MINI2 at the MINI R56 Preview Event

Paul over at MINI2 has lots of video footage and photos of R56 prototypes (unfortunately all camouflaged) and some technical details as well. Be sure to check it out:

[ R56 Video and Technical Details ] MINI2

MF Analysis: Great reports and very good reading. However there are very few real surprises here, just mostly some confirmation of what we’ve known for awhile. For the first time we can clearly see some huge improvements and some minior improvements and even a few disappointments in these video and images. Off the top of my head, here’s a quick list of each:

Improvements

  • The engine looks great and will just get better with the JCW.
  • The seats look to be a nice step-up.
  • The added toggles on the headliner are a great touch.
  • The new colors look fantastic – especially Mellow Yellow.
  • Bi-Xenon lights will be a great addition to the car.
  • The new rear bumper design is a nice move towards a more aggressive look.
  • Much improved exhaust.

Disappointments

  • The new S-lites look cheap and have little of the aggressive three dimensional look the current ones do.
  • The engine is backwards. No really, have a look.
  • The car is fat. 10KG increase is a HUGE disappointment considering what I and all of you were led to believe by a few of our sources.
  • The center stack’s plastic backer is as cheap as we had feared.
  • The c-pilar plastic is just not as elegant a solution as that seen on the current car.
  • The shift knob looks like the original design for the R50 – basically a less comfortable version of what we have.
  • Hood scoop is not functional.

More to come…