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Old 07-14-2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Mini Cooper S

So I've been kicking around the idea of selling off my Mazdaspeed6. Took it down to carmax the other day and found they were willing to give me MORE than payoff on the car. Not bad for a car I purchased brand new way under invoice, makes me feel really bad for the people who actually paid 30k for one of these and 6 months later they're worth 20k. It has under 20,000 miles on it still because I hardly ever drive it.

Like many other MS6 owners I'm a little disappointed in the performance of the vehicle and absolute lack of aftermarket and OEM support for the car performance wise. Mazda built and marketed this vehicle in the same classification as cars built MUCH better than it, then abandoned any owners who had broken parts nad problems with it.

To the point: I've been kicking around the idea of buying a 2008 Turbo Mini Cooper S. Does anyone on here know of someone whos modified one of these? I drove an old Supercharged CooperS and it was a freaking blast even bone stock. My concern is, the car comes with a 1.6 liter and makes 170ish horsepower and its actually kinda slow. Factory 1/4 mile times are around 15 second range which isn't that great for a tiny little light car. On the plus side I think insurance will be even cheaper than my speed6, and the payment should be even cheaper. A friend of mine just got a 135i bimmer after finding out BMWUSA is offering 1.9% financing..


What do you all think? Good idea? Bad Idea?

Cliffs: Fat guy wants to buy a little car..
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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Let's see........made by BMW=POS. It's more of a chick car than a Miata.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:55 PM   #3
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Great cars.

Non-s Are killers in H-stock.

S are nice too
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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wrong wheel drive
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:54 PM   #5
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Too expensive for what it offers.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:05 PM   #6
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My GF had a 06 S when i met her, now she has a 05 MSM........


But i'm not saying the MINI is bad by ANY means. It was quite the opposite. I have only had/driven RWD cars since i've had my license and driving the MINI was quite the experience. It had a cold air intake, 16% pulley ( i know... not the mm measurement we are used to), optional LSD, springs and a rear sway bar. The car was putting down ~180-185 hp at the wheels and would definitely get up and go. I actually took down quite a few cars (best one was a newer Mach1 Mustang...which are pretty quick 5.2 0-60 and high 13's). Overall i'd say it would make a GREAT 2nd car. The only thing about the car is the random trips to the dealer for warranty work.... broken exhaust hanger, pas. seat air bag sensor among a couple of other things. If you get one, get a 05.5-06 WITH LSD. Oh and the sound is quite addicting.

I'd be willing to bet that anyone that would have a bunch of dumb negative comments about them haven't even driven one.... hell, i bet i'd beat their asses on the track with one too. Not to mention that since they are a more expensive car, the owners generally have more money and spend more on the cars.... unlike the owners of cheaper cars who generally cringe at spending like $1k for a decent exhaust, $300 for a nice rear sway bar, $250 for a good intake. There is no being a cheap-*** with having a MINI....which as actually kinda nice.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:04 AM   #7
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a local forum buddy of mine has one that he modified......while i agree that its a girly car, and looks rather ugly, with exhaust/larger fmic/tune he was somewhere in the 230-240whp range with no lag whatsoever and hauls ***......is it nice?yes..but its also very ugly and awkward...if you can live with that, then you will like it imo
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:12 AM   #8
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i'd love to have a turbo mini...but I'm not dumb enough to buy another shitbox euro car.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
while i agree that its a girly car
I just love hearing that about OTHER cars on a MIATA forum...that's great...seriously who are we to talk about something being girly looking?
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
Too expensive for what it offers.


+1 I really like the Mini's, but they go for a lot of money. There is still a lot of demand for them (and probably will continue to be) so the prices haven't fallen as fast as other cars. Just not worth it in my opinion.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:38 AM   #11
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So this is too "girly" ??

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Old 07-15-2008, 05:34 AM   #12
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If i got one. the first thing I would do is buy a set of tires for when you inevetiby catch a random nail in one of your expensive *** run flat tires. My mom had an automatic s, and besides random electrical gremlins, it was the fact that she spent over 1000 dollars of tires because of random road debris that made her trade it in for an A3.

I would rather have a spare taking up most of the room behind the rear seats that use run flats.

Last edited by Zarniwoop42; 07-15-2008 at 05:35 AM. Reason: i SUCK
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:35 AM   #13
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mmm chip the 135 and get 400 hp...
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:56 AM   #14
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just get a new solstice GTP. Turbo roadster with a warranty
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Old 07-15-2008, 09:47 AM   #15
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There ya go...I like the Solstice. Not sure about the weight or 1/4 mile time, but I think they have a 2.4 liter and with the turbo it gets like 265hp? Don't quote me... The saturn Sky is also nice. Also, the Mini in my opinion isn't "too girly" I like them, but I think they are "too euro." The miata may have the stereotype of being a "girl car" but in my opinion, they are cheap, balanced properly, plentiful, you have a million parts options to make then insanely fast, etc. I'm not sure about anybody else, but the first time I saw a 99 10th anniversary edition, it was sitting at a Chrysler dealer, and I mistook it for a Dodge Viper. I mean, not like I stared at it, this was just a drive by corner of eye glance, but it was that medium blue that 10th anniversarys come in, and it had a hardtop.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:04 PM   #16
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About a year and a half ago, I decided to amuse myself over a pair of consecutive weekends by test-driving every cool roadster under $50k on the market. A few four-seaters were included, and a few two seaters were excluded, either because I had already driven them or because didn't care for them at all.

To project the appropriate image, I washed & waxed the Miata, trimmed the mustache down to a pencil-thin line, put on a nice pair of pants and a silk shirt (with the first few buttons open of course), slicked my black hair back with gel, donned ye' olde RayBan Wayfarers (think Jake & Elwood) and borrowed an expensive-looking watch from a neighbor. I assumed, and was proven correct, that when one cruises up to the local Porsche/BMW/Merc/etc dealer in a shiny red convertible looking like a pimp, even if said convertible is a Miata, then salespeople notice you and take you seriously.

I drove the following cars (some used, some new) in no particular order:

Mini Cooper S
Saturn Sky RedLine
Honda S2K
BMW Z3 and Z4
Lotus Elise
Nissan 350Z
Merc SLK
Boxster
Jag XKR
Lexus SC430

A lot of the cars were pretty bland- touring coupes w/o a roof, rather than sports cars. The Lexus and Jag exemplified this category, with the Merc tending towards it, despite a wonderful engine.

The S2K, the Z4 and the 350Z were fast and fun to drive, but they felt encumbered of a certain biggness that was hard to pin down. I think the new MX5 suffers from the same problem- it was a bit like like sitting in a very fast bathtub.

The Porsche was interesting, largely because I've driven 911s before and was expecting twitchy, unpredictable handling. In fact, it was probably the easiest mid/rear engined car to drive I've ever been in. Apart from the Porsche image, it was actually quite a good car and didn't seem terribly underpowered despite what I'd been led to believe. Not quite as fast as a properly turbocharged Miata in a straight line, but I could see it hanging with the best of them in the twisties. I imagine the S model Boxster would probably satisfy the acceleration requirement as well.

The Sky was good. I never thought I'd see the day when I enjoyed driving a Saturn, but it really is what the MSM should have been. Loads of power, well-balanced, and it seemed to have a relatively fun personality. Not quite as rev-happy as I'm accustomed to, but adequately powerful, the transmission didn't suck, and despite its weight it was a fun car to drive.

The Lotus... If I was given $50k and told that I had to spend it on a new car, and that I couldn't buy an Atom, it'd be this one. I wish the damn rear window could be removed (it felt a bit like driving a Del Sol) but apart from that, just utter awesomeoness.

The Mini surprised me. In stock form, even the S version felt heavy and underpowered. It wasn't a horrible car by any stretch of the imagination, it's just that after driving a bunch of different RWD cars of various characters, I was not in the mood for understeer. As a substitute for the MS6, I'd call it more of a lateral move than a real step up, at least in stock trim.

If you absolutely need a four-seater, I guess it's a tolerable platform to work with, though I'd strongly encourage you to at least consider the BMW 135i. I haven't driven it, and yes, it's even heavier than the Mini, but give it a look. Whether an affordable aftermarket following will develop for it is hard to say- small BMWs have typically been well-supported in the engine and suspension department, but always at a premium price by vendors with exotic names. I'm not expecting to see "Flyin' 1-Series" pop up anytime soon, but I'm guessing that Bilstein and Koni will quickly get on board (if they haven't already.)
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:09 PM   #17
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Its like you and only you are in control of your destiny in a miata. Nothing else really compares aside from race cars.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:03 AM   #18
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Nice, Thanks for the post Joe.

Despite the issues I have with it, I really truly do love my MS6 but theres a lot in the upgrade department it lacks. That was my concern with the Mini, Honestly. I know theres plenty of aftermarket equipment available for the Supercharges Coopers but the new turbo models are new enough I haven't really seen anything out and about. The MS6 for its brute size (3600~ pounds wet) it handles and behaves very well considering even in stock trim. I really wanted to lower the car and upgrade the springs / struts on the car. Checked out the mazdaspeed catalog.. Nothing. Everything under the sun for the MS3. Talked to the Service manager at my dealership about some adjustable ball joints and coilovers.. While hes a good friend, he advised that if something driveline related malfunctioned on the car it'd be a difficult standing for me if / when MazdaUSA came to inspect the car so he advised I not modify it further.


Paying a slight premium for aftermarket upgrades isn't really a big deal, but with whats available for the MS6 I feel its quite lacking.

3" Single catback exhaust -- $575 and up
3" Down pipe -- $547+
Manifold -- $581
CAI -- $325
TMIC -- $595
FMIC -- $1095
SPEC Factory replacement Clutch -- $609
GT3076 -- $1700
High Flow turbo inlet -- $325
Piggyback EMS -- $1000


Not to mention if you launch the car too hard in STOCK Trim you'll snap off the rear differential... The 1200 - 1500 psi fuel system isn't really capable of a real high horsepower car.. There are maybe one or two 400awhp cars, most of which have been built from the bottom up after blowing up the factory motor (which runs at 16psi STOCK...)

I don't need 4 seats, but another convert isn't practical. The MS6 was bought when I had a company vehicle and I just drove it on the weekends or during the evening if I wanted to go out and the Miata was the play toy. Now I have a 2000 Protege which I drive for work, so a 4 door / 4 seater isn't really needed. The MS6 only gets driven if I'm bored and want a small thrill over the miata, or like now the miata has a bad tire so I need alternative transportation.

Honestly my number one choice was the 135i as I've been looking over it since BMW announced production. Not too long ago an acquaintance picked one up and totally loves it. I've yet to drive either a Mini or the 135 yet so right now I'm just fishing for peoples perceptions and opinions if they've driven them. Being a BMW I'm sure afertermarket following will happen, but I can see it being pretty friggin pricey just because its a BMW.

Six months ago I checked out what the 135 had to offer on BMW's website. Ended up with a completely base model car (didn't particularly want anything else) except that beautiful blue.. Montego Blue Metallic which is an extra $500.00, but WELL worth it. The total build ended up being something like $32,560.00 plus destination and crap. Not too bad, but that'd actually be working a bit in the wrong direction from where I was wanting in a financing standpoint... But..... You also have to consider the 4 year / 50,000 mile Maintenance program.. The factory car being 300 horsepower (friends dynoed like 287rwhp!!) and not too terribly heavy I'm sure the factory car would suffice for the time being.

Heres my problem with teh 135 now.. Checked Bimmer's website the other day and now the base model 135i is $34,900 making the grand total $36,275!!

However the Mini in the configuration I'd want would only come out to $25,100 + Destination..

Right now I'm just speculating really...
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:13 AM   #19
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This dude I work with has a Saab 9-3. It's wrong wheel drive of course, but he bought some kind of programmer for it. Pretty sure it just flashes the PROM. I saw his boost gauge hit 21lbs? The car rips for a heavy 4 handled FWD car. They make a bunch of aftermarket parts for them, but I'm sure the stuff is salty. If you're into sticking to 4 doors and AWD, did you check out a Lancer EVO VIII? I'm sure there are tons of upgrades for them and I doubt you'll be dissapointed.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:59 AM   #20
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I have a cooper. It is quiet, seats 4(kinda)fun to drive when you want to push it, and it gets good mpgs. Ours is an 03, and we havent had any issues with it at all. If you want more base power from the factory then check out the JCW Cooper. My only gripe is that my local Mini dealer is 40 miles away.

As for the 135i, I would rather opt for the 335i. The price difference is not a whole heck of a lot, there is more room, and the performance gains the 135i has over the 335i is negligable.

The Solstice GXP bested a Boxster S on the track under same conditions using the same professional driver. Obviously, it isnt as refined as the Boxster S, but it is still 1/2 the cost. I love Porsche, but I could have 2 Solstices for 1 new Boxster S.

If space didn't matter, I would seriously consider the Solstice GXP. It has a great starting point, powerwise. The car could probably be modded easily and cheaply, as compared to the Bimmers and the Mini. They look good, and they arent bad on gas.
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