Step Two: New MINI Ordered

First off a huge thanks to everyone who offered advice on this second step of the process in the initial comments. I’m happy to say that my next MINI has been ordered and I expect delivery sometime in late May. Those who kept saying to just get it all, thanks for your persistance. That’s about what I did. Here’s the quick run-down on what I ended up getting:

2005 MINI Cooper S

  • Black/Black – The Darth Vader of MINIs. In many ways the opposite of what I had before.
  • Chrome Trim (exterior) – I just could not say no to the bling. And since it’s a MINI, it just makes sense. And of course my wife likes the look too. That said I may eventually add the black aero kit grille.
  • Limited Slip Differential – Simply a must have now that it’s finally available.
  • Rear foglight – A bargain at $100. Also gets rid of that nasty black plate.

  • Sport Pack – love the features and it’s hard to re-sell it without.
  • Premium Pack – The sunroof is just too nice to pass-up. Being tall it’s also nice to have a little more room up there 🙂
  • Cold Weather Pack – This is the one non-negotiable option that my wife demands.

  • Cloth/Leather: Octagan Tartan Red. – Not only does it introduce some color into the car, but it’s great combination of materials. The fabric allows the seat to stay cool in the summer and warm quickly in the winter while the leather looks and feels great.
  • Chrome Trim (interior) – Living without it for three years I just felt I needed a bit more bling in the cabin.
  • Anthracite Dash – Looks so good with the chrome trim.
  • Anthracite Headliner – I feel obligated since MotoringFile may have played a part in this option coming back.

  • JCW 18″ Wheels – S-lites w/All Season tires for the winter, JCW 18s for the summer… the perfect OEM combo IMHO. And living in Chicago with 17’s for the past three years has taught me how to miss potholes… so I’m upping the ante a little bit. That said wheel and tire insurance is starting to actually sound like a good idea at this point.

There you have it. The most popular option missing has to be H/K. It’s sort of an odd omssion since I’m a huge music fan (500+ cds, 80 gigs of music in iTunes). However I figure since I don’t have it now, I won’t miss it in the future. That and I really don’t feel like waiting an extra four weeks (due to the fire).

Here’s a few others options that didn’t make it and why:

  • Chrono pack. – I’m personally not a fan of the look and prefer the center speedo.
  • Navigation – For many of the same reasons as above (and wanting to use the cash elsewhere).
  • iPod adapters – I’ll be moving my ICE-Link Plus over from my current car so no need for the BMW version.
  • Convertible – While I really enjoy the MINI Convertible, I’m just more of a coupe guy. I like the weight savings and the extra rigidity. Plus I need at least the Sports Suspension Plus, which is not available on either the MCc or the MCSc.
  • Automatic – The MCSa is a fine car but I’m just not one to own an auto. Besides, I think my wife would disown me.

And finally here are a few things I might add down the road:

  • Aero Grille – I typically love the look of the OEM chrome but a black grille on a black car just seems pants to me.
  • JCW Brake kit – I’m going to have some space to fill with those 18″s.
  • JCW Cold Air Intake Kit – The sound is just too much to pass up.
  • H&R Rear Sway Bar – to add just a touch more flatness to the cornering.
  • Exhaust – A JCW exhaust would be nice (and would go along with the theme) but I know that there are others out there that are just as good at a lower price.

As you can see, with this new MCS I’m sticking to my long-held practice of OEM Plus upgrading. That means sticking with OEM upgrades when possible and when it’s not go with the best aftermarket products. There are certainly cheaper ways of doing it (not to mention ways of getting lots more power) but that’s not really what I want or need in this car. But of course these are just my opinions and really don’t count for anything other than what gets put on my new MCS 🙂

Now I just have to wait for step three…

  • Frank

    Gabe, congratulations, I love your spec!

    However, I urge to reconsider the H/K stereo. I think it will nicely round up the final spec. The stock stereo is fine and loud but it lacks the clarity of the H/K system. If you are a music lover, like I am, and plan on using your iPod, the H/K will be a well worth investment. Don’t miss the opportunity to get it.

  • Frank – I was considering it but at this point I really can’t afford to wait an extra four weeks for it. Biking in the rain isn’t fun 🙂

  • Frank

    I hear you Gabe. How about the “Convinience package”?

  • I’m a hands on kinda guy… it took years for me to eventually accept auto-climate control. At this point I’m just not ready for a computer to turn on my lights and wipers for me or my. I know it’s a good deal considering the features, but I just don’t need it. I also don’t want an armrest and I’ve heard various reports of people getting one with the package even on coupes.

  • Frank

    The auto headlights can be manually operated if so desired and ditto with the wipers. I think the self dimming rear view mirror is a must in these cars and the homelink integration works flawlessly. I got tired of carrying a remote garage door opener and the Homelink solution allows me to keep one less thing out of the cockpit.

    The package also adds resale value. People likes those gadgets, but thay all work well and serve a purpose.

    Also it is $150 cheaper than the H/K stereo.

    LOL, I am trying to push so hard for it! 🙂

  • Do you have stock in one of the suppliers? 🙂

    Actually I’m very familier with it. In fact I’m currently driving (and testing) a MCc with the package.

  • Ian

    Gabe, Very nice – and congratulations again! Let’s see if you can beat four weeks from order to arrival 😉

    I also really would like to see you get the H/K – I would be fascinated to read your long term opinion of it …

    Also gets rid of that nasty black plate – I thought you wanted lots of black! 😉

    currently driving (and testing) a MCc – so you’re not biking anyway; you can wait for the H/K after all!

  • Elliot

    Gabe – read a long-term wrap-up on an ’04 JCW with the 18″ JCW rims in the current issue of EVO magazine – you can prolly find it at your local Borders’.

    Their long term Pepper White car had the JCW mods, as well as the JCW sport seats (they hated them) and the JCW rims. Very interesting read….well worth buying.

  • Gabe, what week is your production. My understanding is that if affects only week 17 builds.

    Regards… Steve

  • Elliot

    And Gabe….I assume it is ok to ask…what is the bottom line MSRP for your new R53 ????

  • Eric


    Congrats and welcome to the “Black-on-Black” family!!! You are one of us now!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

  • Lee

    “Premium Pack – The sunroof is just too nice to pass-up. Being tall it’s also nice to have a little more room up there :)”

    Wow! You must be TALL! I’m 6’6″ and long of torso, and headroom in the MINI is the least of my problems in this world.

  • The MSRP for my new MCS (without the JCW wheels) is 26k even.

    Lee – no I’m not quite that tall.. I just like some light and extra room up there.

  • Nicholas P

    it’s ok to ask, as u can go on and configure what he said to find out…

  • GSKChicago

    Congrats yet again.

  • Damon


    My Pepper White/black MCS with the Tartan Red interior just arrived at the distribution center. I did get the automatic since we have a ’04 MCS so we will have one of each. It will be fun to compare.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, get the H/K stereo. IT IS WORTH THE WAIT!!!!!!!. My Cooper had the stock and the 04 has the H/K. It is so great. If I could only have one option that would be it. If you are truly a music lover it should be your priority. You can only go around so many corners, or go so fast but you can ALWAYS have the radio on. It is the most used part of the car!

  • GSKChicago

    Waiting 4 more weeks just for the H/K does seem a bit much. I have the H/K and I do love the thing… But, I honestly drive with it on only half the time, if that much as I’m either listening to the wonderful sound of the engine/exhaust or I have someone in the car with me at which point I rarely will crank it up when there are passengers.

    I encouraged the H/K as well, but to add 4 weeks to get it, I don’t think I would do it if it were me.

  • I guess I’ve never really thought of the car as the place to really get into my music. I tend to do that at home when I can concentrate on it a bit more.

  • Franz

    Hi Gabe,

    I know this is getting repetitive, but CONGRATS! Also being repetitive, I would also say that the H/K is worth the wait. As a music buff, you will love it. Sounds like a great car! Enjoy!

  • RB

    ALREADY with the H/K bit!

    26K……final cost really is??????

  • Chris M


    It’s OK not to have H/K, but don’t forget the illuminated door sills 🙂

  • Ben A.

    Congratulations – sharp looking car! And honestly, I think you made the right choice on the stereo, regardless of factory fires. The H/K is way overpriced for what you get, and it makes working with the system later a pain in the rump. OK, so the H/K may sound marginally better than stock – but the extra amp complicates upgrades later. If you decide the Boost unit is insufficient after you get your car, it’s easy to add aftermarket toys – the $550 MINI charges for the H/K option buys you an awful lot of car audio equipment 🙂

    That said, make sure to crank the bass down two notches before you even pull away from the dealer – like most stereo systems, it ships adjusted to sound loud, not to sound good.

  • Kurt

    Gabe, my strong humble opinion is to get the tire and wheel guarentee… I got one and already saved a third the price of it within 6 months when I got a flat…

  • Charlie

    Gabe, Which MINI dealer are you buying your car from?

  • Congrats Gabe! Just a small correction. Although I wholeheartedly recommend the sunroof, it doesn’t actually add headroom, it removes it. The headliner is dropped about an inch so technically you loose space. But even for tall people, there’s still plenty. 🙂

    Best of luck with the JCW wheels. I had 17’s in Chicago and although not quite as bad as boston, I still had plenty of nervous hits. Not so much from potholes but from when they ripped up the road during construction season and left 4-inch high ridges in the pavements, and manholes sticking well above the surface! I’m sure you know…

  • Brian


    Very nice spec…one thing I would add is the extra window tints..that would go very well with the all black look.

    Nice choice.

  • Ken

    I’m with Gabe on the convenience package. I have auto lights on my other vehicle and my wife uses them but I don’t prefer them. As for the auto-dimming mirror, my other car also has that, I don’t think it is as powerful as the manual for deflecting those misaligned headlights and wouldn’t choose it again. I don’t own a garage door opener, unless I count my self. Sounds like a great MINI Gabe.

  • way to go gabe – mean ride! ; )

    • drew

    (and a big YES to the jcw exhaust and air intake – i just installed those bits to my ’05 mcsa and it really completes the vibe of the car!)

  • You choose well, especially the chrome and the JCW wheels (and skipping the Xenons). However, a contrasting roof is such a distinguishing MINI feature and you’ve lost that with an all-black MINI. I’ve never really liked MINIs with a body-color roof, too mainstream, and all black seems too dark and aggressive for MINI’s personality.

    Any MINI is still a MINI. Enjoy it!

  • 05DSMCS

    Gabe, I’d highly recommend the convenience package for the addition of the rain-sensing wipers, auto dim mirror, and included garage door opener. The first two I don’t see as the car doing something for you, rather very usable safety features. If you haven’t ever used them, try, you’ll never go back.

    The integrated garage door opener is great if you have a garage. I am really pleased with these features – and I’m also a do it myself/simple OEM options type of guy (manual tranny, manual ac, no sunroof)

  • RB

    Here’s my question on this H/K debate….since it seems it won’t go away………..

    With all the cabin noise in these cars why spend the money on this H/K feature? I am putting in the ICE-Link soon but I can’t see the need for anything above the standard radio as the cabin noise is not really conducive to quality listening. Maybe the newer MINIs are quieter, I have an ’02, or maybe it’s just my run flats + sunroof. From day one in Florida we found the car very very noisy unless on new asphalt. Going through Texas, on HWY 10, we found the cabin noise as bad as my Isuzu Trooper. The roads in SoCal have gone to shit since all the rains and so we have roads as bad as that other state.

  • SuperCharged

    I think I speak for all the HK fans when I say it’s something that you can’t imagine not having once you get used to it. The clarity is amazing, and the sound in general is extremely rich. Worth every bit of money in my opinion.

  • Mike (The Office Maven)

    Awesome spec Gabe! You’re going to absolutely love it I’m sure.

    BTW, speaking of JCW brakes… I now have a JCW brake kit sitting in my garage waiting to be installed on my MINI. Looks like there’s one more “how-to” for Motoringfile in my future. [GRIN]

    I’m not sure that I want to write it up though as I can already see all of the negative comments coming. 🙁 However, I’ve been soooo impressed with everything JCW has put out so far that I just couldn’t pass up the big brake kit to go along with my JCW suspension (and I got a great price on it too!).

    Can’t wait to see real life pictures of your new ride. 🙂

    Take care…

  • Aurel

    Nice spec Gabe … car will look awesome!

    “The sunroof is just too nice to pass-up. Being tall it’s also nice to have a little more room up there 🙂 “

    I disagree with this. Beign 6’7″ … The sunroof option TAKES AWAY from the headroom in the car.

  • TJKonarski

    You’ve gotta get the H/K. Without it it’s like you spec’d your car out like Mike Tyson — All brawn, but that puny voice. Or, how about this analogy — It’s like going to McDonalds and ordering a Big Mac, Large Fries and then choose a Diet Coke. I know, I know… The extra four week wait… The commute… But it will be worth it, I promise you!

  • Wow… lots of questions to answer. Sorry if I don’t get to all of them.

    Mike – you need to install the JCW brakes and write the how-to so I can follow it! How does June sound 🙂

    And just to clarify on not choosing the H/K and the Convience Package – The MCc I’ve been driving for a few days had the Convenience package and the H/K. I’ve also logged a total of at least 2 weeks behind the wheel of other H/K equipped cars. So I think I’ve had ample time to evaluate both. And while I agree that both options are great additions to the MINI, I just would rather spend cash in other areas. My target price for this car was 26k… something I somehow managed to hit 🙂

  • njpaguy

    I’ll guess you’ll have to go aftermarket for the orange flames over the fenders…

  • Production Update

    I’m happy to report that my MCS is now in stage 150 and about to enter stage 151. The best part is that I have a VIN! Production should be completed no later than May 4th. That means I should almost certainly see the car within the month May.

    Very exciting. Of course I suppose this puts an end to me change my order though 🙂

  • greg

    Congrats Gabe! Any bonet stripes? Interior aux gauges and driving lamps are my two favorite options on my new MCS.

  • TJKonarski

    Wow! This seems to be moving along very, very fast. When did you place your order? How long did they tell you it would take versus how long it is actually taking?…

  • Well to be honest I ordered it a couple of days ago… I’ve just been too busy to write anything on the site about it until late lastnight.

    I was originally told I could see the car in late May. Now I’m being told I will see the car in late May 🙂 There are a couple of reasons it’s moving so fast. One of them is most certainly that my order has moved ahead of other orders in the queue that are delayed due to the H/K plant fire.

  • TJKonarski

    That is so fast! That’s only about a 5 or 6 week wait. I’m impressed.

  • Zach Senders

    Wow Gabe, my mini is on the W&W Morning Melody right now, and is almost identical to the one you ordered. Same interior and exterior colors with chrome, and packages. The difference is I did not get the rear fogs, and did order auto wipers (without the package). I’ll let you know how everything looks when I take delivery.

    Does anybody know how long it usually takes from unload off the ship until taking delivery at the dealer? My dealer is Main Line Mini of Philadelphia, and the port is NY (Newark).

  • Jeffrey Haskovec

    Just out of curiousity does anyone know when they will start taking orders on the 2006’s? I would like to order a new mini, but it seems like the new one’s should be coming out in the fall so I wanted to wait till they are out.

  • nrkist

    Sounds very sweet, Gabe. But good God man, $600 for each of those JCW wheels?!

    Think of it this way:

    • 1 wheel = HK
    • 2 wheels = JCW suspension or JCW brake kit
    • 1 wheel = various tasty mods (intake, pully, etc.)
  • I totally agree man… I recommend either not paying that much or going with the web-spokes via the sport package add-on.

  • GSKChicago


    I can’t speak to when MINI starts taking orders for the following model years in general. I can tell you however that I ordered my ’05 MCS in June of 2004. June 14th to be exact and took delivery August 17th.

    Whether that is an indication of when they will open up orders for ’06, I have no idea.

    Hope that’s helpful.

  • ’05 was different than normal since they started producing ’05 cars July 1 due the convertible introduction.

    I’d guess September or October for ’06 production. Keep in mind that the big changes won’t happen until ’07 at the earliest. The 2006 MINI should be pretty much the same as the 2005 (plus or minus a special options package and some JCW factory parts).

  • blalor
    The package also adds resale value. People likes those gadgets, but thay all work well and serve a purpose.

    Frank, you’re starting to sound like my MA! I had to bite my tongue when she kept pushing the auto A/C. I don’t wanna and you can’t make me! Nyah!


  • miniwiley

    Gabe, there’s a set of 18″ JCW wheels on ebay right now. May be cheaper than buying them from the dealer…,1&item=7969644623&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT

  • petsounds

    Gabe –

    Don’t worry, life without the H/K is fine. The MINI has one of the best stock stereos I’ve heard. And if you really want more juice later on, you’ll be better off doing a custom install..much more bang for the buck.

    I’d disagree with you about the auto features. When I bought my S, my philosophy was: choose any option that lets you focus on driving rather than fiddling with controls. And I have to say the auto wipers, auto A/C, auto-dimming mirrors completely satisfy that criteria.

  • GRATZ!

    Thats a great setup!

    Beautiful machine 🙂

  • Ben

    Gabe, Congrats, this will be a sharp-looking car! “JCW 18″ Wheels – S-lites w/All Season tires for the winter, JCW 18s for the summer… the perfect OEM combo IMHO.”

    Why not go for good winter tires, such as Michelin Arctics or Blizzaks, on the S-lites? In my experience (I’m from Quebec, after all!), All-season are neither great winter nor summer tires… Ben

  • beekman


    love love love the all black with chrome line exterior thing you’ve got going on!

    for me the HK is shockingly better than standard but that would be flogging one dead horse!

    as alluded to above, EVO magazine didn’t like those big bling wheels – they did say that they are immensely helped by the JCW suspension, though. maybe that’s where that HK money should go!


  • Ben – normally I would agree with you, however we just don’t get enough snow here in Chicago to justify snow tires on a front wheel drive car. That said, I do have a dedicated set for my rear-wheel drive 3 series Touring.

    Beekman – I’ve spent some time in a MCS with thhe JCW 18s before (with the JCW suspension) and they really felt no more harsh than my current s-lite set-up. And they’re actually lighter. Plus they look just so pants!

    That said, if I have to get the JCW suspension to “help” – so be it 😉

  • JAG

    Man, I am very happy for you. It is time that someone who has so much passion for the car and shares it with everybody here, deserves a top MINI. Heck, MINI should be giving you a freebie full JCWorks. Hope you can get some sleep on the mean time. Congrats again

  • After I’d closed the window on your original thread, what occurred to me was this: if you’re going for the “Smell the Glove,” then you need all-black bonnet stripes too. That’d be a really subtle element of “none more black.”

  • nrkist

    Gabe on the JCW wheels:

    I totally agree man… I recommend either not paying that much or going with the web-spokes via the sport package add-on.

    Ah… I hear you. You’ve been hooked up. Sweet.

  • beekman

    LOL fedward – the question is: are black-on-black viper stripes more “none more black” than stock black-on-black stripes?

    gabe – I thought “pants” means rubbish, unless there’s some local usage in chicago I don’t know of 😉

  • Vanwall

    Effin’ Awesome! Way to go, Gabe!

            Rob in Dago

  • Pants = sorry, inside joke 🙂

  • Gregory

    Very, very nice spec. Should be great. I’d love to see the black mesh grill or black bonnet stripes. I’ve had my ’05 JCW MCS for about a month. I have every factory option except for the park distance control. I must say there’s a lot of tech gadgetry that is probably not needed in an enthusiast car. I really didn’t think much about the Convenience Package, but I must say out of all the features on the car the auto-dimming rear mirror is by far my favorite (oh, and the 210hp). There’s nothing more irritating than an Escalade or X5 blinding you with their headlights.

  • MrV

    Sorry to beat a dead horse, but this thread:

    says that the HK plant is back up and running and delays should be minimal. Of course we know that the average MA is not kept as informed as they would like to be from MINI corporate, so take it for what it’s worth.

  • Frank

    Gabe, the HK component plant appears to be up and running again…..

    Time to reconsider ordering the HK stereo?

  • Congrats! Mine’s a black on black too. I chose the dealer installed chrome grill because I didn’t want the chrome mirrors or boot handle. Opted out of the HK with the intention of upgrading, but aftmkt choices are too numerous: new hu? new speakers? amp & speakers without new hu? Certainly more than $550 because I’m mechanically challenged so cannot do my own installs. Maybe I’ll wait until you decide to upgrade and then follow that thread on MotoringFile. Regarding the wait, my build was completed April 4, on the boat Apr 5, arrived NY Apr 13, picked up at my dealer in Morristown NJ (admittedly the closest dealer in America to the port) April 15. I hope the transport gods smile upon you too.

  • gmini

    A car I can envy. I wish you the best.

  • Kennedy

    Thought this would be an appropriate time to ask. For all the Mini owners out there, I’m getting ready to place my order. Was wondering what kind of deals, if any, I should expect from the dealer when placing my order.

    My closest dealership is out of state, and when I was there last week they had a $349 dealer “processing fee” for each order that supposedly helped cover taxes, titling, etc… except when I told them I lived out of state they said they would then give me all the info so that I would take care of it when I get back to VA. But, I still get to pay the fee!

    So basically, I was promised a free set of floormats and get to pay the fee, plus the dealers installation costs basically double the cost of driving lights, invisishield, etc. While I expect to pay MSRP, what’s a good deal for ordering dealer accessories at the time of order?

  • Kennedy

    Oh and Gabe… very nice! Congrats…

  • Zach Senders


    My salesperson has known my dad for his whole life, but he informed me when I ordered that regardless of relationship or anything else, everything goes for MSRP. He didnt mention any fees, and he did say that he could push my order through ahead of others, but I wouldnt expect any major price breaks considering they have no problem moving minis in the US.

  • Kennedy

    Thanks Zach… No, that makes sense, I don’t really expect to get under MSRP as ordered. Surely though dealers must do something to differentiate themselves to entice you to order with them vs. another, right? I mean, if I understand it correctly they set their own rates for how much accessory installation fees are… Right now I’m pretty much leaning towards ordering what I want from the factory and buying and putting all my own accessories on myself (driving lights for $800, please!)… but it would be sooo nice to just pull up, have exactly the car I wanted sitting there and drive it home!

  • larry

    seriously frank…

  • Pepe Marcos

    Looks awesome, i would definitly add the aero kit, and the driving lights, I have a 05 mcs red/white, and the other day i saw a black/black one, and fell in love with it, enjoy it!!!

  • Allan

    Kick ass spec!

    Now that you’ve got a VIN, you must have a name picked out…

    Any thoughts?

  • nrkist

    evo on the JCW 18″ wheels:

    The big rims undoubtedly added some range-topping ‘bling’, but on anything but a smooth, dry road, where the massive wheels and tyres generated immense road holding, the S Works was hobbled by poor high-speed wheel control, crashy low-speed ride and poor wet-road feel.

    They sound great!

  • The Seeker

    Gabe, Conrats. Consider flat black viper stripes and one of those “duster” things to keep in the boot. Get a black or grey one as they shed. Nothing is prettier than a black car after it’s washed. But they get dusty real quick. Car and Driver say the Blizzaks suck. Took 5 weeks for my 2005 MC. Nicely done, my friend; you chose wisely. Little Bastard, Rain Maker and I salute you. Conrad

  • Speaking of trim (interior), chrome looks great, but does anyone aftermarket sets of black, dull-matt finished rings to cover or actually trim the grey speedometer, tach, cupholders, etc?

  • Now that you’ve got a VIN, you must have a name picked out…

    I’ve never been able to name cars. It just never felt right to me. …but maybe this car will change that. I’ll have to put some thought into it.

    Looks awesome, i would definitly add the aero kit, and the driving lights

    Yeah that would look great, however I think I’m going to spend the cash on the brake or suspension kit.

    nrkist – yeah that sounds about right. Actually that sounds like every MINI I’ve ever driven to be honest.

  • dc

    First, great news. A new MC will keep Gabe interested and Motoringfile alive for a few more years.

    I’m sure Gabe you looked at all the options and chose what’s best for you.

    I think the white roof is traditional MINI, distinctive, and a great feature on a sunny day. Otherwise you made great choices.

    Second: the HK. See

    For long trips I find the MINI to loud, and I wear foam ear plugs and turn the stereo up. Then I wish I had the HK.

  • Rick

    Sound is subjective, but to my musician’s ears, the stock sound system kicks real nice. I A/B’d it with the H/K, and found it to have a much more pure, clear sound, while the H/K sounds very processed. The stock system sounds more like what the recording engineer would have heard.

  • Chris M

    Quoth the Seeker: “Car and Driver say the Blizzaks suck.”

    I can revise and extend that, having had Blizzaks on my ’05 MCS for the past 6 months. The Blizzaks are great in the snow–gave me a feeling of real security, in fact.

    On a dry road, however, they can change the handling of the Mini in some disconcerting ways. When I tried going into a corner fast, they actually held the road pretty well on the corner, but when I straightened out, whoa! The car oscillated from side to side–sidewall flex, no doubt. But the real surprise happened during braking from high speed in a straight line, say 70 mph–the front end definitely got loose, for no obvious reason.

    I’d say if you can drive with all-seasons, do it. In my area I need snow tires and the Blizzaks are fine, as long as one remembers their shortcomings in the dry.

  • greg

    Everyone’s jumping on my black bonet stripe bandwagon. Gabe, with all the tire debate I am curious as to how the tire that came with the sport pkg perform in ice/snow(Cleveland). If they’re good I’ll get these Yokahamas I keep hearing about. If not I’ll get some snows.

  • Brian

    Wow a lot of love for the HK system.

    Have to agree with Gabe…waiting 4 weeks for a stereo upgrade when you’re without a ride would be a huge pain.

    That said, could always upgrade with aftermarker gear which in the long run will perform better than the factory (yes, even HK) system, with better functionality (i.e. the Ipod adapter working properly by showing the display information…something the factory system lacks).

    Great spec though Gabe…now the test of waiting begins.

  • GuateMINI

    I agree with DC – “First, great news. A new MC will keep Gabe interested and Motoringfile alive for a few more years.”

    We all look forward to the first posting with your new MINI. However, don’t forget to take time just to enjoy it!

  • Wayne

    My Red/Black Roof MCS arrived at the dealer yesterday. Have the Red inserts/Leather with center ArmRest, LSD, Prem/Sport/CW packages, H/K, fog light, anthersite dash & headliner. Selling my Red/Black MCS with 45K miles Tuesday. My kids yelled at me for getting the same color and I too was leaning toward Jet Black/Black top, but I had a black car before and I tend to be too much of a slob to keep the black car clean. I was considering the WEB spoked wheels, but they only come with “summer tires” and need all seasons for here in MI. I will try to keep the miles under 20K a year this time. PS/ In selling my MCS, I found it amazing that half of the MCS out there have such LOW MILES. Example 6800 mile for a 2003!!..What a waste!!..I bought it to DRIVE it, not to let it set in the garage and gather dust.!!

  • Aleks

    Bottom line, you are getting a car that any of us would love… a MINI!

    Congrats and be sure to post some nice pics when you take delivery, cant wait to see it all done up.

  • nemi

    Congrats! The spec is very similar to the Cooper-S we took delivery of in Sept. 2004.

    You will not be dispointed with the black-black. We also liked the bling of the chrome on black, and now spring is upon us we are looking to up the bling another level with all round window tinting. Some photoshop mock ups I have played with make me think it will look very nice – you should investigate it too down the road. 😉

  • I ordered my “05 MCS for January build as I wanted to experience the new paddle shift auto. I also ordered the Works package which we thought would be available in March; now the dealer is thinking summer/fall. Has anyone heard if the Works package for the “05 automatic is available yet???

  • A must is the aero grills and the H/K!!! good luck, too.

  • ….and, of course, later, the 17% pulley!!!!!

  • Sam

    Hugh – I don’t think that mini offers the Amish trim package.

  • First, great news. A new MC will keep Gabe interested and Motoringfile alive for a few more years.

    LOL – good point 🙂

  • Hobbit1

    Gabe- Your new MCS sounds just like the one I just ordered. I didn’t get the stick (not good at driving that in rush hour ATL traffic), but similiar specs. My motoring advisor talked me into the anthracite dash and headliner and from the looks of it on the website, I am glad I ordered it! I didn’t get the 18″s, but I got the 17″ webspoke and am pretty excited about the way they look!

  • Excellent Spec! If I didn’t order the 18″ JCW wheels I’d have probably gone with those web-spokes!

  • Right on spec, I agree with the comments RE: a convertable and keeping it a stick 110%!!! I’m sure I’ll see you drifting around on the roadways of chicago!

  • greg

    Paul…JCW with automatic? Yeesh!

  • Eric

    That debate is over Greg. Plus, no one frowns at the “automatic” F1 cars. To each their own.

  • I agree with the debate being over. But I have to say that F1 cars aren’t autos… they’re sequential manuals. Hopefully someone MINI will have one of those as well!

  • greg

    Sorry guys. I’m new to that “debate”. Gabe, as long as I have your attention could you give me your opinion on the tires that came with the sport package in snow/ice. I’m debating on an additional set of tires. Possible Yokahamas for now or a set of snows come winter. Thanks.

  • Brian

    Gabe, what was your exact order day? I ordered my Mini Cooper S (NY area)on April 11,2005 with the H/K stereo. The car is scheduled for production now, April 29th. I am trying to guess how long I will have to wait. Your order date might help.

  • Brian – I ordered my car on April 18th and my production should have started on the 28th. Originally I was told it had already started… however that has since turned out to be incorrect. It should be completed by May 4th.

  • Greg – as I mentioned in the other post the MINIs summer tires are less than adequate in snow. I’ve got a set of Dunlog M2s on my other car for winter. I’d highly recommend them if you live in a place that doesn’t see a ton of snow.

  • Brian

    Thanks Gabe – I ordered my MS with the H/K on April 11, 2005, and the askmini phone number just informed me it would be completed by May 6th! I am really excited, now I am trying to figure out how long it will take before it reaches the dealer in NY.

  • Where in NY are you located, Brian?

  • greg

    Thanks Gabe.

  • Brian

    outside NYC

  • Capn

    Is Dinan a dirty word around here? I don’t see it mentioned anywhere around here. If my post disappears I guess that will be my answer. They’ve got some really cool stuff, dealer installed. Sorry to be ignorant just new here. The dealer parts guy told me about you. What an awesome site!

  • You don’t see MINI Mania, Promini/BMP, or M7 mentioned either. They’re all aftermarket companies and as I mentioned early, I’d like to stay mostly OEM.

    Secondly I’m kind of offended to see someone say that their post might disappear because they mention a specific aftermarket company. Other than profanity, spam or attacks on other user, in over 2 years we’ve never deleted a post on this site.

  • Melanie

    Well, I bit the bullet and bought a set of JCW wheels with

  • Melanie

    Hmmm. not sure what happened there! As I was saying…

    I just bought a set of 18 inch JCW wheels with about 300 miles on them, off another car whose owner wanted chrome wheels instead. I paid a lot ($1000) for the set, but was happy that they were the wheels alone and not the wheels and stock RFs, since I will be putting non-RFs on anyway. I have to agree with Gabe, in that I like to go OEM whenever possible. I will be adding a JCW exhaust (used, $500 bucks) and (possibly)a JCW intake in addition to the wheels. I know it prob. sounds silly to some of you and there are many who would disagree – but I think that since I will be doing this piecemeal, if I use OEM parts designed specifically for this car, then maybe the total is greater than just the sum of the parts. In other words, maybe things “go together” better. Oh well, just MHO.

  • Jace

    Great write up Gabe- sorry for this very late post, but I hope that one day you’ll get a ride in a MC with H/K and iPod adaptor so you can tell us what you think of it.

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