is great! I feared the A-Pillars would obstruct vision 'round corners. But no. I’d even go so far as to say that the vision is better than in most cars that I’ve driven. On the flip side, despite being convex, the funky exterior ORVMs offer poor vision. Rearward view is bad in the hatchback & the convertible.

The key is a nifty little thing. You could leave it in your pocket and start the engine via the start/stop button, or you could park it in the dedicated slot (next to the start/stop button). The chunky steering wheel is great to hold and is in line with the purpose of this car. Albeit, the horn requires you to have unrealistically long thumbs. Paddles behind the steering (to change gears) let you downshift & upshift from either paddle shift, depending on whether you push or pull. The air-conditioner chills you to the bones.

The firm and reasonably comfortable front seats ensure that your face doesn't get creamed on the side window when you’re cornering hard. Finding the right driving-position is as easy as making Maggi. The lack of electronically adjustable seats is a surprise in such a pricey car though. The back-bench is large enough for two, if they don’t have legs. If you sit behind GTO's (5'10" height) driving position, you will barely have an inch of legroom. Make no mistakes, the Mini is a strict two-seater if there are reasonably tall adults up-front. Also, ingress / egress to the rear seat is best left to kids.

Beefy steering wheel is superb to use. Small, thick and direct:


You can upshift / downshift from both paddle shifters:


The revv counter (with digital speedometer) is placed right in front of the driver. It's bolted onto the steering column and thus, moves with your steering adjustments:


Retro speedometer is stylish, but not easy to read due to the needle design. You can control a whole host of functions & settings from the MID:


Frameless doors exude style:


The engine start / stop button with a dedicated slot to park the smart key:


6-speed automatic gearbox. No manual transmission for India (unfortunately). Gear lever has the tiptronic feature:


Notice the über-cool chrome toggle switches. The air-con system is very effective:


Neatly integrated tweeters on the A-Pillar. Overall sound quality is satisfactory:


Front seats are firm & reasonably comfortable:


Even the pedals are fashionable:


Rear seat is best suited to kids, if at all. The legroom is awful. Getting in and out is for the acrobatic types:


Small 160 liter boot. Rear seat does fold down in a 50:50 split:

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th July 2012 at 09:22. Reason: minor phrasing
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:30   #4
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Default The Run

The entire top-half of the front section (including fenders) lifts up to reveal the engine:


Sport Mode = More Fun


The Mini Cooper S is powered by a 1.6L turbo-charged petrol rated at 184 BHP (@ 5,500 rpm) and 240 Nm torque (@ 1,600 - 5,000 rpm). The overboost function (activated by burying the accelerator into the floor) bumps up torque by another 20 Nm. If you ever needed proof that one doesn't need a 500 BHP car to have fun, this is it. The Cooper S tips the scales at 1,165 kilos; that is a full 65 kilos lighter than the Indian VW Beetle which has a mere 114 BHP of power on tap.

The Mini shines as a daily-driver! The engine & gearbox are a breeze in city traffic. Its compact exterior dimensions & agility mean you can navigate in traffic with ease. Negotiating this car through narrow streets is as effortless as in any B-segment hatchback. At u-turns though, the large 5.35m turning radius will leave you flummoxed (Maruti Swift = 4.7m). The car cruises along at 40 or 50 kph in a higher gear effortlessly. Ground clearance wasn't ever an issue even with 4 people onboard. And yes, finding a parking spot isn't difficult due to the Mini's tiny footprint.

What's impressive is the Mini's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. While the car is effortless to drive within the city, it will reward you with ear-to-ear grinning performance on your favourite highway. Keep the accelerator pedal buried and the Mini catapults forward, displaying minimal fuss. There is quite a lot of torque steer, you have to keep a firm hand on the steering wheel. The throttle response is instantaneous, with the engine feeling extremely revv-happy and willingly hitting the redline. The Cooper S will do the 0 - 100 run in 7.2 seconds, while BMW rates the top whack at 230 kph. Overtaking is an absolute cake-walk...cars that were doing moderate speeds seemed like they were standing still! All in all, it wasn’t a great day for the insects and other assorted flying invertebrates on the Mumbai – Nasik highway. This Mini smashes bugs. Pun intended. . When redlining the engine, the coke-can exhausts make a wonderfully deep bass-filled note.

The 6-speed slushbox is no DSG, but it didn’t let me down either. Leave it in ‘D’ and the shifts are smooth and seamless. With sport-mode engaged, throttle response is even quicker and shift-times reduce a tad, while allowing you to rev all the way up to 6,400 rpm. In this mode, the gearbox does a bit of the braking for you as it sticks to a lower gear and keeps the engine on the boil. It’s most definitely the mode to be in when you choose to give the Mini a workout. If you get the urge to give it the beans when cruising, all you need to do is hit that loud-pedal and the 'box responds to your whim, drops a few gears and the Cooper S lunges forward with intense ferocity! GTO loved using the paddle shifts and was constantly using them when muscling up the Igatpuri ghat section. Not taking anything away from the AT, but no manual-tranny option in a car that's as capable as this is sacrilegious.

As good as the engine is, it's the Mini's dynamics that make the best part of the car. Let's start with the steering : It’s pure point-and-shoot. At speeds like 80 kph, irreducible steering-inputs will induce a reaction. It's surgeon's scalpel sharp! I couldn’t believe that it’s electronically assisted, courtesy the massive feedback. You feel the road underneath you - every little square-inch of it! This is definitely the benchmark steering for an enthusiast and is much better than what the new BMWs offer. Darting into corners is as addictive as caffeine - It handles like a go-kart! The Mini Cooper S is a very involving car to drive and one must respect its abilities. It's sublime on smooth tarmac and is so sorted that you forget you’re doing silly speeds. Grip levels are outstanding, with the car's tight proportions making it the most fun-to-drive car for your favourite ghat section.

On less than perfect roads however, the Mini Cooper simply feels too nervous. When laying the power down, the slightest bumps or rough surfaces will unsettle the car. If you’re cornering slightly and hit a bump, you’ll feel the steering lighten up immediately (as the front wheels jump off the road). This is involving and fun – but you have to have both hands on the wheel. It can get unnerving at times, and the handling just doesn't feel solid enough on bad tarmac. You need to watch out for manhole covers, debris and road undulations as they unsettle the car quite easily. I recommend driving conservatively when road conditions are less than ideal. High speed stability is easily in the league of more expensive European sedans. The car’s ability to mask speed is unfathomable. 100 kph feels like 60, and 80 feels like 40! Again, it's supremely composed as long as the road is very well paved. With a seasoned driver behind the wheel, the Cooper S can shame some seriously expensive machinery.

Ride quality left a lot to be desired. Simply put, it’s amongst the harshest cars we've ever driven. You feel everything on the road, literally! The suspension is tuned much too stiff (and the car we drove had the optional 17" wheels), resulting in the Mini getting awfully uncomfortable & choppy over typically Indian roads. GTO says that comfort levels from this suspension are nearly as poor as in his SWB Jeep. To make matters worse, tyre noise finds its way into the cabin even at 40 kph.

The brakes bite hard and provide great feedback. Inner-vented 294 mm and 259 mm discs (f/r respectively) scrub off speed in a manner typical of German cars. The car does squimmer under moderately hard braking on unlevelled roads though; that's something you should & must keep in mind. Also, the braking isn't linear and does take some getting used to. The Mini is also equipped with "Hill Assist", which activates the brakes when setting off on a gradient, to prevent the car from rolling back.

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th July 2012 at 09:58.
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:30   #5
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Default The Underdog

Take a look at the convertible's operation in this (sped-up) animated image prepared by Rehaan:


The Cooper S hatchback is a wolf in sheep's clothing; it's the exact opposite with the Mini Convertible. The convertible turns heads wherever it goes. Women, in particular, went absolutely ga-ga over its personality. We lost track of the number of times that members of the fairer sex went "This car is so cutteee".

You can choose to open only the sun-roof, or drop the entire roof down by flicking the sunroof toggle switch. It takes roughly 6 seconds to open the sun-roof, and an additional 13 seconds for the top to fold down & lock in place. Yes, you can open & close the roof on the move as well (we managed to do it at around 30 kph while, at 40 kph, the system tells you to "reduce speed"). This is particularly useful if it starts raining all of a sudden, whilst your rolling along in traffic. Weather permitting, the joy of open-top motoring is unparalleled. It must be added that the soft-top suffers from squeaks & rattles over bad roads. Wind noise is excessive at speed too. Rearward visibility is pathetic and there are blind spots aplenty with the top up. Open the top and the folded roof is piled so high at the rear that you can only see the upper part of cars behind you.

The Convertible is heavier than the Cooper S hatchback and makes far lesser power. With only 122 BHP & 160 Nm of torque on tap, the convertible is no road burner. Performance is actually comparable to the Honda City Automatic. The engine & gearbox seem particularly sluggish when starting off from a standstill. You need to dial in the revvs aggressively (the convertible reminded GTO of the VW Vento AT). Power on tap is sufficient for sedate motoring around town. When you are in the mood for an enthusiastic drive however, the motor won't deliver. You have to wring every drop of performance out of this engine, and the convertible still won't get anywhere too soon. 0 - 100 is a full 4 seconds down on the Cooper S. The engine makes quite a bit of noise at high rpm as well. On the positive side, the convertible's handling remains go-kart like and you can have a lot of fun on the twisties (at far lesser speed than the Cooper S hatchback though). That said, as is the case with many other convertibles, there is significant scuttle shake on imperfect roads.

If you're an enthusiast considering the Mini, we'd recommend the cheaper Cooper S Hatchback. The top might not go down, yet it's a whole lot more fun to drive. And cheaper too!



With the soft-top up:


Only the sun-roof open:


Topless in ~20 seconds:


The folded roof is positioned too high; driver's rearward visibility suffers as a result:


Seat upholstery takes inspiration from fashionable handbags:


Rear seat is best left to kids. Or folded down for luggage:

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th July 2012 at 09:47. Reason: Adding .gif image
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:30   #6
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Default The Forefather


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The Mini is a car that revolutionized the way common cars were (and still are) designed & engineered. There are only a handful of motoring icons in the holy-grail of automobiles. The VW Beetle & Jeep are two. The Mustang is another. The Corvette has been around for half a century! That’s got to count. And you’ve got the Porsche 911 of course. The Fiat 500. Last but not the least, the car that started it all - the Ford Model T.

Sir Alec Issigonis was the brainchild behind the Mini when it was conceptualized in the late ‘50s. The design / engineering team that built this car from scratch had one and only one thing in mind. Economy. An affordable 4-seater that'll take them across and over 90% of the motorable roads. It was meant to be pure A to B transportation. It’s when people started recognizing the car's hidden talent, transversely mounted engine & FWD setup (initially designed to free up 80% of the floor pan and liberate more room) that the Mini started to gain even more popularity.

The Mini’s production expanded and soon, it was being produced in several countries under several brand-tags. BMC/Rover/Austin/Morris. So what or rather, who is this Cooper? John Cooper is a gentleman who involved himself in the tuning scene back in the day and was incidentally a friend of Issigonis. He is to Mini what AMG is to Mercedes. Cooper’s experience with Formula 1 and rally cars helped him massage more power out of the original Mini, which he later tagged as the Cooper. The ‘hot’ versions started to roll, including several variants, body-styles and even the odd imitation. The light, nimble, chuckable and most importantly - cheap to repair and service Mini became a rally sensation.


Pic Source

The sheer ground this car made shot it instantly to stardom - enjoying roles in several movies like The Italian Job from the late ‘60s that featured 3 Minis being driven through the crowded streets, shopping arcades and even sewers of Turin. The movie was so popular that it spawned a remake. In the original movie, Michael Caine was front-man and in the remake, it was Mark Wahlberg who was Charlie. Fittingly, the remake had 3 post-2000 Mini Coopers...even the classic Mini makes an appearance. Rowan Atkinson starred with the Mini in the hit comedy series, Mr. Bean. He liked it so much that he got himself one!

The original Mini is the quintessential working-class hero, if there ever was one.


Pic Source

A big shout-out to GTO for his valuable inputs and for giving me the opportunity to review one of my favourite cars ever. I'd also like to thank Rehaan for his views and fantastic points on the car.

Last edited by Rehaan : 10th July 2012 at 09:52.
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:38   #7
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

If the Mini Cooper S Hatchback was available with a manual transmission, it would be an irresistible package for me. Honestly, on your favourite ghat section, it can be as much fun as bigger, faster sports cars. The Cooper S defines fun to drive to me, even though it doesn’t have 8 cylinders & 500 BHP on tap. The car is small & tight, the steering is beautiful, grip levels awesome and the brakes A+. Simply put, the Cooper S is a fast go-kart.

Thumbs down to the convertible though. It’s noticeably more expensive than the Cooper S hatchback and doesn’t even get a powerful engine.

No doubt that the Indian Minis are grossly overpriced. I’m hopeful that they are assembled here one day and sold in the 15 – 18 lakh price window.

Thanks for the review, Suhaas. Rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars
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Old 7th July 2012, 14:02   #8
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

I would love to spend on a performance car to some extent, but most of them turn out to be large cars. I was looking forward to the Mini but having such a harsh ride simply puts all of these out of contention. At my age and poor back, I do need a degree of comfort.The absurd prices do not help either.

Thanks for a great, concise and accurate review as usual.

Last edited by sandeep108 : 7th July 2012 at 14:04.
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Old 7th July 2012, 15:10   #9
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
• Solid build & construction. Quality is very premium
Hello,

While your review is good and quite well written some facts need to be set correct for the mass public,

1. For you to claim quality is good is absolutely wrong, besides the central speedo nothing exactly is high quality, Esp. for the asking price, it's all hard plastics and bad ergonomics, Did you never manage to pinch your finges while opening the door handles? A complain owners have had for a while now,

2. The price is awesome considering out duty structure, In fact BMW India is absorbing some cost until CKD operations begin in 2013, a basic Mini Cooper S in the UK is about 18,000 UK pounds, and it does not even include a lot of options which are standard for India,

18,000 UK equals to just a base price of 15,00,000 INR (Approx Values)

We also have options worth over 3000 UK pounds as Standard, Which is another 2,50,000 INR Gets you the total of 17,50,000.00, Add our duties and you get a figure of Ex-Showroom cost of over 36,00,000.00 INR.

But the car sold in India is a lot less, and thats the price it will sell for once CKD operations begin,

3. This Mini has less than 3 months in it's life cycle and the whole new generation Mini will make it's world debut at Paris Auto Show later this year, that's the car which will come with a lot more options in India including a 8 Speed Transmission.

Regards,
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Old 7th July 2012, 15:45   #10
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
1. For you to claim quality is good is absolutely wrong, besides the central speedo nothing exactly is high quality, Esp. for the asking price, it's all hard plastics and bad ergonomics, Did you never manage to pinch your finges while opening the door handles? A complain owners have had for a while now,
I will stand by it. Simply because the quality was actually very good! It's definitely in the league of D+ segment cars. Certainly comparable to the 3-Series and even the 5! The interior is put together fantastically well, IMO.

I did have a few complaints though. I struggled with the door handles a few times, especially the passenger door. I just couldn't get into the car quickly. Don't know why that kept happening.

Also, I found the bottom part of the bumper not sitting fixed as such. The part with the chrome accents and the air-dam. I found it moving around under a little pressure while the car was being cleaned and prepped for photography.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
2. The price is awesome considering out duty structure, In fact BMW India is absorbing some cost until CKD operations begin in 2013, a basic Mini Cooper S in the UK is about 18,000 UK pounds, and it does not even include a lot of options which are standard for India,

18,000 UK equals to just a base price of 15,00,000 INR (Approx Values)

We also have options worth over 3000 UK pounds as Standard, Which is another 2,50,000 INR Gets you the total of 17,50,000.00, Add our duties and you get a figure of Ex-Showroom cost of over 36,00,000.00 INR.

But the car sold in India is a lot less, and thats the price it will sell for once CKD operations begin,
The price doesn't look bad sure. @ 28.6 lakhs ex-showroom, it may look like a deal considering the power and performance. But the list of options will make your eyes water. Metallic Colour options like Reef-Blue/High-Class-Grey cost Rs. 1,08,000! The panoramic sunroof costs 1.2 lakhs. The leather kits start at 1.8 lakhs and go up to 2.36 lakhs. The MID that Mini calls 'Radio MINI Visual Boost costs a lakh and change. Heck! The racing stripes on the bonnet cost a whooping 30 grand! And this is a list of just a few options, there are so many more you could choose from.

A figure like 28.6 lakhs ex-showroom will swell up to 35 lakhs without a doubt. The test-car was a fully equipped Cooper S. It had nearly every option ticked. Now add the road-tax/registration/insurance and so on, and watch yourself pay close to 45 lakhs in a city like Bangalore where cars command a premium if they're to be bought and driven around.

The convertible is even more expensive and doesn't offer the performance the Cooper S does though.

So you end up spending more than 40 lakhs on a car that's theoretically 20 lakhs in the UK. But of course, it would be inappropriate to compare sales and markets in the first place. Ours is a market that prefers small hatchbacks and sedans built on hatchback platforms, where as the UK prefers hatchbacks and estates/station-wagons to sedans. Precisely the reason why the Golf and similar hatchbacks work there.

The Mini Cooper will not work here purely because of its price. @ 40 lakhs people would rather get an entry-level luxury car like the A4 or the C Class or a 3-Series. You get 4 proper seats that you can use. A bigger boot. A diesel engine and of course, brand value/image.

It's a great package nonetheless. When you compare it to its immediate competition, the Beetle, it trumps it over and over again. Sure, it's a few lakhs more but it offers so much more. The Beetle that's being currently sold here is the old one so you get an uninspiring engine and an interior that's frankly boring.

Audi recently launched the refreshed TT. Now that would be a great car to compare this with. Interior-space is just as much as the Cooper S (2 + 2 useless seats) It's a front-engine inline 4, like the Cooper S. But it's larger at 2L. The Quattro will put down 211 horses and many more torques than the MINI. Performance too is marginally better. One second quicker for the run to 100 from a standstill, and about 10 km faster overall. It's entry-level sports-car territory. All this @ 48 lakhs ex-showroom (w/o). 20 lakhs more than the Cooper S! With that saving, you could buy yourself another car or maybe two!

Basically, it all boils down to your priority, like I'd mentioned in some other thread recently. If you want this car, you will buy it. But this car will not appeal to families. So how many single people are going to splurge their money on a car like this, instead of buying a big luxo-barge? Hardly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
3. This Mini has less than 3 months in it's life cycle and the whole new generation Mini will make it's world debut at Paris Auto Show later this year, that's the car which will come with a lot more options in India including a 8 Speed Transmission.

Regards,
Yes, the 2013 Mini spy shots have surfaced. The interior looks a bit different but it has retained some of the characteristics of the interior. Will the Mini really be introduced as a CKD? Volumes would warrant that. So if it does, where does this leave the BMW 1-Series?
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Old 7th July 2012, 17:10   #11
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

Quote:
Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
For you to claim quality is good is absolutely wrong
I found the quality to be very premium, inside out. And the build is also extremely solid.

Quote:
The price is awesome considering out duty structure
The end customer only cares about the price he pays, not how many taxes the Mini carries. The on-road price of the Mini is 35 lakhs in Mumbai. Internationally, the Mini is priced noticeably below the BMW 320d, and that's how it should be.

I consider the price anything but awesome, CBU or no CBU. Going by the Mini's sales figures, the market also seems to agree.
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Old 7th July 2012, 17:31   #12
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S and Mini Convertible : Driven

Thanks for the review. The pricing is prohibitive, but still it’s a great option for the Indian car buyer. It is indeed a flashy little number. IMHO, no other car has celebrated the retro-styling like this one – be it the Fiat 500, or the VW Beetle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
The back-bench is large enough for two, if they don’t have legs. If you sit behind GTO's (5'10" height) driving position, you will barely have an inch of legroom. Make no mistakes, the Mini is a strict two-seater if there are reasonably tall adults up-front. Also, ingress / egress to the rear seat is best left to kids
I once had the experience of travelling (for around 10 kms) in the back seat of my friend’s Mini – because it was impossible for his girl-friend to go the backseat due to her formal skirt! Those 10-15 minutes was an experience of a lifetime, and it took almost 5 mins for me to get out of the cage

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Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
2. The price is awesome considering out duty structure, In fact BMW India is absorbing some cost until CKD operations begin in 2013, a basic Mini Cooper S in the UK is about 18,000 UK pounds, and it does not even include a lot of options which are standard for India,
We also have options worth over 3000 UK pounds as Standard, Which is another 2,50,000 INR Gets you the total of 17,50,000.00, Add our duties and you get a figure of Ex-Showroom cost of over 36,00,000.00 INR.
That’s still pretty steep, on par with a 3-series. I was checking the prices here in Singapore. The Mini Cooper S is marginally cheaper than the slightly less powerful 118i (same 1.6L engine, 184bhp v/s 170bhp). If it comes as a CKD, should the pricing be much cheaper than a base 318i or 320i?

Last edited by vb-san : 7th July 2012 at 17:35.
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Old 7th July 2012, 19:25   #13
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Excellent review says Suhas to Suhaas!
I don't know how people will take to the bone-jarring ride. If they soften the suspension, then it might lose its handling, but I guess people wouldn't mind a compromise between ride & handling. I had one question, is it really possible for BMW to price the Mini starting from 15L if they start assembling it here? Even if they could, will they?
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Old 7th July 2012, 22:57   #14
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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
The Mini Cooper has been launched in India at a price of between 24.90 - 31.99 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).
Man, I'm so jealous of you! That drive up the ghat sections must have been immense fun! The car looks fantastic in the red-and-black livery
Congratulations on a great first official T-BHP review.
P.S. Hope I'm right about that one
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Old 7th July 2012, 23:30   #15
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Great start and a very Nice review there Suhaas Looking forward for more reviews.
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Take a look at the convertible's operation in this animated .gif image prepared by Rehaan:
Nice one Rehaan, It serves the purpose in a very nice and lighter way.

So does it get easy now to spot a Chick on our roads ?

Last edited by mohammedismail : 7th July 2012 at 23:35.
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