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Old 20th June 2012, 19:38   #1
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Default Mini Cooper S: The Drive


Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-1.jpg

What you'll like:
  • Timeless, sporty and youthful design that turns heads
  • A contemporary bland of retro futurism inside and out; unlimited customization options possible
  • 1.6 turbo's prodigious power on tap, results in amazing performance too
  • Go-Kart like handling, enjoys being driven hard
  • Outstanding quality and attention to detail
  • A real "heart car"; enjoys a cult brand image
What you won't:
  • Exorbitant price tag for a hatchback
  • Ride quality suffers thanks to low pro run flats on 17" wheels
  • Uninspiring engine exhaust note
  • Rear tight on space and comfort
Mini Cooper S: The Drive-vvv.jpg

Last edited by sidindica : 20th June 2012 at 22:56.
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Old 20th June 2012, 20:15   #2
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive


Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-4.jpg

History has always survived on facts assumed from myths.
Confusing, ain't it so?

Myth says that a small car is-small on looks, small on power, small on torque, small on price, small on performance, small on handling, small on this, small on that....well, it ends up being just a small car after all driving like a washing machine with boat like ride and handling.

Whats BIG, is the fuel efficiency. Its the new BIG. Well, real B-I-G. Sounds like an oxymoron, right?
Small car's fate depends upon two factors-fuel efficiency and cost of maintenance. Just ask any manufacturer and they will be more than willing to raise hands not once, but both of them. Quite a double whammy...ain't it so?

Well, we had enough of farts.
Lets now concentrate on numbers.
Here you go:

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-2.jpg

Displacement: 1600 cc
Peak power: 184 hp@5500 rpm
Peak torque: 240 NM@1600-5000 rpm
Claimed performance: 0-100 in 7.2s
Kerb weight: 1240 KG (EU standard)

Now raise your eyebrows: Power to weight ratio of 148.38 bhp/tonne.
Price: "ladies and gentlemen"-only Rs. 30 lakhs onwards.

These are facts, real facts. Sounds maxi?
Well, there's something minimalistic about it.
Baulking heads would overreact...faint...bash their against the wall in disbelief when they hear that all the figures belong to a sweet LITTLE cuddly small maniacal machine called the MINI COOPER S.

Measuring 3,714 / 1,683 / 1,407 mm (L/W/H) this isn't a car or a caaaar. Its an art. A thoughtfully designed fashion appliance on wheels that showcases a known fact. Small is beautiful.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-6.jpg know that small is the new BIG. With that power to weight ratio, a smile is guaranteed. More than the combined width of the pacific ring of fire. Just look at it. The dual colour, classic retro two door hatch looks just about perfect from any angle. Currently in its second generation, BMW designers did a great job of ironing out the niggles of the first and making its strengths even stronger. The model currently on sale underwent a mid life facelift in mid 2011 and was launched at the 2012 auto expo in three bodystyles-hatch, convertible and the rugged psuedo off roading version called the countryman.

Last edited by sidindica : 20th June 2012 at 20:18.
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Old 20th June 2012, 20:51   #3
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Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-8.jpg

"The personality of you depends on the personality of the fashion apparel that you wear and the personality of the fashion apparel depends on the personality of the person who had enough personality to design an apparel reeking of personality for persons for whom personality is tailor made".

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-7.jpg

Quite a statement. Just like it, the mini cooper has personality. People call it girly but it does have some good amount of masculine flavour. Flavour to be recognized. To be admired.

Traffic stops. Hearts beat. This lil thing has massive street presence.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-9.jpg

L'il it may be, but this is perhaps the heaviest hatchback on sale in the country. One point two tonnes of iconic British design at its best. The front is a combination of restrained elegance. The round headlights, mesh grille and integrated arc shaped airdam give the car tremendous personality like nothing else on the road. On that may day weekend fest at a BMW dealership, the entire dealership was converted into a playzone. Outside, it was, well, a mayday. People stopped by to have a dekko. Thumbs up, was the call. There were not reactions, but re-actions on hearing the price. Maybe I did saw someone faint in disbelief.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-10.jpg

The side simply oozes character. The blood red shade, the dark black glasshouse, the frameless doors, the low slung silhouette, and those massive 18"wheels that fills up the wheelwells so nicely equally look at home in the crowded streets of Delhi as the do in oxford, UK or Paris, France. This modern interpretation of classic 1957 austin mini is crafted to perfection. Come to the rear. The slab like cute fat butt-ed minimalistic design with the gorgeous slim taillights and mid mounted dual exhausts shout "character".

Not only its a combination of form and function, but perhaps its all about unlimited customization options also. Want to show the different traits of your personality? Mini India will will be more than happy to tailor suit a car for your tastes. Choose from humongous permutation and combinations of designer wear for your roofs, mirrors, paint shades, interior fittings, alloy wheels, upholstery et al.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-12.jpg

Because no two people are the same, ain't it so?

Last edited by sidindica : 20th June 2012 at 22:08.
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Old 20th June 2012, 22:21   #4
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Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-20.jpg

The circular retro futurist theme is not only restricted to outside, but inside, too. open the vault like doors, get inside and you are greeted with an interior that's different from the ordinary. This is a 2+2 layout in a 2 door, so getting at the rear requires some athletic abilities. Perhaps, this also explains the incredible feeling of claustrophobia and crampness at the rear. Head and legroom is in short supply and its best to use this car as a two seater. The full black interiors on the vehicle seen here added to the same feeling.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-17.jpg

Up front though, things get better. You sit low, way lower than you are used to in a typical hatchback. The dashboard is dominated by a huge circular centre mounted speedometer with all the telltale signs of all the bells and whistles and MID, trip computer, radio information et al. Legroom is very good and the seats are pretty comfortable with good enough side bolstering which litrelly hugs any human frame that sits on it. Splashes of silver and chrome liven the somewhat dull insides but as an option, the interior colour can also be customised to your tastes depending upon the exterior of the car. The retro white tachometer has that "in your face" prescence and looks quite charming. Sure to be a hit with the ladies. The toggle switches for various radio and AC controls feel very simple and intuitive to operate though knee room could have been wee bit better. The dash has a tendency to somewhat foul with the driver's lower part of the leg if he's 6 feet and above tall.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-19.jpg

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-18.jpg

The ergonomics are a mixed bag, though. The pedals, for instance, feel a size too thin. The steering wheel could have been a bit smaller and air con controls could have been placed in a more simplistic manner. The doors can store only thin magazines, that's it. Though their design reeks of attention to detail. Overall the British build, quality and finish is fist rate and all the materials feel well put and screwed together, as you would expect from a 30 lakh rupee car.
Clearly, its more of style than function. But owners will surely love it.

Last edited by sidindica : 20th June 2012 at 22:23.
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Old 20th June 2012, 22:49   #5
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Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-11.jpg

The specs of this 1.6L turbo charged, direct injected, twin cam 16V four cylinder is guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone's face. Price no bar, its currently the most powerful hatchback to be on same in the country and BMW's engineers have ensured that it has the go to match the show. This is the uplevel "S" version, which means you get the sweet looking dual exhausts, higher power output of 184 hp from the Peugeot shared and derived "prince" motor and a twin scroll turbo with BMW's valvetronic variable valve timing as standard. Not only this makes the engine powerful, but also efficient for its size and environment friendly too. Not only that, it also comes with an over boost function which increases the boost of the turbo by adjusting the calibration of the denseness of the air-fuel mix for increased performance.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-15.jpg

Start the motor by depressing the brake and the motor snarls a throaty growl. But somewhat the exhaust note is pretty muted and uninspiring and somewhat a drawback for a car designed with sporting pretensions. The turbo whistle is there but only can be heard very minimal at idle.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-14.jpg

Slot the 6 speed automatic gearbox to D and the car pulls like a locomotive, thanks to all that torque. There is a wee bit of a lag at 1500 rpm but the availability of torque and the combination of a closely spaced out ratios from the gearbox mean that performance is nothing short of outstanding. Some powerful hatches like the polo/fabia 1.6, the Korean CRDI twins and the palio 1.6 have insane acceleration on straight line but the cooper S takes it to an altogether new level. Forget any other hatch or sedan, it has a performance capable of embarrassing many 6 cylinder sports cars also, especially with overboost activated. The mathura road area always remains crowded but the service lane dos give a bit of a fair chance to test the acceleration. Mini claims a 0-100 of 7.2 seconds but with normal unleaded regular, expect a second to be added. Still, its not the acceleration, but the use friendliness of the motor that impresses. This is perhaps the best gasoline 4 cylinder engine in hatchback to be perfectly tuned for all round driveability, be it on the city or the highway. The box also complements the motor quiet well, only a bit hesitant on downshifting.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-16.jpg

For manual gearshiting, its always enjoyable to shift the paddles provided on the steering wheel.
For that weekend fun filled enjoyment. Because no two days are the same.

Last edited by sidindica : 20th June 2012 at 22:51.
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Old 20th June 2012, 23:08   #6
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Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-5.jpg

India has always been deprived of hatches that have a perfect combination of mind, body and a soul to go with it. The Mini blends this quite well but its still far from perfect.

The car is available in varying wheel sizes between 16 to 18 inches, but the higher the wheel size, the ride suffers and the mini is no exception.
riding on 205/45 R17 continental run flats, ride isn't the car's strength, but perhaps its Achilles heal. At any speed, ride quality is pretty bone jarring (the tyre's stiff sidewalls adding to the same) and every bump and pothole is transmitted inside the cabin. The cabin does remain isolated from outside noise but road noise is pretty prominent. Change the settings from sport to comfort mode and the suspension settings become softer but still, the car crashes into any known bumps and potholes and doesn't impart any confidence on the driver. Part of this also go to the handling oriented suspension. Perhaps opting for 16" wheels can resolve this to certain extent.

Where the ride suffers, the handling is the car's biggest strength. Quite simply, no hatch or any so called luxury sedan can match the car's brilliant dynamics, stability and poise. Putting 184 hp in front wheels may sound insane but BMW engineers have worked hard to fine tune the car's handling. torque steer is evident but the ESP takes care of it. But the steering feel is just brilliant. Pin and razor sharp handling and perfectly tuned chassis will surely appeal to driving enthusiasts. Directional stability is amazing and the car tracks dead straight even at high 3 digit speeds. Top speed of claimed 223 kmph is only possible...maybe on the Buddh circuit perhaps? The car is tailormade for that and driving the mini on the Buddh should be anyone's dream come true.

BMW India, time to conduct track days with the mini. Are you listening?

The braking too is stunning. Equipped with 4 channel ABS, EBD, all wheel discs, ESP and TCS and all round airbags, the car is safe enough to guarantee peace of mind. Pedal feel is just perfect and ABS kicks in just as required to prevent the car from skidding.
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Old 20th June 2012, 23:18   #7
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Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-3.jpg

Good things come in small packages. With the mini, BMW India took a bold step and gave what many people want-a simple, fun to drive powerful hatch that just feels at home at just about any corner of the globe. No wonder than the market too has matured and around 100 people have already booked the car.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-13.jpg

This car is not about showing off or questioning the sanity of people spending the asking price for it.
Its for those who want to do things differently. to be different, and stand out from the crowd. A car that appeals as much to the heart as it to your soul. No for those who have to think by banging their heads on "why-to-spend-30 lakhs-for-a-small-car". Its the fastest, most expensive and perhaps the most exclusive sports hatch to be on sale in the country. The Fiat 500 may have come and gone, but the mini is here to stay, and create new waves. Just look at their swanky showrooms. So much so full of colourful personality.

Mini Cooper S: The Drive-c-21.jpg

Start of a new honeymoon, perhaps? Well, you bet.
Because, small is the new BIG. And BIG things come in small packages.
And I, for one, feel to be lucky to have experienced this MINI-malistic it art.

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Old 21st June 2012, 02:34   #8
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Note From Team-BHP Support-Team: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Test Drives & Initial Ownership Reports. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st June 2012, 05:21   #9
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Great review and pics as always. Just one suggestions, un-photoshopped/instagramed pictures would be better for such reviews as we get to see the actual colors and textures in and outside the car better. My two cents.
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Old 21st June 2012, 07:45   #10
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Nice and a crisp review of the legendary Cooper S. Your attention to detail is highly respected. Rating your thread 5 stars. Do you have the pictures of the many customisation options which Mini India is currently offering?

Mini here has had a good start, unlike fiat 500, which just came and gone! And the bookings of 100 people from ol o'er the country means that people are now rising above the narrow prejudices of a hatchback. They are advancing further to explore new segment of expensive hot hatches. Maybe this could urge BMW to bring their 1-Series M coupe and VW their Golf GTi. It has to be believed that Mini, along with marketing strengths of BMW, will be successful in changing minds of people about hatches!


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Old 21st June 2012, 09:21   #11
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Superb Review of a superb car. This car definitely screams for attention even when parked inside the showroom.

Great color for the hot hatch.

Thanks for Sharing.
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Old 21st June 2012, 11:56   #12
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Enjoyed the review, but instagram really detracts from the pictures.

I drove the Mini Cooper S in 2008 in California, and the one overriding impression that I came away with was that this car responded to thought.
No car I'd ever driven reacted to steering and throttle inputs to precisely and immediately. Short of something exotic and purebred like a Lambo / Ferrari / 911 / GTR, anything you'd drive after this would seem ponderous and clunky in comparison.

Pity about the prices, though.
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Old 21st June 2012, 17:15   #13
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Great review sidindica. You are the king of unofficial reviews on Team-BHP. . Those lovely circular dials are simply awesome... pure works of art....sheer short of words!!!

Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
Pity about the prices, though.

I reckon its because its a CBU. Any idea whether there are any plans of localisation or atleast to convert it into a CKD. Why cant they use their existing facility to assemble this one? Or is it due to the infinite customization options that they chose to import it as a CBU.

When this lands on Indian roads, I wouldnt be surprised if swifts are modified to look like it complete with even the mini logo
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Old 21st June 2012, 22:32   #14
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

I am a little confused.
The mini cooper S costs about 5000 pounds less than a BMW 318i in the uk.
Infact, everywhere in the world, the cooper S costs less than the 3 series.

The only people who will buy it are those who want the mini brand. I guess thats what BMW wants to cash on.
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Old 21st June 2012, 23:02   #15
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Default Re: Mini Cooper S: The Drive

Can you please upload the original pics? the full colour photos would do more justice to the review.

If the beetle can be sold at around 25lakhs, 30 lakhs for this machine seems justified
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