The US MINI Suspension Changes and it's Online Petition

Due to the recent comment made my Jack Pitney many owners have become irate at the idea that MINIUSA would change one of the most loved aspects of the MINI. Here are his comments:

“The quality issue in the IQS report said we had a harsh ride. You know, we do. Beginning this month we changed the oil in the shock absorbers which has a dramatic effect on the compliance of the suspension system. We're real serious about quality and we're keeping an eye on it.”

While we have very limited information on these changes I think it's important that MINIUSA understand the feelings of it's more loyal customers. That's why I urge all those against changes to the suspension of the US MINI to take a look at the online petition .

Personally I'd like too see this situation dealt with in a way that would allow those that want a softer suspension to be able to order it at no cost. Most people don't know this but in the rest of the world the base Cooper comes with a base suspension. What we get in this market is a Cooper that comes standard with the SS (Sport Suspension) that is a bit more sporty and more firm. It would be great to see the SS remain a no cost option along with the base suspension that is available in other markets. Of course this also means that you could still purchase the SS+ that is standard on the MCS and available now on the MC for $550.

Does anyone else have any ideas on how to alleviate this situation? Obviously MINIUSA would like to sell 25-30k cars a year and they feel that they need to appeal to broad market to do this. Bearing this in mind they obviously must take in consideration what the average owner thinks and make the necessary changes. I think it's our job as MINI enthusiasts to help them make the right changes.

[UPDATE] Looks like Paul over at MINI2 is on the case. According the Michael McHale from MINIUSA:

“Beginning with May production, the MINI Cooper S will feature a revised suspension set-up that allows for a more supple ride while maintaining the car's outstanding handling characteristics. The new configuration is achieved through the introduction of new shock absorber oil and revised shock tuning.”

“MINI USA recognises that superb handling is a key feature of the MINI Cooper S and has worked to ensure that the new improved suspension will deliver the performance that our customers expect.”

[UPDATE 2] The following is from a post on MCO:

“A few of you are asking whether or not this improvement is world wide or just offered in the USA. FYI, the shock absorber improvement will be in all new MINIs worldwide. Again, we want to reassure you that this change will in no way effect the unrivaled handling inherent in the MINI Cooper and Cooper S. If you have any questions, you can always reach us at (866) ASK MINI.”

Okay I'm starting to feel a little more at ease now

  • Ellis Dionisio

    Thanks Gabe for the link.I just put my name on the petition.

  • baz

    In europe there are three suspension settings on the 3 available models (one more than the US). Regular, which is softer than the US spec, sports suspension, which is what is standard on US Coopers, and sports suspension plus, which is firmer than standard, but comes as standard on the Cooper S. BMW should leave the suspension as it is and sell the mini one which is a lower powered, softer riding, entry level version of the mini (ie no white/black roof option)

  • frank

    But remember that the MINI ONE has a 90HP version of the 1.6L TRITEC engine. It is too underpowered for the North American market, hence MINI decided not to make it available outside of the European market. The current MINI ONE sells in Europe for about US$14K to $US15K with lower equipment content and less power. Compare that to the US$16.5 regular Cooper. See, the MINI ONE is far from being a bargain.

    However, MINI could offer the ONE's softer suspension setup as a no cost option over the standard Sport Suspension offered in this model.