MF Exclusive: Behind the Wheel of the R56
We’ve got a world exclusive for you today. First impressions and a first drive of a pre-production 2007 MINI. You’ll see a lot of R56 “spy shots” in the coming weeks and months from the automotive press, however you won’t get other first hand accounts like this. While we obviously can’t say where they come from, we can verify that both are 100% legitimate.
Just thought MotoringFile readers would like to know I’ve been driving around in a new R56 Cooper for several hours and my first impressions are ‘it’s great’!
The new interior is superb, the dash and controls are all there and function much the same as the current car apart from the integrated radio which has an iDrive-ish sort of operation. Seats are quite different from the current car, (not sure about the design) but time in the car will tell. Interior gadgetry is all fine and functional, but it would take a while to get used to.
The new engine is quiet and free revving. I’d say better than the current unit for smoothness and zip. All the handling of the current MINI is still there, but has this was a very low mileage car (and the roads damp and greasy), I didn’t really feel comfortable pushing it too hard.
All in all its a fine car despite the obvious bits which are not production spec yet (and certainly not based on production tooling).
We also managed to get another first hand account of the new R56. Here are a few more interesting bits of information.
With regards to final styling, we’ve been told that the r56 does indeed look close to this recent Auto Bilde rendering. Apparently the car is slightly larger in most dimensions. Also of note, the bonnet vent on the MCS will resemble that of the Tokyo concept wagon, meaning there will be no plastic insert. This is the first we’ve heard of this so at this point there’s no confirmation.
According to our source the MINI plant in Oxford has already built about 20 R56 MINI test mules and is planning on finishing up to 50 by Christmas. That’s 2-3 a day!
We should have further information on the next generation MINI in the coming weeks and months.
For those keeping score at home, yes, the photos above have appeared on MF previously.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- White Roof Radio #524
- What to Expect from MINI at the Mondial de l’ Automobile Paris 2014
- Change Lane: The Uber of Oil Change
- F55 Public Debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show
- MINI Explores The Future of Mobility at The London Design Festival
- A Photo Tour of MINI Production at Oxford
- The New MINI is Voted “Best-looking Car of 2014″ in its Class
- Exclusive: MINI’s New 8 Speed Automatic Transmission Revealed
- White Roof Radio #523
- Auto Express Loves MINI
MotoringFile on Instagram
- BMW R 1200 RT Named 2014 People’s Choice Motorcycle of the Year
- Cycle World Pits the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure vs. KTM 1190 Adventure R
- BMW Team RLL Results at the Circuit of the Americas
- Car & Driver Reminds Us Why The BMW 8 Series Failed
- BMW M3 Finishes 1-2 at Circuit of the Americas in Grand Sport
- An M3 on Slicks in the Rain on the Tail of the Dragon
- Will the Next Generation M5 & M6 Return to the V10?
- Is the i8 the Future of the Performance Car?
- BMW Opens its Newest Vehicle Distribution Center at the Port of Baltimore
- BMW Motorrad to Unveil At Least Three New Models at INTERMOT 2014
- Video: Scomadi Starts Production
- Rumor Denied: Genuine Scooter Company is NOT Going out of Business
- Just Gotta Scoot Reviews the Genuine Hooligan 170i
- McSweeney’s: Please Steel My Vespa
- Opinion: Scooter Rentals Should Require Motorcycle Endorsement
- Kickstart This: The Scooter Cannonball Movie
- Video: Building the BMW C Evolution
- First Ride: Vespa 946
- Video: The Vespa 946 Bellissima
- World Debut: The Vespa 946 Bellissima
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range